FEBRUARY 28, 2021
Top athletes lined up to race in Austin, Texas, at the Trials of Miles Texas Qualifier track meet over the weekend. While the fields were overwhelmingly American, eight Canadians raced, with several running to big results, including 1,500m wins from Toronto natives Gabriela DeBues-Stafford and Justyn Knight.
Canadian indoor 800m and 1,000m record holder Jenna Westaway of London, Ont., joined DeBues-Stafford in the women’s 1,500m. DeBues-Stafford won the race in 4:10.09, finishing just ahead of her Bowerman Track Club teammate Sinclaire Johnson, who placed second in 4:10.75.
This is DeBues-Stafford’s second win in as many runs to start the season, adding to her victory at a 3,000m race earlier in February. Westaway finished in seventh in 4:18.87.
Like DeBues-Stafford, Knight also continued his undefeated season, and the Texas Qualifier 1,500m was his second race of 2021. He stopped the clock in 3:36.62, just in front of second place and about half a second off his PB of 3:36.07 from 2018.
“I felt really relaxed out there,” Knight told FloTrack after the race. He noted that he and the leaders fell off the pace a bit, ultimately falling short of the Olympic qualifying time of 3:35.00, but added that “at the end of the day, I think race tactics-wise, I did a good job of just executing to win.”
Knight said he is done competing for the winter season, and now he has his sights set on spring races with the hope of competing at Diamond League meets ahead of the summer.