Wins for Knight, Hutchinson, and Staehli, and personal-bests highlight busy Canadian track weekend
By: Jonathan Yue
It was a busy time on the track this weekend, as indoor season continues to move along. Among all the meets, Canadian athletes are putting up strong performances on both sides of the border.
Justyn Knight and Nicole Hutchinson came up big at Dr. Sander Invitational inside the historic New York Armory Track on Saturday. Competing in the men’s mile, Knight broke the tape in a time of 3:59.32 in his season opening race.
For Hutchinson, a Universiade silver medallist last summer, she raced in the women’s 3000-metre race, clocking 8:48.92 en route to capturing her first professional win since graduating from Villanova.
In the Dr. Sanders Invitational women’s mile, the duo of Lucia Stafford and Sarah MacPherson claimed third and fourth place overall, respectively, as the duo got their first races of the 2020 season out of the way.
At the Boston University Terrier Classic, a number of Canadian athletes were on hand with prominent marks in the results.
Julie-Anne Staehli earned a solid win in the women’s 3000-metre competition, stopping the clock at 8:47.97, a little over a second shy of the Canadian record set by Jessica O’Connell (8:46.50) last year. The Queen’s Gaels alum would lead the all-Canadian podium finish, with Erin Teschuck (9:09.56) and Alex Lucki (9:13.78) finishing in second and third, respectively.
Continuing the Canadian rush, the 2019 Canadian 800-metre champion Madeleine Kelly led the charge in the women’s 1000-metre competition, finishing second place with a time of 2:39.54. Laurence Côté (2:39.54), Jenna Westaway (2:40.26) and Elizabeth Whelan (2:45.03) followed closely behind over the finish line.
In the women’s 800-metre race, Maite Bouchard and Lindsey Butterworth finished 2-3 with new personal-best times of 2:02.69 and 2:02.75, respectively.
Butterworth wasn’t done there, as she joined Mariah Kelly on the women’s 1500-metre start line at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix on Saturday. Kelly crossed the finish line with a personal-best time of her own of 4:10.01, followed by Butterworth’s 4:14.82.
In the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix 3000-metre event, Ben Flanagan race in the men’s side, finishing with a fourth place finish and a time of 7:56.02. Jessica O’Connell followed suite in the women’s 2-mile race with a 9:36.79 finish for fifth place overall.
In the throwing circle, Brittany Crew continues to build off her season-opening mark of 18.05 metres as she took the win at the Bob Pollock Invitational in South Carolina. Her throw of 18.10 metres gave her her second consecutive win in the shot put in as many weeks. Teammate Sarah Mitton would finish in second place with a throw of 17.76 metres.
Over in Australia, Evan Dunfee was back on the track as he raced in the Supernova 2 10,000-metre competition, clocking in with a time of 39:50.5 for third place.
At the Knights of Columbus Games in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Michelle Harrison ran to a personal-best time of 8.22 in the women’s 60-metre hurdles, putting her atop the U Sports rankings in the event.
The indoor season is definitely heating up now, and will only continue to get more interesting each week. Canadian record-holder Alysha Newman will get her first taste of action in 2020 at the Paris Indoor Meeting on Sunday, before Gabriela DeBues-Stafford does the same the following week at the Millrose Games.