Leading the 5,000m at Terry Fox Stadium in Ottawa. Photo: Athletics Canada. Credit pending.

© Copyright – 2017 – Athletics Illustrated

The Canadian Track and Field Championships took place last weekend in Ottawa and one particular athlete, Andrea Seccafien, who qualified for the 2017 IAAF World Track and Field Championships during the meet, bettered some genuinely fast Canadian talent.

A few of the names include 2016 Rio Olympians Natasha Wodak and Jessica O’Connell as well as Rachel Cliff, Kinsey Gomez and Sasha Gollish.

Seccafien finished in the time of 15:39.66. O’Connell of Calgary was second in 15:40.91, while Sasha Gollish of Toronto was third in 15:42.59. Athletes needed to be top-two at the event as well as have run under 15:22 sometime during the qualification period, for automatic selection. O’Connell and Seccafien had already run 15:20.77 and 15:16.79, respectively.

Unfortunately for Gollish, she hadn’t.

“I am happy for Jess and Andrea. And congratulate them on their golden tickets,” shared Gollish. “While I’m disappointed in how I ran – and overall with my season – I know that all the fitness is still inside my legs and I’m excited about the future.”

Seccafien was pleased with her controlled effort.

“It was a great race and I really commend Natasha Wodak and Kinsey Gomez for doing much of the front running and getting it going a little bit,” shared Seccafien. “I was able to execute my race plan and stay relatively relaxed for much of the race until Jess and I had, what I hope was, an exciting battle in the last 800m.”

They ran the final two laps in under 2:15 and 2:16, which was the fastest portion of the race.

“I’m really happy to have defended my title and look forward to racing again in Ottawa next year.”

Seccafien is back-to-back national champion in the event. She owns a best of 15:17.81, which she accomplished May 2016 in Los Angeles. In Rio, she finished 11th in heat two with the time of 15:30.32 and did not compete in the final.

The national record was set in 2003 at the Paris world championships by Courtney Babcock in 14:54.98

The world championships are taking place in London, UK, Aug. 4 to 13.

Seccafien and O’Connell will race the heats on Aug. 10, which will be day seven and should they make the final, it will take place on day 10, the final day of the meet.

Shoestrings: Vancouver’s Natasha Wodak (31:53.14) and Rachel Cliff (32:07.94) as well as Lanni Marchant (32:04.21), who calls Chattanooga home, had already run under the qualification benchmark in the 10,000-metre event

Wodak owns the national record of 31:41.59 and along with Marchant are Rio Olympians. Cliff had narrowly missed qualifying for Rio on a technicality.

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