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The men’s 3,000-metre steeplechase event at the Canadian Track and Field Championships may be a three-way race for second place, depending on how fast Canadian record holder Matt Hughes decides to go in this event. “I’m coming off a great four week training block in Victoria, and workouts indicate I’m in very good shape,” said Hughes.

Hughes who hails from Oshawa, Ontario, owns a personal best of 8:11.64, which is nearly eight seconds faster than the second-seeded athlete Alex Genest. Genest (8:19.33) and Taylor Milne of Guelph, Ontario (8:25.46) as well as Chris Winter (8:28.17) of Vancouver are the three athletes who in theory will be racing for second, however, Milne may have something to say about that. “My fitness and speed is better than it has been since 2012. I have put in a lot of hours over the hurdles and I have a new level of confidence.”

Hughes competed in the NCAA for both the Clemson Tigers as well as the University of Louisville Cardinals. For Louisville, he twice captured the 3,000msc national NCAA Division 1championship title at the 2010 and 2011 outdoor championships.

Milne competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and the 2006 IAAF World Cross Country Championships that took place in Fukuoka, Japan.

Genest is an experienced international athlete as he has competed in at last eight global meets including the 2012 London Olympics as well as the IAAF World Cross CountryChampionships three times and IAAF World Track and Field championships once.

Winter is a three time competitor at the world cross country championships and is the national champion from 2014.

When asked about his expectations of this year’s nationals Hughes said, “Looking at nationals, the obvious expectation is to defend my title. I’m not too worried about how fast or slow the time is, because often championship style races are tactical and time is thrown out the window. Having said that and considering the strength and depth of the current Canadian steeplers I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a fast race.”

“I am not sure how the race will play out but I like my chances in a championship style race; I am wanting the win,” added Milne.

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