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© Copyright – 2015 – Athletics Illustrated

Jessica O’Connell is having quite the season. Will she continue to roll out the personal bests with her next race, the 5,000-metre final on Thursday June 2nd in Edmonton, during the National Track and Field Championships? “ I’m excited! There is a strong field lined up in the women’s 5000 and I’m looking forward to taking it on on Alberta soil !” said O’Connell.

O’Connell won the 28th Austrian Women’s Run (road) on Sunday, May 31st. She was victorious in the 5K in the time of 15:32.80, which is a new personal best for her. O’Connell’s best over 5,000m is 15:06.44. The national record is 14:54.98 by Courtenay Babcock set in 2003. The 26-year-old Calgary native has set at least four new personal bests already during 2015 including twice in the 5K, once in the 5,000m as well as the 1500m indoors. She is seeded number one in this race; however, Canadian marathon record holder Lanni Marchant (2:28:00) might prove to be a tough competitor to shake as should 1500m specialist Nicole Sifuentes.

Marchant also owns the Canadian half-marathon record at 1:10:47 from 2014. She ran impressively this spring in the 10,000m distance at the Payton Jordan Invitational meet finishing in 31:46.94 just two seconds outside of Courtenay Babcock’s national record of 31:44.74 – Natasha Wodak broke the record in that same race with her time of 31:41.59. Marchant prevailed over Wodak at the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon on June 28th in the heat with a finishing time of 1:11:08. A question for Marchant, will she still have the half-marathon in her legs four days hence?

Sifuentes is the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Track and Field Championships bronze medallist in the 1500m. For a middle-distance runner, she owns an impressive 5,000m best at 15:19.15. Her 1500m best is 4:04.65. The Canadian record is held by Lynn Kanuka from 1985 with her time of 4:00.27.

The qualification standard to make the 2015 IAAF Beijing World Track and Field Championships is 15:20, which both O’Connell and Sifuentes have eclipsed this season, so they only need to finish top-three to qualify. According to the IAAF Scoring Tables, Marchant’s 31:46.94 10,000m performance suggest a 15:06.00 5,000m time. Thursday night’s women’s 5,000m event could prove to be a very exciting three-woman race.

Full list:

1 1388 Myrand, Melanie 85 McGill Olymp 16:52.49

2 1386 Trofimenkoff, Vanessa 94 MAC Track 18:42.88

3 1857 Jewett, Tamara 90 University O 16:06.20

4 1369 Marchant, Lanni 84 London Weste 16:07.62

5 1720 O’Connell, Jessica 89 U OF C Athle 15:06.44

6 1335 Plante-Dubé, Marguerite Lavironde 16:59.57

7 1836 Sifuentes, Nicole 86 Unattached-M 15:19.15

8 1716 Macarthur, Sarah 90 U OF C Athle NT

9 1012 Carson, Lindsay 89 Athletics YU 16:20.14

10 1347 Thiel, Danielle 92 Legacy Athle 17:07.83

11 1055 Latraverse, Frédérique 93 C. A. Univer NT

12 1803 Labeaud, Natasha 87 Unattached B 15:44.89

13 1726 Sumner, Claire 95 U OF C Athle NT

14 1555 St-Gelais, Sabrina 91 Saint-Lauren 17:34.11

15 1817 Therrien, Brittany 90 Unattached B 16:49.39

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