© Copyright – 2016 – Athletics IllustratedHarris_Flash

The Christie-Phoenix Insurance Victoria Run Series second meet of the 2016 season took place tonight at the University of Victoria’s Centennial Stadium. The performance of the night may have come from Mariah Kelly who graduated this year from NCAA Division 1 Baylor University.

Kelly competed in the 1500-metre event and ran a near six second personal best time of 4:10.30. Her previous fastest race at the distance was 4:16.18, which she accomplished in February last year in Palo Alto, California.

“I am really happy with the near six second personal best. Sarah McPherson did a great job pacing. This is great going into the Portland Track Festival next week,” shared Kelly.

Vancouver’s Luc Bruchet started the evening off at 6:30 PM with a solid run in the 3,000-metre event. His pre-race target was to run approximately 7:50, however, it was a hot evening and he ran most of the race solo, to finish in the time of 8:05.90.

Asked about the heat and running solo Bruchet said, “Yeah it’s a warm one, but today wasn’t about coming over here to bang one out, but to get in a good stimulus in preparation for the Portland Track Festival.”

Bruchet will be looking for the Rio Olympic standard in the 5,000-metre event this season and answered “yes” when asked about going for the standard in Portland (meet takes place June 11-12). He will need to run under 13:24 before or during the Rio Olympic trials that are taking place in Edmonton July 7 to 10. Currently three Canadians have run under that time, Cameron Levins, Mo Ahmed and Matthew Hughes, however, Hughes will likely stick to the 3,000-metre steeplechase that he specializes in while Levins will likely only race the 10,000m in Rio. Canada can send three athletes per event.

Also in the race was Theo Hunt from Vancouver who finished second to Bruchet in the time of 8:30.01. Trinity Western University Spartan Deon Clifford finished third in the time of 8:39.24.

Geoff Harris won his 800-metre race in the time of 1:49.50. He is a 2012 London Olympian, with a personal best of 1:45.97. The Rio Olympic standard is 1:46.00.

“The first 400m was a little slow, as was 600m, but that’s okay, I am looking forward to racing well at the Portland meet,” said Harris.

Harris was followed in by UVic Vike Isaac Penner who finished in the time of 1:50.88 – a new personal best. His previous best was 1:51.62, which he accomplished in the Portland meet last year. Third place was Thomas Oxland of Nanaimo who recorded a time of 1:52.33.

In the women’s 800m event Victoria’s Casey Atkin finished first in the time of 2:06.88. Second and third place finishers were Andrea Prop and Meg Harradine. They finished in the time of 2:07.04 and 2:16.08, respectively.

The next Christie-Phoenix Insurance Victoria Run Series meet will take place shortly after the Rio Olympic trials on Saturday, July 23rd at 6:30 PM.

Results are available, here>>