The calm before the storm. On the start line, Mariah Kelly. Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall

© Copyright – 2019 – Athletics Illustrated

Day 1 of the inaugural Coffee Cup Classic at the University of Victoria took place Monday with two distances and four races, the women’s and men’s 1500m and 500m, respectively.

The first race off was the women’s 1500m with a competitive field of local university, post-university, and national talent, looking for standards for international competition.

The race was won by Mariah Kelly who runs with Vic City Elite as the club name for Athletics Canada West Hub at Pacific Institute for Sports Excellence. She led most of the race and ran alone for the final lap, pulling away to a 4:14.16 result.

“I am in about 4:06 shape, I think, so it is not a fast result, but even though I did race hard, there is something about having a competitive field that makes you go even faster,” said Kelly.

Asked if she expects to go at least 4:06 or even 4:05 at the Canadian Track and Field Championships in Montreal at the end of July she said, “Yes, that right about where I think I am at, but nationals is more about placement and competing than times.”

Her personal best is 4:09.38 from the 2017 Harry Jerome Track Classic in Vancouver.

Sarah MacPherson finished second in the time of 4:18.86 and third was Jessica Furlan in 4:22.86.

MacPherson is also with Vic City Elite, while Furlan is training in Victoria with Wynn Gmitroski, noted for training former national 800m record holder Gary Reed of Kamloops.

Ty Fuoco with 20m to go in the 1500m. Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall.

The men’s 1500m was won by Vic City Elite athlete Ty Fuoco. He crossed the line in the time of 3:46.67 a new personal best time and a good performance on a breezy night running mostly alone. Finishing second was former University of Victoria Vikes athlete Matthew Winkler in 3:50.57 and third was Nick Colyn with Langley Mustangs Endurance Group in 3:54.08.

“I am happy with the result,” said Fuoco. “I was hoping to go 3:45 or better, but this was pretty good considering that I ran alone over the final lap.”

Fuoco, originally from Kamloops, BC was formerly coached by Gary Reed.

Vaughn Taylor, also with Vic City Elite won the men’s 500m distance in the time of 63.85. He is a 400m sprinter with a best of 47.92. He will be competing in the national track and field championships in the 200m and 400m events.

“It’s a pretty fast track and it was good to get this race in before nationals.”

Asked if the 500m distance was cruel and unusual punishment for a sprinter he said, “Yes, very much so,” with a laugh.

Jessica Furlan and Sarah MacPherson in the middle of the 1500m race. Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall

There was a slight tailwind for the start and the finish, with a headwind from 100m to 250m.

In second was Sean Kearney-McManus in 68.62 and third was Michael Barber in 68.99.

The top-three in the women’s 500m were Angelino Shandro (1:14.53), an unnamed runner (in the preliminary results) in 1:19.97 and Gabriella Kinnis in 1:22.03.

The second half of the meet featuring 800m and 3,000m events takes place Tuesday starting at 6:00 pm at the University of Victoria.