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On day three of the Canadian Track and Field Championships the men’s and women’s 1500-metre and men’s 110m hurdles and women’s 100m hurdles events were perhaps the most entertaining to watch with windy conditions influencing the outcome of these stacked fields.
Winnipeg’s Nicole Sifuentes captured her second national title at these championships. She accomplished the first one on day one in the 5,000m event and today she took the title in her speciality, the 1500m.
The 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships bronze medallist was up against Toronto’s Kate Van Buskirk, who earned a bronze medal at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. Van Buskirk is coming back from injury and had a tough spring after experiencing a fantastic year in 2014.
Sheila Reid is also on the comeback from injury. She is an NCAA champion and appeared to be ready to demonstrate her talent as Canada’s best middle distance runner since graduating from Villanova. And there was Sasha Gollish, who is taking Canadian track by storm as she was competing in the triathlon and has risen to the top of Canadian middle-distance running in 2015.
Sarah Inglis, who lives in Canada but is Scottish and attends Trinity Western University in Langley, BC, ran very hard from the gun, taking a solo lead by up to 50m, which she held for the first 1200m of the race. Inglis finished fifth in the time of 4:26.42. The Canadian women held back and let Inglis run away from the group until fatigue caught up to her. She was overtaken by a very hard charging set of, Sifuentes, Gollish, Van Buskirk and Reid at the 200m mark, leaving the rest of the field of eight other athletes in their wake.
When the leaders turned on the jets, Van Buskirk appeared to be gaining on Gollish and Gollish appeared to be gaining on Sifuentes, especially with around 60m and 50m to go; however, the finish order was set. Reid laboured a little at the end. Her full comeback will have to wait.
Overall the race produced slow times, but was an entertaining event.
1 Sifuentes, Nicole 86 Unattached-Manitoba 4:20.29
2 Gollish, Sasha 81 U Toronto TC 4:20.43
3 Van Buskirk, Kate 87 Newmarket HU 4:20.70
4 Reid, Sheila 89 Nike 4:24.08
5 * Inglis, Sarah 91 Scotland 4:26.42
6 Ayers, Katelyn 95 Speed River 4:26.79
7 Watts, Sophie 94 Unattached N 4:27.07
8 Roy, Joanie 91 Coureur Nordique 4:29.53
9 Pomfret, Kendra 91 Uvic Track Club 4:29.75
10 Kelly, Mariah 91 Niagara Regi 4:30.56
11 Digby, Erica 89 Vancouver TH 4:32.08
12 Soderberg, Nicole 92 Unattached Alberta 4:40.97
— Bibault, Emma 94 Uvic Track Club DNS
The men’s 1500m was bizarre. The men burst off at the sound of the gun for about 60m, presumably to establish positions. At 100m, Cameron Levins – a sort of pre-race favourite and a curious entry, being a 5,000m and 10,000m specialist, slowed the pace down to a very pedestrian gait. The entire field ran for about 1000m set in position, then the jockeying began. Brannen was on the outside drafting his main threat in Charles Philibert-Thiboutot, Alex Wilkie of Physi-Kult Running from Kingston, Ontario popped out from the back of the field into lane three and tried to get to the front; he did.
With 300m to go, Brannen, the defending champ looked out of place. He was near the back of the field on the outside of the curve. With Levin’s and Philibert-Thiboutot’s kicks, it was not a position that anyone wants to be in.
The potentially least suspecting competitor, Thomas Riva from the University of Victoria, stayed in the middle of the pack biding his time. He has a little swagger when he runs, his trunk rolls a little. He seemed to be analysing the very slow race with humour. With 300m to go Alex Wilkie pulled up beside Levins – perhaps a Hail-Mary move – and that action spurned on the kick of Levins, which spooked the field into movement.
Riva was still tucked neatly behind Wilkie and Levins and waited and at 200m to go, tidily went around Levins for the lead. At this time most track fans would assume Riva was going to relinquish the lead during the final 100m, he never did – while Brannen came close, he faded hard in the final few metres to fifth place. Wilkie in his efforts faded to 11th over the final 200m.
Levins faded to sixth. He fell hard in a previous race and had won the 5,000m national championships two days earlier. The kick was likely taken out of his legs for this race.
Instead of potentially three men in the 1500m going to the Beijing World Championships, there are zero. The top three finishers need to also have bettered the qualifying standard of 3:36.20 between January 1, 2015 and July 5, 2015. So far none have done so.
1 Riva, Thomas 92 UVic Track Club 4:06.16
2 Philibert-Thiboutot, Cha 90 C. A. Univer 4:06.58
3 Gorman, Daniel 88 Halifast Athletics 4:06.88
4 Rae, Jeremy 91 Speed River 4:06.98
5 Brannen, Nathan 82 Phoenix Athl 4:07.07
6 Levins, Cameron 89 Nike 4:07.24
7 Kent, Justin 92 Coastal Track Club 4:07.80
8 Morin, Nicolas 94 C. A. Univer 4:07.84
9 Falk, Nicholas 91 U Windsor AC 4:07.94
10 Darlington, Connor 93 Harbour Track 4:08.29
11 Wilkie, Alex 94 Physi-Kult Kingston 4:10.44
12 Lapointe, Jean-Samuel 91 C. A. Univer 4:10.82
The women’s 100m hurdles saw a surprise winner in Breanne Theisen-Eaton. Although she is a strong hurdler, she is a heptathlete and was up against a trio of women with better personal bests in Angela Whyte, Nikkita Holder and Phylicia George. Perdita Felicien who is Canada’s record holder for the event was colour commentating for AthleticsCanada.tv, who was streaming the event. She suggested the win had as much to do with Theisen-Eaton being able to handle the effect that a strong wind has on the event, as well as her fast turnover.
1 Theisen-Eaton, Brianne 88 Nike 13.06 1.8 0.166
2 George, Phylicia 87 Nike 13.10 1.8 0.164
3 Holder, Nikkita 87 Flying Angel 13.14 1.8 0.168
4 Chase, Chanice 93 Durham Legio 13.19 1.8 0.185
5 Whyte, Angela 80 Unattached Alberta 13.21 1.8 0.150
6 Gordon, Christie 86 Legacy Athletics 13.33 1.8 0.240
7 Setterington, Nicole 95 Unattached – 13.57 1.8 0.211
8 Maddex, Ashlea 92 Ottawa Lions T.F.C. 13.67 1.8 0.190
The men’s edition, the 110m hurdles was an exciting race. With a strong, but still legal wind, Damian Warner was pushed to a very fast time unofficially tying Mark McKoy’s event record of 13.27.
1 Warner, Damian 89 Nike 13.27 1.9 0.190
2 Cabral, Johnathan 92 Kitchener WA 13.37 1.9 0.155
3 Kaba, Sekou 90 Ottawa Lions T.F.C. 13.43 1.9 0.155
4 Moseley, Ingvar 91 The Speed AC 13.67 1.9 0.173
5 Brisson, Matthew 88 Border City AC 14.38 1.9 0.194
6 Wilson, Brandon 92 Project Athl 14.43 1.9 0.186
7 Léveillé, Simon 90 Sherbrooke 14.43 1.9 0.230
— Theriau, Christopher 87 Unattached N DNF 1.9 0.229
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