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Seven-time Canadian record holder Gabriela DeBues-Stafford has left the Nike Bowerman Track Club. She will join the Athletics Canada West Hub in Victoria, BC.
DeBues-Stafford wrote on Instagram that she will run under Hilary and Trent Stellingwerff and the AC West Hub.
DeBues-Stafford asked for privacy as she left due at least in part to the drug ban of teammate Shelby Houlihan. Houlihan’s infamous case is known as burritogate because she claimed that the nandrolone that she tested positive for came from a tainted beef burrito. The source she alleges is from a food truck.
DeBues-Stafford, a 26-year-old London, Ontario native, holds national records over the 1500m, mile (1609m), 3000m, and 5000m indoors. The 5000m record is also a North American best at 14:31.38, which she set in February this year in Boston. Her outdoor records are: 1500m in 3:56.12, mile (4:17.87), and 5000m (14:44.12) all set in 2019. She is the first Canadian to go sub-4:00 in the 1500m distance.
DeBues-Stafford grew up in Toronto. She comes from a running family as her sister Lucia is also a competitive athlete, currently with the Nike Bowerman Track Club. Their father James competed in the World Cross Country Championships.
Victoria, BC is home to the Athletics Canada West Hub. Earlier this week, Athletics Canada named long-time AC coach Heather Henniger as Hub Lead.
Hennigar will now be responsible for overseeing the entire high performance programs.
Athletics Canada’s statement read, “In her new role, she will provide performance management and coaching to athletes on the Canadian Athletics Performance Pathway (CAPP) and ensure that the West Hub provides a world-class daily training environment to prepare those athletes for future Olympic Games, Paralympic Games, and World Championships. An employment opportunity for the position of Endurance Coach (West Hub) will soon be posted.
“I am looking forward to the opportunity to build on the good work that has already been done at the Athletics Canada West Hub, and to contribute to the ongoing support of the incredible athletes and coaches in our system,” said Hennigar, a South Maitland, N.S., native. “We have a team of outstanding staff and practitioners at the Hub and I am excited to step into this next phase with them, leading into 2024 and beyond.”
Hilary Stellingwerff is a 2012 London and 2016 Rio Olympian. The 1500m specialist is now the head coach of the University of Victoria Vikes men’s and women’s teams. She also coaches the national 3000m steeplechase record holder and two-time Olympian Geneviéve Lalonde, who moved to Victoria in 2019.
Trent Stellingwerff is an exercise physiologist, coach, and senior advisor in the research and development department at the Canadian Sport Institute Pacific.