by Chris Moulton

The Speed River New Balance Euro Tour kicked off in earnest this week with a pair of races in Ireland and Finland. Highlighting an outstanding evening of racing was Anthony Romaniw’s World Championships “B” Standard run in the 800 metres at the Morton Games in Dublin, Ireland.

Romaniw finished fifth overall in the race achieving a lifetime personal best time of 1 minute 46.08 seconds.  The performance is the fastest by a Canadian this year by over one full second. Romaniw’s “B” standard provisionally qualifies him for the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia in August. By virtue of winning the Canadian Championships Geoff Harris still has the opportunity to bump Romaniw from the team if he gets the “B” standard. Romaniw can secure his spot regardless of Harris’s performances by achieving the “A” standard of 1:45.30 in his next race in Karlstad, Sweden on Tuesday.

In other action in Dublin, Hilary Stellingwerff finished second overall in the women’s mile in a time of 4 minutes 30.95 seconds. Stellingwerff made a bold move to the front during the race building a 7 metre lead at the bell. A fast closing Bri Felnagle caught Stellingwerff before the line to get the win with Stellingwerff holding on for second.

The remainder of the Speed River group was racing in Lahti, Finland at the Lahti Games.  The meet, which is only 20 minutes from the club’s base in Pajulahti, was extremely successful for Speed River athletes who registered four podium finishes. Leading the group was Alex Genest who finished second in the men’s steeplechase in a time of 8 minutes 25.75 second, teammate Chris Winter was third in the race in 8 minutes 33.13 seconds. Ross Proudfoot and Rachel Aubry also had top three finishes with Proudfoot finishing third in the 1500 in 3 minutes 42.34 seconds and Aubry third in the women’s 800 in 2 minutes 7.13 seconds.  All of these athletes will be back in action Sunday at the Savo, Games in Lapinlahti.

Video of Romaniw and Stellingwerff’s races