Lalonde, Seccafien claim national track titles
OTTAWA – Geneviève Lalonde and Andrea Seccafien captured national titles and gained berths in next month’s world championships Thursday at the Canadian Track and Field Championship meet at the Terry Fox Athletic Facility.
Lalonde ran to top spot in the women’s 3,000-metre steeplechase, setting a meet record in the process. She completed the distance in nine minutes, 37.45 seconds to chop 13.54 seconds off of the previous record set last year by Erin Teschuk. The time was just under 7½ seconds off of Lalonde’s own Canadian record set last year at the Rio Olympics.
The Speed River Track and Field Club member and Guelph resident finished more than 6½ seconds ahead of runner-up Alycia Butterworth of B.C. whose time was also under the previous meet record.
Lalonde’s time was under the qualifying standard for next month’s world championships at London, England.
Guelph native Seccafien, who now lives in Toronto and competes for the University of Toronto Track Club, won the women’s 5,000m in 15:39.66. She led in the early laps, slotted into second for a few laps and then took the lead for good with two laps to go and pulled away with a kick on the final lap that left her 1.25 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Jessica O’Connell of Calgary. Sasha Gollish of Toronto was third in 15:42.59 and former University of Guelph female athlete of the year Rachel Cliff of Vancouver was fourth in 15:49.78.
While Seccafien’s time was slower than the qualifying standard for the world championships, she had previously beaten the standard and the win will give her a berth on the Canadian team.
Matt Hughes of Oshawa won the men’s 3,000m steeplechase in 8:30.91 while Speed River’s Chris Dulhanty was third in 8:53.77 and clubmate Josh Kellier was fourth in 8:54.15.
Mohammed Ahmed of St. Catharines captured the national title in the men’s 5,000 metres in 14:02.36. Canadian 10,000m champion Evan Esselink of the Speed River club was fourth in 14:15.18 and Speed River’s Ross Proudfoot was fifth in 14:15.55, Connor Black 11th in 14:35.83 and Ben Workman 13th in 14:52.74.
Stefanie Parsons of the Speed River club was ninth in the junior women’s 3,000m in 10:07.26 and David Poloni of Speed River was 14th in the junior men’s 5,000m in 16:22.51.
The championship meet continues throughout the weekend.
- Guelph Sports Journal