Thursday night is Run Ottawa Distance Night at the 2017 Canadian Track and Field Championships. The finals of the 5000-metres and 3000m Steeplechase feature three current Canadian record holders.
Mohammed Ahmed of the St. Catherines, Ont., placed 4th at the 2016 Rio Olympic at 5000-metres and holds both the indoor and outdoor records at the distance. Recent NCAA third place finisher, Justyn Knight of Vaughn, Ont., also has the IAAF World Championship qualifying standard and will look to challenge his more experience compatriot.
Canadian 3000m steeplechase record holders Geneviève Lalonde of Moncton, N.B., and Matt Hughes of Oshawa, Ont., each reached the Olympic final in Rio. Lalonde placed 16th, while Hughes recorded a best ever Canadian finish in 10th. On Thursday, Lalonde will face Olympic teammates Erin Teschuk of Winnipeg, Man., and Maria Bernard of Calgary along with 9:41 performer Alycia Butterworth. Expect a fast race as everyone except for Lalonde still needs to achieve the world championship qualifying time.
Hughes has spent the spring recovering from an injury in training and will make his outdoor season debut here in Ottawa. In the absence of competitors Alex Genest, Taylor Milne and Chris Winter, Hughes will be up against young field and will likely be running solo for the Canadian title and IAAF standard.
In the women’s 5000-metre final, Olympians Jessica O’Connell of Calgary and Andrea Seccafien of Guelph have the two fastest times at the distance in 2017. Seccafien is the defending Canadian champion, but should face a good challenge from O’Connell, 2016 runner-up Sasha Gollish of Toronto, Rachel Cliff of Vancouver and Canadian marathon record holder, Lanni Marchant of London, Ont.
When to Watch
7:50 PM Senior Men 3000m Steeplechase FINAL (8:32.00)
8:10 PM Senior Women 3000m Steeplechase FINAL (9.42:00)
8:55 PM Senior Men 5000m FINAL (13:22.60)
9:20 PM Senior Women 5000m FINAL (15:22.00)