The Portland Track Festival took place June 9th-10th at Portland, Oregon’s Lewis and Clark College. Canadian women Jessica O’Connell, Rachel Cliff and Natasha Wodak went 2-3-4 in the 5,000m with O’Connell running 15:18.36. Cliff finished third in 15:23.22, and Wodak fourth in 15:29.44. 

O’Connell has now joined Kate Van Buskirk and Cliff in running under the standard of 15:22.00 for the 2018 NACAC Championships, which will take place in Toronto in August.

Portland was O’Connell’s first race in ten months. The 5,000m runner chose not to race indoors, and suffered an injury in the spring which delayed the start of her outdoor season. O’Connell joked post-race that, “the race was very rainy, and being from Calgary, I’m a princess and not used to that kind of weather.” 

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The Portland race has a combination of high school, professional and collegiate level runners all competing over the two day meet. Because the NCAA Championships were only a two hour drive from the meet, many collegiate runners who wanted another shot at a fast time made the trip from Eugene to Portland to compete in the Sunday program. 

This was a big race for Wodak, running an eight-second personal best. 

Marielle Hall, American Olympian and member of the famous Bowerman Track Club, won in a time of 15:16.57. 

 

Francois Jarry of Montreal, Quebec set a new meet record in the men’s open 5,000m. Jarry ran 14:21.07 to out-kick fellow Canadian Gauillauma Oullet, who finished second in 14:23.52, also under the former meet record. 

Jarry will fly east to compete at the Canadian 10,000m Championships this Wednesday at the Speed River Inferno. 

 

Canadian Ashley Taylor competed in the women’s high performance 800m only 24 hours after finishing third at the NCAA Championships. Taylor finished in a time of 2:04.05. 

 

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