24 Canadians made their way down to Los Angeles to race at the USATF Distance Classic on Thursday May 17th. The event is a distance-only track meet that consists of the 800m, 1,500m, 3,000m steeplechase and 5,000m. There are designated pacers for each event making the races consistently fast.
The 800m was the first event of the meet and Lindsey Butterworth of North Vancouver B.C., ran the leading Canadian time clocking 2:02.20. Butterworth won her heat and finished fourth overall. Her impressive performance beat the likes of 2016 US Olympian Laura Roesler, and 2016 Olympic finalist over 800m Lynsey Sharp. Butterworth said she was looking forward to this meet because of its good quality competition and pacers. She added, “I’m never satisfied until I run a personal best so I’m still hungry for more, but I’m happy with how the season has been going.” She’s looking forward to the Canadian National Championships where she will vie for a position on the 2018 NACAC Championship team. The NACAC Championships will take place August 10-12th at Varsity Stadium in Toronto.
Sarah MacPherson and Mariah Kelly were the top two Canadian women over 1,500m. MacPherson and Kelly are training partners at the Athletics Canada West Hub. MacPherson ran 4:12.64 and Kelly was just behind her in 4:12.89. MacPherson took a break from running after her she graduated from Tulsa in 2013, and only returned to the track in 2016. MacPherson has had great success since her return, making the World University Games in 2017 for the 1,500m.
Adam Palamar and Thomas Riva were the top Canadian men over 1,500m. Palamar is an Ottawa, Ont. native who attended Syracuse University. Palamar finished in 3:42.47 among an extremely strong field. Riva finished just ahead of Palamar in the overall rankings, clocking a 3:40.51.
Matt Centrowitz, 2016 Olympic gold medalist, ran an impressive double on Thursday night. Centrowitz started by running a 1:48.41 800m, and followed that up with a 1,500m in 3:38.99 only an hour and a half later. Centrowitz has struggled with injury and illness since his Rio win, but appears to be getting back on track based on last nights performances.
After a few near misses finally dipped under that 32-minute barrier in the 10k at Payton Jordan! Had fun racing some speedy ladies over the last 2k and happy with 31:56 for 3rd place. 📸@john_doenut_foto #paytonjordan #standordtrack #californiaracing #racingseason #trackandfield #pbcm #soloenergy #nuunelite #bcathletics #BCEP
The Canadian women had a stellar showing over 5,000m finishing second, third and fourth overall. Rachel Cliff was second in a big personal best of 15:20.66. Cliff is having an amazing season and showing huge range, running everything from the 1,500m through the half-marathon. Kate Van Buskirk was third in 15:30.84, and Regan Yee closed hard to finish fourth in 15:36.30. Lauren Paquette won the event finishing just ahead of Cliff in 15:19.17.