Photo: Justin Gaymon

Photo: Justin Gaymon.

Canadian Kate Van Buskirk ran a world-leading time in the mile at the New Balance Games on Saturday in New York City.

The 29-year-old Toronto resident closed out the 1,609m event at the Armory with a 62-second final 400m to top the women’s elite/pro mile field in 4:30.14. Van Buskirk has battled injuries for the better part of the past three years since she won bronze in the 1,500m at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

“Opened my 2017 season on one of my favourite tracks, with a healthy body, a strong mind and a full heart,” Van Buskirk wrote on Instagram. “The last two-and-a-half years have been rife with challenges and I came into today’s race looking to reconnect with a piece of myself that I had lost touch with. I ran strong and came away with a win. But more importantly, I enjoyed every moment of this experience, recognizing how incredibly fortunate I am to pursue this tremendous journey.”

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According to David Monti, it was Van Buskirk’s first indoor race in three years. She finished three seconds off the Canadian indoor women’s mile record of 4:27.02, set by Sheila Reid in 2013. Guelph’s Taylor Milne won the New Balance Games men’s elite mile in 2016 as Canadians have topped one of the two races in consecutive years.

Van Buskirk, whose time was an indoor personal best, won the NB Games elite mile by one second over Charlene Lipsey. Both marks rank 1-2 in the world in the women’s indoor mile as of Jan. 23. Indoor racing, often on a 200m track as was the case Saturday in New York City, typically takes place between December and March before action moves outdoors.

RELATED: Toronto’s Lucia Stafford breaks Canadian indoor 1K junior record.

The women’s elite mile featured four Canadians including Buskirk, Canadian 3,000m steeplechase record holder Geneviève Lalonde and the University of Guelph’s Katelyn Ayers and Sophia Watts. Lalonde, a 2016 Olympian, finished seventh in 4:38.94 with Ayers and Watts placing ninth and tenth in 4:49.01 and 4:51.25.

You can watch the women’s elite mile from New York City here though footage is behind a paywall. Full results for the New Balance Games can be found here.


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