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Ceili McCabe breaks Canadian U23 indoor 3,000m record

McCabe won the Boston University Sharon Colyera-Danville Season Opener in 8:52.52

At Saturday’s Boston University Sharon Colyera-Danville Season Opener, Vancouver’s Ceili McCabe continued her winning ways, finishing first in the women’s 3,000m run in 8:52.52, breaking the Canadian U23 record of 8:56.92, set by Sheila Reid in 2011.

Canada’s Ceili McCabe takes third place at NCAA XC Championships

The 20-year-old third-year student at West Virginia University is coming off an incredible cross-country season, where she won four consecutive cross country races, followed by a third-place finish at the DI NCAA championships on Nov. 20. This is all after she set a massive personal best in the 3,000m steeplechase, only seconds off the Olympic qualifying time.

Her performances are even more remarkable considering that until five years ago, running at the collegiate level wasn’t even on McCabe’s radar. At the time, she was playing competitive soccer and basketball, and was hoping to play soccer at the varsity level.

McCabe appears to be following in the footsteps of Reid in more ways than one. Reid, who is one of Canada’s most successful distance runners, is one of only two Canadian women who have ever won the D1 NCAA Cross Country Championships (in 2010 and 2011), and she was the first woman to win both the 1,500m and 5,000m at the NCAA Track and Field Championships. While McCabe didn’t join Reid on this prestigious list this year, her trajectory suggests a very bright future in the sport.

Photo: West Virginia Athletics

“This was a very special way to end Ceili’s 2021 outstanding year,” said McCabe’s coach, Sean Cleary, in an interview with the University’s news outlet, Gold and Blue Nation. “Running this time before Christmas allows us to feel secure that she will be in the NCAA finals in March, while also allowing her the peace of mind that she can now take a much-needed break in training.”

When the indoor season picks up again after the holidays, Canadian track fans will be following McCabe closely, cheering her on to what will hopefully be a successful indoor season.