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Five Canadian women win NCAA conference titles

The future of Canadian track and field is looking bright as five Canadians take home NCAA conference titles this weekend

Photo by: CSU Athletics

On a quiet weekend of road racing north of the border, several Canadian women made noise at their NCAA conference championships south of the border, winning five conference championships to get one step closer to a national championship.

Middle-distance runner Aurora Rynda of Toronto. Photo: Jorge Espinosa/MileSplit

Aurora Rynda of Toronto, who runs with the University of Michigan, had an amazing comeback over the final 100m to win her second straight Big Ten conference championship in the women’s 800m. Rynda was in a battle for third with fellow Canadian and Penn State runner Victoria Tachinski with 70 metres to go, but Rynda found an extra gear to chase down Ohio State’s Mary Figler and win the race in 2:05.88.

Rynda has now won five Big Ten championships during her track career at Michigan and is the current Canadian record holder in the 600m.

University of New Mexico distance runner Gracelyn Larkin, who is from Rosseau, Ont., competed in the 5,000m and 10,000m at the Mountain West Conference Championships, winning her first Mountain West title in the 5,000m in dominant fashion (15:49.20). She also placed second in the 10,000m two days prior, in a personal best time of 33:10.09.

Ottawa’s Lauren Gale, who was a member of the Canadian 4x400m relay in Tokyo, ran the fastest 400m time by a Canadian this year, clocking a time of 51.30 seconds to win the Mountain West championship. The Colorado State sprinter smashed her previous personal best of 51.96 to run a time under the 2022 World Championships standard of 51.35. Gale also had a personal best and broke the Colorado State school record in the heats of the 200m, but ended up third in the final.

She has now won six 400m Mountain West championships in indoor and outdoor combined.

West Virginia University phenom from Vancouver, Ceili McCabe won her second straight 3,000m steeplechase title at the Big 12 Conference Championships. After her third lap, McCabe created some separation, which grew to a 20 to 30 metre lead heading into the final seventh lap and she never looked back. McCabe ended up winning the race handily by eight seconds in a time of 10:12.87. The second-year distance runner is currently ranked as one of the favourites to win the NCAA in the 3,000m steeplechase.

At the 2022 Ivy League Heptagonal outdoor championships at Yale University, Cornell University’s Brooke Overholt from St Mary’s, Ont., won the women’s 400m hurdles title by whopping two seconds over the field. The fourth-year student clocked a season’s best time of 58.03 seconds to win her second conference title. Overholt also placed third in the women’s 100m hurdles in a wind-aided 13.59 seconds (+3.1 m/s).

Up next for the four Canadian women is NCAA regionals, which are set to take place between May 26 and 29. All four athletes will be vying for a bid at the 2022 NCAA championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., between June 8 and 11.