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Julie-Anne Staehli leads Canadians with national record at New Balance Grand Prix

Three of the seven Canadians in action ran onto the podium in New York City on Saturday

Photo by: Maxine Gravina

Saturday’s New Balance Grand Prix in New York City was the biggest day of the year for Canadian track athletes so far, as seven runners lined up to race. Julie-Anne Staehli led the way for the Canadian contingent, running to a third-place finish and national record in the two-mile (3,200m) race with a 9:22.66 performance. Staehli’s fellow Canadians Marco Arop and Justyn Knight joined her in running to the podium and climbing high up the national rankings in their respective races. 

Staehli’s record run 

In 2020, Staehli ran the second-fastest indoor 3,000m in Canadian history, posting a time of 8:47.97 at a meet in Boston. She was just over a second off Jessica O’Connell‘s national record of 8:46.50. On Saturday, Staehli got even closer to the mark set by O’Connell, passing through 3K in 8:47.73 en route to her 9:22.66 two-mile result. While she fell short of the 3,000m record, Staehli shattered O’Connell’s Canadian two-mile national best, which previously stood at 9:36.79. This is the first Canadian record of Staehli’s career.

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Staehli finished in third behind Americans Emma Coburn and Elle Purrier. Coburn ran to a two-mile PB of 9:15.71, while Purrier hammered out a world-leading time and American record of 9:10.28. 

Staehli wins the women’s 5K at the 2018 STWM. Photo: Maxine Gravina.

Knight and Arop run to second-best times 

Knight also raced the two-mile, and while he didn’t break the Canadian record, he came pretty close. Knight took the win in 8:13.92, finishing just off the national record of 8:13.16, which Mohammed Ahmed set in 2017. This is a world-leading time for the two-mile in 2021, and Knight closed his second mile in a staggering 4:02. Like Staehli, he beat his 3,000m indoor personal best before closing the final 200m of his race, and he now owns a PB of 7:44.61, which is fourth-best in the Canadian all-time rankings. 

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Arop raced the 1,000m, and he, too, finished just shy of a national record. He crossed the line in 2:17.10, less than a second behind Nate Brannen‘s 2:16.87 Canadian best from 2014. Arop finished in second place, just after American Bryce Hoppel took the win in an American indoor 1,000m record of 2:16.27. 

Kieran Lumb also raced the two-miler (he finished in sixth in 8:22.03), Khamica Bingham ran to a 7.29 result in the women’s 60m, Mariah Kelly posted a near-PB time of 4:10.84 in the 1,500m and Lindsey Butterworth ran to fourth place in the 800m, running 2:03.91. 

For full results from the New Balance Grand Prix, click here