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Regan Yee runs personal best to win steeplechase title at Canadian Track and Field Championships

Yee narrowly missed the Canadian record in Langley, but earned her second Canadian 3,000m steeplechase title in the last three years

Regan Yee nats Photo by: Muad Issa (@muadems)

On Thursday night in her home province of B.C., Regan Yee ran to a three-second personal best in the women’s 3,000m steeplechase at the Canadian Track and Field Championships, winning her second national championship in the last three years.


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Yee ran her fastest time of the season on the biggest stage, winning the 3,000m steeplechase in 9:24.82. With less than two laps to go, Yee took the lead over reigning champion Ceili McCabe and Grace Fetherstonhaugh and managed to hold on to win in a new championship record time. Yee’s winning time is only two seconds off Genevieve Lalonde’s Canadian record of 9:22.40 from the Tokyo Olympics.

Finishing second behind Yee was McCabe, who also ran a three-second personal best, in 9:25.98. Rounding out the podium was Fetherstonhaugh, taking bronze in a career-best time of 9:31.27.

Regan Yee
Regan Yee hurdles a barrier in the women’s 3,000m steeplechase. Photo: Muad Issa (@muadems)

This was not the first time Yee has had a huge run at the Canadian championships. In 2021, she won the Canadian women’s steeplechase in a new personal best (and Canadian record at the time) of 9:27.54, hitting a last-minute Olympic standard for Tokyo 2020. Her run this year is one second outside of the world championship standard of 9:23, but her win at nationals should earn her a spot on Team Canada for worlds next month.

Ben Flanagan seals the deal

Flanagan needed a win at nationals to solidify a position in the 5,000m at the 2023 World Athletics Championships, and he did just that. In the final 800m, the 28-year-old put forth a remarkable effort, running two sub-60-second laps to break away from a large pack of eight competitors. He crossed the finish line in 13:39.36, claiming the top spot and winning his first Canadian 5,000m title. Flanagan’s excitement was evident as he pumped his fist in the air during the final 50 metres, celebrating his achievement.

Ben Flanagan Canadian Track
Ben Flanagan cruises to his first Canadian 5,000m title in 13:39.36 in Langley, B.C. Photo: Muad Issa (@muadems)

Although Flanagan’s season’s best of 13:11 is a few seconds short of the world standard of 13:07, his impressive top 30 World Athletics ranking combined with his national championship win is set to secure him a spot on Team Canada for the world championships.

The race turned out to be more closely contested than Flanagan may have anticipated, with 2022 U Sports XC champion Mitch Ubene keeping pace with him until the final 200m. Ultimately, Ubene earned silver, with a time of 13:43.41, while Quebec’s Thomas Fafard secured the bronze in 13:45.49.

Briana Scott wins on home soil

Vancouver’s own Briana Scott delivered a remarkable performance on her home turf, surprising the field to secure her first Canadian title in the women’s 5,000m. In a thrilling final 200m, Scott made a decisive move, overtaking 2020 Olympian Julie-Anne Staehli on the outside and sprinting across the finish line in an impressive time of 15:46.72 to claim victory. Staehli followed closely behind, finishing second with a time of 15:47.62, while Leslie Sexton took the bronze in 15:50.08.

With their impressive runs, both Scott and Staehli are likely to earn selection to represent Team Canada at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in the 5,000m. For Scott, this would mark her first appearance on the Canadian national team.

For full results from Thursday evening at the 2023 Canadian Track and Field Championships, check here

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