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Savannah Sutherland sets Canadian 400m hurdles record at NCAA Championships

Savannah Sutherland of Borden, Sask., kicked off her NCAA title defense with a national record of 54.04 seconds in the 400m hurdles

Savannah Sutherland Photo by: Michigan Athletics

Savannah Sutherland of Borden, Sask., has been on a tear this season, competing for the University of Michigan in the NCAA. On Thursday night at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., Sutherland’s great form continued in the preliminary round of the 2024 NCAA Track and Field Championships, with the 20-year-old setting a new Canadian record in the 400m hurdles event.

Sutherland ran a massive personal best of 54.04 seconds to win her heat and advance to Saturday’s NCAA hurdles final, where she will aim to defend the NCAA 400m hurdles title she won last year. Her record-setting time eclipsed Sage Walker’s (formerly Watson) existing national record of 54.32 seconds, set in the semi-finals at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

This is the second Canadian record of Sutherland’s career. She also holds the national indoor 400m record of 51.60, which she ran at the 2023 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in New Mexico.

Savannah Sutherland
Savannah Sutherland reached the semi-finals in the 400m hurdles at the 2023 World Championships in Budapest at 19. Photo: James Rhodes (@jrhodesathletics)

Sutherland made her senior Team Canada debut last year in Budapest at age 19, reaching the semi-finals in the 400m hurdles event and will be a name for Canadian track and field fans to watch at the Paris Olympics this summer.

Canadian thrower wins men’s NCAA title

Canada has emerged as a global powerhouse in the hammer throw event, and Chilliwack, B.C. native Rowan Hamilton is the next man up. On Wednesday at the 2024 NCAA Track and Field Championships, Hamilton threw a personal-best 77.18 metres for the University of California to win the men’s hammer throw.

Hamilton is the first University of California men’s individual track and field champion in 13 years, and the first to win the hammer throw event since 1922.

He had previously won three national collegiate titles while representing the University of British Columbia, where he delivered the 27 longest throws in National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) history. Hamilton’s throw was just a metre shy of the Paris Olympic standard of 78.20m, but this performance puts him inside the World Rankings quota for potential selection.

At the 2023 World Championships in Budapest, Hamilton just missed the final in the men’s hammer throw. His compatriot and friend, Ethan Katzberg, threw a national record of 81.25 metres in the final and became the first Canadian man to win the event.

For full results from the 2024 NCAA Championships, check here.

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