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Seven Canadian athletes begin their title quest at NCAA Championships

Here is your guide to Canadian athletes competing at the 2022 NCAA Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore.

Photo by: Wisconsin Badgers Athletics

The 2022 NCAA Track and Field Championships are here and will run from June 8 to 11 from Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. There is a strong Canadian contingent of seven athletes heading to Eugene for a chance at a 2022 NCAA title.

The championships have a unique format this year, with men’s events taking place on Wednesday and Friday, while the women’s events take place on Thursday and Saturday. The schedule and link to start lists and results can be found here.

Men

Kieran Lumb, University of Washington (10,000m)

Canadian Cross-Country Championships
Photo: Canadian Running

The distance runner from Vancouver set the University of Washington 10,000m record at the Pac-12 Championships last month, where he finished second in 28:11.49. Lumb finished 11th overall at the regional qualifiers, which earned him a spot on the start line in Eugene. Lumb will hope to follow in the footsteps of Ben Flanagan, the last Canadian to win the men’s 10,000m title, on Wednesday night in the men’s 10,000m.

Abdullahi Hassan, University of Wisconsin (800m)

In his final year of high school in 2019, Hassan placed third in the 800m in the Canadian Track and Field Championships, running 1:47.49 at 17. Now, the second-year Toronto native has lowered his personal best down to 1:46.16 at Wisconsin and is among the best 800m runners in the NCAA. Hassan will begin his quest to reach the final on Wednesday night in heat three of the men’s 800m.

Ryan Smeeton, Oklahoma State University (3,000m SC)

Ryan Smeeton at the 2019 Big 12 Championships.

The Calgary native is back at the NCAA championships for his final kick at the can after finishing third in the 3,000m steeplechase last year. Smeeton advanced out of the 3,000m SC heats on Wednesday night in a personal best time of 8:26.64. He will be among the twelve athletes vying for the steeplechase title on Friday evening.

Women

Aurora Rynda, University of Michigan (800m)

Aurora Rynda at the Big Ten Indoor Championships. Photo: Michigan Photography

The exceptional middle-distance runner from Toronto has been the queen of the 600m and 800m in the Big Ten Conference. Rynda has chalked up five indoor and outdoor conference titles in the past three seasons. She is coming off a near season’s best performance at the NCAA East prelims, where she was second in 2:03.63. Rynda will be a favourite to be in the final for the NCAA 800m title on Saturday afternoon. Her prelim competition will kick off on Thursday night.

Ceili McCabe, West Virginia University (3,000m SC)

University of West Virginia’s Ceili McCabe. Photo: West Virginia Athletics

The Vancouver native is ranked number two in the 3,000m SC nationally with a season-best time of 9:32.14 at the Mountaineer Twilight, on April 30, in Morgantown, W.Va. Last year, McCabe advanced to the steeplechase final at NCAA championships in her first year, where she finished in sixth place for All-American honours. For McCabe to win, she’ll need to take beat her rival from BYU, Courtney Wayment, the third-fastest female steeplechaser in NCAA history (9:26.88). McCabe has the best shot of the six to land on top of the podium on Saturday afternoon. Her NCAA championship will begin in the 3,000m SC heats on Thursday evening.

Gracelyn Larkin, University of New Mexico (5,000m)

The second-year student from Rosseau, Ont. will be making her NCAA Championship debut in the women’s 5,000m. Larkin has run personal bests in the 1,500m, 3,000m, 5,000m and 10,000m this outdoor season. She has run sub-16 minutes over 5,000m on four occasions this season and proven she can contend among the top 5,000m distance runners in the NCAA with a personal best of 15:29.93 in April. Larkin will be in action in the 5,000m final on Saturday evening.

Victoria Tachinski, Penn State University (800m)

Victoria Tachinski
Winnipeg’s Victoria Tachinski in the 800m

Tachinski uniquely reached the NCAA championships this year, clocking her collegiate-best time of 2:03.89 at the NCAA East prelims to earn her a spot at Hayward Field. The fourth-year student from Winnipeg’s times have continued to improve as the outdoor season has progressed. Tachinski will hope to continue her run of performances on Thursday to punch her ticket to Saturday’s 800m final.

How to watch

The 2022 NCAA Track and Field Championships can be streamed online from Canada with a GamePassTV subscription. If you reside in the U.S. the championships will be aired on ESPN 3 Wednesday and Thursday and ESPN Friday and Saturday.