As several of our Canadian athletes began boarding planes to Tokyo this weekend, a few more of them, including Julie-Anne Staehli and Genevieve Lalonde were getting in one last tune-up race at the Sound Running Sunset Tour in California before they head to the Olympic Games. On the opposite side of the U.S., American middle-distance runner Ajee Wilson ran in the men’s 800m, then doubled back to dominate in the women’s mile. Check out these results and more from another exciting weekend on the track.
Sunset Tour L.A.
The highlight of the night in California was hands-down the 1,500m run by U.S. runner Josette Norris. After finishing a disappointing 8th place in the 5,000m at the U.S. Olympic trials, Norris made her return to the track in spectacular fashion, running to first place in the women’s 1,500m 3:59.72, becoming only the 9th woman in U.S. history to break the four-minute barrier at the distance. Australian Olympian Jessica Hull came second in 4:00.73, and Nikki Hiltz placed third in 4:02.94. Staehli, who will be representing Canada in the 5,000m in Tokyo, placed 6th in a personal best time of 4:04.82.
Canada’s Luc Bruchet, who will also be competing in the 5,000m in Tokyo, and Matt Hughes raced in the men’s 1,500m, placing 6th and 7th respectively, in 3:37.79 and 3:41.69, a personal best for Bruchet. The winner of the race was U.S. athlete Colby Alexander in 3:33.65, followed by Luis Grijalva in 3:35.32 and Johnny Gregorek in 3:36.37.
Canadian middle-distance runner Mariah Kelly won the women’s 800m in 2:03.80, ahead of Anna Connor and Ashley Taylor in 2:04.52 and 2:04.75. Genvieve Lalonde, who will be in Tokyo to race the 3,000m steeplechase, lead the Canadian women in the 1-mile, finishing 3rd in 4:29.99 behind Taryn Rawlings in 4:28.93 and Raevyn Rogers in 4:29.26. Other Canadians in the race were Sasha Gollish and Laurence Cote, who finished 6th and 8th, respectively, in 4:32.17 and 4:34.77. All three Canadians doubled back at the end of the night to run in the mixed 1,500m, where Lalonde came 2nd in 4:12.62, Gollish finished 6th in 4:13.76 and Cote placed 8th in 4:15.30.
Windsor’s Noelle Montcalm, who will be racing the 400m hurdles and 4x400m in Tokyo, took 3rd place in the 400m hurdles in 56.37.
Penn Relays Summer Series
Over in Pennsylvania, it was Wilson who was the talk of the evening. First, she raced in the men’s 800m, where she ran an impressive 1:57.85 for 7th place. Then, barely over an hour later, she doubled back to dominate the women’s mile, running 4:43.21, more than seven seconds ahead of second place. Ersula Farrow placed 2nd in 4:50.39, followed by Maddy Evans in 3rd in 4:55.88.