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Weekend recap: the best of the rest

A look at top performances from Canadian athletes this weekend which were not Canadian records

Ehab El-Sandali Photo by: Ehab El-Sandali/Instagram

It’s not often that we see six Canadian records set in a single weekend, but we refuse to ignore the many other memorable indoor performances from the past few days. Several athletes hit world standards, broke four minutes in the mile and set massive personal bests in the final few weeks of world indoor qualifying. 

Maddy Kelly after winning the 2019 800m national championship. Photo: Athletics Canada

Here are the top Canadian performances from the weekend at indoor meets across North America.

David Hemery Valentine Invitational – Boston (Feb. 11-12)

On Feb. 11, middle-distance runner Madeleine Kelly kicked things off, setting an indoor personal best of 2:00.11 in what was a record-setting race. Kelly finished second behind the new American high school 800m record holder, Roisin Willis, who smashed it by more than one second (2:00.04). Kelly equalled her 800m personal best and hit the World Indoor standard, which potentially qualifies her for next month’s Indoor World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia.

Hours later in Boston, Lucia Stafford and Julie-Anne Staehli both ran personal best times in the women’s mile. Stafford won the mile in a time of 4:24.42, knocking six seconds off her previous personal best. Staehli also set a four-second personal best, finishing third in 4:28.10.

Later in the evening, the reigning Canadian U Sports XC champion, Jessy Lacourse, ran an 18-second personal best in the women’s 3,000m to dip under the nine-minute barrier for the first time. Lacourse had the second-fastest last lap in the race to place fifth in the 3,000m and come away with a giant personal best of 8:59.26.

On Feb. 12 in Boston, another Canadian runner became the 66th addition to the sub-4-minute-mile club. Eric Lutz of Calgary ran 3:59.40 to win his heat in the men’s mile. Lutz is the fourth Canadian to break the four-minute barrier in 2022.

Eric Lutz of Calgary at the 2019 U Sports Indoor Championship

In the men’s 3,000m, Toronto native Ehab El-Sandali dipped under the World Indoor qualification standard of 7:50.00 with an 18-second personal best of 7:48.00. El-Sandali is in his final year at the University of Iona in New York and will be a name to watch in 5,000m in the lead-up to the 2024 Paris Olympics.

In the same race, University of Laval distance runner Thomas Fafard was only one second shy of the world indoor 3,000m standard, running a five-second personal best of 7:51.37. Fafard was second at the U Sports XC Championships last November, helping Laval secure the team title on home soil.

Lilac Grand Prix – Spokane, Wash. (Feb. 11)

At a meet that was headlined by the debut of Nike’s new Union Athletic Club (UAC) to replace NOP (Nike Oregon Project), several Canadians put up personal best numbers at Spokane’s Podium indoor track. 1,500m Olympian Natalia Hawthorn ran an indoor personal best 15:27.82 to finish second in the 5,000m in her 2022 season debut.

In the 800m, B.C. middle-distance runners Lindsey Butterworth and Addy Townsend finished one-two in the race. Butterworth ran a personal best time of 2:02.14 to win the race, while Townsend finished second in 2:03.17, which is only 0.17 off her PB.

Lindsey Butterworth (left) chasing the pack during the last lap of the 800m

Cameron Proceviat of B.C. was second to UAC runner Charlie Hunter in the men’s 1,500m, setting a new indoor personal best of 3:40.63.