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Weekend recap: Vancouver’s Lisa Brooking wins Miami Half Marathon

A recap of notable Canadian performances from the indoor track and the roads, including a Canadian record

Photo by: Photo: Susan Miller Degnan

There were many Canadian athletes in action this weekend on the indoor track across the U.S. with several personal best performances. One of the top performances of the weekend came at the 2022 Miami Half Marathon, in which Vancouver’s Lisa Brooking won after signing up only a few days before the race.

The win was a complete surprise to the Canadian, who was in Miami on a 10-day vacation (and who appeared on the cover of our magazine in November 2020). Brooking crossed the line first in 1:20:19 – two minutes ahead of the second-place finisher Alyssa McElheny (1:22:12) of Grand Rapids, Mich.

Vancouver’s Lisa Brooking on the cover of Canadian Running magazine in November 2020

Although her winning time was four minutes off her personal best, Brooking was glad to return to road racing after years of cancellations. “With Canada in lockdown, my last race was a small 10K in the fall,” Brooking said. “I’m not in any competitive shape right now, I was very surprised to win.”

A Canadian record at New Balance Indoor Grand Prix

Gabriela Debues-Stafford wins the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix 3,000m in a new national record of 8:33.92

Canada’s Gabriela Debues-Stafford was the star of the show at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix on Sunday in Staten Island. The Toronto native won the women’s 3,000m in a new national record time of 8:33.92. Fellow Canuck Julie-Anne Staehli finished fourth behind Stafford in a new personal best time of 8:43.55, also well below Jess O’Connell’s previous record of 8:46.50. 

Middle-distance runner Marco Arop returned to action, finishing eighth in the men’s mile 3:59.66. His time was only two seconds off his PB of 3:57.50.

Philip Osei of Guelph, Ont. was fourth in the men’s 400m (46.59), which is his fastest season-opening 400m time since 2015.  

Canadians dominate the 800m at Boston University Scarlet Invite

In both the men’s and women’s 800m at the BU Scarlet Invite in Boston, two Canadian runners finished atop of the results. 800m Olympian Madeleine Kelly won the women’s 800m, which was her first race of the season (2:02.81) and indoor PB. Stephen Evans, a middle-distance runner from Ottawa, won the men’s 800m section in 1:48.72.

800m runner Madeleine Kelly. Photo: Maxine Gravina

London, Ont.’s, Evan Burke, who runs for Stanford University in California, had a breakout personal best performance in the men’s 3,000m. Burke was second, dipping under eight minutes for the first time in his career (7:58.24).

Toronto’s Aurora Rynda runs NCAA-lead in the 800m

Canada’s Aurora Rynda made Michigan University history on Saturday, Feb. 5, as she broke the school record for 800m at the Notre Dame Meyo Invitational. Rynda clocked a blistering 2:02.89 to win the women’s 800m competition by nearly three seconds over Iowa’s Mallory King, breaking the Michigan school record of 2:03.37 held by multiple-time NCAA champion and Olympian Geena Gall by nearly a half-second.

Rynda is the first woman in the NCAA this year that has dipped below 2:04, let alone 2:03. The Toronto-native is the fastest half-miler in the NCAA right now, as the regular season approaches its conclusion in two weeks. Rynda will be one of the favourites to win the 800m at the NCAA Indoor Championships in March.

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