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Five Canadian records that will be broken this year

One month into the new year, we've seen one record go down. How many more will be broken?

In 2021, we saw one of the best years in terms of Canadian athletic performance. Seven open Canadian records were broken across all disciplines, with some marks cementing themselves in the Canadian record books for many years to come. One month into the new year, we’ve already seen one record go down at the 2022 Houston Half Marathon, as Rory Linkletter broke Jeff Schiebler’s 23-year-old men’s half-marathon record in 61:08. Building off last year’s incredible performances, here are the Canadian records that will likely be broken this year.

Canada’s Rory Linkletter after breaking the Canadian record at the Houston Half Marathon

Men’s 100m (9.84)

Andre De Grasse has come close to the legendary mark of 9.84 (held jointly by Donovan Bailey and Bruny Surin) on a few occasions throughout his career, but the wind has always been illegal (+2.0/m). His most recent result at the Prefontaine Classic last August was 9.74 seconds, wind-aided by (+2.9). His personal best wind-legal time came on the biggest stage at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, where he won bronze behind Italy’s Marcell Lamont Jacobs and U.S. sprinter Fred Kerley

At the 2022 World Championships, De Grasse will return to the same facility and track where he ran a wind-aided 9.74. There are usually three rounds of 100m competition in a world championship event, so odds are, one of the three races will be a legal wind and Canada’s top sprinter can put his name in the record books once again. 

Damian Warner and Andre De Grasse finalists for 2021 Lou Marsh Award

Women’s 3,000m steeplechase (9:22.40)

At the beginning of last season, Genevieve Lalonde was the queen of the 3,000m steeplechase in Canada. Although she holds the throne again after briefly losing it to Regan Yee (who won the 2021 Canadian Championships in the event five days before setting the record at Montreal with her performance of 9:27.54), there is incredible depth in the women’s 3,000m steeplechase currently. Lalonde is coming off a career-best season with a personal best in the discipline (9:22.40) and the Canadian XC championship. Alycia Butterworth made her first Olympic team, lowering her personal best down to 9:28.68, and Yee was on fire in 2021.

Genevieve Lalonde in the 3,000m steeplechase at the 2017 World Championships in London.

A name to look out for is Ceili McCabe from Vancouver, B.C. who runs for West Virginia University. McCabe has broken multiple Canadian U23 records and came close to securing a spot on Canada’s Olympic team last summer, with her PB of 9:37.39. The 21-year-old was third at the NCAA Cross Country Championships last year and 6th in the steeplechase.

If the stars align for these four incredible athletes, we could see another new Canadian women’s steeplechase record.

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Men’s marathon (2:09:25)

It took 43 years for the record to fall before Cam Levins made history at the 2018 Toronto Waterfront Marathon. Since then, only one Canadian athlete has run under 2:10: Trevor Hofbauer at the Canadian Marathon Trials in 2019. 

Trevor Hofbauer wins the 2019 Canadian Marathon Championships. Photo: Maxine Gravina

Right now, Canadian marathoning is in a good place with six or seven individuals who can run under 2:15 on any given day. Linkletter ran 2:12 last month at the California International Marathon and has his sights set on lowering that time in the fall of 2022. Canada’s Ben Preisner, Justin Kent, Hofbauer and Levins are all still interested in this record, even if their main goal will be to hit the world championship standard time of 2:11:30 this spring.

Ben Preisner on the race of his life at The Marathon Project

Women’s 4x400m relay (3:21.21)

The Canadian women’s 4x400m relay team made up of Alicia Brown, Sage Watson, Madeline Price and Kyra Constantine finished just shy of the Canadian record and the podium at the Tokyo Olympic Games (3:21.84). Both Price and Constantine were at their first Olympic Games and will be back with a vengeance at the 2022 World Championships this year, where Canada has a shot at the podium. 

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Men’s 10K road (28:17)

One of the longest-standing Canadian records to date is Paul McCloy’s 10K road record of 28:17, set in Florida in 1987. Although you don’t often see Canada’s top distance athletes mix it up in a road 10K, there are three or four Canadian athletes that can come close to this 35-year-old mark.

Ben Flanagan, 2021 Canadian 10K Champion. Photo: Canadian Running

We saw Ben Flanagan, Luc Bruchet and Preisner all come within 30 seconds of this time on a windy fall day in Toronto last October at the Canadian 10K Championships. Canada’s greatest distance runner, Mohammed Ahmed, has not touched road racing yet in his career, but his 10,000m Canadian record of 26:59 hypothetically translates to a sub-28 time on the roads.