Two Canadian Olympians announced Friday that they have joined the Bowerman Track Club in Portland, Ore.: 1,500m Tokyo semi-finalist Lucia Stafford and 5,000m/10,000m doubler (and Canadian 10,000m and half-marathon record holder) Andrea Seccafien. The athletes announced their arrival in Portland in back-to-back Instagram posts Friday.
Stafford, 23, whose older sister, Gabriela DeBues-Stafford, has been a member of the Bowerman squad since 2020, made her Olympic debut in Tokyo, successfully advancing out of the heats of the 1,500 to reach the semifinal, where she finished sixth, with a personal best 4:02.12. Stafford trained with the University of Toronto until her move to Portland.
Tokyo 2020 was Seccafien’s second trip to the Olympics; she ran the 5,000m in Rio in 2016. In May 2021, she won the 10,000m at the Sound Running meet in California, breaking the Canadian record and qualifying for Tokyo with her 31:13.94 performance. In Tokyo, she made it through to the 5,000m final when Francine Niyonsaba was disqualified for stepping off the track in the first round. Seccafien finished 15th in the final, and came back to race the 10,000m later in the Games, finishing 14th, only 23 seconds off her PB. She is 31.
With Stafford’s and Seccafien’s arrivals in Portland, the porportion of Canadians training with BTC just doubled; besides DeBues-Stafford, BTC is also home to Canadian Olympic 5,000m silver medallist Moh Ahmed.
“I got my butt kicked so many times by @elise.cranny and @karissaschweiz4 at the Olympics, I figured, if you can’t beat em, join em,” Seccafien quipped in her post, referring to Bowerman Babes Elise Cranny and Karissa Schweizer, both of whom had phenomenal seasons in 2021.
Leading up to the 2021 outdoor season, Seccafien had been living in Australia and training with the Melbourne Track Club. She spent much of the season training at altitude in Flagstaff, Ariz. and then in Europe, but after the Olympics, the COVID lockdown in Australia prevented her (a non-citizen) from returning. Seccafien, 31, is originally from Guelph, Ont.