Two weeks into 2017 and Lucia Stafford has a Canadian record to her name.
The first-year engineering student at the University of Toronto broke the Canadian U20 indoor 1,000m record on Saturday in Windsor, Ont. Stafford, 18, ran 2:46.71 at the Can Am Classic at the University of Windsor, improving Emma Galbraith’s previous record of 2:46.89 from 2013.
The 1,000m event is more common on a 200m indoor track than a 400m outdoor surface. Outdoors, Stafford runs both the 800m and 1,500m events.
Stafford was also part of the Toronto Varsity Blues 4x400m relay team that won the event at the Can Am Classic on Saturday. Stafford, the sister of Gabriela Stafford, a 2016 Olympian in the women’s 1,500m, has represented Canada internationally including at the 2016 IAAF U20 World Championships.
Little Lu with the Canadian Junior 1000m record!!!! #BLEEDBLUE
— Gabriela DeBues-Stafford (@gstafford13) January 15, 2017
This past fall, Stafford impressed on the Canadian cross-country scene including two consecutive Ontario race victories to begin her career at the University of Toronto. She would go on to finish second at the Ontario university cross-country championships and was the top rookie at the Canadian university cross-country championships placing sixth.
— U of T Varsity Blues (@Varsity_Blues) January 14, 2017
The Canadian record time on Saturday earned Stafford, in addition to the race win, a spot at the Canadian university indoor track and field championships as it bettered the standard by 0.45 seconds. Toronto’s 4x400m women’s relay team also met the national standard. The national university championships, known officially as the U Sports Track and Field Championship, will be held in Edmonton at the University of Alberta March 9-11.
The Friday and Saturday Can Am Classic was held at the Dennis Fairall Fieldhouse, named in honour of the university’s legendary coach, who continues to guide Canadian 800m record holder Melissa Bishop.