national track_league

With Photos by Christian J. Stewart – ISN

Victoria, B.C. (ISN) – The 2012 National Track League (NTL) continues Wednesday evening with stop number two of six in Victoria, B.C., with the Victoria International Track Classic. A few athletes were on hand Tuesday to offer a preview of their events.

The Victoria Classic features a number of Canadian headliners including Dylan Armstrong of Kamloops, B.C., Nathan Brannen of Cambridge, Ont., Perdita Felicien of Pickering, Ont., and Justyn Warner of Markham, Ont.

Following Victoria will be the Donovan Bailey Invitational in Edmonton, Alta., on Saturday June 16. The series then takes a short hiatus as athletes from around the world gear up for their respective Olympic Trials. NTL then resumes with three eastern stops; Moncton July 5, Halifax July 8 and the Toronto Finale July 11.

Victoria Preview

Men’s NTL 100m

Justyn Warner of Markham, Ont., will make his 2012 NTL debut fresh off an Olympic B standard performance at the Oslo Diamond League last Thursday. Warner is the reigning 100-metres NTL champion capturing the title in the inaugural edition last year. He’ll face competition from Hank Palmer of Lasalle, Que., who currently leads the NTL standings with 8 points after a win at Sunday’s Harry Jerome. Bryan Barnett of Edmonton, Alta., also makes his 2012 NTL debut. He won the 2011 NTL title in the 200-metres.

Men’s NTL TIMEX 800m

Valuable NTL points are on the line with Geoff Harris of Halifax, N.S., Kyle Smith of Scarborough, Ont., and Andrew Ellerton of Sudbury, Ont., all racing. In terms of NTL scoring the trio finished 1-2-3 at Harry Jerome with Harris leading the way in an Olympic B standard performance of 1:46.29. In terms of overall placing Americans Duane Solomon and Brandon Johnson are sure to be in the mix having placed first and second respectively at Harry Jerome in 1:45.66 and 1:46.23.

Men’s NTL 1500m

2009 World Championship semi-finalist Nathan Brannen makes his 2012 NTL debut in Victoria. Brannen recently went under the Olympic A+ standard putting him in a great position to qualify for the Olympic Games. Matt Lincoln (8 points) of Scarborough, Ont., will look to extend his lead in the standings over Geoff Martinson (6 points) of Victoria, B.C., Kyle Boorsma (5 points) of Guelph, Ont., and Taylor Milne (4 points) from Guelph, Ont. Martinson is sitting out Victoria but Boorsma and Milne will both run. It’s sure to be an exciting finish as all three are chasing the London A standard. Milne comes in with two Olympic B standards to his credit, the best one being 3:37.17.

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Andrew Ellerton (left) will run in the 800m while Nathan Brannen (right) will run in the 1500 (Photos by Christian J. Stewart – ISN).

Men’s NTL javelin

Curtis Moss of Burnaby, B.C., enters Victoria full of confidence after a career best performance at Harry Jerome which saw him go over the Olympic B standard and record a personal best of 80.43m. Moss is only the second Canadian in history to go over the magical mark of 80.00-metres in the javelin. Canadian record holder Scott Russell of Windsor, Ont., the other Canadian to go over 80.00-metres, and Kyle Nielsen of Langley, B.C., are currently second and third behind Moss in the NTL javelin standings, both will throw in Victoria.

Men’s NTL shot put

Dylan Armstrong is coming off a first place performance of 21.24-metres at Harry Jerome which saw him take the early lead in the NTL standings with 8 points. Throwing alongside Armstrong will be Justin Rodhe of Kamloops, B.C., who is second in the standings with 6 points. Armstrong and Rodhe both have the Olympic A standard and are focused on finishing top three at the Canadian Trials later this month to secure their tickets to the 2012 Olympic Games.

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Canadian record holder Scott Russell (left) will look to improve on his mark in the javelin throw, while shot putter Dylan Armstrong (right) will look for another first place finish (Photos by Christian J. Stewart – ISN).

Women’s NTL 100mH

A trio of Canadians with the Olympic A standard face off in Victoria as the female sprint hurdlers fine tune their racing heading into Trials. Perdita Felicien (6pts) of Pickering, Ont., Nikkita Holder (4pts) of Markham, Ont., and Phylicia George of Pickering, Ont., are all looking for that edge. With six women having the Olympic A standard it will all come down to June 30 in Calgary as to which three will represent Canada in London. George is making her 2012 NTL debut after capturing the 100-metre hurdles title last summer.

Women’s NTL 400m

Ese Omene of Regina, Sask., is the early leader in the NTL standings after earning 8 points at Harry Jerome. Omene finished fourth overall behind Americans Keshia Baker (1st) and Leslie Cole (3rd) and Carol Rodriguez (2nd) of Puerto Rico. Expect fast times with Cole and Rodriguez racing in Victoria.

Women’s NTL 800m

Jessica Smith of North Vancouver, B.C., is coming off an inspiring performance in front of a home town crowd at Harry Jerome which saw her capture the Olympic A standard and join an illustrious group of only four Canadian women to have broken the 800-metres two minute barrier. Melissa Bishop of Eganville, Ont., happens to be one of those four capturing the Olympic A standard just over a week ago. Smith and Bishop will be joined in Victoria by Diane Cummins and Hillary Stellingwerth of Victoria, B.C., and Lemlem Ogbasilassie of Montreal, Que., who would love nothing more than to turn their recent Olympic B standards into Olympics A’s. UVics Rachel Francois will also participate in this super line-up.

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The Women’s 800m will feature a stellar line-up including, left to right, diane Cummins, Hillary Stellingwerth and Melissa Bishop (Photos by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)

Women’s NTL RUNNING ROOM 1500m

Malindi Elmore of Kelowna, B.C., Kate Van Buskirk of Brampton, Ont., and Julia Kawamoto of Burnaby, B.C., are second, third and fourth in the 1500-metres NTL standings and will all be in action. Overall the trio were sixth, seventh and eighth at Harry Jerome.

Women’s NTL Hammer throw

Heather Steacy (6 points) of Lethbridge, Alta., and Megann Rodhe (5 points) of Kamloops, B.C., will look to catch up to standings leader Sultana Frizell of Perth, Ont. Frizell is not competing in Victoria but is expected to be back in action on Saturday at the Donovan Bailey Invitational.

Women’s NTL Long jump

Current NTL leader Ruky Abdulai of Coquitlam, B.C., will look to extend her lead over Alice Falaiye of Brampton, Ont., in the NTL standings. Abdulai and Falaiye finished first and second at Harry Jerome with marks of 6.27-metres and 6.15-metres respectively. Coming in with a personal best of 6.87-metres, American Brianna Glenn is sure to be in the mix.

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