Symmonds vs Harris in Edmonton; Milne to race in Halifax

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athletics canada

Athletics Canada

May 29, 2013, (ISN) – Olympic middle-distance runners Nick Symmonds of the USA and Geoff Harris of Canada will go head-to-head in the 800-metres at the NTL’s Edmonton International Track Classic June 29 at Foote Field Stadium.

Both runners are coming off superb 2012 seasons where they earned personal bests at the London Olympic Games.

Geoff Harris is the reigning Canadian national championand holds a personal best of 1:45.97. “Coming off my 2012 Olympic season, I’m looking to build toward the Moscow World Championships and getting closer to the final,” says Harris. “Racing on Canadian soil is my favourite place to race, and having the athlete of the caliber of Nick Symmonds to race against on Canadian soil is an amazing opportunity.”

Nick Symmonds (who’s rumored to be the USA’s next Bachelor),is the winner of five consecutive outdoor USATF 800m titles (including two Olympic Trials) and the fifth-place finisher at the 2012 Olympic Games, with a personal best time of 1:42.95. “Competing somewhere new is always exciting,” says Symmonds. “I’m looking forward to competing against Geoff and the others in the line-up in Edmonton.

“We are extremely excited to bring in Nick Symmonds to Edmonton to race our Canadian Champion Geoff Harris in the men’s 800m,” says Peter Ogilvie, Meet Director and Executive Director of Athletics Alberta.”Having won five consecutive USA outdoor titles, Nick is the dominant American in 800 meters, and we are very eager to see just how the great battle will turn out.”

Harris and Symmonds, along with many other World Champions and Olympic medalists, will meet on June 29 for the third of five stops in the 2013 National Track League series. “Our vision of building elite fields in middle distance races at the EITC is very important to the long term development of our event,” says Ogilvie. The Edmonton International Track Classic gives athletes an opportunity to compete in Canada against some of the best in the world.

For Canadians, the Edmonton International Track Classic is an opportunity to witness and support Canadian athletes in their quest for success at the 2013 World Championships in Athletics in Moscow, Russia, August 10-18. The Edmonton International Track Classic is part of the Edmonton International Athletics Festival, June 22-29, with events held at locations throughout Edmonton.

Taylor Milne added to NTL Halifax; 2008 Olympian will race in Aileen Meagher 1500m on June 9

The Aileen Meagher International Track Classic men’s 1500-metres record holder will return to Halifax, N.S., to defend his title on June 9. Guelph Speed River’s Taylor Milne is a fan favourite at the Aileen Meagher for his willingness to create a fast pace and for his dramatic last 100-metres.

“I love racing in Halifax,” said Milne. “The city has a laid back vibe, but come race time there is a lot of buzz around the track, it will be great to get back and try to roll a fast 1500-metres.”

Milne is the fifth fastest Canadian 1500-metres runner in history and a semi-finalist from the 2008 Olympic Games. This year he has shifted his focus to the 3000-metres steeplechase, an event that should showcase his toughness.

“I felt as though I had done my absolute best to prepare for the 1500-metres over the past six years”, Milne explains, “I felt ready to set a personal best in the event over the past few seasons but have been unable to do so for four years now. I just couldn’t see getting into real high level races and with each passing year it makes it harder and harder to get into those races. I wanted to try something new and see what I was capable of.”

If the past five years are any indication, Taylor Milne and his blazing finishing kick will be a force to be reckoned with in his new event.

The 20th Aileen Meagher International Track Classic kicks off the 2013 National Track League June 9at Saint Mary’s Husky Stadium in Halifax.

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