Victoria’s Liam Kennell Runs to Canada Fastest 1500m Youth Time – Qualifies for World Youth T&F Championships

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Christopher Kelsall

June 16, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Q’s Victoria Run Series fourth meet took place Saturday, June 15th at Oak Bay High School’s Track under filtered sun and a near windless evening. The meet featured eight races in total: three 800 metre, two 1500 metre, one Mile race and two 5000m competitions.

Oak Bay High School’s Liam Kennell was seeking to qualify for the World Youth Track and Field Championships this season. He came into the meet owning Canada’s fastest time for the 1500m distance so far for 2013 however, to cement his position with Team Canada, Kennell wanted to improve his results in case pending meets in eastern Canada yielded faster times. Kennell’s best for the distance was 3:56, Saturday he improved that result by running 3:54. Kennell now owns the top two times in Canada.

Four Calgarians entered the second section of the 5000m events. The top two female finishers were Bridget Pyke and Kary Grace who finished in 17:19.20 and 17:20.50, respectively, to successfully achieve the Alberta Canada Summer Games qualification standards. Pyke and Grace ran nearly 11 of the 12.5 lap race together, exchanging leads however, with less than two laps to go Pyke began to pull away, to add excitement to their finish, Grace began to draw closer over the final 100m and they finished less than two seconds apart.

In the men’s race Roman Justinen and Kenton Spartak, also both from Calgary, ran together for roughly half the race, before Justinen very gradually pulled away from Spartak to finish one-two in 15:15.30 and 15:55.80. Chris Callendar of the Prairie Inn Harriers finished in 17:32.

In the B section of the 5000m event Brett McCullough led from the gun and finished in 17:57.40. Master age athlete Mark Ritchie in his third race of the evening finished second overall in 18:19.90. The open mile race was won by Vancouver’s Jin Quan in 4:48.70. Claire Morgan won the women’s division despite this being her second race of the evening in 5:29.40.

The men’s 800m event featured Dover Bay High School’s Thomas Oxland of Nanaimo and Calgary’s Isaac Penner. Oxland prevailed and ran to a new personal best time of 1:53.20. Penner finished in 1:53.70 and Trinity Western University’s Joel Deschiffart finished in third place in 1:56.60.

In the women’s 1500m UVic’s Brittany King won over teammate Maureen McCulligh in 4:39.00 to 4:44.20. The women’s 800m race featured Rachel Francois who is seeking a spot in the Moscow IAAF World Track and Field Championships. Francois, a former 400m runner ran the first half of the race a little too fast and paid for it by finishing nearly five seconds off of her personal best, which is 2:03.97, by running 2:08.40. She will have an opportunity to qualify again, by competing in the Canadian Track and Field Championships in Moncton, NB from June 20th to 23rd. The Edmonton Track Classic, which is the third meet of the National Track League happens June 29th.

The next event in the 2013 edition of The Q’s Victoria Run Series, is the Spinnakers 5k, presented by Synergy Health Centre. The Spinnakers 5k is a fast, double-out-and-back road race that takes place at the Pacific Institute of Sport Excellence and Camosun Interurban. All abilities are welcome and proceeds go to the Mustard Seed Food Bank.