The 2015 National Track League (NTL) continues at 6:30 p.m. PT Monday, June 8 in Burnaby, B.C., with the Vancouver Sun Harry Jerome Track Classic at Simon Fraser University’s Swangard Stadium.
The Vancouver Sun Harry Jerome Track Classic features a talented international field with 29 Olympians, including 2004 Olympic champion Jeremy Wariner (400m) of the United States. Notable Canadians include Olympians Alex Genest (1500m), Melissa Bishop & Jessica Smith (800m), Nate Brannen (1500m), Phylicia George (100mH) and Jessica Zelinka (100mH & Heptathlon).
There are many story lines surrounding the 32nd annual Vancouver Sun Harry Jerome Track Classic Monday, June 8, at Swangard Stadium, a meet in which Achilles International Track Society Chair Doug Clement has described “the strongest overall events we have had in years.”
Four hundred athletes, 29 Olympians from 17 countries, will invade the Burnaby facility for the three hour, 28 event meet that begins at 6:28 p.m. PT with the men’s javelin and ends at 9:15 p.m. with one of the meet’s highlight events, the men’s 200-metres.
Vancouver Sun Harry Jerome Track Classic Preview
Canadian record holders, Chrystabel Nettey and Liz Gleadle compete in their specialties at the Vancouver Sun Harry Jerome Track Classic. Nettey broke her Canadian long jump record with a leap of 6.99-metres placing second at the recent Prefonatine Classic. Gleadle won the javelin competition at the Seiko Golden Grand Prix in Kawasaki, Japan throwing 64.83-metres to establish a new Canadian record.
The 100-metre hurdles features four women who have represented Canada at the Olympic Games. Phylicia George of Markham, Ont., Nikkita Holder of Pickering, Ont., Jessica Zelinka of London, Ont., and Angela Whyte of Edmonton, Alta., are looking for fast times and a spot on the Pan American Games team this summer. With the right conditions, we might see four women dip under 13 seconds.
The women’s 200-metres includes the full complement of Canada’s record-setting 4×100-metres relay: Crystal Emmanuel of East York, Ont., Kimberly Hyacinthe, Lachenaie, Que., Khamica Bingham of Caledon, Ont., and Shai-Anne Davis of Toronto, Ont. Over the last few weeks Bingham has twice run under 23 seconds (22.84 & 22.88) and has achieved the 2015 IAAF World Championships and 2016 Olympic Games standards. The Canadian women will face a stiff challenge from Americans, Olympian Muna Lee and Leslie Cole.
Talented Canadian youngsters Dontae Richards-Kwok of Mississauga, Ont., and Aaron Brown of Toronto, Ont., will take on a pair veterans who’ve represented the USA in the Olympics, Wallace Spearmon and Jeremy Dodson in the men’s 200-metres. Brown is coming off 5th and 6th place finishes in recent Diamond League competitions. Richards-Kwok placed third at NTL Guelph with a lifetime best of 20.67 (+0.2).
The women’s 400-metres will see Jenna Martin-Evans of Bridgewater N.S., fellow Olympian Carline Muir of Edmonton, Alta., and Nicole Sassine of Windsor, Ont., running fast to grab a spot on the Pan Am Games team.
Philip Osei of Toronto, Ont., and Tremaine Harris of Markham, Ont., will take on two members of the USA’s recent IAAF World Relays winning 4×400-metres relay squad. 2004 Olympic 400-metres champion Jeremy Wariner and Brycen Sprawling should help make this 400-metres competition a highlight of the evening.
The women’s 800-metres features a pair of Canadian and Commonwealth Games teammates, Jessica Smith of Vancouver, B.C., and Melissa Bishop of Eganville, Ont. Fiona Benson of Dawson Creek, B.C., and Rachel Aubry of Ottawa, Ont., currently have the two fastest Canadian times and American high school talent Alexa Effraimson should make this an exciting race from start to finish.
In the men’s 800-metres, recent Speed River Inferno winner Anthony Romaniw of Hamilton, Ont., and CIS standouts Alex Ullman of Waterloo, Ont., as well as Adam Paul Morris of Surrey, B.C. will take on US Olympian Andrew Wheating and his OTC Elite training partner Harun Abda.
Three of Canada’s top performers at 1500-metres, Sasha Gollish of Toronto, Ont., Sheila Reid of Newmarket, Ont., and Hilary Stellingwerff of Sarnia, Ont., are looking to run even faster. 4:03-performer Sarah Brown from the USA is part of this field, we could well see the fast race they are looking for.
In the men’s 1500-metres Nate Brannen of Cambridge, Ont., currently has the top time in Canada, but will have his work cut out for him at the Harry Jerome Classic. A group of Americans, AJ Acosta and Riley Masters, and group of young Canadians, Jeremy Rae of Fort Erie, Ont., Luc Bruchet of White Rock, B.C., and Thomas Riva of Qualicum Beach, B.C., are looking poised to make this a fast race.
The men’s high jump includes Olympian Michael Mason of Vancouver, B.C., and three more competitors who have personal bests over 2.20m.
NTL 2015 features a prize purse of $300,000, $100,000 in NTL Series prize money and $200,000 in individual event prize purses. The Toronto 2015 Pan American Games qualification window closes June 14, for many the first four stops of NTL 2015 provides a golden opportunity to compete against world class talent in order to move up in the Canadian rankings to secure a spot on the Pan Am Games team.