Locals Marilyn Arsenault and Maurice Terant set two of three national records that fell at the second track meet of the 2015 Christie-Phoenix Insurance Victoria Run Series on Saturday (May 30), at University of Victoria’s Centennial Stadium.
With Olympians and future Olympians attending, it was Arsenault, a PISE run instructor and opera singer, who cracked the whip in the 3,000-metre and took her third Canadian masters age-group record in the time of nine minutes, 44.94 seconds.
Victoria’s Tarrant set the Canadian 85-89 age-group record in the 3,000m with his race time of 17:01.99. Tarrant already owns more than 65 Canadian age-group records, as well as the 80-84 world mile record, which he set in the 2010 Victoria Run Series.
Oak Bay’s 18-year-old Liam Stanley, a national team para-soccer player, hit the second-fastest time in the world for the para T37 category (cerebral palsy) with a time of 2:06.92. Stanley’s impressive time is a shade off that of 2012 Olympian Hilary Stellingwerff, who ran the 800m in an elite field with 2014 Commonwealth Games medallist Kate Van Buskirk and Rachel Francois of the UVic Vikes, among others.
Stellingwerff (of Saanich) and Van Buskirk (Toronto) are 1,500m specialists seeking a 2:02 time, while Francois, a four-time CIS gold medalist in the 600m, is now on leave from UVic to focus on of representing Canada in the 800m at the 2016 Olympics.
The 800m went to Langley’s Fiona Benson, who broke apart from the lead group of Van Buskirk, Stellingwerff and Francois with 200 metres left to set a new personal best by nearly seven seconds, 2:01.58. The result is currently Canada’s top women’s 800m time in 2015. Francois finished second in a season best of 2:03.15, followed in by Stellingwerff and Van Buskirk, at 2:04.41 and 2:07.14, respectively.
Nanaimo’s Thomas Oxland won the men’s 800m in 1:50.74 over Oregon’s Josiah Langstaff, and Reynolds secondary Grade 12 student Taylor Lyman, who was third at 1:52.57, among the top 40 times among Canadian men in 2015.
For full results visit the Victoria Run Series at victoriarunseries.com.
The next Vic Run Series event is June 27 at UVic.
Francois and Stellingwerff will compete at the upcoming (June 13-14) Portland Track Festival in their respective specialties.