Conference Athletes Ready For National Track Championships
Former Simon Fraser standout Lindsey Butterworth (left) and former Western Oregon standout Derek Holdsworth will compete in the 800 meters in their respective national championships.
Former Simon Fraser standout Lindsey Butterworth (left) and former Western Oregon standout Derek Holdsworth will compete in the 800 meters in their respective national championships.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

PORTLAND, Ore. – With the college season in the rear-view mirror, a number of current and former GNAC athletes are setting their sights on qualifying for this year’s World Athletics Championships and representing their countries on track and field’s biggest stage as both the United States and Canadian national meets take place this week.

Simon Fraser will have at least 20 current or former athletes competing at the Bell Canadian Track and Field Championships, which runs today through Sunday at McLeod Athletic Park in Langley, British Columbia. South of the border, three athletes with GNAC ties are on the start lists for the USA Track and Field National Championships, which runs Thursday through Sunday at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.

The bulk of the Simon Fraser athletes competing will be in the 800 and 1,500 meters. The women’s 800 field is led by 2015 Division II national champion Lindsey Butterworth, who enters the meet with the best time in the field at 1:59.19. Addy Townsend, a 2021 Simon Fraser graduate and a two-time Division II All-American, has the No. 4 time in the field at 2:01.24. Junior Alison Andrews-Paul, who is running as an international entry, is seeded sixth with a time of 2:01.43. The three are automatically qualified for Friday’s semifinals having met the meet’s qualifying standard time of 2:06.

Scheduled to run in Thursday’s preliminary rounds are junior Megan Roxby (2:10.76) and former SFU athlete Mairin Shields-Brown (2:11.26). Among the SFU connected men running in the 800-meter prelims include junior Paul Buckingham (1:50.90) and sophomore Tomas Chapman (1:52.73).

The men’s 1,500 meters will feature six athletes with Simon Fraser connections, including three who have met the qualifying standard of 3:46. Cameron Proceviat is No. 3 in the field with a best of 3:36.09. Aaron Ahl, who earned All-American honors in the event at the Division II Outdoor Championships, is seeded fifth with a best of 3:38.74 while freshman Charlie Dannatt, who placed third at nationals, is seeded seventh with a best of 3:39.76. Running in Friday’s qualifying heats is sophomore Ephrem Mekonnen (3:51.36).

Freshman Henry Ruckman-Utting will run in the U20 section of the men’s 1,500. He is seeded 10th with a season-best of 3:52.31.

Freshman Marie-Éloïse Leclair is seeded No. 17 in the 200 meters with a best of 23.88 seconds and is automatically qualified for Sunday’s semifinals. She is also among the qualifiers in the 400 with a season-best of 55.44 seconds. Freshman Jesaiah Penson-McCoy will be among the participants in the qualifying heats of the men’s 200 with a best of 21.74.

In the men’s 400-meter hurdles, former GNAC champion Vladislav Tsygankov is seeded 12th with a season-nest of 53.95 seconds while current SFU sophomore Jorrin Lenton is 13th with a best of 54.38 seconds. In the women’s 400-meter hurdles, freshman Claire Bosma is seeded eighth in the U20 semifinals with a season-best of 1:05.13.

In the men’s long jump, senior Zackary Kuzyk and junior Blake Furtado are among the athletes in the qualifying flights. Kuzyk enters with a best of 23 feet, 0.75 inches (7.03 meters) while Furtado has a best of 21 feet, 10.25 inches (6.66 meters). In the men’s javelin, sophomore Jarrett Chong has the sixth-best mark in the field with his season-best of 219 feet, 9 inches (66.99 meters).

At the USA Track and Field Championships, former Western Oregon standout Derek Holdsworth is ranked No. 7 in the field for the men’s 800 meters with a season-best of 1:45.37. In the men’s 1,500 meters, former WOU standout and former Division II record-holder David Ribich sits 15th in the men’s 1,500 meters with a season-best of 3:36.70.

Seattle Pacific volunteer assistant coach Allie Ostrander is among the accepted entries in the women’s 5,000 meters with a season-best of 15:26.50.

The World Athletic Championships will be held in the United States for the first time. The meet takes place July 15-24 at Hayward Field.