Simon Fraser Athletes Ready For Canadian Track Trials

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

MONTREAL, Que. – Seven past and present Simon Fraser athletes will be racing for Olympic glory this weekend at the 2021 Athletics Canada Olympic Track and Field Trials, which runs Friday through Saturday at the Claude-Robillard Sport Complex in Montreal.

Junior Aaron Ahl, freshman Charlie Dannatt and former SFU runner Cameron Proceviat will race in the men’s 1,500 meters while recent graduate Addy Townsend is entered in both the women’s 800 meters and 1,500 meters. Former Division II national champion Lindsey Butterworth will run in the women’s 1,500 meters and alumna Julia Howley is entered in the women’s steeplechase.

Jeremiah Lauzon, who recently transferred from Simon Fraser to West Texas A&M, will run in the men’s 200 meters. Natasha Wodak, who competed for SFU in the early 2000s, has already qualified for the Olympics in the women’s marathon.

Unlike in past years, and unlike the process used by USA Track and Field for the U.S. Olympic Trials, winning the Canadian Trials will not guarantee a spot on Team Canada for the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Due to travel and quarantine restrictions necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, athletes must look to run faster than the Olympic qualifying standard or gain enough World Athletics points to gain Olympics qualification. A country can send a maximum of three athletes to the Olympics in an event, provided those athletes meet the Olympic qualifying standard.

“In the end, this is a great opportunity to run a fast time and gain much-needed World Athletics rankings points,” said Simon Fraser head coach Brit Townsend. “This is going to be very different than any other year for us.”

Simon Fraser’s current athletes were unable to compete collegiately this season due to the U.S./Canada border closure but were able to race in a series of intrasquad meets. Ahl ran 3:42.23 at one of those intrasquad meets on May 1, a time that would have been an automatic qualifier for the Division II Championships. He enters the trials with a season-best of 3:39.25, run at the Harry Jerome Classic in Burnaby on June 12.

Dannatt, the 2020 GNAC champion indoors in the mile, followed the same progression in the 1,500 as Ahl. During the spring intrasquad season, Dannatt ran a best of 3:42.51 on May 1 that also would have met the NCAA Championships automatic qualifying standard. Dannatt lowered that to a time of 3:40.59 at Harry Jerome, giving him the seventh-fastest time in the trials field.

Proceviat, who ran for Simon Fraser from 2012 to 2016, was a two-time GNAC indoor champion in the 800 meters, was a six-time All-GNAC selection outdoors and was a 2016 indoor All-American in the 800 meters. Proceviat has the No. 2 time in the 1,500-meter field at 3:38.61, which won at the Harry Jerome Classic.

Townsend ended her SFU career as a five-time GNAC outdoor champion, winning the 800 meters in 2017 and the 1,500 meters in 2018 in addition to three titles as part of the winning 4x400-meter relay team. She also won eight GNAC indoor titles, including four in the 800 meters, and was named an indoor All-American five times. Townsend was the runner-up in the 1,500 meters at the 2019 Division II Outdoor Championships and placed fourth in the 800 meters at the 2017 Division II Indoor Championships.

During the spring intrasquad season, Townsend ran a best of 2:03.47 for 800 meters and won the 1,500 meters at April’s Oregon Relays in a time of 4:15.78. Both times would have automatically qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Townsend enters the trials with a time of 4:14.07 in the 1,500 meters, run at the Harry Jerome Classic, and a time 2:03.20 in the 800 meters, run at the Inferno Track and Field Festival in Guelph, Ontario on June 16.

Butterworth competed for SFU from 2012 to 2015 and was the 2015 NCAA Division II champion in the 800 meters both indoors and outdoors. She was a three-time GNAC outdoor champion (800, 1,500 and 4x400 relay) and a five-time indoor champion, which included three titles in the mile. Butterworth represented Canada in the 800 meters at the 2017 and 2019 IAAF World Outdoor Championships.

Butterworth is qualified for the trials in the 800 meters with a time of 2:00.31 run at the 2019 Stumptown Twilight in Portland, which ranks No. 3 on the start list. She has a season-best of 2:00.50, run on May 9 at the USATF Golden Games in Walnut, California.

Howley competed for Simon Fraser from 2015 to 2019 and was the 2019 GNAC outdoor champion in the steeplechase. She went to place third in the steeplechase and fourth in the 5,000 meters at the 2019 Division II Outdoor Championships. Howley has the No. 7 seed time in the trials of 9:47.24, which placed fourth at the Harry Jerome Classic.

Lauzon competed for Simon Fraser over the last two seasons and will transfer to West Texas A&M this fall. The 2020 GNAC indoor champion in the 200 meters, Lauzon ran a best of 21.32 seconds during the intrasquad season on April 17. He lowered his best to 20.88 seconds at the Ontario High Performance Series in Toronto on June 18, which is the fifth-fastest time in the trials field.

Athletics Canada Track and Field Olympic Trials
At Claude-Robillard Sport Complex, Montreal, Quebec
Schedule For Athletes With Simon Fraser/GNAC Connections (All Times Eastern)
Friday, June 25
Women’s 800 Meters (Butterworth, Townsend), 7 p.m.
Women’s Steeplechase (Howley), 8 p.m.

Saturday, June 26
Men’s 200 Meters (Lauzon), 1 p.m.

Sunday, June 27
Women’s 1,500 Meters (Townsend), 11 a.m.
Men’s 1,500 Meters (Ahl, Dannatt, Proceviat), 11:30 a.m.