NTL Victoria: Beautiful views, fast times
The Victoria International Track Classic has come and gone, and now we take the ferry to Vancouver for Thursday’s Harry Jerome Invitational. It’s hard not to get wrapped up in the views here in Victoria, the distant mountains and beautiful ocean views provided the perfect backdrop for what was an excellent evening in the NTL series. While Edmonton may have been “Tracktown Canada”, Victoria should at least be a close second considering their hospitality and top-notch facilities. Let’s get into what went down last night in Victoria.
As Shelby Houlihan keeps racing, she continues to rack up PRs. The NCAA champ placed 2nd in Victoria behind Kerri Gallagher, and ran 4:10.89 for her 4th straight PR across multiple distances. The Arizona State senior previously ran 3 straight 800 PRs at USAs en route to placing 7th, and after another successful outing Houlihan spoke about her expectations for the upcoming XC season, and ultimately nationals in Terre Haute. “I want to win," she said with a smile.
Houlihan has shown a new level of confidence with her recent success, and after finishing 8th at XC nationals last year, Houlihan should return as one of the favorites in November.
The final event of the evening featured a battle between the ageless wonder and Victoria resident Diane Cummins and her heir apparent, Olympian Melissa Bishop. Cummins, her of 40 years, was racing for the final time in Victoria after first appearing there 20 years ago for the Commonwealth Games. It’s nearly unfathomable to believe that Cummins can still run 2:01.38, and the crowd gave her a standing ovation after she placed 2nd behind Bishop.
Melissa Bishop has now run two meet records in consecutive years in Victoria, and her 1:59.70 was good for a new personal best. After racing Harry Jerome on Thursday, Bishop will head to Glasgow, Scotland for the Commonwealth Games where she hopes to make the final and potentially find a place on the podium.
Watch LIVE as Flotrack’s tour of the NTL series concludes on Thursday in Vancouver for the Harry Jerome Invitational.