PREVIEW: Victoria International Track Classic - National Track League

PREVIEW: Victoria International Track Classic - Na

2012 National Track League: Victoria International Track Classic
June 10, 2012 | Centennial Stadium, Victoria, British Columbia

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By Christopher Kelsall
Original Media Release written and supplied by Mathieu Gentès of Athletics Canada.

The second annual National Track League (NTL) continues today with meet number two of six. This one in Victoria, B.C., with the 24th annual Victoria International Track Classic. The Victoria Classic features a number of Canadian headliners including Dylan Armstrong of Kamloops, B.C., Nathan Brannen of Cambridge, Ont., Perdita Felicien of Pickering, Ont., and Justyn Warner of Markham, Ont.

Following Victoria will be the Donovan Bailey Invitational in Edmonton, Alta., on Saturday June 16. The series then takes a short hiatus as athletes from around the world gear up for their respective Olympic Trials. NTL then resumes with three eastern stops; Moncton's Hub City Classic July 5, Halifax's Aileen Meagher International Track Classic July 8 and the Toronto finale, The Toronto International Track and Field Games July 11.

Live Flotrack coverage

Flotrack will cover the Victoria International live from 7 PM to 9:15 PM Pacific Time (10 PM to 12:15 AM Eastern Time).  WATCH LIVE HERE

Victoria Preview

6:55 PM - Men’s EY Construction Javelin National (NTL)
Curtis Moss of Burnaby, B.C enters Victoria full of confidence after a career best performance at Harry Jerome which saw him go over the Olympic B standard and record a personal best of 80.43m. Moss is only the second Canadian in history to go over the magical mark of 80.00-metres in the javelin. Canadian record holder Scott Russell of Windsor, Ont., the other Canadian to go over 80.00-metres, with his distance of 84.81. Also, Kyle Nielsen (77.24) of Langley, B.C., is currently second and Russell third behind Moss in the NTL javelin standings, both will throw in Victoria. The javelin standards are B 79.50 and A 82.00.

7:00 PM – Opening Ceremonies (FLOTRACK LIVE STREAM BEGINS)

7:05 PM - Women’s NTL Long jump
Current NTL leader Ruky Abdulai (6.74) of Coquitlam, B.C will look to extend her lead over Alice Falaiye (6.51) of Brampton, Ont in the NTL standings.  Abdulai and Falaiye finished first and second at Harry Jerome with marks of 6.27-metres and 6.15-metres respectively.  Coming in with a personal best of 6.87-metres, American Brianna Glenn is sure to be in the mix.  
7:07 PM -  Men’s Victoria International Running Society 1500m National Development

7:17 PM -  Women’s Vikes’ Athletics 1500m National Development

7:28 PM – Women's Pole Vault International

7:45 PM -  Men’s 800m National Development

7:52 PM – Women’s 800m National Development

8:00 PM – Men’s BC Athletics Shot Put International (NTL)
Dylan Armstrong is coming off a first place performance of 21.24-metres at Harry Jerome which saw him take the early lead in the NTL standings with 8 points. He owns the Canadian record of 22.21 metres. Throwing alongside Armstrong will be Justin Rodhe (21.11) who is second in the standings with 6 points. Armstrong and Rodhe both have the Olympic A standard and are focused on finishing top three at the Canadian Track and Field Olympic Trials June 27th to 30th in Calgary, Alberta to secure their tickets to the 2012 Olympic Games. Both are from Kamloops, BC. Standards are B-20.00 and A 20.50.

8:00 PM – Men’s Athletics Canada 400m National

8:05 PM – Women’s 400m National (NTL)
Ese Omene of Regina, Sask., is the early leader in the NTL standings after earning 8 points at Harry Jerome.  Omene finished fourth overall behind Americans Keshia Baker (50.76) (1st) and Leslie Cole (51.20) (3rd) and Carol Rodriguez (51.39) (2nd) of Puerto Rico.  Expect fast times with Cole and Rodriguez racing in Victoria.

8:10 PM – Women’s Nike 1500m National (NTL)
Malindi Elmore of Kelowna, B.C., (4:02.64) Kate Van Buskirk (4:12.28) of Brampton, Ont., and Julia Kawamoto of Burnaby, B.C., are second, third and fourth in the 1500-metres NTL standings and will all be in action. Overall the trio were sixth, seventh and eighth at Harry Jerome. Elmore is an experienced veteran who hasn't found the right race this season. Victoria could be it. Canadian standards are, B – 4:08.90. A – 4:06.00 and A+ - 4:05.70

American Brenda Martinez (4:06.96) should factor in the mix as she is known to have a strong finish when she is on. Martinez set a near three second PB a few weeks ago at the Oxy meet in Los Angeles.

8:20 PM – Men’s Timex 1500m International (NTL)
World Championship semi-finalist from 2009, Canadian Nathan Brannen makes his 2012 NTL debut. Brannen recently went under the Olympic A+ standard, which is 3:35.50 with his 3:34.22 from Hengelo on May 12, 2012, putting him in a great position to qualify for the Olympic Games.

Matt Lincoln (8 points) of Scarborough, Ont., will look to extend his lead in the standings over Geoff Martinson (6 points) of Victoria, B.C., Kyle Boorsma (5 points) of Guelph, Ont., and Taylor Milne (4 points) from Guelph, Ont. Martinson is sitting out Victoria but Boorsma and Milne will both run. It’s sure to be an exciting finish as all three are chasing the London A standard. Milne comes in with two Olympic B standards to his credit, the best one being 3:37.17. The B standard is sub-3:38.

The two top Americans that will be contending up front are Garrett Heath (3:36.24) and Dorian Ulrey (3:35.23). Heath was third at Harry Jerome on Sunday just off his PB with a 3:36.43 run. Ulrey has been coming back from a long stint with injuries but has had a successful early season so far finishing second to Andrew Wheating in his first race in Oregon and following that up with a strong 3:37.69 at the Oxy meet in May (same race where Heath set his PB).

8:30 PM – Women’s Times Colonist 100m Hurdles International (NTL)
A trio of Canadians with the Olympic A standard face off in Victoria as the female sprint hurdlers fine tune their racing heading into Trials. Perdita Felicien (12.46) (6pts) of Pickering, Ont., Nikkita Holder (12.84)  (4pts) of Markham, Ont., and Phylicia George (12.73) of Pickering, Ont., are all looking for that edge. With six women having the Olympic A standard it will all come down to June 30 in Calgary  at the Canadian Olympic Track and Field Trials as to which three will represent Canada in London.

The other three who have made standard are Jessica Zelinka, who achieved the A+ standard at the Harry Jerome Track Classic with her stellar 12.76 time – Zelinka is competing in the Heptathlon, Angela Whyte (12.63) and Priscilla Lopes-Schliep (12.49).

8:40 PM – Women’s Thrifty Foods 100m National

8:50 PM - Men’s CHEK News 100m National (NTL)
Justyn Warner (10.15) of Markham, Ont., will make his 2012 NTL debut fresh off an Olympic B standard performance at the Oslo Diamond League last Thursday, Canadian Olympic B standard is 10.24, A is 10.18 and A+ is 10.13. Warner is the reigning 100-metres NTL champion capturing the title in the inaugural National Track League season last year. He’ll face stiff competition from Hank Palmer of Lasalle, Que., with his personal best of 10.22. He currently leads the NTL standings with 8 points after a win at Sunday’s Harry Jerome. Bryan Barnett (10.22) of Edmonton, Alta., also makes his 2012 NTL debut. He won the 2011 NTL title in the 200-metres.

9:00 PM – Women’s Running Room 800m International (NTL)

Jessica Smith of North Vancouver, B.C., is coming off an inspiring performance in front of a home town crowd at Harry Jerome which saw her capture the Olympic A standard and join an illustrious group of only four Canadian women to have surpassed the 800-metres two minute barrier. She ran 1:59.86. The Canadian standards from women are, B- 2:01.30 and 1:59.90 for the A.

Melissa Bishop of Eganville, Ont., (1:59.82) happens to be one of those four capturing the Olympic A standard just over a week ago. Smith and Bishop will be joined in Victoria by Diane Cummins of Victoria, B.C., and Lemlem Ogbasilassie of Montreal, Que., who would love nothing more than to turn their recent Olympic B standards into Olympics A’s. Diane Cummins holds the current Canadian record of 1:58.39.

9:10 PM – Men’s Gary Reed 800m International (NTL)

Valuable NTL points are on the line with Geoff Harris (1:46.35) of Halifax, N.S., Kyle Smith (1:46.85) of Scarborough, Ont., and Andrew Ellerton (1:45.04) of Sudbury, Ont., all are racing. In terms of NTL scoring the trio finished 1-2-3 at Harry Jerome with Harris leading the way in an Olympic B standard performance of 1:46.29 – the standard is 1:46.30. In terms of overall placing Americans Duane Solomon and Brandon Johnson are sure to be in the mix having placed first and second respectively at Harry Jerome in 1:45.66 and 1:46.23.

For more information on the National Track League visit

Christopher Kelsall writes for Athletics Illustrated and is a freelance journalist

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