Ex-TWU runner off to worlds in Qatar

The 24-year-old Langley university grad qualified Tuesday in California

By Gary Kingston/Special to the Langley Advance Times

It’s a long way from tiny South Hazelton, B.C. to glittering Doha, Qatar, but steeplechaser Regan Yee has given herself a chance to get there for the IAAF world championships in late September by running under the qualifying standard in her event.

Yee, a 24 ex-TWU runner, who missed the 9:40.00 standard for the 3,000 metre steeplechase by the blink of an eye at the Harry Jerome International Track Classic at Burnaby’s Swangard Stadium three weeks ago – she ran 9:40.06 – went 9:35.49 in winning a Sunshine Tour race at Azusa, Calif., on Tuesday.

“I was just so relieved, it was a weight off the shoulders to have the standard now,” said Yee, a Trinity Western University grad whose personal best time at Azusa made her the third fastest Canadian woman ever at the distance.

“But there’s so much work still to be done. Nationals is going to be very competitive, but at least I can check (making the standard) off the list.”

RECENT COVERAGE: Langley’s Yee sets record at Harry Jerome track meet

The race was a last chance of sorts to make the qualifying standard.

“It was really the only opportunity in North America,” said Yee. It’s super hard to find a competitive steeplechase. We were supposed to have a pacer and then that fell through, but the race attracted a big group of girls wanting to run the world standard.”

Yee now needs to finish top three at the national championships in Montreal later this month to be considered for selection to the Canadian team to worlds.

“With a few of us having made standard now, it would be crazy not to take three of us (to Qatar),” said Yee.

The field in Montreal will include 2016 Olympians Genevieve Lalonde, who ran a Canadian record 9:29.82 at Shanghai in May, and UBC grad Maria Bernard-Galea, who ran a personal best 9:36.12 at Azusa on Tuesday to finish a close second to Yee.

That could make it a tactical race at Montreal, with those three just trying to assure themselves of a podium finish.

“But there are a bunch of girls just on the cusp of getting standard, so I would imagine they would want to make it a faster race,” said Yee.

That group includes Yee’s Langley Mustangs Track Club teammate Alycia Butterworth, who was fifth at Azusa in 9:40.71 and Ottawa’s Charlotte Prouse, who ran 9:42.01 at the Jerome.

Yee and Bernard are now the 26th and 27th fastest women in the world this season in the 3,000 steeplechase, although they are well back of Kenyan Beatrice Chepkoech’s world-leading time of 8:55.58. Chepkoech is the only woman to break the magical nine-minute mark this year.

“At this point, that seems like it’s very far out of reach, but you never know,” says Yee. “Just keep chipping away and training hard. For me, (9:00.00) would seem impossible, but people are doing it.”

Yee said her goal if she goes to worlds would be a finish in the top half of the field. “I don’t want to be too ambitious. If I do make it, it would be my first ever major Games. I’d be satisfied with a top half finish.”

Yee needs to go under 9:30.00 some time in the next 10 months to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but after lowering her PB to 9:35.49, she’s convinced that’s within reach.

“Oh yeah, I know it’s there.”

READ MORE: Langley runner nominated for B.C. university athlete of the year

Just Posted

Man with gunshot wound walks into Langley hospital

Multiple police units responded to report

PHOTOS: Aldergrove Fair kicks off with 10th anniversary show n’ shine

The 107th annual Aldergrove Fair kicked off with some showy vehicles on… Continue reading

Gymnasts compete for spot on national team in Langley

Young and elite level gymnasts were competing at the LEC

Figures reveal spike in highway traffic jams between Abbotsford and Langley

Nearly one in 20 westbound vehicles between Abbotsford and Langley clocked at under 60 km/h

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Former Fernie Ghostrider re-signs with Vancouver Canucks

Josh Teves has signed a two-year contract with the NHL team

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

UPDATE: West Kelowna fawn euthanized, not claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer has been euthanized after a suitable home was not found in time

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

Trudeau says Ottawa open to proposals for B.C. refinery as gas prices soar

Prime minister says he knows B.C. residents are struggling and the federal government is open to ideas

Clock’s ticking to share how you feel about Daylight Saving Time in B.C.

Provincial public survey ends at 4 p.m. on Friday

Most Read