Benson Triumphs in AC Nats 800m; Qualifies for Worlds

The 350m mark of the 2105 AC Nats 800m final. Fiona Benson is the second runner from the left

The 350m mark of the 2105 AC Nats 800m final. Fiona Benson is the second runner from the left

Wolves Alum Fiona Benson continued her breakout track season on Sunday, capturing the 800m title at the Athletics Canada National Track and Field Championships in Edmonton on Sunday.

The 23 year old runner from Tomslake, BC, took the lead with 250m remaining in the race and held on for victory, recording a time of 2:08.52.   2012 Olympians Melissa Bishop and Jessica Smith placed second and third respectively, just meters behind Benson.

The victory at nationals, coupled with a qualifying time run earlier in June, earned Benson for a spot on Team Canada for the 2015 IAAF World Track and Field Championships in China later in August.

In May, Benson shocked the Canadian running community by taking 6 seconds off of her personal best time in the 800m, running 2:01 in a race in Victoria, BC.  Over the next month, she reeled off three  more victories in high performance races on the West Coast lowering her best time to 1:59.94.  Benson became only the fifth Canadian woman ever to run under 2 minutes.

Benson ran for the Wolves in the 2010-11 season.  She won the 2010 CCAA Cross Country Running individual gold medal and represented Canada at the 2011 IAAF World Junior XC Running Championships.  She was named co-winner of the GPRC Female Athlete of the Year in 2010-11.  For the past four years, she has competed for Trinity Western University in Langley, BC where she’s won multiple CIS team and individual teams medals in both track and cross country running.

Six other current and former Wolves also competed at nationals.  On Thursday,  Mirelle Martens won the bronze medal in the Junior Women’s 5000m (17:33).  Martens also contested the Junior Women’s 3000m on Sunday, where she ran into a bit of bad luck.  Entering the final lap in third place, a trailing runner clipped her heel causing a stumble and near fall.  Martens was unable to recover from the mishap and faded to 8th place (10:07).

Other local results included:

Hayden Hollowell    Senior Men’s 1500m (27th, 4:07)

Jamie Wigmore        Senior Women’s 800m (27th, 2:16)

Jessica Baraskewich    Senior Women’s 800m (28th, 2:17)

Danae Keddie        Junior Women’s 3000m (14th, 10:52)

Dylan Zambonelli    Senior Men’s 400m (22nd, 58)   and Senior Men’s 400m Hurdles (13th, 1:04)

Full results from the 2o15 Athletics Canada Track and Field Nationals

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