Martens Nails It! Silver in Pan Am Jrs 3000m

Mirelle Martens running at the 2015 Pan Am Jr Track and Field Championship

Mirelle Martens running at the 2015 Pan Am Jr Track and Field Championship

Wolves Athletics Club runner Mirelle Martens parlayed some strong pack running tactics into a silver medal winning performance in the women’s 3000m Friday night at Foote Field in Edmonton at the 2015 Pan American Junior Track and Field Championships.

A lead group of four runners including Martens, Erin Dietz (USA),  2015 Canadian Junior 5000m champion Anne-Marie Comeau (CAN), and 2015 Pan Am Junior Cross Country Running champion Saida Menese (PER) blazed  through the opening kilometer in 3:08.  Dietz broke away at the halfway mark opening a small gap on the trailing trio and rolled to the victory in a time of 9:37. Martens gradually pulled away from Comeau and Menese over the last 800m to secure second place in a personal best time of 9:41.  Menese followed Martens for the bronze, recording a time of 9:43.

Mirelle Martens (Right) and Kendra Clarke (Left) were Canada's two medalists on Day 1 of the 2015 Pan Am Jr Track and Field Championships

Mirelle Martens (Right) and Kendra Clarke (Left) were Canada’s two medalists on Day 1 of the 2015 Pan Am Jr Track and Field Championships

Friday’s performance represented redemption for Martens.  In late May she ran a Pan Am qualifying time of 9:42 in a race in Victoria, yet at the  Canadian Junior Track and Field Championships in early July, she posted a rather modest time of 10:07 and finished 8th.  Post race, she remarked, “I really wanted to prove to people that I deserved to be here.”

Martens silver was Canada’s second medal of the meet.  Earlier Friday, Edmonton’s Kendra Clarke wowed the hometown crowd by winning the women’s 400m with a personal best time of 52.55.

After Day 1 of the championships, Team USA leads the medal standings with 7 Gold, 7 Silver, and 5 Bronze.

The Pan Am Jrs wrap up on Sunday.  Over 500 athletes from 38 nations, including 63 members of Team Canada, are taking part.

 

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