Langley-based Spartans alum races to Pan-Am Games qualifying time

Trinity Western University alumnus Fiona Benson became just the fifth woman in Canadian history to break the two-minute barrier in the 800m as she qualified for the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto with a race-winning time of 1:59.94 at the Portland Track Festival Sunday.

 For the third time in less than a week, Benson set a personal record in the 800m and in doing so bettered both the Olympic and World Championship standards of 2:01.00.


Running at a torrid pace, Benson’s effort Sunday was the fourth race in a row in which she has set a personal best 800m time and, since posting a nearly seven-second personal best (PB) on May 30, she has been nothing short of brilliant.


On May 30 in Victoria, she ran 2:01.58 to win the second meet of the Victoria Run Series.

Then, on June 8, she lowered her PB by one tenth of a second when she finished second at the Harry Jerome Classic in Burnaby with a time of 2:01.48.

She followed that up with yet another PB when she won the Victoria International Track Classic on June 10 in 2:01.02.

That set up what would be an historic race for Benson in Portland Sunday evening.


Benson will now prepare for the 2015 Pan Am Games.

The 800m semifinals at the Pan Am Games are July 21 in the second track and field session, which begins at 3 p.m.

The women’s 800m final is July 22 in the second session, which also begins at 3 p.m.


The Spartans Sarah Inglis also had an impressive showing at the Portland Track Festival as she posted a personal best time of 15:49.89 in the 5,000m to finish seventh overall.


On the men’s side, Declan White was 22nd overall in the 5.000m with a time of 14:07.56 while Blair Johnston finished 13th in the 5000m open race with a time of 15:44.25.


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