Two former members of the Oceanside Track and Field Club, Alycia Butterworth and Michael Mason, represented Canada at the IAAF World Championships in London.
Butterworth was a late addition to the Canadian team after receiving an invitation from the International Association of Athletics Federation. At the Canadian Track and Field Championships, Butterworth just missed the qualifying time of 9:42 in the 3,000 steeple chase.
The former Ballenas Secondary runner had a chance to redeem herself at her world championship debut. Butterworth was expecting a fast race during her heat but it turned out to be a tactical race and that slowed down the pace. She ended up in 8th place in 9:44.13. She has a personal best time of 9:41.26. Butterworth finished 26th overall and is now ranked 53rd in the world.
Former Oceanside coach Kim Longmuir said she watched Butterworth race and liked what she saw.
“She ran so strong and confident,” said Longmuir. “We couldn’t be prouder of her. It seems hard to believe that is the same little girl we started coaching in Grade 8.”
Butterworth, 24, who now lives and trains in Boise, Idaho, is focusing on making the Canadian Olympic team in 2020.
“Do we think she has a chance to make the 2020 team? Absolutely,” Longmuir commented.
Three-time Olympian, Mason of Nanoose, who is ranked in the top 10 in the world by the IAAF in high jump, was not at his best. His best jump was 2.26m but it was not enough to advance him into the final round. The qualifying height was 2.29m. His personal best jump is 2.33m.
Longmuir said they are thrilled to see two of their former athletes compete at the world championships.
“To have two past OTFC and Ballenas athletes at the worlds is pretty incredible,” said Longmuir.