Track and Field

DeBues-Stafford sets North American track record, obliterates her Canadian indoor mark

Gabriela DeBues-Stafford continued her assault of the Canadian track and field record book on Friday, smashing her mark in the women's indoor 5,000 metres at the Boston University Valentine Invitational. Her time of 14:31.38 places her fifth on the world all-time list.

5th on all-time world list over 5,000m; sister Lucia wins indoor mile at Boston meet

Toronto native Gabriela DeBues-Stafford obliterated her own Canadian indoor record in the 5,000 metres on Friday, winning the women's race at the Boston University Valentine Invitational meet. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Gabriela DeBues-Stafford continued her assault of the Canadian track and field record book on Friday.

Less than a week after shattering the national record in the indoor 3,000 metres, the 26-year-old from Toronto smashed her own Canadian indoor record in the women's 5,000 in winning the David Hemery Valentine Invitational meet at Boston University.

Her time of 14 minutes 31.38 seconds obliterated her previous record of 14:57.45 from 2019 and places her fifth on the world all-time list indoors.

"Not gonna lie I'm a bit in shock," DeBues-Stafford said in a post to Instagram. "North American Record! … means a lot to do this."

On Sunday, the Toronto native delivered a huge 29.04 final lap to slash more than 12 seconds off the Canadian indoor 3000 record, running 8:33.92 at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in New York.

In Friday's race, DeBues-Stafford battled for the majority of the race behind her Nike Bowerman TC teammate Elise Cranny before overtaking the lead with almost 400m to go. 

Her time was also a North American record, breaking the mark of 14:47.62 previously held by Shalane Flanagan, now her coach in Portland, Ore.

Stafford, who was fifth in the 1,500 at last summer's Tokyo Olympics, holds Canadian records in the indoor 1,500, mile, 3,000 and 5,000, along with the outdoor 1,500, mile and 5,000.

She should be a strong contender for a podium finish at the indoor world championships next month in Belgrade, Serbia.

Also in Boston, DeBues-Stafford's sister Lucia won the women's mile in 4:24.42, the second-fastest time by a Canadian woman behind Gabriela (4:19.73).

The 23-year-old was making her Bowerman debut after joining the club in November along with fellow Canadian Andrea Seccafien.

Lucia, who trained with the University of Toronto until her move to Portland, made her Olympic debut last August in Tokyo, where she was eliminated in the semifinals. She finished 13th overall in a personal-best 4:02.12 and fell 43-100ths of a second shy of Spain's Marta Perez, who grabbed the last qualifying spot for the final.

In other Canadian news, Aurora Rynda of Toronto broke a 38-year-old record in the indoor 600 on Friday at the Windy City Invitational in Chicago. The University of Michigan athlete ran 1:27.05, to lower the previous mark of 1:27.63 set by Camille Cato in 1984.

Last Saturday, the multiple-time Big Ten champion also made history in South Bend, Ind., clocking 2:02.89 at the Notre Dame Meyo Invitational to win the 800 competition by nearly three seconds and breaking a near-14-year school record by nearly a half-second.

No other woman in NCAA Division I has run under 2:04 this year.

With files from CBC Sports

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