Gabriela Stafford shatters 2nd Canadian indoor track record in 3 weeks
Covers mile in 4:24.80 at Boston after setting 5,000-metre mark in Scotland on Jan. 4
Gabriella Stafford has crammed a lot in a few months: Marriage, deciding to move from Toronto to Scotland come the spring, a change in track coaches and breaking two Canadian indoor records.
The 23-year-old runner set her latest mark Saturday night, winning the women's mile in a world-leading four minutes 24.80 seconds at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in Boston to break Kate Van Buskirk's time of 4:26.92, set a year ago in New York.
Gotta change the ol' profile, no longer the Canadian indoor mile record holder. But records are made to be broken. Thrilled for you <a href="https://twitter.com/gstafford13?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@gstafford13</a>!!! Way to take the bar up another notch! 4:24.80 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Beast?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Beast</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/AthleticsCanada?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@AthleticsCanada</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/TorontoBluesTF?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TorontoBluesTF</a>—@K8VBeast
"It was a great, talented field," Stafford, who beat 2018 NCAA 1,500-metre champ Elinor Purrier of the United States and 2016 Olympic finalist Dawit Seyaum of Ethiopia, told the International Association of Athletics Federations. "It felt good for my confidence."
On Jan. 4, Stafford made her debut in the 5,000 metres, opening the season in a time of 14:57.45 at the GAA Miler Meet in Glasgow to beat Megan Metcalfe-Wright's 15:25.15.
Recently, the psychology student at the University of Toronto praised new coach Andy Young and training partner Laura Muir, a top European middle-distance runner.
"I've definitely gotten a lot more mentally tough. Some of the workouts I've done this fall are just on another level in terms of both intensity and length," Stafford told Canadian Running. "Some of them are just as difficult as races, so I've really had to up my mental game as a result.
"Completing these workouts allowed me to approach my season opener more calmly than I have in a long while, because a 5K race can't be harder than some of the sessions I've done recently."
Stafford, who was recently signed by Nike, met Young in August at theMüller Grand Prix in Birmingham, England, her Diamond League season debut.
Until 2019, the Toronto native was known as a 1,500 runner, having won a bronze medal at the NACAC championships (4:07.36) in the city in August after capturing her third consecutive Canadian championship (4:17.08) the previous month in Ottawa.
Racing 1,500 at indoor worlds
She owns a personal-best time of 4:03.55 in the outdoor 1,500, more than three seconds shy of Lynn Williams' Canadian record of 33 years ago.
Stafford is scheduled to run the 1,500 in Birmingham in early March at the IAAF world indoor championships.
Other Canadian results Saturday:
- Alysha Newman (London, Ont.) pole vault: fourth, 4.51 metres
- Brittany Crew (Mississauga, Ont.) women's shot put: fifth, 17.70m
- Corey Bellemore (Windsor, Ont.) men's 1,500: sixth, 3:42.57
- Justyn Knight (Toronto) men's 1,500: seventh, 3:45.72