Fiona Benson




COQUITLAM, British Columbia – Trinity Western middle distance runners Fiona Benson, Blair Johnston and Chris Voth proved to be amongst the very best in the province this past weekend as the trio combined for three medals and two personal bests at the BC Athletics 2012 Track & Field Jamboree, which ran July 13-15.

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Benson led the Spartans contingent at the provincial championship meet as she captured a gold medal in the 800m, with a time of 2:09.50, and a silver medal in the 1500m, with a time of 4:31.97.

Johnston and Voth also had impressive personal performances as Johnston finished third, in the 1500m with a personal best time of 3:50.10, (his previous best was 3:57.19) and 18th in the 800m, with a time of 1:56.91, while Voth finished ninth in the 1500m, with a personal best time of 3:56.09, (his previous best was 3:59.64) and 15th in the 800m, with a time of 1:56.26.

“It was a really great day for these athletes,” said Spartans endurance coach Mark Bomba. “They've put in a lot of hard work over the past year and to end a long season with performances like these in what would be considered their major outdoor meet speaks highly of their abilities to perform when it counts. For all of these athletes it was their first provincial championships and they handled the pressure extremely well as shown with their championship placements and personal bests.”

Benson, who won a CIS bronze medal at this year’s national championships, showed extremely well against stiff competition as she beat out University of Victoria CIS All-Canadian Kendra Pomfret to win the 800m (Pomfret finished in 2:09.77) and, in the 1500m, was just edged out by Olympic-bound Jessica Smith, who finished in 4:31.40.

“Fiona was expected to place high after her recent 10th place finish at the Canadian Track and Field Championships in the 1500m, but her competition was upgraded when 2012 800m Olympian Jessica Smith entered the race,” Bomba said. “It was a tactical affair, with Jessica's greater pure speed being the difference on the last lap.

“In the 800m, Fiona was up against Pomfret, who was the top ranked runner going into the race, but Fiona was able to run a courageous race in leading most of the way, losing the lead with 100 meters to go, and then taking back the lead inside 30 meters to pull out the win.”

As for Johnston, who won a Canada West bronze medal in 1500m this year, and Voth, who finished 17th in the 1000m at the Canada West Championships, their results showed the great strides they’ve taken since the end of the CIS season as they capped quality outdoor campaigns with notable results.

“Blair and Chris came through with tremendous performances in competing against many of the other top 1500m runners in the province,” Bomba said. “Blair ran a fantastic race to set a huge personal best, passing about four people in the last 100 meters, while Chris continued to show his continuing development in posting another personal best.”
About Trinity Western Track & Field

This fall Trinity Western will enter its third year back competing in the CIS after a six-year hiatus.

After the Spartans returned to track and field in the fall of 2010, the program has taken huge strides in becoming a competitive group at both the Canada West and CIS levels.

In 2011-12, the Spartans made a triumphant return to both the Canada West and CIS podiums as Trinity Western collected six conference medals and two national medals.

At the CIS Championships, high jumper Emma Nuttall claimed the Spartans first gold medal since 2002 – when Laura Wilson won in the 60m – with a season’s best jump of 1.82m. On that same day, middle distance runner Fiona Benson captured a bronze medal in the 1500m with a time of 4:29.35.

Prior to their double-medal effort at the CIS national championships, the Spartans were also very productive at the Canada West Championships, as Calum Innes (60m) and Benson (1500m) won gold medals, Nuttall (high jump) and Benson (1000m) each captured silver medals and Blair Johnston (1500m) and Jake Powrie (pentathlon) earned bronze medals.

Over their history, the Spartans have a total of seven CIS medals, including two gold medals (Nuttall [high jump] – 2012 and Laura Wilson [60m] – 2002), one silver medal (Ian Sharp [1000m] – 2002) and four bronze medals (Benson [1500m] – 2012, Justin Beanblossom [600m] – 2002 and 2003 and Aleena Zibin [Shot Put] – 2003).


Last Updated: 2013-08-22
Author: Mark Janzen