South Hazelton steeplechaser ousted in qualifying heat at world track championships

Regan Yee came in 11th in her heat with a time of 9:48:56

Regan Yee in competition for Trinity Western University (TWU). TWU photo

Regan Yee in competition for Trinity Western University (TWU). TWU photo

South Hazelton’s Regan Yee did not qualify for the finals in the 3000-metre steeplechase at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships currently underway in Doha, Qatar.

On Sept. 27, Yee raced in the third heat of three to try to qualify for the finals. She came in 11th of 13 with a time of 9:48.56.

READ MORE: South Hazelton steeplechaser headed to worlds

Going into the championships, Yee was ranked second in Canada and 40th in the world behind teammate Geneviève Lalonde (13th), who did qualify for the Sept. 30 world final, but came in 14th of 14 with a time of 9:32.92. Another Canadian, Maria Bernard-Galea failed to make the final finishing 14th of 15 in her qualifying heat with a time of 9:57.03.

Yee qualified for worlds just under the wire by running a personal best of 9:35.49 at Azusa Pacific University in California, a last-chance qualifying track meet, on July 9. The IAAF standard is 9:40.00.

Prior to Doha, Yee most recently finished fifth at the Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru with a time of 10:00.08.

She said that was the highlight of her career.

“It’s the biggest accomplishment I’ve had so far in my track and field career, so it was a very exciting moment when I found out I was named to Team Canada,” she said.

READ MORE: Hazelton’s Yee places fifth at Pan Am Games

The world championships marks the end of her competitive season for 2019.

The 24-year-old is still in the running to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The qualifying period began May 1 of this year and ends June 29, 2020. Yee has until then to post a time of 9:30.00 in competition.

The Canadian Olympic Trials event is scheduled for June 25-28, 2020 in Montreal.

She said she will probably enter some cross-country races here or there for her base training, but has no steeplechases planned until later in 2020 leading up to the Canadian Olympic Trials scheduled for June 25-28, 2020 in Montreal.

“That’s something I will be trying to peak for, so, basically my whole training program next year will be centred around that,” she said. “I’m really excited because the world trials were held this year in Montreal and I really liked the track and I liked the city, so I’m excited to go compete there again next year.”

Yee got into steeplechasing in a kind of roundabout way, but loves it even though it’s not one of the marquee track events.

“It’s definitely not a more high profile event,” she said. “Typically I have to go over all the rules of the race when people ask me what I do for track and field, but I’ve just been doing it for so long. My coach in high school just thought I would have fun doing it and I was the only one entered in it for zone championships, so basically he said if you enter it then you’ll win. So I entered it and I thought it was a lot of fun. It adds a different element to the race. I like the flat races too, but the steeplechase just adds that little extra element that really makes it exciting.”

Yee was the 3000m steeplechase silver medalist at the 2018 Canadian Track and Field Championships and won five Usports national titles, including three individual gold medals, during her university career competing for Trinity Western University.



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