For Queen’s runner Kara Blair, a fraction of a second won her a bronze medal at the 3000-metre U SPORTS track and field championship on March 6.
Blair beat Guelph Gryphons’ Hannah Woodhouse by 0.68 seconds to take home bronze; Blair finished the race in 9:38.18, while Woodhouse finished the race in 9:38.86.
However, it was the smallest fraction of a second that stopped Blair from taking home a silver medal. Wilfrid Laurier’s Lizzy Laurie took home the silver medal in 9:38.17, 0.01 ahead of Blair.
Laval Rouge-et-Or’s Jessy Lacourse won gold in 9:31.36.
“As we were approaching the final 100-metre stretch, there were three of us in contention for second and third place on the podium, and that was when I knew I had to give everything if I wanted to secure my spot,” Blair told The Journal.
After winning an OUA silver in the 3,000-metre and being named to an All-Canadian, Blair wasn’t even supposed to be racing at the U SPORTS Championships—she was slated to compete at the World University Cross Country Championships (FISU XC) 10-kilometre race in Morocco last weekend. However, it was postponed due to concerns over the coronavirus, which allowed Blair to medal at nationals.
“It was definitely a bit challenging trying to flip the mindset from racing an outdoor 10 km to an indoor 3 km […] I always tend to be modest with setting my goals for races and so I just followed my coach Steve Boyd’s advice of racing smart and leaving nothing on the track.”
“[Blair] had barely a week to adjust for the markedly different indoor 3,000 m championship race,” Assistant Coach Steve Weiler told The Journal in an email. “She handled this switch and the absence of her primary coach, Boyd, with aplomb.”
Blair is still hoping to compete at FISU in Morocco, assuming that a new date is set.
“I just want to focus on staying healthy and injury-free,” Blair said. “I didn’t race last summer, so I am looking forward to taking all that I have learned from my cross-country and indoor-track seasons and putting it to use during my outdoor-track and road-racing season.”
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