8:00

The 2020 OFSAA Track and Field Championships were scheduled to begin today. In their absence, I am resurrecting an article I wrote in 2004 - enjoy! -Steve Weiler

Chapter 1

“It's one of the most exciting Canadian races I have ever witnessed.”
-Peter Pimm, coach of Brendan Matthias

At the OFSAA Track and Field Championships in June of 1987, Greg Andersen won the Senior Boy’s 3,000m in an OFSAA, Canadian Interscholastic, and Canadian Junior Record of 8:00.2 – also recorded as 8:00.3 in some places. 17 years later the record still stands and this historic race is one of the most talked about in Canadian track and field circles, and for good reason.

Sean Cleary set the early pace in the Senior 3,000m As David Grossman of the Toronto Star reported, there was “humidity that plagued runners (and) thundershowers that sporadically delayed the meet” that was held on a track only a few miles from Andersen’s home. But it was not simply the other events of that weekend or the fashion with which Andersen destroyed the 3,000m record that is so fascinating; “the thing of interest in the Anderson story is perhaps the relative obscurity of the record holder”, says Lynn Kobayashi.

Jason Bunston, the Canadian indoor record holder in the 5,000m at 13:25.87, was a junior in Andersen’s final year of high school. When asked for his take on Andersen and the OFSAA competition in the late 1980’s, Bunston stated, “No one who was (a) distance runner and was there will ever forget that race. His anonymity set in in such a way as to help him develop a James-Deanish mythos. I think in all of this the details are far less interesting than the drama that played out at OFSAA. Every age group had a deep rivalry going, and with the exception of Kevin's years (he was obviously far better than the bulk of his peers and the races' outcomes were almost ALWAYS known in advance), excellent performances emerged from sheer guts and determination. This OFSAA story line seemed to fade in the years between 1990 and 1995, with a few exceptions. Keep in mind that OFSAA also garnered full television coverage during these years - as good as the Nationals Coverage of late.”

Phil Steel is one of the most knowledgeable people on this topic. Steel was a self-described local running buff while Andersen was in high school. He writes: “I was familiar with Greg and Myles (Sargeant, a teammate), going on runs with them through the local forest on occasion, and trained (also occasionally) under Bill Urie,” Andersen’s coach. Steel continues: “I was also familiar with another local coach (and mentor as well) Jeff Gaynor - who coached Jason Bunston and Graham Hood throughout their high school careers. Given that I was a lot older than these ‘serious’ young runners (I was about 30 at the time), but could relate with both the younger athletes, and the older coaches, I had a unique perspective on things…Greg was a member of the Hamilton Olympic Club who trained under the guidance of Bill Urie - Bill is now a longtime President of the club and was a terrific coach who has always humbly given Greg ALL the credit deflecting any from himself. Greg had an air of confidence about him, without being conceited, which – along with his abundant talent – set the stage for his phenomenal high school career. I believe that Bill began coaching Greg when he was in Grade nine. His breakout race was his OFSAA win in Grade 10 (1984) in a time of 8:30 for 3000m, in itself a terrific performance. In successive years he improved to 8:16, 8:10, and finally the 8.00.”

Tsioros, Schultz, and others helped with the early pace.

Chapter 2

“A misty Beamonesque stillness fell upon the track prior to the start.”
-Ian Fallas

The 1980’s were a remarkable time for distance running in Ontario high schools; it was a decade that boasted not only unmatched depth –compared to more recent years – but also many records that either still stand or are still very high on the all-time list. 1983 saw both Junior and Senior 3,000m records fall: John Castellano (W. H. Porter) set the OFSAA Junior record of 8:20.78 ahead of such notables – and future Cross Country champs – as John Halvorsen and Bruce Deacon, while Marc Olesen (Confederation) won the senior race in another record hand time of 8:11.3. Andersen (Parkside) failed to place top 6 as a midget, but then in 1984 he made his mark as a junior placing 4th in the 1,500m (4:00.48) and winning the 3,000m in 8:30.73 – pulling Doyle (TISS) and the Faulds brothers (Centennial) under 8:40. Also in 1984, a midget named Brendan Matthias (Thornhill) was making his own mark by winning the 1,500m (4:12.07), taking 2nd in the 3,000m (9:01), and 6thin the 800m (2:05.86) for good measure.

After his Cross Country win in the fall of 1984, Greg Andersen started setting OFSAA Track records. He won a close 1,500m in a record time of 3:50.35 over S. Faulds, but their positions were reversed in the longer race (8:23.86 to 8:24.49). A younger Matthias was lurking in the shadows, placing 6th in the Junior 1,500m (3:58.67) and 4th in the 3,000m (8:42.15).

Left to Right: Tsioros, Andersen, Schultz, and Matthias rolling early onIn 1986 the boys upped the ante at all levels. Jason Bunston (Westdale) had moved from BC to the golden horseshoe region and lit up the midget scene, winning the OFSAA 1,500m (4:04.96) and 3,000m (8:55.34) over OFSAA Cross-Country champ Brian Hagemeier of Chelsey. Cross champ Matthias was the top junior, winning close races in 3:54.46 and 8:34.01, with Nick Tsioros (St. Andrew’s) medalling in both events as well. But most impressive of all was first-year senior Andersen. The Parkside superstar won against excellent fields in a 1,500m that saw the top 3 under 3:50, and then crushed a stellar 3,000m field that saw 5 runners break 8:26, leaving future Olympian Peter Fonseca in 6thwith his 8:32.33. The Spectator newspaper captured the significance of the 3,000m victory: “When Marc Oleson of Ottawa ran an 8:11.30 in 1983, he broke the record by such a margin that it didn’t look like anyone would come near the mark for years. Andersen however, one of Canada’s top junior cross-country runners, just nipped the mark with an 8:10.55. ’There were a lot of good runners and the conditions were perfect (cool with a drizzle), ‘said 18-year-old Andersen, who was just 0.2 seconds off the Canadian junior record.” For some reason, the Canadian Interscholastic electronic timed record is recorded as 8:11.49 by Dave Reid, despite Andersen’s time being listed in the official OFSAA results; perhaps the 8:10 was hand-timed.

 Gerry Swan writes: “There was no mistake about the talent of Greg Anderson and he ran other very fine races prior to 1987. In 1985 at the Canadian Junior Championships held at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby, perhaps one of the finest Canadian 1500m races ever between two true juvenile aged athletes took place. Anderson, a 17-year old at the time, won the race in the high 3:46 range, just a few tenths of a second in front of another juvenile, Kevin Robinson, who I coached. I know there are other Canadian runners who as juveniles have turned in faster times than this for 1500m – Ryan Hayden is one. However, it is rare to have two juvenile aged athletes run that fast in a Championship event, without the aid of being carried along by other older athletes or pace makers. Those two boys made their own race on that day in Burnaby. The next day Robinson went on to win the 800 meters in 1:50.25.”

Not only could Andersen beat 1:50 800m runners, but he also excelled over hill and dale. Andersen won the OFSAA Junior x-c title in 1984, the Senior title in 1985 and then again in 1986 – 34 seconds ahead of Matthias.

In 1987 at the one-day Regional meet, Andersen put forth solid – but not outstanding –times of 3.54 1500m, 1.55 800m, and 8.23 3000m. Steel notes “Bill (Urie) had a fine grasp of the art of peaking. This might put into perspective the fine recent performances of Mike Woods and his 3.48/8.26 double at his Ottawa association meet. Of course Kevin Sullivan, and Hood/Bunston/Belbeck also (not to mention many others of course) equally had fantastic qualifying performances on occasion.” The Tuesday after this Ottawa meet, Woods ran at an Invitational 5,000m in Hamilton. He drafted off CIS x-c champ Eric Gillis for much of the race, splitting 8:31 for 3,000m before falling off for a final time of 14:31. That weekend he doubled up at the 2004 East Regionals, breaking Murray Link’s meet records with his 3:51.25 and 8:19.74 – both well ahead of 2nd.

Andersen takes control of his final high school raceWith the 1987 OFSAA Track and Field Championships being held on Andersen’s home track, a new facility at McMaster University, an estimated 6,000 fans flooded the track to watch. The younger boys races offered a good prelude: a midget named Graham Hood (Nelson) grabbed medals in both the 1,500m and 3,000m; first-year junior Bunston added 2 medals of his own, including another 3,000m victory over Hagemeier; and Andersen took the 1,500m by a cool 4 seconds over Matthias.

Phil Steel writes: “The 1500m had the drama of someone falling ahead of Andersen at the start within the first 100m, not sure why it wasn't called back by the starter, which compelled Greg to hurdle the fellow and then, in a panic, proceeded to sprint ahead for a first lap of 57 seconds! I recall Bill mentioning that he was perturbed at this lack of restraint on Greg's part as it dashed their hopes of taking down Dave Reid's record of 3:45. I believe that Greg went through 800m in 2.00 (meaning a second lap of 63). Certainly Matthias was a factor as he was capable of beating Greg, if Brendan had a great run. The time of 3.47 (matching his previous year's OFSAA performance, but short of his PB of 3.46.8 from the summer of 1985) was somewhat of a disappointment it seems. It was also very hot and humid that Friday night…On the Saturday, a thunderstorm rolled through the area during the Junior girl's 3000m (a record performance which still stands). This dissipated the heat but also knocked out the photo timing which was perched on a scaffold inside the track at the finish line. This is why the 8:00 stands as the hand-timed ofsaa record. The standing joke among us (Gaynor et al) was that god was looking out for Greg, as it seemed that conditions often favoured him. By the time that the Senior 3000m started, conditions were near perfect. Perhaps reflecting on missing the record from the previous evening, this being his final high school race, was Greg determined to achieve something spectacular?”

Chapter 3

“A jumpy Sean Cleary … inflicted severe pain on everybody.” Ian Fallas

“You could almost see his mind saying, ‘can I run 2min for the last 800’… His next 200m was in 28 seconds!!” -Phil Steele

According to Paul Maher of the Spectator, Andersen’s father Tim said, “He (Greg) hasn’t said much about this weekend but I know it is very important to him.” Greg later confessed to David Grossman of the Toronto Star that “I was hoping for a record…I knew it was possible and really wanted to cook it on in the last 800 meters.” With Andersen ‘cooking’ the final 800m, the 1,500m splits turned out to be 4:05/3:55.

Greg Andersen followed by Guy Schultz Once again, Phil Steel provides an excellent recap: “I, like many others, was there in person to witness this historic event. The fact that this was on Greg's home track made it even more special, at least for us. Sean Cleary took it out in 61, this I've confirmed with Sean, as he coaches a former athlete of mine at WVU. Also I've replayed the tape and analyzed the splits.The next lap was in 68 (recovering from the previous lap, and the fact that no one wanted to lead). Then others took on the pace, Nick Tsioros and Guy Schultz I remember taking turns at the front and gradually ratcheting the pace down again, Greg may have also taken a brief turn at the front. By the time 2000m had arrived I believe Greg had assumed the lead for good, with Brendan right on his heels. What is famous is Greg looking up at the clock (which had not been taken down during/after the storm) with 800m to go as it displayed 5.59 (8.10 pace), you could almost see his mind saying ‘can I run 2min for the last 800’. Now many of us have a tough time running a 2 minute 800m over the distance itself, let alone at the end of a championship high school race! His next 200m was in 28 seconds!! A little too aggressive as I believe this ultimately prevented the sub 8, but it had the effect of demoralizing Matthias who was (it seemed) shocked at this turn of speed so far out from the finish. I recall calculating the final four 200m splits as 28/32/30/31 (for 2.01). He went again as he went through the bell, was it windy on the homestretch (I don't recall) or was he just spent from the bursts immediately past the finish lines. Some of us not right on the finish line stopped our watches (perhaps due to anticipation as well) at sub 8min (I had 7.59.8). The Chariots of fire theme over the last 2 laps may have inspired him, but it certainly added to the moment - we were at once in shock at the performance and also disappointed that a sub 8 was so barely missed. At least when the official time was announced - it seemed like our version of the Bannister mile - but not achieved. All agreed that this might be a performance to last for years, although the local heir apparent Bunston (at least his coach anyway) certainly may have hoped to match it a few years later. Certainly the prospect of Matthias on his butt through 2200m, and others running well beyond their capabilities (Shultz, Tsioros and Cleary) allowed this race to happen.”

Matthias’ coach Pimm offers his perspective: “I well remember watching this truly remarkable performance. As I recall, the weather was ideal, with little wind and the temperature in the low 60'sF…Together, they (Andersen and Matthias) steadily pulled away from Nick and the rest of the field, looking well within themselves...and given the pace they were running, and what appeared as a very competitive battle being waged between two well known titans, all spectating eyes were glued to the happening. It was clear something special was taking place, with Bob Hancock - the voice of Ontario track and field - providing the play by play. Well, the two were still running together with 2 laps to go, and then the race escalated from something special, to something that was absolutely phenomenal. For Anderson suddenly stepped on the gas and proceeded to rattle off back-to-back laps of approximately 60 seconds, running the final 800 meters in about 2:01. Meanwhile, Matthias (still in grade 12 mind you) looked like he was walking by comparison, but yet still finished in about 8:12. And you know what's really scary? There's no question in my mind that Anderson had a 7:55 in him that day, had there been someone to take the pace at a slightly faster tempo from the outset, and for longer. This was dramatically indicated by his being capable of mustering such a strong final 800 meters.”

One by one Andersen's opponents fell off the pace Junior champ and heir-apparent Bunston was also watching the race very closely, and recalls “The race went out very hard...three runners took turns leading...then Matthias took over for a while before Greg Andersen pushed to the front at about 1km to go. At 800 meters to go you could see him take a biiiiig breath and then pummeled the next 200m in 30 (actually 28) seconds. He did that the last two laps and hit the tape in 8:00...it was 7:59 for a wee bit. The crowd went wild. They played Chariots of fire the last 700m; it was insane the atmosphere. Nothing comes close to that meet for sheer ambience. The thing was even televised on Channel 11. Until Kevin Sullivan came along this guy was the bomb. Nearly impossible to beat and an OFSAA champion swimmer to boot. Imagine his Triathlon ability!”

Larry Moko of the Hamilton Spectator wrote: “Andersen’s effort thrilled the partisan gathering. He blazed to victory in his last race as a high school competitor in a Canadian interscholastic record time of eight minutes, three one-thousandths of a second. That shattered his own record set last year by almost 11 seconds. Andersen, who will attend Dartmouth College in New Hampshire next fall, leaves behind a mark of 10 gold medals from OFSAA competitions. ‘I wanted to run as close to eight minutes as I could,’ Andersen said as he signed autographs and accepted congratulations from spectators encircling the track. ‘I wanted to break the record. I sort of slaughtered it.’” Andersen later recognized the aid of his opponents, stating, “I have to give credit to some of those guys who set up the tempo.

Connie Beukeboom – the London CCH student who ran away with the Senior girls 800m title that same year – put things very succinctly: “Greg blew away the field.”

The final tally saw Greg Andersen winning in an OFSAA, Canadian Interscholastic, and Canadian
Junior record of 8:00.2; all three records still stand. 2nd place went to the great Matthias in 8:13.80, followed by Theriault’s Guy Schultz in 8:31.7. Nick Tsioros (St. Andrew’s) took 4th in 8:33.10, B. Pilgrim of Loyalist was 5 th (8:41.10), and A. Forster (Nepean) took 6th in 8:42.60.

Chapter 4

"If he doesn’t lose interest, I have no doubt that when he’s 25-27 he’ll be running in the Olympics." –Bill Urie, Greg Andersen’s coach

Can I run the last 800m in 2:00?What happened to Andersen and the other great athletes from this 1987 OFSAA spectacle? The whereabouts of many of the other athletes were very easy to track down. 2nd place senior Matthias returned to OFSAA in 1988 to claim the senior 1,500m and 3,000m titles, followed by a National Junior record of 3:39.1, and is currently in the Toronto area where he has been coaching on and off with York University. 3rd place senior Schultz went on to Alabama and then UWO, where he plans to continue as a coach through the 2004 x-c season; Schultz made his mark as an NCAA Steeplechase finalist, CIAU champ, and World Cross Country competitor. Midget stud Hood went on to become an Olympian and national record holder in the 1,500m and mile (before Kevin Sullivan broke those records). Junior 3,000m champ Jason Bunston collected a plethora of OFSAA medals and then had a fantastic senior career – setting Canadian indoor records in the 3,000m (broken again by Sullivan in 2004) and 5,000m – and has stayed in contact with Canadian track circles. Junior 3,000m runner-up Brian Hagemeier went on to the University of Waterloo and Fanshawe College, finally settling down in London and managing the heavily-involved local Runners’ Choice store.

 High hopes were placed on Andersen’s shoulders before his 1987 OFSAA performances; expectations soared afterwards. Maher of The Spectator wrote back in 1987 “A relaxed friendly lad, the 19-year-old Dundas Parkside student is a killer on the track, and if he progresses as he has in the past two years he will become one of Canada’s greatest distance runners. It is now up to Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, the Ivy League school which Andersen has signed with, to continue his amazing apprenticeship.” Coach Urie offered this of his star pupil: ‘If he doesn’t lose interest, I have no doubt that when he’s 25-27 he’ll be running in the Olympics.’”

People have raised various theories as to why Greg never became the exceptional runner that others expected him to be, but only Andersen truly knows for himself; all we can do is speculate. Perusing the Dartmouth topperformance lists, Andersen finished his career there with the following marks:
Mile Run - 9. Greg Andersen '91, 4:07.88
3000m Run - 13. Greg Anderson '91, 8:11.1
5000m Run - 4. Greg Andersen '91, 13:49.7
10000m Run - 16. Greg Andersen '91, 30:07.6

Bell Lap: Matthias has been dropped as Andersen transforms from high school star to legendMaureen Morrison remembers “something about an accident in the summer just before going to Dartmouth. I believe I heard that a railroad tie had fallen on his leg while working in the backyard.” Morrison, however, also saw “Greg running at an indoor meet at Copps years later and doing quite well.”

Phil Steel offers a bit more info, citing that the railway tie fell on Andersen’s leg, injuring his calf and impacting his first season at Dartmouth. “In, and of, itself it wasn't responsible for Greg's development (or lack thereof) during his University years.  Greg had the previous year been at World Juniors (Athens 1986) competing in the 5000m (11th in 14:09), so had international experience. One former athlete of Bill's has suggested to me that this – while a terrific achievement – was a reality check for Greg, that may have sowed the seed for his future mindset that this wasn't going to be as easy (becoming one of the best in the world) as maybe he had thought - that a doubt as to his future in the sport as an elite athlete might exist.”

Regardless of the reasons, great expectations were heaped upon both Andersen and his protégé, Bunston. Westdale coach Jeffrey Caynor stated in 1987 that “This area and the rest of Canada will probably wait a long time before they see another Greg Andersen and the potential that Jason Bunston is showing…Greg has accomplished an incredible amount and in relation to their ages, Jason is doing everything Greg did at the same age. In fact, just a bit earlier. If there’s one comparison that can be made between Jason and Greg I think it’s there consistency – the ability to race well time in and time out.”

Andersen’s HOC coach Urie also saw the similarities: “Both (Bunston and Andersen) are gifted athletes who have a natural ability for running. They couple that with good hard work and a dedication to the sport.”


Chapter 5

"His anonymity set in in such a way as to help him develop a James-Deanish mythos." -Jason Bunston

Fans and photographers swarm the track as Andersen crosses the finish line

Recalling OFSAA 1987 and Andersen, Ian Fallas offered “That was my last high school race: 4-years earlier, that springy bugger had been in my first high-school race, the 91st Highlanders Indoor Relays (the last one in the Armory before Copps' was completed). Being a scrawny 100-pounder, I sized up the other guys waiting to anchor the midget sprint medley and I determined that Greg was the only guy small enough for me to beat. Naturally, he took the baton in last place and stamped a big exclamation point on my rear end before we had gone more than a quarter of our 800 meters. I didn't know he had been a swimmer but I do know he thumped me at Nordic skiing too. Not that I should be jealous - everyone who saw him train will tell you the same thing: no high-schooler should be capable of what he did in training. And frankly, even when I was getting my butt kicked, his running was a beauty to behold. And just as mysterious as his talent had been, so was the way he simply vanished...”

Gerry Swan wrote “I did follow Greg's progress for the next three years and was very sad to hear about the accident that seemed to bring his running career to an end. Although over the years, Canada has produced a number of fine high school middle distance runners, the country has been much less successful in seeing these youngsters still run well as collegiate post graduates. One would hope that this might change, but I am not confident that this will happen.”

Asked for his opinion, John Halvorsen – the greatest Cross Country runner in CIAU (now CIS)history – called Andersen “An amazing talent. Last I saw him was at the Copps Coliseum for the Hamilton Indoor games. I was about to run the 3000m, then fly to Phoenix, AZ for a 10K race two days later. We just exchanged brief words.  Like many, I always wondered where he went. The other memory I have of Greg is traveling to the World XC. It might have been coming back from Warsaw in 1987 where I ran my first sr. race and was 16 th. Greg ran jr. but I don't remember where he finished. Coming home to Canada I had no cash and Greg lent me $20 so I could eat before heading to Ottawa. I have never paid him back...probably owe him $30 now :-)
Matthias finishes; he fell back an incredible 13.6 seconds over the final 800m"Greg was a huge talent that never developed. In hindsight he might have been better off staying in Canada…At the end of the day the rule I lived with regards to taking scholarships in the US was: If you really want to go, go. If you want to say in Canada, stay. But do what YOU want, that's what will make you be a good runner. I stayed (well Norway was my 'home') in Ottawa of all butt ass cold and snowy places. Do I believe it mattered - even without a track in the winter - no because I was happy and content!! Other than that, Greg was one of those younger guys with talent that I looked for over my shoulder. His 8:00 was after I moved on to Sr,but that definitely made him a serious Sr. caliber runner at still a junior age...too bad it never went further. Sure remember hearing about it. I am also looking for Mike Woods performance next week - don't think he'll hit 8:00, but he is a year younger I think.”

Steel is also hopeful of an OFSAA sub-8. “I always thought that Kevin Sullivan had a shot at this record, and was kind of hoping that he would give it a go in his last year, particularly given his 3:42 (virtually by himself!) in the 1500m. As it turns out, the weather in his last year ('93 in Oshawa) would never have allowed it - one of the worst Saturdays weather wise that I have ever experienced at a track meet. Maybe this year the youngsters - Woods and Lechebo - might give it a good shot. As each year passes and a new generation of fine runners pass through the record seems ever more remarkable, although I think that Sullivan's 1500m time is the better record of the two on a relative scale.”

 Going to high school in the same area, Bunston had a good idea of what made Andersen tick. Asked for his perspective on the man, Bunston offers this: “ He was such a hugely talented runner but he just plain burned out. Classic case – injury then gradual disinterest borne of frustration perhaps at not reaching the insane hype surrounding his post-high school days. Those are awfully big shoes to fill even if they were his own.” In high school “He had an A+ average, excelled in OFSAA swimming as well, and was very involved in local events. I know from Sam Wilbur – the Dartmouth Alum who has many of their school records – that his (Andersen’s) school went pretty well and he went on into a great career in Engineering. In the same way that I have ‘disappeared’ from the local running scene by focusing relentlessly on work the last few years, Greg seemed to do much the same but at the university level. I was a very proud owner of many medals and kept them tightly and carefully organized on rods on my bedroom wall. I could recall every race and every outcome of the some 150 medals I had strung up. However the day I was done my last junior race I took them all down and boxed the lot up and sent them to my mother. It was my method of making a clean mental break from my overly successful junior years. Being a successful senior meant being fine with losing all of my races. That was not to be proven the case, but you have to make the mental transition of starting over from scratch. That got me through a whole year of seemingly endless injury. I don’t know that Greg had that advantage, being constantly reminded that he was going to become the best Canada ever produced. Being convinced of that internally and having it told to you are two different things...and in the case of the former, you’re really just letting yourself realize that role as it happens to occur. To do otherwise is to become a broken, vain soul...I believe Greg merely lost all interest, and was not a truly focused athlete in the sense that he wanted to sacrifice the rest of his life for running.”

The hopes of a nation suddenly fell upon his shouldersThe 2004 OFSAA Track and Field Championships should offer some incredible competition over the senior 3,000m, with the aforementioned Mike Woods and Henock Lechebo likely to vie for the gold. In 2003, Woods set the Canadian Youth records in the 1,500m (3:50.93) and 3,000m (8:16.37), while the relative newcomer Lechebo destroyed the fields at both the 2003 OFSAA and Canadian Junior Cross Country championships. This past March, Lechebo proved his continental superiority, as he was the highest placing North American at the World Junior Cross Country Championships. Lechebo has had a quieter build up to OFSAA, deciding not to compete in the Invitational 5,000m in Hamilton before Metro Regionals, where he only ran the 3,000m in a comfortable time of 8:36. In their last OFSAA meeting, Woods hung doggedly on Lechebo through 3k over hill and dale, but Lechebo easily pulled away in the second half to the astonishment of fans. With the dissolution of OAC, Senior fields at OFSAA have a disadvantage to match the standards set by their predecessors. Nevertheless, the question arises: if conditions are good, can these two extraordinary talents challenge the OFSAA electronic record of 8:11? Despite being a year younger then Andersen, is it possible that they could challenge 8:00? And they can always go after the 8:00 as a Canadian Junior record this year and next, with recent 3:41.95 1,500m stud Kurt Benninger also entering into that equation in his last Junior year. Only time will tell.

 

Author’ Notes:
The author would like to extend his heartfelt thanks to the many athletes and coaches (both those mentioned and unnamed in this article) for offering their perspective on this topic. A special thanks to Jason Bunston and his father for all the photos.

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