July 15, 2013
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Vanessa McLeod was crowned a Canadian Junior National Champion over the weekend at the 2013 Canadian Junior Track & Field Championships. McLeod won the 800m run and shattered the Purdue school-record in the process.
The rising sophomore cruised through the prelims and qualified for the finals in the event with a fourth place finish and a time of 2:15.01. McLeod saved her best for the finals. The Toronto, Ontario, native ran an all-time personal best and Purdue school-record time of 2:04.89 to win by nearly a second and a half. Jenna Westaway took second place with a time of 2:06.28. McLeod's time is just 1.77 seconds off the all-time Canadian Junior Outdoor record which has held since 1973. She set the Canadian Junior Indoor 800m record earlier this year when she won the Big Ten Indoor Championship in the event with a time of 2:05.21 in February. That time broke the national junior record by 0.2 second which had held since 2007.
McLeod's indoor time is a school record. Her 800m Canadian Junior Championship time from Sunday breaks her own outdoor school-record which was 2:06.08 which she ran at the NCAA East Regionals in May. The rising sophomore's time ranks 24th in the world for women in the junior ranks (19-years old and under).
McLeod also ran in the 1,500-meter run at the 2013 Canadian Junior Championships despite not running in the event since enrolling at Purdue last fall. McLeod qualified for the finals with an eighth place time of 4:36.60. In the finals, she claimed the bronze medal with a time of 4:24.00. That time was just 1.97 seconds behind the second-place time and 5.47 seconds out of first. Despite not running in the 1,500m during the indoor or outdoor season at Purdue, McLeod's time is just over a second and a half outside the top five in Boilermaker lore. Three of those top five times, including the school record, are from the 1980s while the two remaining marks are from 2007.
McLeod earns a spot on the 2013 Canadian Junior National Team which will compete at the Pan-American Junior Championships in Medellin, Columbia, from Aug. 23-25. McLeod is one of four Boilermakers who will compete in the games as Coy Blair, Matthew McClintock, and Tate Schienbein were all U.S. Junior National Champions.