Yale’s Marc-Andre Alexandre racing for spot on Canadian track and field Olympic team

NEW HAVEN, Conn.—Rising senior Marc-Andre Alexandre will compete at the Canadian Track and Field Championships and Selection Trials for the Olympic Games on July 8. He will be racing against Canada’s top 400-meter runners for a chance to compete in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at the 2016 Olympic Games. After an extremely strong season with the Bulldogs this past spring, Alexandre is ranked among the top Canadian athletes in this event, and is seeded seventh among the 29 athletes entered to compete in the senior division at the championships.

Photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity.
Photo by Sam Rubin ’95, Yale Sports Publicity.

In order to qualify to the 2016 Olympics, Alexandre will need to meet a tough standard. Canada can send up to three 400-meter runners to Brazil, but they all must meet the international qualifying standard of 45.40. Alexandre’s personal best is 46.83, so achieving the standard would necessitate a significant drop of 1.43 seconds. However, regardless of whether or not he qualifies this year, Alexandre has an opportunity to see how he stacks up against Canada’s best 400-meter runners, and to race at a national event against a field different from his typical NCAA competitors.

“I have to say that I’m extremely excited to run at the Canadian Championship,” said Alexandre. “I’m going to be competing against Canada’s very best runners, during an Olympic year. It doesn’t get any better than that. I know I’m ready. All I have to do is stay focused and give everything I got.”

Coach George Evans echoed similar sentiments. “Any time you have the opportunity to compete in your country’s national championship, especially in an Olympic year, it is a great honor. Marc has really embraced the challenge these past few weeks with his preparation. This will be his first Canadian National Championship Meet, so the experience he gains will be invaluable.”

Alexandre will race with a strong season of improvement after improvement behind him. Most recently, he finished 36th in the 400-meter prelims at the NCAA East Regionals and won the same event at the Ivy League Championships. He ran an outdoor personal best of 46.99 this season and holds the Yale record in the indoor 400-meter dash with his time of 46.83.

“We are extremely proud of Marc and everything he has been able to accomplish during his career at Yale and look forward to watching him compete this week,” concluded Coach Evans.

The meet will take place at Foote Field in Edmonton, Alberta. A live stream is available here and live results will be available here. Alexandre’s race is scheduled to begin at 7:35 p.m. and the finals will be held on July 9 at 7 p.m, Moutain Daylight Time.

Report by Joseph Battles ’18, Yale Sports Publicity

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