Parksville athlete Alycia Butterworth is close to achieving the Olympic qualifying time in the 3,000-metre steeplechase.
The 2010 Ballenas graduate, who has set her sights on competing in the Tokyo Olympics, finished a close second behind her training partner Regan Yee recording a personal best of nine minutes, 31.27 seconds at the 2021 Harry Jerome International Track Classic held at Swangard Stadium in Vancouver on June 12.
Butterworth, who formerly ran for the University of Idaho, missed the Olympic time standard by 1.27 seconds, which has motivated her even more.
“I’m excited to keep chasing after the Olympic team,” Butterworth indicated in an Instagram message.
Butterworth, who trained under Parksville athletic coaches Randy and Kim Longmuir of Mid-Island Distance Running, and Yee did not get enough opportunities to improve their world rankings due to COVID-19 postponing a number of races and also the difficulties of travelling outside the country. They’re still hoping to make it to the Tokyo Games.
Following her morale-boosting result, Butterworth took the opportunity to promote the fundraising efforts for the Ballenas Secondary cinder track upgrade.
“It has been long talked about, and in the past year, a dedicated committee, including my high school coaches Randy and Kim, have made big strides to raise the funds needed,” said Butterworth on her Facebook page. “It is time for the cinder and grass and rock covered track that I ran on in high school to be updated into something usable for all members of the community.”
Butterworth is reaching out to the community, friends and businesses to help the Oceanside Community Track Committee in achieving its goal of raising $1.5 million.
“I have joined the fundraising team and hope that if you have the means, you will consider making a small donation,” she said. “Every dollar helps! To get the ball rolling, I was fortunate enough to come away with prize money from Harry Jerome and with it, I donated $1,000 to the Oceanside Community Track Project.”
The Longmuirs said they are proud of Butterworth not just for being an outstanding athlete but for being such an “exceptional, role model and ambassador for our community and country.”
“Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your kind and very generous donation to the Oceanside Community Track,” said the Longmuirs. “It was a gift and a privilege to be able to coach you and to remain lifelong friends. Your Olympic dream is oh so close.”