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Islander earns steeplechase silver medal at Pan American Games

Former coaches thrilled to see Alycia Butterworth’s performance in 3,000-metre
Canada’s Alycia Butterworth leads in the women’s 3,000-metre steeplechase final at the Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile, Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

Parksville’s Alycia Butterworth won a silver medal in the women’s 3,000-metre steeplechase at the Pan Am Games in Santiago, Chile on Saturday, Nov. 4.

Butterworth, a Ballenas Secondary School graduate and former member of the Oceanside Track and Field Club, completed the course in a time of nine minutes, 40.86 seconds, 1:39 behind eventual winner, Adaluz Belen Cassetta of Argentina, who set a Games record at 9:39.47.

READ MORE: PODCAST: Parksville’s Alycia Butterworth discusses her Olympic experience

“In the final stretch, I was happy I could battle back from third to finish seconds,” Butterworth said in an interview with Athletics Canada. “Santiago did an awesome job hosting. Team Canada and Athletics Canada did an amazing job with our team. This is a precursor for Paris. I’m hoping to make that team and this is a little warmup before that.”

Two of her former coaches in Parksville, Kim and Randy Longmuir, watched Butterworth’s race live and they were thrilled to see her earn silver.

“We were both cheering so loudly,” said Kim. “It was very emotional to watch her finish so strong. Alycia struggled with so many injuries the last few years and has never given up. She is one of the most dedicated and hard-working athletes we have ever coached and is very deserving of this medal.”

Ethan Katzberg of Nanaimo won gold in the men’s hammer throw. The 21-year-old from Nanaimo, set a Pan Am Games record with a throw of 80.96 metres to emerge as champion. Americans Daniel Haugh (77.62) and Rudy Winkler (76.65) earned silver and bronze, respectively. The gold only adds to Katzberg’s breakout 2023 campaign. He won the world title in Budapest, Hungary, in August, becoming the first Canadian man to reach the podium in the event at a world championship.

His Canadian record of 81.25 metres was good to defeat reigning Olympic champion Wojciech Nowicki of Poland. Katzberg also won the national title in July in Langley.

– The Canadian Press, Athletics Canada

Michael Briones

About the Author: Michael Briones

I rejoined the PQB News team in April 2017 from the Comox Valley Echo, having previously covered sports for The NEWS in 1997.
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