Plourde, Eriksen to Compete on International Stage
SALT LAKE CITY – After a successful collegiate season, Simone Plourde (Canada) and Josefine Eriksen (Norway) will be competing in the track and field championships for their respective countries this summer.
"It's exciting to have Simone and Josefine competing for an opportunity to represent their countries at the World Championships later this summer," head coach Kyle Kepler said. "Those experiences are incredibly meaningful to them and everyone in our program as they pursue lifelong goals. We've been fortunate to have other student-athletes before that have competed for their countries at major championship events. I think it says a lot about the high standards we have in our program and the support they receive to take advantage of those opportunities."
The two could possibly return to a familiar facility in the reimagined Hayward Field should they meet the qualifying standards for the World Championships (July 15-24) at their respective national meets this summer.
Plourde, who won the elite women's division of the 1500m race on June 5, will compete first between the two Utes at the Canadian Track & Field Championships (June 22-26) held in the Township of Langley, British Columbia, at the McLeod Athletics Park.
Plourde will first take the track on Friday, June 24, in the qualifiers of the 1500 at about 12:20 p.m. (MT) and 11:20 a.m. (PT) local. Should the Montréal native move on, the semifinals take place the next day at 11:30 a.m. (MT) / 10:30 a.m. (PT) with the finals taking place on Sunday, June 26, at 4:20 p.m. (MT) / 3:20 p.m. (PT). The entirety of the Canadian Championships is streamed through Runnerspace with a +Plus account on athleticscanada.tv.
"It means a lot for me to compete at Canadian Nationals," Plourde said prior to leaving for the meet. "I don't get to race in Canada much anymore, but whenever I have the opportunity do so, it's always a privilege. I'll be toeing the line against some very talented women. It'll be a solid field, which I'm excited about! The consistency I have had in my training this year, as well as my latest race in Montreal where I PR'd, makes me feel confident going into the championship. I think the coaches were able to have me peak at the right time. I look forward to repping the U for the first time in Canada!"
Eriksen, who is fresh off competing at the NCAA Championships, will make her first appearance on the track for Norway in the 400m and as part of the 4x400m relay team at the Nordic-Baltic Championships (July 16-17) in Malmö, Sweden.
"This time it is more special because it's with the 'real' national team," Eriksen said of the opportunity. "I have been fortunate to compete with the junior national team, which has been awesome, but now this is the real deal and the competition is on another level! And, of course, it will be a dream come true to run with the Norwegian flag on my chest alongside my awesome teammates."
Should Eriksen and the 4x400m relay team qualify for the European Championships (August 15-21), they'll head to Munich, Germany, where the meet is held at Olympiastadion (Munich Olympic Stadium) – site of the 1972 Summer Olympics, 1974 FIFA World Cup Final and 1988 EUFA Euro Final. Qualifiers for the women's 4x400m relay is set for Friday, Aug. 19, followed by finals on Saturday, Aug. 20.
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