Jazz Shukla and Corey Bellemore run to top-five finishes in BAA Mile

Jazz Shukla and Corey Bellemore run to top-five finishes in BAA Mile

Action at the 2023 Boston Marathon weekend continued on Saturday morning with the BAA Invitational Mile. Canadian middle-distance runners Corey Bellemore of Tecumseh, Ont., and Jazz Shukla of Toronto continued the run of solid Canadian performances, finishing fourth overall in their respective road mile races.

The men’s mile was a tactical affair, as the leaders ramped up for an all-out one-lap sprint in the final 500m (of a three-lap course). Bellemore found himself in the middle of the pack on the last lap and battled in a sprint to the line to finish fourth in 4:10. Bellemore bested his time from 2022 by two seconds. 20-year-old American middle-distance phenom Hobbs Kessler found himself a few steps ahead around the final turn (with 100m to go), winning the race in 4:07.91. American milers swept the podium, with Casey Comber finishing second (4:08) and Johnny Gregorek third in 4:09.

Hobbs Kessler
American mileer Hobbs Kessler wins the men’s BAA road mile in 4:08. Photo: Kevin Morris

The women’s race had a similar outcome, with Shukla and 2016 Canadian Olympian Erin Teschuk taking to the back of the pack in the first two laps before things picked up with 500 meters to go. β€œI noticed a surge heading into the final lap,” says Shukla. β€œThe pack started thinning out–I knew I had to make a move.” Shukla fought hard to get into position in the final sprint but wound up fourth in 4:42.65.

American Miler krissy gear of Flagstaff, Ariz., won by a commanding three seconds in 4:39.98, earning her first BAA title. 2022 Commonwealth Games medalist Elizabeth Bird finished second in 4:42.37, and Kenya’s Susan Ejore was third in 4:42.57.

Only a second separated the female finishers from second to seventh place. Teschuk washed eighth in 4:45.63.

Shukla did not know what to expect with the BAA Mile, since it was her debut in the road mile. β€œI loved every minute of it and thought it was the perfect way to get introduced to the distance,” says Shukla. β€œThe plan was to go with the lead pack and not leave my kick too late.”

The 24-year-old from Toronto said she had no intention of running professionally after she graduated from university, but last season’s success with her coach Terry Radchenko led her to make a Canadian national team for the 2022 NACAC Championships in the women’s 800m.

β€œI’m just trying to come to terms with running pro,” says Shukla. β€œI want to be on that 800m team for the 2023 World Championships in Budapest this August.”

Shukla will now travel back to her hometown of Toronto to focus on speed training before she opens up her 800m track season at the Track Night Festival on May 19 in New York City.

You can find the full results from the women’s mile here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *