Canadian Record Holder Gabriela DeBues-Stafford Joins Bowerman Track Club

July 22, 2020

The Bowerman Track Club just got even faster.

Gabriela DeBues-Stafford, the 24-year-old Canadian record holder at 1500 and 5000 meters, is trading one high-powered training group for another, leaving coach Andy Young and training partners Laura Muir and Jemma Reekie to join coach Jerry Schumacher to train alongside American 1500 and 5000 record holder Shelby Houlihan.

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DeBues-Stafford gives Bowerman, which previously featured only American women, an international presence; Canada’s top male distance runner, Moh Ahmed, is already a member.

DeBues-Stafford began training with Young’s Glasgow-based group in the fall of 2018.  DeBues-Stafford had a career year in 2019, taking down Canadian records at 1500 (3:56.12), the mile (4:17.87), and 5000 (14:44.12) and making it to her first global final, where she finished 6th in the 1500 at the World Championships in Doha.

DeBues-Stafford had relocated from Glasgow to Toronto in March after Canada announced it had pulled out of the Olympics.

“Her move to Portland will have to wait until the fall and a hopefully improved COVID situation,” Bowerman TC wrote on Instagram.

Quick Take #1: It’s interesting to see DeBues-Stafford leave Young after her breakout 2019 season

First Raevyn Rogers left Derek Thompson after earning a silver medal at Worlds. Now DeBues-Stafford has left Andy Young after a year in which she dropped her PB from 4:03 to 3:56 and ran a Canadian record in her first season as a 5000 runner.

Quick Take #2: Shelby Houlihan gains a training partner…and Laura Muir and Jemma Reekie lose one

When we had Houlihan on the LetsRun Track Talk podcast last week, she mentioned that she enjoyed having Karissa Schweizer as a teammate because it gave her someone who could hang with her — and even push her — in workouts. When you’ve run 3:54 and 14:23, it’s hard to find someone even close to that ability, but DeBues-Stafford should fit in nicely with BTC’s top group and should push Houlihan more in 1500-type workouts than Schweizer.

Muir loses a top training partner in DeBues-Stafford, but with the emergence of Jemma Reekie (who ran British indoor records of 1:57.91 in the 800 and 4:17.88 in the mile this year), she still has one of the best women in the world to train with.

For DeBues-Stafford, it’s more of a wash — instead of training with a 3:55 woman and one of Britain’s top coaches, she’s training with a 3:54 woman and one of America’s top coaches.

Quick Take #3: Bowerman’s embarrassment of riches continues to grow

DeBues-Stafford becomes the seventh member of the Bowerman TC women’s squad who has broken 15:00 for 5000m. Their PBs:

14:23.92 Shelby Houlihan
14:26.34 Karissa Schweizer
14:44.12 Gabriela DeBues-Stafford
14:48.02 Elise Cranny
14:48.51i Vanessa Fraser
14:50.06 Courtney Frerichs
14:51.91i Emily Infeld

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MB: Gabriela DeBues-Stafford (3:56/14:44) leaves Laura Muir/Andy Young’s training group for BTC

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