Sheila Reid joins Oregon Track Club Elite

Middle distance and distance standout Sheila Reid, a 2012 Olympian and 2013 IAAF World Championships qualifier, is coming to TrackTown USA.

Oregon Track Club Elite coach Mark Rowland confirmed Friday that the five-time NCAA champion at Villanova will join the Eugene-based post-collegiate training group later this season.

“Sheila is exactly the type of athlete that the OTC Elite hopes to attract to TrackTown USA,” Rowland said. “We are excited to welcome her as a member of our squad.”

Reid, who is currently working as a volunteer assistant at Villanova, is hoping to open the 2014 outdoor season at the Prefontaine Classic on May 31 at Hayward Field. She said both of her coaches at Villanova – Marcus O’Sullivan and Gina Procaccio – fully endorsed her decision to join OTC Elite.

“I really enjoyed my time at Villanova,” Reid said. “But I felt I needed a full-time professional coach. It was important for me to choose someone that Marcus and Gina were both comfortable with. Coach Rowland is very well respected, and I’m excited to get to know him and the entire team over the next few years. I can’t imagine what it will be like to call Hayward Field my home track.”

Reid, a 2012 Villanova graduate, had an exceptional collegiate career with the Wildcats.

In 2011, as a junior, she won the 5,000 meters and 1,500 meters at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, becoming the first woman in history to accomplish that feat at the same meet.

The native of Newmarket, Ontario, is also one of only six female runners to win multiple NCAA individual cross country championships. Reid claimed back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012.

The 2011 NCAA cross country race featured one of the most memorable finishes in history. Reid used her closing speed to cross the finish line six-tenths of a second ahead of Oregon’s Jordan Hasay and 1.7 seconds in front of Dartmouth’s Abbey D’Agostino.

Reid anchored the Wildcats’ distance medley relay team to victory at the 2011 NCAA Indoor Championships.

“Sheila Reid is a wonderful match for Coach Rowland,” said TrackTown USA president Vin Lananna. “I know that this community will embrace her.”

Villanova's Sheila Reid celebrates her victory in the 1,500 meters at the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships

Villanova’s Sheila Reid celebrates her victory in the 1,500 meters at the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa. Reid became the first woman in history to win both the 1,500m and 5,000m at the same meet. (Photo Villanova)

As a post-collegian, the 24-year-old Reid earned a berth in the 5,000m at the 2012 London Olympics by winning her first national title at the Canadian Championships. She also qualified in the 1,500m for the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow last summer.

Reid set her PR of 4 minutes, 2.96 seconds in the 1,500m with a sixth-place finish at the Prefontaine Classic last year. It was the second-best mark in Canadian history.

Her 5,000m PR of 15:23.64 came at the 2012 Mt. SAC Relays. She ranks fifth on the all-time Canadian list in the 5,000m.

Reid missed several weeks of training this past winter due to an injury which has delayed her outdoor season. She is being cautious with her recovery, but if all goes well, she expects to open up in either the 1,500m or two-mile at Pre.

“I want to be on the track, for sure, this year,” Reid said. “But I’m no good to anybody if I’m not at full speed. My training has been progressing exponentially each week, but I still have a long way to go. Hopefully, I can round into shape during the back half of the European season, and run some fast times.”

And this year, for Reid, those marks will come in an OTC Elite uniform.