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For the second time in her professional career, former Red Storm standout Maya Stephens will head to Doha, Qatar for the 2019 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships on Sept. 27 through Oct. 6.
"So happy for Maya as she has worked hard to get to the World Championships under Coach [Aliann] Pompey's tutelage," Head Coach Jim Hurt said.
The two-time NCAA Regional qualifier will join 48 fellow countrymen and women in Qatar for the world's second largest track & field event. This marks the second time in less than two months the former Johnnie will compete for her home country, previously finishing the 400 meter dash in fifth place at the Canadian Track and Field Championship in late July.
"Coach [Aliann] Pompey and I set out to reach this goal at the beginning of the season and I'm so glad to have been able to utilize my talents to get there," Stephens said. "I was super blessed to be able to run in Japan at the World Relays and I was able to execute at the Canadian Nationals to earn my spot on the team in Doha."
Known for running the 400-meter dash and relay events while racing for the Red Storm, Stephens will represent the Canadian National Team in the 4x400 meter women's and mixed relays. Alongside national teammates Madeline Price, Sage Watson and Alicia Brown, the Toronto native nearly reached the podium at the IAAF World Relays in Yokohama, Japan, crossing the finish line at 3:28.21, good for fourth.
"It's Maya's first year training and competing as an open athlete and being away from the St. John's team," Coach Aliann Pompey said. "I've watched her mature and work hard throughout the year, and I know that wasn't easy, but she laid out her goals in the beginning of the season and obviously, the World Championships was at the top. To make her national team in such a critical year in her career is promising. She's a joy to work with and a true testament to both her biological and St. John's families."
Stephens was selected to the 4x400 meter mixed and women's relay teams. Women's squad is set to race on Oct. 5 and slated for a 12:55 p.m. ET start time. The second to last event of the 10-day championship event will be the finals of the 4x400 meter relay, set for 2:15 p.m. ET. Stephen's teammates earned a fifth-place finish in the mixed event, crossing the finish line at 3:16.76.
"The support I've received from St. John's has been amazing and I truly couldn't have done it without them," Stephens said. "I can't wait to not only represent my country but also St. John's on the international stage.