2013 USA Women’s 5000 Preview: Last Year’s Race Was Truly Epic, Let’s Hope for An Encore

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Past and Present American Record Holders Molly Huddle and Shalane Flanagan And World 1500m Champion Jenny Simpson To Clash with NCAA Champ Abby D’Agostino

by LetsRun.com
June 21, 2013

Note: An earlier version of this left out World champion Jenny Simpson who is running her first 5000m since 2011 in this race.

Des Moines, IA – The women’s 5000m final on Sunday is going to going to be a great one.

The current American record holder Molly Huddle is taking on the former American record holder Shalane Flanagan who is doubling back after winning the 10000m. Jenny Simpson, the world 1500m champion, who grew up in Iowa, is also in the field running her first 5000m since 2011. And we can’t forget about NCAA Champion Abbey D’Agostino undefeated at 5000m this year.

Throw in the fact this will likely be run in 90 degree temperatures in the middle of the day and this one gets even more interesting.

Taking out the weather conditions, we would expect  current American record holder Molly Huddle to make the team. She’s run 14:44.76 in the past, 15:05 this year and is healthy. Similar logic applies to Shalane Flanagan. She’s healthy, has run 14:44.80 in the past and just showed her current fitness by killing everyone in the 10,000. It’s hard to bet against her if she actually toes the line in the expected 90 degree heat.

Jenny Simpson has been running tremendous this year after returning to collegiate coach Mark Wetmore this year. She has a bye into Worlds in the 1500m being the World Champion, so she chose to voluntarily run the 5000m here. It’s hard to bet against her as well.

Similar logic could apply to Dartmouth’s Abbey D’Agostino. All year long we’ve said D’Agostino was going to Moscow so we can’t back off of that now just because Flanagan entered as an unexpected wild-card and so did Simpson. D’Agostino comes into USAs undefeated since mid-February. She won three individual NCAA crowns and has good wheels.

That leaves 4 stellar woman with only 3 spots for the Worlds team. Now there is the possibility Simpson and Flanagan don’t run the 5000 at Worlds, but clearly a star is going to be left out of the top 3.

And we’re not done breaking down the field.

Leading 5000 Entrants Seeded According to 2013 Best Time

1    15:05.56               Molly Huddle      
2    15:09.57               Kim Conley    
3    15:09.59               Amy Hastings* 
4    15:11.00               Treniere Moser*  
5    15:11.35               Abbey D'Agostino 
6    15:13.24               Chelsea Reilly   
7    15:14.33               Brie Felnagle    
8    15:18.06               Shannon Rowbury*  
9    15:23.65               Katie Mackey*     
10   15:23.77               Julia Lucas
* = doubling back from another event
**Note former American record holder Shalane Flanagan who last ran a 5000 in 2011 also is entered.

Will this year’s battle for third be anywhere as gripping as last year’s epic finishKim Conley edged her at the line D’Agostino last year to go to the Olympics after Julia Lucas imploded (Memo: If you don’t remember that race, please re-live it here as it was track and field at its finest) and we know Lucas has run faster than D’Agostino this year. However, D’Agostino is a young raw HUGE talent who keeps getting better. D’Agostino just turned 21 on May 25th. And she likely cost herself an Olympic bid last year as she didn’t realize Lucas was cratering.

Kim Conley made the Olympic team last year edging D’Agostino at the line to go to the Olympics after Julia Lucas imploded (Memo: If you don’t remember that race, please re-live it here as it was track and field at its finest). If Conley and D’Agostino were basically the same last year, who would you expect to improve more. The 27-year old Conley or the 21-year old D’Agostino? D’Agostino is your answer, but Conley still has a shot.

Lucas also has a chance after last-year’s heartbreak Olympic Trials.  She was looking pretty good after running 15:23 in April and then PRing in the 1500 in May (4:05.89), but then she ran 15:42 at Prefontaine.

Her coach, Marc Rowland, took the blame for the Prefontaine clunker as his male 5000 athlete Hassan Mead also bombed (he ran 13:32 after running 13:15 earlier in the year) at Prefontaine and he said they were simply over-worked.

If Lucas makes the team, it’s a GREAT story in human perseverence even if no-one notices but track and field junkies.

2013 USA indoor 3000 champ Chelsea Reilly is also dreaming of Moscow as is former UNC 1500 runner Brie Felnagle. If Shannon Rowbury comes up short in the 1500, she likely will see if her speed plays here and she’d have a shot as it certainly will be tactical given the heat.

Molly Huddle en route to her 14:44.76 AR in 2010

Quick Thought (QT) #1: There are no hand-outs in the world of US track and field, you have to earn it. That is especially the case in this race as the field is so solid by US standards, and they’ll be running in likely 90 degree heat.

QT #2: The 10,000/5000 double is very doable at world’s as the 5,000 is run after the 10,000. That being said, it’s possible Flanagan gets top three here but opts out of the Worlds 5000 as her odds of medaling in the 5000 are very poor. Sort of like Ritz, he could have maybe run the 5000 at Worlds, but what’s the point?

QT #3: The 1,500/5000 double is tougher as the 5000 first round takes place on the off-day between the 1500 semis and 1500 final. As a result, we don’t think Simpson or  Treniere Moser will run the 5000 at Worlds and didn’t mention Moser here as we doubt she starts this race, assuming she makes the 1500m team. If she doesn’t make the 1500 team, she’s a real threat here with her speed.

QT #4: We just realized that full-time CPA Alisha Williams who ran 15:09 earlier in the year isn’t in the 10,000 or 5,000 and have thanks to an emailer learned she has a stress fracture.

QT #5: This is a great US 5000m race with so many angles. We really hope Flanagan runs it and if she does it is even more interesting. Picking the winner is going to be tough. What will Simpson do in her first 5000 in 2 years? How will the heat affect her? We are just going to have to watch this one.

More: LRC Vault The Women’s 5,000 Final – The Olympic Trials At Its Absolute Best
LRC Vault Molly Huddle Sets American Record at 14:44.76 in 5000
LRC Vault Shalane Flanagan Sets American Record at 14:44.80 in 5000

Entrants Below

Women 5,000m – Women
NameAffiliationMarkStatusDeclaration
Molly HuddleSaucony15:01.32qualifieddeclared
Julie CulleyAsics / New York Athletic Club (NYAC)15:05.38qualifieddeclared
Amy HastingsBrooks15:09.59qualifieddeclared
Treniere MoserNike15:11.00qualifieddeclared
Abbey D’AgostinoDartmouth College15:11.35qualifieddeclared
Chelsea Reilly15:13.24qualifieddeclared
Brie Felnagleadidas15:14.33qualifieddeclared
Kim ConleyNew Balance / SRA Elite15:14.48qualifieddeclared
Shannon RowburyNike15:18.06qualifieddeclared
Katherine MackeyBrooks15:23.65qualifieddeclared
Julia LucasNike / Oregon TC Elite15:23.77qualifieddeclared
Lisa UhlNike15:24.18qualifieddeclared
Delilah DiCrescenzoPuma / New York Athletic Club (NYAC)15:36.45qualifieddeclared
Amy Van Alstineadidas15:36.56qualifieddeclared
Laura ThweattBoulder Track Club15:36.85qualifieddeclared
Kellyn Johnsonadidas15:39.60qualifieddeclared
Jordan Hasay15:40.30qualifieddeclared
Tara ErdmannNike15:42.39qualifieddeclared
Christine BabcockUniversity of Washington15:44.98qualifieddeclared
Mary CainBronxville High School15:45.46qualifieddeclared
Jennifer SimpsonNew BalanceNMaccepteddeclared
Shalane FlanaganNike / Oregon TC Elite14:45.20accepteddeclared
Emma Bates15:50.78not qualifiednot accepted
Lauren PenneySyracuse University15:56.80not qualifiednot accepted
Neely SpenceHansons-Brooks Distance Project15:26.51qualifiedscratched
Megan GoethalsUniversity of Washington15:33.63qualifiedscratched
Gabriele AndersonBrooks / Team USA MinnesotaNMnot qualifiedscratched
Natasha LaBeaudBrooks / SRA Elite15:50.34not qualifiedscratched

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Posted in: Professional