Women’s 10,000: Shalane Flanagan Back on the Track; Can Jordan Hasay or Kim Conley Challenge Her?

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By LetsRun.com
June 25, 2014

Women’s 10,000 Final: Thursday, 11:20 p.m. ET

It’s too bad 2014 isn’t a championship year because the women’s 10,000 meters at the USATF Outdoor Championships in Sacramento has an ideal situation for a trials race: four women for three spots. The stakes aren’t quite as high this year since there’s no team to make, but between defending champ Shalane Flanagan, 2012 champ Amy Hastings, and Kim Conley and Jordan Hasay, both of whom have PR’d at 5,000 and 10,000 this year, it should be a great battle for the top spots. We break down the field in detail below.

Name Affiiation DOB PB SB Comment
Shalane Flanagan Nike / Bowerman Track Club 7.8.1981 30:22.2 N/A 08 OG bronze medalist and 3-time US 10k champ was 7th in Boston Marathon, 2nd at Bolder Boulder
Jordan Hasay Nike 9.21.1991 31:39.7 31:39.7 10k PR at Payton Jordan on May 4; 5k PR in Portland on June 15; 12th at Worlds in ’13
Kim Conley New Balance / SRA Elite 3.14.1986 31:48.7 31:48.7 Like Hasay, has set 10k & 5k PRs this spring; 12th at Worlds in 5k in ’13
Rachel Ward Ragged Mountain Racing 10.11.1989 32:15.9 32:15.9 24-sec PR at Payton Jordan on May 4
Emma Bates Boise St. 32:20.8 32:20.8 NCAA 10k champ
Juliet Bottorff Duke 1.29.1991 32:25.7 32:25.7 3rd at NCAAs
Amy Hastings Brooks 1.21.1984 31:10.7 N/A 2012 champ was 6th in NY Mini 10k (road) on June 14 in 32:33
Kara Foster Oiselle 3.20.1990 32:37.2 32:37.2 Just 7th in road 10k in NY on June 1 in 35:39
Kara Lubieniecki HTS Elite 3.25.1989 32:38.8 32:38.8 32:38 at Payton Jordan but just 16:53 5k at Oxy 11 days later
Kristin Anderson-Swisher 6.16.1983 32:40.7 32:40.7 16:28 5k in Concord, Mass., on June 5
Meghan Peyton Saucony / Team USA Minnesota 1.6.1986 32:47.4 32:47.4
Carrie Dimoff Bowerman Track Club 5.31.1983 32:51.4 32:51.4
Alia Gray Brooks / HTS Elite 11.12.1988 32:57.8 32:57.8
Stephanie Dinius New Balance Silicon Valley 8.25.1989 32:59.1 32:59.1
Katie Kellner Hansons-Brooks 32:58.7 33:00.0
Allison Mendez Adidas/RogueAC 33:12.1 33:12.1
Bradi Hutchison 33:23.0 33:54.5
Kelsey Santisteban California 7.4.1993 33:31.8 33:31.8
Kristen Rohde Bowerman Track Club 34:16.4 34:16.4

Your likely winner

Nobody was close to Flanagan at the bell last year

Nobody was close to Flanagan at the bell last year

There’s a case to be made for each of the four contenders, but it’s hard to bet on anyone but Flanagan. She destroyed the field last year, winning by 34 seconds, and was the top American at Worlds last year (eighth). She owns an Olympic bronze medal from 2008 and no American has run within 25 seconds of her PR. Yes, she ran a spring marathon, but if anything that proves how fit she is: Flanagan ran a massive PR of 2:22:02 to take seventh in Boston, lopping 3:36 off her previous best. Flanagan ran well in Boston last spring as well (fourth place) and showed no ill effects at USAs two months later, so we’re confident that Flanagan will be ready for a 10,000 on Thursday.

Flanagan’s other races in 2014 also portend success. She crushed the field in March’s U.S. 15k Championships in Jacksonville, running an American record of 47:00 to win by 2:24. And, most recently, she was second in the Bolder Boulder 10k on May 26, running 33:06 (at altitude).

It’s hard to find anything to dislike about Flanagan in this one. She turns 33 next month, but that’s not that old for a 10,000 runner. And she did lose this race in 2012, but she was in the middle of marathon prep for the Olympics. As Flanagan told Runner’s World last month, she does plan on racing a fall marathon, but she isn’t starting her buildup until after USAs. We can’t think of any reason not to pick her.

Big years for Conley and Hasay

Hasay and Conley both enter USAs in the form of their life. Over the past two months, Conley has set PRs at 3,000 (8:44.11), 5,000 (15:08.61) and 10,000 (31:48.71), while Hasay has PR’d in five of her six outdoor races in 2014, including the 2 mile (9:35.05), 5,000 (three times, most recently 15:28.56) and 10,000 (31:39.67). They’re both having great seasons, but each took a different path to get there.

For Conley, 2014 is just the latest chapter in a long string of improvements. She came out of UC Davis in 2009 with just a 16:17 PR and never made NCAAs, coming down with food poisoning one year and losing a shoe at the regional meet another. But since then, Conley has steadily dropped time, improving her 5,000 PR every season. Her breakout was 2012, when she went from 15:38 the year before to 15:14 and an Olympic spot, but she wasn’t content with just making the team; after going out in the heats in London, Conley improved to 15:09 last year and made the final at Worlds, placing 12th. Clearly, whatever system Conley and her coach, Drew Wartenburg (also the coach at UC Davis), are using is working.

Hasay’s success this year follows an up-and-down 2013. On the positive side, Hasay made her first Worlds team at 10,000 meters and ran a 20-second PR of 8:46.89 in the 3,000. But she ended her career at the University of Oregon on a down note with a disappointing final two seasons. It’s a bit harsh to call fourth (indoor 5,000), second (indoor 3,000) and third (outdoor 5,000) at NCAAs disappointing, but Hasay was clearly outclassed by Abbey D’Agostino in all three races and didn’t even qualify for NCAAs in the 10,000. Overall, 2013 was a success for Hasay, but you never got the sense that she was firing on all cylinders at any point.

Hasay’s definitely on her game right now, especially after her 1,500-5,000 double win at the Portland Track Festival on June 15. On that day, Hasay ran 4:11.23 to win the 1,500 and came back a few hours later to win the 5,000 in a PR of 15:28.56. It was reminiscent of Hasay’s big day at indoor NCAAs in 2011, when she won mile and 3,000 titles a few hours apart (relive that great day here: Front Page of LetsRun.com From March 13, 2011)

In terms of Conley vs. Hasay, Conley deserves the edge — her 5,000 PR is 20 seconds better than Hasay’s and that’s a lot in a championship race. Hasay is fit, but not quite as fit as Conley. Also, as one of the only athletes in this meet based in Sacramento, Conley should benefit from some extra support from the hometown fans.

A brief visit to the track for Hastings

Hastings, who won this race in 2012 and was fourth last year, ran a (mostly solo) 15:25.94 5,000 at the Adrian Martinez Classic in Concord, Mass., on June 5. We spoke to her after that one and she said that USAs will likely be the only other time she’s on the track in 2014. Hastings hasn’t had a career year like Conley or Hasay, but her 15:25 was still faster than Hasay has ever run and Hastings was a solid sixth in the New York Mini 10k on June 14, running 32:33. If Hasay and Conley are to beat her, they’ll have to work to do it.

LRC Prediction

1. Flanagan 2. Conley 3. Hasay

Disucss this race in our forum: 2014 USA w10K: Will Shalane Flanagan win again or will Jordan Hasay, Kim Conley or Amy Hastings pull the upset?