Women’s 5000: Jenny Simpson Gets The Win In Her First 5k In Two Years Over American Record Holder Molly Huddle

by LetsRun.com
June 23, 2013

Des Moines, IA – The women’s 5000 at the 2013 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Drake Stadium came down to the final 800m. After a modest opening pace (9:43 at 3000m), six women (World 1500m champion and former Iowa resident Jenny Simpson, American record holder Molly Huddle, World 1500m bronze medallist Shannon Rowbury, Olympian Kim Conley, Chelsea Reilly, and NCAA reigning champion Abby D’Agostino) were still in contention with 2 laps to go. The main casualty at that point was 2012 Olympian Amy Hastings.

Fellow Olympian Kim Conley led the push the last 600m and she led at the bell. American record holder Molly Huddle took over on the back stretch, but soon this was Jenny Simpson’s race. Simpson ran 62.5 the final lap to win comfortably in 15:33.77 to Huddle’s 15:35.45. Conley who had started to fade on the backstretch battled back down the homestretch to pass Chelsea Reilly to get into fourth. However, coming on with a late charge was 1500m specialist Shannon Rowbury, a disappointing fourth in the 1500 on Saturday. Rowbury had been last in the group with 300 to go and going in the wrong direction. Somehow, she found another gear the last 200m and motored by D’Agostino, Reilly and then Conley to get third and book her ticket to Moscow.

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Jenny Simpson celebrating in Korea in 2011

Jenny Celebrates the Win

Quick Takes And Interviews:

QT#1: How good is Jenny Simpson right now? After being the surprise World Champion in 2011 and then enjoying a less than stellar 2012, her career has definitely been on the upswing since she’s moved back to coach Mark Wetmore this year. She’s the fastest US 1500 runner this year at 4:02.30 and ranked ninth in the World. That 1500 time is the fastest time she’s ran since 2009, as she ran 4:03 or slower from 2010-2012. She’s set a PR at 800m (2:00.45) and now in her first 5000m in two years, she’s the US champion, beating a good field which included the AR holder Huddle. Simpson said that one thing she has going for her this year in addition to returning to the familiarity of coach Wetmore is she was completely healthy all of last year, so she’s still gaining from the fitness she built up last year.

Of today she said, “My strategy was to sit around and wait to pounce. That’s exactly what I did. It was a little hard for me to not take control of the race because that’s what I’ve been trying to do this season.”

QT#2: Molly Huddle finished runner-up for the second year in a row, but given her situation we think that’s pretty good. In her interview she talked about how she had a stress fracture in the winter and was out from December to March. She did pool running to stay fit. Second at USAs on three or four months training isn’t bad and means she should be on the upswing moving forward as she’s just getting into shape. She wants to go sub-15 in her next race.

QT#3: Rowbury earned some respect here, coming back from finishing 4th yesterday in the 1500 and running tough to make the team here. She said she woke up this morning and said didn’t want to do this. She just wanted to go home, but said “that’s not who I am” and sucked it up and got it done. Even when she was falling off the lead group with less than 300m to go she kept fighting. Now she’s going to Moscow. Impressive.

If Cory McGee doens’t get the ‘B’ in the 1500, Rowbury might end up in her preferred 1500 but for now she’s in the 5000.

QT#4: In March there was nothing hotter than Coach Mark Coogan as Abbey D’Agostino won two titles at NCAAs indoors and Ben True was sixth at World XC. Now at USAs Abbey D’Agostino was 6th and True was 4th twice. It’s a fickle and cruel sport.

QT#5: As pointed out here, D’Agostino has a tendency of doing a lot of extra running in the outside or lane 1/lane 2. At the NCAA level she is dominant enough where she doesn’t have to worry about it a ton, but with competitors of this caliber she can’t afford to give them an inch, forget about 100 meters (the estimated extra distance you run over 5k if you’re in lane 2 compared to on the rail … 8 meters per lap * 12.5 laps). For the record we don’t actually agree with this poster that she ran 100 meters extra as she was in the outside of 1 or 1 for some of the race, but the point is she ran farther than she needed to and maybe it could have made a difference.

On another note, D’Agostino says she has no plans to go pro and will be running for Dartmouth again next year.

QT#5: Kim Conley was disappointed she didn’t finish top 3 here, but happy she still gets to go to Worlds since Simpson won’t go.

QT#6: We’re sorry to see Julia Lucas run another bad race here as she was 12th in 16:09. She battled through a lot of adversity to get to where she was last year and just missed the Olympics in a heart-breaking race. She ran a decent race at Stanford this year when she ran 15:23. Hopefully she can get back on track this summer. She’s only 29 so if the fire is still there the possibility exists to make a US team.

QT#7: Someone who finished behind Lucas was the defending champion, Julie Culley. Culley was the last finisher in 15th (16:33). This was only her third race in 2013, as in her two other races in 2013 she ran: a 4:19 1500 and 15:41 5k.


Place Athlete Time          
1 Jennifer Simpson
New Balance
2 Molly Huddle
3 Shannon Rowbury
4 Kim Conley
New Balance / SRA Elite
5 Chelsea Reilly
6 Abbey D’Agostino
Dartmouth College
7 Brie Felnagle
8 Katherine Mackey
9 Amy Van Alstine
10 Kellyn Johnson
11 Christine Babcock
12 Julia Lucas
Nike / Oregon TC Elite
13 Delilah DiCrescenzo
Puma / N Y A C
14 Laura Thweatt
Boulder Track Club
15 Julie Culley
Asics / New York Athletic Club
DNF Amy Hastings
DNS Treniere Moser
DNS Lisa Uhl
DNS Jordan Hasay
DNS Tara Erdmann
DNS Shalane Flanagan
Nike / Oregon TC Elite
DNS Mary Cain

USATF Sunday: (2013 USATF Photo Gallery)
Mens 800Duane Solomon Goes Wire-To-Wire To Run World-Leading 1:43.27 To Stop Nick Symmonds’ Streak Of US Titles At Five 
Women’s 800: Alysia Montano Wins Her 5th Straight National Title, Holding Off A Fast-Closing Brenda Martinez 
Men’s 5,000: Bernard Lagat Outkicks Galen Rupp To Win The Men’s 1,500m 5,000m
Women’s 5,000: Jenny Simpson Gets The Win In Her First 5k In Two Years Over American Record Holder Molly Huddle, As Rowbury Guts It Out for 3rd
Steeple Evan Jager And Dan Huling Go 1-2 In Steeple For Team Schumacher
Men: Tyson Gay’s World-Leading 19.74 Caps Final Day As Aries Merritt Makes Hurdles Team
Kimberly Duncan Upsets Allyson Felix In 200m At USAs 

Jenny Simpson Wins

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