2014 Payton Jordan Invitational: Men’s 5000: Ben True And Hassan Mead Go 13:02 As The Top 5 Break 13:10

By LetsRun.com
May 4, 2014

The men’s 5,000 at the 2014 Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational was definitely the event of the night as the super stacked field all but guaranteed some fast times. It did not disappoint as Ben True and Hassan Mead battled it out over the final 100m with True getting the win in 13:02.74, beating Mead by only .06. Behind them was “Team Schumacher” (now the Bowerman TC), with Lopez Lomong (13:07.95), Chris Derrick (13:08.63) and Evan Jager (13:08.18) all breaking 13:10.

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Field Strung Out Early Field Strung Out Early

This race was out fast right from the gun as rabbits Lee Emanuel and Dan Huling lead the field through a first 800 of 2:05 and 1600 of 4:11. Behind them the field was strung out in a straight line immediately. Huling took them them through 3200 in 8:23 and then stepped off the track with 4-laps to go (3400) at which point a pack of 7 had separated themselves from the field as True lead Jager, Mead, Derrick, Lomong, Ryan Hill, and Garrett Heath.

With no rabbit, the pace slowed significantly and the next two laps were 65 and 64 (as opposed to the 62.8’s they’d been averaging) and that is where they lost sub-13 as they would need about a 1:56 last 800 to get it. The lead traded a few times between True, Jager and Derrick, but with one lap to go Jager led over Lomong, True and Mead with Derrick falling off a bit in 5th. Before 200 to go Lomong surged and took the lead from Jager with True following, but Hassan Mead went wide on the final turn and started kicking away from the pack.

True was the only one who could hang with Mead as Lomong and Jager were quickly gapped. Going into the last 100 it was Mead with a slight lead on True, but True was able to fight back and get the win at the line, closing with about a 56 or 57 last lap.

True Just Nips Mead True Just Nips Mead

Quick Take #1: True’s 13:02.74 is a big PR from the 13:11.59 he ran last year and puts him #9 all-time in the US. This performance could come as a surprise to some since he reported before the BAA 5K last month that he has had the worst fall and winter of his career as he couldn’t touch on any of the speed work he normally does. We always say strength equals speed and True’s performance here just goes to prove that.

Really, a performance like this could be seen coming as at the BAA 5K True almost outkicked Dejen Gebremeskel causing Gebremeskel to say he thought True could definitely break 13 on the track. He came close here.

After the race asked on the FloTrack broadcast if this was a career defining performance for him, True said, “That’s over thinking it. I think I had this in me all last year. I just never got a chance to run in a 13-flat race. It’s a good start for the season, hopefully I’ll be able to crack under 13 at Pre [Classic] and we’ll see where it goes from there.”

On the boards: BEN MF TRUE!!!!!!!!!!!

Quick Take #2: Hassan Mead was overlooked by most coming into this race, but he almost got the win in an absolutely stacked field as he crushed his previous 13:11.80 PR and moved to #10 all-time in the US. Before this meet last year, Mead was only a 13:28 man, but he ran 13:15 here last year and now a year later he is the 10th fastest 5000 runner in American history at 13:02.80. Well done!!

Quick Take #3: Derrick wasn’t happy with his 13:08.18 which was just slower than his 13:08.04 PR and as he tweeted “A disappointing race given where my fitness is at, but it’s a long season.”

Quick Take #4: Almost lost behind the string of sub-13:20 performances was Matt Centrowitz in 9th place with 13:20.06. At first glance, that may not seem like much, but that was a huge PR for Centrowitz who as a miler doesn’t run the 5K often. Here he took 27-seconds off his previous best of 13:47.73 from 2010. Centrowitz is still just the second best 5ker in his family though as Matt Centrowitz Sr. is a former American Record holder with a PR of 13:12.91.

Quick Take #5: As always, Stanford with its perfect weather, no wind and deep races was a great place for people to set PRs. Of the top 10, 6 of them set PRs, some of them by huge margins. And the 4 who didn’t weren’t far off as Lomong, Derrick and Hill all missed their PRs by less than a second (Jager was 6-seconds off his 13:02). For those that did PR, their previous and current personal bests are listed below. This was an especially great race for  Donn Cabral who had a terrible 2013 after making the Olympic final in the steeplechase in 2012, but set an 18-second PR here and seems to be thriving after returning to NJ and joining the NJ/NY Track Club.

Name Previous Best Current PB
Ben True 13:11.59 13:02.74
Hassan Mead 13:11.80 13:02.80
Andy Vernon 13:23.20 13:11.50
Garrett Heath 13:20.01 13:16.65
Matt Centrowitz 13:47.73 13:20.06
Donn Cabral 13:40.62 13:22.19

On the boards: BEN MF TRUE!!!!!!!!!!!

Event 19  Men 5000 Meter Run Section 1
    Name                    Year School                  Finals
  1 Ben True                     Saucony               13:02.74
  2 Hassan Mead                  Nike Otc Elite        13:02.80
  3 Lopez Lomong                 Nike                  13:07.95
  4 Chris Derrick                Nike/Aurum            13:08.18
  5 Evan Jager                   Nike                  13:08.63
  6 Andy Vernon                  Melbourne Tr          13:11.50
  7 Ryan Hill                    Nike                  13:14.31
  8 Garrett Heath                Brooks Beasts         13:16.65
  9 Matthew Centrowitz           Nike Oregon Project   13:20.06
 10 Donn Cabral                  Nike                  13:22.19
 11 Tom Farrell                  Nike                  13:22.27
 12 Leonard Korir                Global Sport          13:24.74
 13 Kirubel Erassa               Oklahoma State        13:27.55
 14 Mohammed Ahmed               Wisconsin             13:28.02
 15 Andrew Bumbalough            Nike                  13:28.17
 16 Matt Hughes                  Nike                  13:28.36
 17 George Alex                  Zap Fitness           13:30.00
 18 Diego Estrada                Asics                 13:41.45
 19 Sean Quigley                 Saucony/ Boulder TC   13:42.05
 20 Joseph Stilin                Zap Fitness           13:44.16
 21 Parker Stinson               Oregon                13:45.62
 22 John Bolas                   New Balance TC        13:46.09
 23 Maverick Darling             Kimberly's C          13:55.57
 24 Travis Mahoney               New Jersey-N          14:00.42
 25 Nick McCormick               Melbourne Tr          14:09.76
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