2014 Payton Jordan Women’s 5,000: Sifan Hassan Goes Sub-15 To Win As Katie Mackey Runs 15:04 And Aisling Cuffe Is The 3rd Fastest Collegiate All-Time

By LetsRun.com
May 4, 2014

The women’s 5,000 at the 2014 Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational was won by the Netherlands’ Sifan Hassan (formerly of Ethiopia) in a world-leading time of 14:59.23. Sweden’s Meraf Bahta (formerly of Eritrea) was second in a national record of 14:59.49. Leading the Americans was Brooks Beasts’ Katie Mackey in 15:04.74, just beating out Boulder Track Club’s Laura Thweatt (15:04.98). GB 20-year-old Emelia Gorecka was 5th in 15:07.45 as Stanford’s Aisling Cuffe set a new school record and put herself 3rd on the all-time NCAA list with a 15:11.13.

The race started off with consistent 72 to 73-second pacing by the rabbits which took the field through 800 in 2:24 and 1600 in 4:50, before dropping out at 2K. From that point on Thweatt led every step of the race until the last lap keeping the pacing consistent as they went through 3200 in 9:41 and were at 13:57 with 1-lap to go as 5-women were still together.

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Immediately at the bell Hassan went to the lead and was followed by Bahta and by 200 the other three were way back as these two would battle it out for the win. Bahta challenged Hassan on the home straight, but Hassan held her off to win by .23-seconds closing with a 62-second last lap. Mackey just got Thweatt for 3rd as Gorecka was a well-beaten 5th.

Quick Take #1: Both Hassan and Bahta recently made nationality changes at the end of 2013 and neither were established elite 5K runners before this race. Hassan didn’t have a PR listed on tilastopaja.org and Bahta’s PR was 15:30.37 from a meet last month (and it was only 15:56 before that). However, they both have quick 1500s to their name with PRs of 4:03.73 and 4:05.11 respectively.

Quick Take #2: This race was a huge breakthrough for Mackey and Thweatt. They had almost identical PRs coming into the race as Thweatt’s 15:23.43 was .22-seconds faster than Mackey’s 15:23.65 and now they’ve left with Mackey being .24-seconds faster than Thweatt. Mackey has been much more of a mid-d runner in the past, focusing on the 1500, but this race indicates her future could be at the 5000. After the race she was ecstatic with the huge PR as she was almost in tears and said on the flotrack broadcast that she had tried to breakthrough in the 5K for a couple years, but hadn’t been able to.

Quick Take #3: Clearly a big day for the two 20-year olds, Gorecka and Cuffe. Gorecka of Great Britain had a 15:34.21 coming in while Cuffe had ran 15:53.95 this past indoor season. Cuffe is now the 3rd fastest NCAA women’s 5000 runner, behind only Jenny Simpson (15:01.70) and Kim Smith (15:09.72). Not only did Cuffe shatter her own PB, but she crushed Lauren Fleshman‘s Stanford school record of 15:20.44. Asked afterwards in a flotrack interview if she felt she was in over her head running in such a fast race, Cuffe said in the beginning she was a bit worried, but then put those thoughts out of her head and didn’t think about the time, but just focused on the people in her race.

On the boards: Aisling Freaking Cuffe Second Third Fastest Collegiate Ever – 15:11!!!

Quick Take #4: Great Britain’s Helen Clitheroe ran 15:31.76 at 40-years old. The WR for 40+ year-olds is 15:20.59 and according to mastersathletics.com Clitheroe’s time would put her #2 on the 40-and-over list. Clitheroe ran 15:06 in 2011 at 37-years-old and while she hasn’t run anywhere near that fast at any other time in her career, maybe a masters WR this year could be attainable.

Event 61  Women 5000 Meter Run Section 1
    Name                    Year School                  Finals
  1 Sifan Hassan                 Global Sport          14:59.23
  2 Meraf Bahta                  Hälle IF              14:59.49
  3 Katie Mackey                 Brooks Beasts         15:04.74
  4 Laura Thweatt                Boulder Track Club    15:04.98
  5 Emelia Gorecka               Unattached            15:07.45
  6 Aisling Cuffe                Stanford              15:11.13
  7 Jessica O'Connell            Ucac                  15:13.21
  8 Jessica Tebo                 Brooks Beasts         15:18.17
  9 Kellyn Johnson               Naz Elite             15:21.93
 10 Riko Matsuzaki               Sekisui Kagaku        15:22.67
 11 Lucy Van Dalen               New Balance           15:22.95
 12 Amy Van Alstine              Naz Elite             15:22.98
 13 Erin Finn                    Michigan              15:26.08
 14 Yuika Mori                   Yamada Denki          15:30.01
 15 Lauren Penney                Oiselle/NJNY          15:30.33
 16 Nicole Bush                  New Balance/          15:31.43
 17 Helen Clitheroe              Global Sport          15:31.76
 18 Jessica Tonn                 Stanford              15:32.26
 19 Katrina Coogan               Unattached            15:34.34
 20 Ashley Higginson             Saucony               15:34.85
 21 Nicol Traynor                New Jersey-N          15:35.97
 22 Angela Bizzarri              Brooks Beasts         15:36.78
 23 Amanda Winslow               Oiselle / Nj-Nytc     15:57.28
 24 Laura Nagel                  Providence            15:58.33
 25 Risa Kikuchi                 Hitachi               16:05.92
 26 Akari Ota                    Tenmaya               16:16.86
 -- Alexi Pappas                 Oregon Track Club          DNF


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