Prefontaine Women’s Steeple And 2-Mile: Emma Coburn Goes For DL Victory #2; Shannon Rowbury Vs. Jordan Hasay
May 29, 2014
We broke the down the stacked women’s 1500m with Jenny Simpson, Abeba Aregawi, and Brenda Martinez here, and the women’s 800m with Chanelle Price, Mary Cain, and Maggie Vessey here. The women’s 2 mile and steeple are the other distance events and we preview them below.
Women’s 2 mile (12:44 p.m. Saturday): Jordan Hasay and Shannon Rowbury take on Mercy Cherono and Viola Kibiwot
You don’t see women’s 2 mile races very often. Initially, we wondered if the 2 mile and not a 3000 or 5000 was being run because it was going to be some sort of record attempt. We haven’t seen any mention of a run at the world or American records (the world record is 8:58.58 by Meseret Defar, while the American record is 9:21.35 by Amy Rudolph) so we imagine it’s on the schedule simply because often early on the DL circuit, as the runners work their way into top fitness, you’ll see a 3000.
However, the American record is a possibility here.
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Because the 2 mile is run so infrequently, there’s actually a huge gap between the #1 (8:58.58) and #2 (9:14.09) fastest times in history, and with Kenyan studs Mercy Cherono (world 5k silver, 8:21.14) and Viola Kibiwot (4th at worlds, 8:24.14 in Doha) both in the field, the winner could definitely move up to #2 on the all-time list.
Defar’s 8:58.58 2 mile is roughly equivalent to an 8:19 3000m which no one has run this decade. Cherono however ran 8:21.14 in Doha, which shows how fit she is.
From an American perspective, the biggest storyline is the battle between Shannon Rowbury and former Oregon Duck Jordan Hasay. Hasay smoked Rowbury at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix 2 mile in February, 9:36 to 9:52, but Rowbury beat her when it counted, taking second to Hasay’s fourth at USA indoors to clinch a spot on the world indoor 3000 team. More recently, Rowbury won the Oxy 5k in 15:20 while Hasay was 3rd in 15:29. The American record of 9:21 might be in Rowbury’s reach. That’s roughly 8:40 for 3000m which Rowbury has run under three time sin her career. Rowbury is definitely a stronger bet to threaten it than Hasay. Rowbury’s 8:31.38 3000 PB is definitely superior to the AR.
|Name||DATE OF BIRTH||COUNTRY||PB||Comment|
|BELETE Mimi||09.06.1988||BRN||5th at Shanghai DL in 1500 (4:01); 8th at Doha 3k (8:30)|
|CHEPTAI Irine||04.02.1992||KEN||10th at World Cross last year but last by a lot at Doha 3k (9:17)|
|CHERONO Mercy||07.05.1991||KEN||WC 5k silver medalist ran 8:21 3k at Doha DL; 4:07.4 split for gold medal-winning Kenyan 4×1500 at World Relays|
|DESALEGN Betlhem||13.11.1991||UAE||13 Asian champ at 1500/5k was 6th at world indoors 3k|
|DIRIBA Buze||09.02.1994||ETH||20-year-old world junior 5k champ was 5th at worlds in 5k last year|
|FELNAGLE Brianna||09.12.1986||USA||Former NCAA champ at UNC was 6th at Oxy 1500 in 4:07.42|
|HASAY Jordan||21.09.1991||USA||10:07.65||Ran 9:36 2 mile indoors; 31:39 10k at Payton Jordan, 15:29 5k at Oxy|
|HASSAN Sifan||01.01.1993||NED||Breakthrough year for former Ethiopian. 5th at world indoors, big PBs at 1500 (4:01) and 5k (14:59).|
|JAMAL Maryam Yusuf||16.09.1984||BRN||2-time world 1500 champ had off year in ’13; world indoor bronze but just 8:47 for 3k at Doha DL|
|KIBIWOT Viola Jelagat||22.12.1983||KEN||9:18.26||4th in WC 5k final last year; ran 4:01 for 4th at Shanghai DL|
|KIPYEGO Sally||19.12.1985||KEN||11 WC/’12 OG silver medalist at 10k; won Payton Jordan 10k in 30:42; ran 9:21 2 mile indoors|
|KUIJKEN Susan||08.07.1986||NED||Former NCAA champ at Fla. St. was 8th in 5k at worlds last year|
|MURIUKI Margaret Wangari||21.03.1986||KEN||5th at World Cross last year; won 10k road race in Germany last month in 31:16|
|OLJIRA Belaynesh||26.06.1990||ETH||WC bronze medalist at 10k; coming off 11th-place finish at Boston Marathon (2:24)|
|PLIŚ Renata||05.02.1985||POL||Hasn’t raced since getting 7th at world indoors 3k|
|REILLY Chelsea||09.05.1989||USA||13 U.S. indoor 3k champ ran just 4:13 for 1500 at Oxy|
|ROWBURY Shannon||19.09.1984||USA||Former 1500 specialist moving up in distance. 8th at world indoors 3k; won 5k at Oxy in 15:20.|
|SAEED MOHAMMED Alia||18.05.1991||UAE||12th at last two world indoors at 3k|
|SAINA Betsy||30.06.1988||KEN||Former NCAA champ at Iowa St. coming off 30:57 10k PB at Payton Jordan|
|THWEATT Laura||17.12.1988||USA||15:04 at Payton Jordan 5k|
Women’s 3000m steeplechase (1:09 p.m. Saturday): Emma Coburn Looks For Diamond League Victory #2
This is basically a rematch of the Shanghai Diamond League race from two weeks ago. In that race, American Emma Coburn ran a PB of 9:19.80 (also a world #1) to notch the first-ever Diamond League win for an American women in the 3000m steeplechase, defeating a field that included the top five from last year’s world championships. We’ve got two questions heading into Pre, and they both involve Coburn.
1) Can Coburn repeat her Shanghai performance and get her second straight Diamond League win?
We talked to Coburn after her victory in Shanghai and she said that it came as a surprise to her. Well it came as a surprise to everyone else, too. Before Shanghai, Coburn wasn’t a slouch on the global level (9th at ’12 Olympics and 13th at ’11 worlds before she got hurt in ’13), but no one was picking her for the win. Coburn won in Shanghai because several of last year’s top steeplers weren’t fit (Milcah Chemos, Lydia Chepkurui, Etenesh Diro) and the ones that were didn’t go with her once Coburn formed an early gap. With 1k to go, that gap had grown to over 12 seconds and it was too late for the rest of the field to catch her.
There’s no way that the field will allow that to happen at Pre, and that means winning will be a lot more difficult for Coburn. We’re not saying it’s impossible, but Coburn will have to run great to beat the second and third-place finishers from Shanghai, Ethiopians Sofia Assefa (bronze at worlds, 9:09 PB) and Hiwot Ayalew (4th at worlds, 9:09 PB). We’d also imagine that Chemos, Chepkurui and Diro will all be in better shape than they were in Shanghai.
2) How close can Coburn get to Jenny Simpson’s American record of 9:12.50?
Coburn ran a solo 9:19.80 in Shanghai (previous PB: 9:23.54) to become the #2 American of all time. With a couple of women to race, we could see her chopping a few more seconds off of that at Pre. In our chat with Coburn last week, she said that she didn’t think she could get the American record at the moment, but if she can get down to 9:15-9:17 at Pre, Coburn could have a real shot when she heads to Europe to race in Paris (July 5), Stockholm (August 21) and Zurich (August 28).
If she runs 9:15, Coburn likely will be top 3 and in the hunt for the win no matter what anyone else does or doesn’t do.
|Name||DATE OF BIRTH||COUNTRY||PB||SB||Comment|
|ARISTARKHOVA Natalya||31.10.1989||RUS||9:30.64||2013 Russian champ makes ’14 debut here|
|ASSEFA Sofia||14.11.1987||ETH||9:09.00||9:25.76||Bronze at last two global champs; second in Shanghai DL on May 18|
|AYALEW Hiwot||06.03.1990||ETH||9:09.61||9:27.25||4th worlds, 5th Olympics, World Cross silver in 2013. 3rd in Shanghai.|
|CHEEVER Jamie||28.02.1987||USA||9:29.13||9:55.83||4th at U.S. champs last year; just 10:05 in Shanghai|
|CHEMOS Milcah||24.02.1986||KEN||9:07.14||9:38.21||Defending world champ wasn’t in top shape in Shanghai (9:38)|
|CHEPKURUI Lidya||23.08.1984||KEN||9:12.55||9:38.82||Same as Chemos. WC silver medalist ran poorly in Shanghai (9:38).|
|CHEROTICH Fancy||10.08.1990||KEN||9:28.04||9:41.22||9:41 in Shanghai and 9:51 in Beijing three days later|
|COBURN Emma||19.10.1990||USA||9:19.80||9:19.80||2-time U.S. champ coming off biggest win of career in Shanghai|
|DIRO NEDA Etenesh||10.05.1991||ETH||9:14.07||9:36.45||5th at worlds last year, 7th in Shanghai (9:36)|
|FRANEK Bridget||08.11.1987||USA||9:29.53||9:56.72||Former NCAA champ at Penn St. ran 4:20 1500 on May 9. 9:56 win in only steeple on April 18 at Oregon Relays.|
|GHRIBI Habiba||09.04.1984||TUN||9:08.37||11 WC/’12 OG silver medalist ran 4:10 for 1500 two weeks ago.Only two races in 2013.|
|HIGGINSON Ashley||17.03.1989||USA||9:34.49||9:35.72||Former Princeton star made first senior worlds team last year; 15:34 at Payton Jordan 5k.|
|KIRUI Purity||13.08.1991||KEN||9:19.42||9:25.68||2010 World Junior champ was 4th in Shanghai; ran 9:25 to win in Beijing three days later|
|KRAUSE Gesa Felicitas||03.08.1992||GER||9:23.52||21-year-old was 9th at WC, 8th at OG; outdoor opener.|
|MCCOLGAN Eilish||25.11.1990||GBR||9:35.82||10th at WC; making 2014 debut. Daughter of 1991 10k world champ Liz McColgan.|