November 2, 2015
FLAGSTAFF (AZ), — Craig Lutz of HOKA ONE ONE Northern Arizona Elite won the Phoenix 5k yesterday in thirteen minutes, 51 seconds, setting a new Arizona State record. The old record of 14:06 was set by Olympian Diego Estrada on the same course in 2013. Lutz’ time is the fourth fastest road 5k by an American in 2015 and his third fastest 5k ever, including track performances.
Lutz, 22, joined HOKA NAZ Elite in July after an outstanding career at the University of Texas where he was a four-time All American. As a sophomore he was third at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at 10,000 meters. As a junior he was 15th at the Cross Country Championships. As a senior he set personal bests at every distance from 1,500 meters to 10,000 meters and then capped things off with a fourth place finish at Nationals in the 10,000.
Lutz said he felt strong and confident heading into Sunday’s race.
“Once the gun went off I took the lead and three others guys came with,” Lutz said. “Leading doesn’t usually work for me but on the turns I hammered the pace and surged hard, and was able to break the race open.”
Lutz’ HOKA NAZ Elite teammate, Ryan Dohner, ended up second place in 14:08, just two seconds off of the old State record himself.
HOKA NAZ Elite coach Ben Rosario said he was thrilled with the performances from both athletes.
“I knew both Craig and Ryan were super fit,” Rosario said. “But I have to admit I didn’t know they were quite that fit and I’m usually pretty optimistic when it comes to predicting times.”
Next up for Lutz will be the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas event on November 15 where he will make his debut at the half marathon distance.