NAU’s Andy Trouard Stuns Justyn Knight in NCAA 3K as Karissa Schweizer Completes the 3K/5K Double

March 10, 2018

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — After watching last night’s 5000-meter races at the 2018 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships, you can be forgiven if you, like us, assumed the 3000-meter races tonight were a foregone conclusion. Surely Justyn Knight and Karissa Schweizer, both of whom earned dominant victories last night, would complete the double today.

Not so fast. Schweizer held up her end of the bargain as she used a 32.94 final 200 to dispatch Boise State sophomore Allie Ostrander to win by nearly a full second in 8:53.36 to Ostrander’s 8:54.35. 8:53.36 is the third-fastest winning time in NCAA women’s history, and as a result, Oregon’s Jessica Hull was a distant third in 9:01.96

Knight, however, was upset by Northern Arizona’s Andy Trouard. We don’t think too many people saw this one coming — the reigning NCAA XC and 5000 champ losing in the 3000 to a man who has never finished higher than 35th at NCAA XC and never scored a single point at NCAAs on the track before yesterday. And it’s not like Trouard was fresh. Last night he ran the 5000 and finished 5th – some 1.92 seconds behind Knight.

Trouard starts to edge ahead non the last turn Trouard starts to edge ahead non the last turn

But the two men entered the final lap side by side with the exact same split time (7:38.72), Trouard on the inside and Knight on the outside. Knight tucked back in a little bit on the tun and then tried to go by Trouard on the backstretch. Knight did pull slightly ahead but never enough to come in on the rail. Halfway around the final turn, the two were side-by-side and then Trouard started to inch ahead.

Could this really be happening? Nearly everyone in the stadium had to be shocked — except for maybe Trouard. As he inched ahead, he looked to the outside of the track and stuck his tongue out. The braggadocio nearly cost him big-time as he stumbled on the rail, but once he regained his footing, he pulled away from Knight thanks to a 26.23 final 200 and won in 8:04.94 to Knight’s 8:05.76.

See it for yourself.

Article continues below player.

MB: NCAA Champ Andy Trouard sticks out tongue on last turn of 3k and nearly falls 

Talk about an upset, but Trouard deserved it as he had the lead for the first 9 laps (hitting 1600 in 4:30.95) before losing it for two laps before leading the final 4 laps.

Third place and top redshirt sophomore honors went to Arkansas’ redshirt sophomore Cameron Griffith in 8:05.91, ahead of reigning NCAA outdoor 5000 champ Grant Fisher of Stanford (4th in 8:06.52).

Results and quick take analysis below (full results with splits here).

Men’s Results
1 Andy TROUARD SR Northern Arizona 8:04.94
2 Justyn KNIGHT JR Syracuse 8:05.76
3 Cameron GRIFFITH SO Arkansas 8:05.91
4 Grant FISHER SO Stanford 8:06.52
5 Dillon MAGGARD SR Utah State 8:06.69
6 James WEST JR Oregon 8:06.94
7 Colby GILBERT SR Washington 8:07.2
8 Oliver HOARE SO Wisconsin 8:08.30
9 Cole ROCKHOLD JR Colorado St. 8:09.85
10 Ben SAAREL SR Colorado 8:10.05
11 Matthew BAXTER SR Northern Arizona 8:10.28
12 Lawrence KIPKOECH JR Campbell 8:11.28
13 Kigen CHEMADI JR Mid. Tenn. State 8:12.40
14 Kyle MAU SO Indiana 8:12.60
15 Jonathan DAVIS FR Illinois 8:21.69
16 Mike TATE SR Southern Utah 8:26.19
Women’s Results
1 Karissa SCHWEIZER SR Missouri 8:53.36
2 Allie OSTRANDER SO Boise State 8:54.35
3 Jessica HULL JR Oregon 9:01.96
4 Vanessa FRASER SR Stanford 9:02.31
5 Weini KELATI FR New Mexico 9:03.51
6 Sharon LOKEDI SR Kansas 9:03.68
7 Christina ARAGON FR Stanford 9:03.71
8 Ednah KURGAT JR New Mexico 9:03.81
9 Lilli BURDON JR Oregon 9:04.62
10 Fiona O’KEEFFE FR Stanford 9:10.54
11 Alsu BOGDANOVA SR Eastern Michigan 9:12.81
12 Amy-Eloise NEALE SR Washington 9:20.24
13 Erin CLARK SR Colorado 9:21.07
14 Elinor PURRIER SR New Hampshire 9:25.93
15 Gina SERENO SR Michigan 9:39.81
Makena MORLEY SO Colorado DNS

Quick Take: NAU’s fourth guy in XC just held off Justyn Knight to win NCAAs

Trouard did beat Grant Fisher at Iowa State earlier this year, so we knew he could kick. But what he did tonight was still completely insane. Knight smoked him in the 5k last night, and when a guy gets beat badly in his first event, he almost never comes back to win the second. Not Trouard.

We should point out that Trouard has good 1500 speed — his 3:38.96 pb is actually faster than Knight’s 3:39.23 (though Knight has run 3:55.82 in the mile) — but still…he was NAU’s fourth guy at NCAA XC! That should show you 1) how crazy his win today was and; 2) how good the 2017 NAU men really were.

Trouard said he thought he had a chance of winning NCAAs after he ran a 3:58 mile in Washington earlier this year. He thought he would do well in a slow 5k like last night, but after that didn’t go exactly according to plan, he seized his opportunity tonight.

Quick Take: Schweizer is now the fifth woman to pull off the 3k/5k double

Five women have pulled off the double a total of six times since the 5k was added as an event in 1989, meaning that the double has been done 20% of the time. On the men’s side, it’s more common (10 out of 30 times, or 33.3%), but as Knight showed today, it’s still not easy. That being said, had Knight come through as a heavy favorite tonight, it would have marked the fifth straight year someone pulled off the 5000/3000 double for the men.

The 5 Women Who Have Completed the 5,000/3,000 NCAA Double
Kim Smith, Providence, 2004
Sally Kipyego, Texas Tech, 2007
Abbey D’Agostino, Dartmouth, 2013 and 2014
Molly Seidel, Notre Dame, 2016
Karissa Schweizer, Missouri, 2018

The 6 Men Who Have Completed the 5,000/3,000 NCAA Double
David Kimani, South Alabama, 2000 and 2001
Alistair Cragg, 2003 and 2004
Galen Rupp, Oregon, 2009
Lawi Lalang, Arizona, 2012
Edward Cheserek, Oregon, 2014, 2016, 2017
Eric Jenkins, Oregon, 2015

Quick Take: Justyn Knight was gracious in defeat, but he’s learning from the “L”

Knight, who per his Twitter profile “hate[s] to lose more than they love to win,” could not complete the double tonight, but he gave full credit to Trouard for a great close.

“The way I approach racing, I take L’s, but when I say that, it doesn’t mean that I lost or anything. To me, L stands for learning experience. I never really see it as losing, I just see it as learning experiences and they’ll help make me a better athlete moving down.”

Knight said he’d give himself a B for his weekend performance (perhaps a little harsh, though he has high standards after winning NCAA XC) but he’s excited to see what he can do outdoors. Knight felt that racing three weekends in a row earlier this year (BU, Millrose, Iowa State) interrupted his training a bit. And remember, he took an entire month off after the XC season. Ideally, Knight said, he’ll be able to put together a bigger training block outdoors so that he’s faster and stronger for the big meets at the end of the season.

Karissa Schweizer said running 8:53 from the front was harder than running 8:41 with the pros

Schweizer made her big breakthrough in 2016, placing 3rd in the NCAA 5k outdoors before winning the XC title that fall, and since then she’s added four more NCAA titles on the track, including two this weekend. It’s been great to watch her grow more confident in her abilities, and in her last three titles (2017 outdoor 5k, 2018 indoor 3k/5k) she’s shown a terrific ability to control races from the front.

Schweizer said her goal was to force a fast pace over the final mile to dull her rivals’ kicks, and it worked to perfection as Ostrander was never able to get around her at the end of the race. That doesn’t mean it was easy, however. Schweizer said this race was tougher than her race at Millrose, where she ran 8:41 to break the collegiate record.

“Running from the front is very hard and running in a championship race like this where there’s a lot of pressure, it’s gonna harder [as opposed to] a pro race where you’re just going out there and having fun.”

Allie Ostrander ran a great race, but she was simply outclassed

Ostrander ran the perfect race tonight, but that still wasn’t enough to defeat the indomitable Schweizer. She made Schweizer do it the hard way, by leading the whole way, but Schweizer was up to the challenge tonight. Ostrander still managed a PR and hung with Schweizer until the very end for a well-deserved second place.

Ostrander also said that her parents came all the way from their home in Alaska to watch this race and that she was glad she could perform well for them.

Interview with 3rd placer Cameron Griffith of Arkansas

Interview with 4th placer Grant Fisher of Stanford

Fisher doesn’t have a lot of indoor experience as he was hurt last year and redshirted the year before that and he said mainly he wasn’t that happy with his tactics tonight. After winning the NCAA 5000 last year, he said he has high expectations. He came short of those tonight and the DMR, but doesn’t regret aiming high.

Interview with 3rd placer Jessica Hull of Oregon

Hull was on Oregon’s winning DMR team and then got 3rd in the 3000. She and Sabrina Southerland (800 winner) were the only individual scorerers for Oregon at the meet, yet the Ducks still finished 5th as a team overall. Oregon last year on the triple crown.

MoreMB: NCAA Champ Andy Trouard sticks out tongue on last turn of 3k and nearly falls 

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