The Track Meet Day 1 Recap: Shelby Houlihan and Elise Cranny Pick Up Olympic Standards, Luis Grijalva (13:16) Continues To Roll as Matthew Centrowitz Wins The B Heat

December 5, 2020 

The first night of the 2020 Sound Running Track Meet on Friday night at JSerra High School in San Juan Capistrano, California, was held under ideal conditions as the temps was in the 50s, there was hardly any wind and the humidity was ridiculously low (19%). With the Olympic qualifying window re-opening on Tuesday, Olympic standards were there if you ran fast enough, but in the end the only two athletes picked up Olympic qualifying times: Shelby Houlihan (15:02.55) and Elise Cranny (15:04.88) in the women’s 5k. Both women didn’t need to hit the times today — running 15:10 isn’t hard if your PBs are 14:23 and 14:48 — but they are now one step closer to Tokyo and don’t need to worry about knocking it out in the spring.

We recap the top action for you below. *Full results of all heats here.

Women’s 5000 A Heat – The BTC goes 1-2

There were no big surprises here up front as the Bowerman Track Club’s Shelby Houlihan and Elise Cranny went 1-2 and got the sub-15:10 Olympic standard they wanted as Houlihan won in 15:02.55 to Cranny’s 15:04.88. That was expected considering their lofty personal bests. Behind them, 15:07 runner Emily Lipari, who already has the Olympic standard, ran 15:17.72 for third as the biggest breakthrough on the night went to former Dartmouth runner Dana Giordano. Giordano, the 3rd placer in the 2016 NCAA 1500, lowered her 5000 pb from 15:53 to 15:18.06 for 4th.

Men’s 5000 A Heat – Luis Grijalva wins 

Photo by Justin Britton

The end of the men’s 5000 was very similar to the end of the 3000 two weeks ago as Northern Arizona’s Luis Grijalva’s wheels over the final 200 were way bigger than Drew Hunter‘s. Grijalva ran a 57.12 final lap to get the win in a big pb of 13:16.75 (previous pb of 13:29.74) as Hunter also PR’d with a 13:17.55 (59.08 last lap, previous pb of 13:21.18). Hunter, who did all of the leading over the final 1050 until the final 100, was third as 3:55 miler Cooper Teare closed well. Teare ran 57.48 on the last lap to come from more than a second back of Hunter and take second in a big pb of 13:17.13 (previous pb of 13:32.73).

Collegian Luis Grijalva smokes Drew Hunter (7:42 to 7:44), Nico Young fails to break 8:00

Men’s 5000 B Heat – Centrowitz times things perfectly to beat Cole Hocker

Centrowitz edges Hocker (Photo by Justin Britton)

2016 Olympic 1500 champ Matthew Centrowitz used a 55.37 final 400 to get the win over 19-year-old Cole Hocker in 13:32.92 to Hocker’s 13:32.95 in a battle between Oregon stars past and future. Centro pretty much did the bare minimum to get the win. The race featured a big negative split (Centro’s two halves were roughly 6:57-6:38) as the rabbit only made it 1800 meters on about 13:45 pace. After the rabbit dropped, Hocker did most of the leading until Centro snipped him at the line.

Farther back, BYU star Casey Clinger, making his 5k debut, ran 13:41.23 for 8th, while NAU’s Nico Young, the 2019 NXN champion, ran a personal best of 13:44.50, improving upon the 13:50.55 he clocked in Portland in June.

The surprise of the night was third placer Tom Anderson of Great Britain. At age 30, Anderson, a Butler alum now running for Club Northwest in Seattle, smashed his nine-year-old pb of 14:10 to run 13:34.05 for third.

Talk about Friday night’s action on our messageboard.

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MB: Official The Track Meet 2020 Live Discussion Thread
MB: Is Joshua Sealand the tallest 14:10 guy in history?

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