WTW: Super seniors dominate the NCAAs, Super HSers crush the mile, Athing Mu gets ready for a repeat, and Kenya is back on top of the men’s 5000

The Week That Was in Running, June 6-12, 2022

By Robert Johnson & Jonathan Gault
June 13, 2022

Each week, we try to make the sport more fun to follow by putting the prior week’s action in perspective for you. Past editions of our Week That Was weekly recap can be found here. Got a tip, question or comment? Please call us at 844-LETSRUN (538-7786), email us, or post in our forum.  

Article continues below player
Like this article? Subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on social media
The latest running news, sent to your inbox weekly or when urgent news breaks.

You have been subscribed.

If you missed our coverage of NCAAs, catch up now. Our USATF NYC coverage was here. We did a live instant reaction show breakdown of the Rome Diamond League which is now archived for the members of our Supporter Club. 

****
Devon Allen runs 12.84

Watching the men’s 110 hurdles in NY live on Sunday was shocking. To see the world champ and second-fastest hurdler in history Grant Holloway just get destroyed by Devon Allen during the final third of the race was hard to mentally compute until the 12.84 time popped on the screen.

Allen had just run a 0.15 pb at age 27. Wow.

If we’d been listening to Allen, we shouldn’t have been shocked as Allen had said earlier in the year in a World Athletics profile that taking two-tenths of a second off a pb is no big deal.

The hurdle event is definitely something like that where you run super, super consistent, and then one time it clicks, and you can drop one or two tenths pretty easily.” 

Allen’s got a valid point. Below are the six men who have broken 12.90 in the hurdles as well as their pb prior to the year they ran the pb. Half of them chopped off at least 0.15 in the year they set their pb and half of them were at least 27 years of age like Allen.

Rank

Name

Country

PB

Previous PB

Age

1

Aries Merritt

USA

12.80

13.09

27

2

Grant Holloway

USA

12.81

12.98

23

3

Devon Allen

USA

12.84

12.99

27

4

Dayron Robles

CUB

12.87

12.92

21

5

Liu Xiang

CHN

12.88

12.91

22

6

David Oliver

USA

12.89

12.95

28

More: Devon Allen STUNS Track World & Grant Holloway, Runs 12.84 (#3 All-Time) to Win 110m Hurdles at 2022 USATF NYC Grand Prix 
*MB: Holy SHI*. Devon Allen. 12.84!!!! OMG.
LRC Archives: Devon Allen Podcast  Allen joined us on the LetsRun Track Talk podcast after joining the sub 13.00 club last year.

****
Collegians, good luck beating the 24-year-olds

When the NCAA granted everyone an extra year of eligibility due to COVID, we were not fans of the move., Our view was,, “The whole world has had to sacrifice due to COVID, why wouldn’t that also be the case for NCAA athletes? This is really going to hurt high schoolers as a lot of scholarship $$ will go to 5th and 6th years instead of them.”

Age helps a lot in distance running (well at least until you get too old in your later 30s). A 5th-year senior is normally 23 years of age at the oldest. Yet five of the 10 NCAA mid-d and distance titles at NCAAs last week were won by people 24 or older.

Athlete

Age

Yrs in NCAA

Event

Moad Zahafi

24

1

Men’s 800

Joe Waskom

21

3

Men’s 1500

Ahmed Jaziri

24

2

Men’s steeple

Olin Hacker

25

7

Men’s 5,000

Dylan Jacobs

21

4

Men’s 10,000

Kristie Schoffield

23

5

Women’s 800

Sintayehu Vissa

25

3

Women’s 1500

Courtney Wayment

23

6

Women’s steeple

Katelyn Tuohy

20

2

Women’s 5,000

Mercy Chelangat

24

4

Women’s 10,000

Katelyn Tuohy was a rare youngster to win at NCAAs

More: Complete 2022 NCAA coverage

****
Florida proves it is more than just “Jumps U”

The SEC has long been the nation’s top track & field conference, and in 2022 SEC schools dominated the top spots in the team standings at NCAAs, taking four of the top six spots on the men’s side and five of the top six on the women’s side. The University of Florida led the way, sweeping the team titles at NCAAs, but while the Gators won the women’s team title at SECs, they were only 4th on the men’s side at SECs. That’s not a huge surprise as you can typically win NCAAs with a handful of stars while you need more depth to win SECs.

The interesting thing about the NCAA results was where Florida got its points. Florida has a well-earned reputation as “Jumps U”: in the eight-year stretch from 2010-17, a Gator man won the triple jump seven times and the long jump three times. In each of their previous NCAA team titles, they scored in the double-digits in the horizontal jumps (each time, they would not have won NCAAs without the LJ/TJ points).

Florida’s LJ/TJ points during their men’s NCAA title years
2012: 10/50 (20.0%)
2013: 10/53 (18.9%)
2016: 14/62 (22.9%)
2017: 28/61.5 (45.6%)
2022: 0/54 (0%)

In 2022, however, the Gator men didn’t score at all in the horizontal jumps for the third straight year. Instead, they won NCAAs exclusively with points scored in the flat sprints. The breakdown:

100: 14 (Joseph Fahnbulleh 1st, Dedrick Vanover 5th)
200: 10 (Joseph Fahnbulleh 1st)
400: 12 (Champion Allison 2nd, Ryan Willie 5th)
4×100: 8 (2nd)
4×400: 10 (1st)

Florida’s Jumps U reputation is still intact, though. The Gator women scored 27 of their 74 points (36.5%) on the women’s side in the long and triple jump, led by transfer Jasmine Moore, who won both events both indoor and out.

Just a reminder that there are many ways to construct a champion in NCAA track & field.

****
Did an obscure rule cost Yared Nuguse an NCAA 1500 title?

2021 Olympiana and 2020 NCAA 1500 champ Yared Nuguse returned to action in impressive fashion at the Portland Track Festival on Saturday night, winning the 1500 in 3:34.98 to sneak under the 3:35.00 World Championship standard. It was Nuguse’s first race for five weeks since straining his hamstring at the Track Meet on May 6.

Watching Nuguse run 3:34 the same weekend as NCAAs made us wonder what Nuguse would have done in this year’s NCAA 1500 final. Because if the NCAA rulebook made sense, he would have been in it. Remember, Nuguse ran 3:39.29 at the Track Meet, easily fast enough to qualify for the NCAA regional meet, but the NCAA did not recognize the time because it requires all qualifying marks to come from meets with at least 10 events per gender. 

We understand why the NCAA has rules stipulating the minimum number of teams and events in a meet. Otherwise, a team could hold theoretically game the system by doing something like holding three long jump competitions back-to-back-to-back at practice and calling each of them a meet. But it would be nice if some sort of common sense appeal process was in the books as well. Nuguse could have qualified for the US and World Championships at the Track Meet, but not NCAAs. How does that make sense?

It’s not a given Nuguse would have won NCAAs, but it would have been awesome to see him in the race – and another NCAA title might have been worth a few thousand extra on the pro deal he signs this summer.
That said, Nuguse’s coach Sean Carlson, who after NCAAs signed to be the new Director of Cross Country at the Univ of Tennessee, told us that as soon as Nuguse suffered the hamstring strain at the Track Meet, the NCAAs was no longer their focus; instead, it was all about making sure Nuguse was as healthy and fit as possible for USAs. 

From that perspective, things could scarcely be going better. Nuguse is clearly fit and just beat a number of top American milers in Portland. Meanwhile, two of the top four from last year’s Olympic Trials won’t be in Eugene – Matthew Centrowitz is out after knee surgery and Craig Engels withdrew on Sunday. Anything can happen in a championship 1500 final, but right now Nuguse, Cooper Teare, and Cole Hocker have to be the favorites to make the US team.

****
Senberi Teferi wins the 50th Mastercard New York Mini 10K

The 50th women’s-only Mastercard New York Mini 10K was held over the weekend in Central Park and many of the world and US’s top marathoners showed up to compete: Peres Jepchirchir, Edna Kiplagat, Keira D’Amato, Sara Hall, Emily Sisson, etc.

In the end, the winner was far from a surprise. Remember, the race was a 10,000, not a marathon. If we randomized the top 10 finishers and only gave you their stats, you’d probably be able to predict the winner: Senbere Teferi. She was a) the youngest woman and b) the fastest woman at both 5,000 and 10,000 in the top 10. Last year, she ran 14:15 for 5000, was 6th in the Olympics, and set a road 5k world record of 14:29. Nearly everyone else in the field is a marathoner (with Sharon Lokedi and Emily Durgin the exceptions).

#

First

Last

Age

5k PB

10k Pb

1

Senbere

Teferi

27

14:15

30:43

2

Sharon

Lokedi

28

15:13

31:11

3

Keira

D’Amato

38

15:04

31:50

4

Aliphine

Tuliamuk

33

15:18

31:54

5

Peres

Jepchirchir

28

15:51

30:55

6

Viola

Cheptoo

33

15:14

30:55

7

Emily

Sisson

30

14:53

30:49

8

Caroline

Rotich

38

15:54

31:41

9

Sara

Hall

39

15:20

31:21

10

Emily

Durgin

28

15:24

31:33

Technically, you could call Teferi a marathoner as she’s run two but it’s not her primary event. She ran 2:24:11 in Dubai in January 2018 and 2:25:22 in Tokyo in March 2020 but those results are a far cry from 14:15 in the 5000.

###

One person scheduled to be racing NYC but who didn’t race was Olympic marathon bronze medallist Molly Seidel, who announced she can’t race right now as she has recently gotten on Adderall to treat ADHD and you need a TUE (Therapeutic Use Exemption) to compete on Adderall.  Can we give her a thumbs up for being open about how she’s asked for the TUE?  By law, an athlete doesn’t have to tell people what medications they are on, but it’s refreshing and good for the sport when people are an open-book about their supplements and medications. People can debate the merits of TUEs and whether they should be allowed (in this case, we are either no for everyone or yes for everyone, it shouldn’t matter if you have ADHD) but there is no doubt that Seidel is going way above what’s required of her in terms of transparency because she strongly supports the anti-doping movement.

MB: Molly Seidel Seeking TUE for Adderall – Will not run NYC Mini 10k

***
Athing Mu won her second 800 of the year

It was hard to not be impressed by Olympic 800 champ Athing Mu last week, who destroyed the women’s 800 field in Rome by running a world-leading 1:57.01. It was Mu’s first European competition of her career and only her second 800 of 2022. 

If it seems like Mu hasn’t raced much in 2022, that’s partly on you.

Last year, when she showed up at USAs, it was her 11th competition of the year (technically 10th if you count NCAA regionals and finals as the same competition; we did not) and she showed up having run the 600 or 800 at just four of those prior competitions.

This year, when she shows up at USAs, it will be her 9th competition of the year and once again she will have run the 600 or 800 at just four of the previous competitions. 

Yes, last year she was running more often at the competitions she competed in as she often ran the 4×400 or rounds in college races. But the reality is, she didn’t travel and gear up to compete much more last year than this year.

****
Don’t look now, but Kenya is on top of the men’s 5000 rankings

Thanks in no small part to Ethiopia’s Yomif Kejelcha, the men’s 5000 meters in Rome last week was special as Kenyans Nicholas Kimeli and Jacob Krop ran 12:46.33 and 12:46.79 respectively, leading eight men under 13:00.

Kejelcha helped make the time up front super fast as he picked things up after the rabbits dropped out. For Kejelcha, running a fast time was more important than winning as Ethiopia picks its 5000 team for Worlds based on seasonal best. Kejelcha ended up third in 12:52.10, good for #2 among Ethiopians in 2022.

It’s nice to see so many men under 13:00 and two Kenyans atop the men’s 5000 leaderboard as the 5000 has been slim pickings for Kenya in recent years. Between 2016 and 2021, only three Kenyans broke 13:00 (Kimeli, Geoffrey Kamworor, and Richard Yator). A Kenyan hasn’t led the world 5000 list since Edwin Soi did it in 2013 at 12:51.34. A Kenyan hasn’t medalled at the Worlds or Olympics in the 5000 since 2015 (Caleb Ndiku silver).

Looking at the event as a whole, the men’s 5000 reached a nadir five years ago when only three men worldwide broke 13:00 in 2017, easily the lowest this century. It made us wonder – has everyone moved to the roads? Or was the sport really that dirty, say 15 years ago?

Kenya and the men’s 5000 may never get back to what it was like in 2006 when 19 men globally broke 13:00 with nine of them hailing from Kenya, but it’s nice to see the event make a resurgence – perhaps in part due to the super shoes. 

Year 

Sub-13s

KEN

ETH

2022

10

2

5

2021

15

2

5

2020

6

1

1

2019

10

1

5

2018

8

1

6

2017

3

0

2

2016

4

1

2

2015

6

2

3

2014

4

3

1

2013

7

3

2

2012

16

7

6

2011

13

6

4

2010

17

9

4

2009

15

8

4

2008

6

1

4

2007

8

5

2

2006

19

9

3

2005

17

5

5

2004

11

3

6

2003

13

8

3

2002

7

6

0

2001

6

5

1

2000

12

7

1

1999

10

6

1

1998

7

3

3

1997

8

4

1

1996

10

5

1

****
What a weekend for the US girls’ high school milers

One of the most shocking results of the weekend came from the Grand Valley State University Midwest Redemption Meet in Michigan, where Addy Wiley, who just graduated from Huntington North (Ind.) High School, ran 4:26.16  for 1600 to crush the US high school girls’ 1600-meter record previously held by Alexa Efraimson (4:33.29). The time was an enormous personal best for Wiley, a Colorado commit whose previous best was a 4:37.98 from her high school regional meet on May 24.

Engelhardt wasn’t the only high school girl to run super fast as Sadie Engelhardt, a freshman at Ventura (Calif.) High School ran 4:11.79 for 1500 at the Portland Track Festival on Saturday as well.

Because high schoolers run the 1500, 1600, and mile, it can be tricky to keep track of exactly who is the best ever in that event at the high school level, so we converted the top performances at every distance to 1500 meters to compare them. Here are the results:

The 10 Fastest US Girls’ 1500 Runners Of All Time

1 4:03.39 Alexa Efraimson 2015
2. 4:04.62 Mary Cain 2013
3. 4:07.21 Kate Murphy 2016
4. 4:07.88* Addy Wiley 2022
5. 4:08.71 Christina Aragon 2016
6. 4:10.95 Elise Cranny 2014
7. 4:11.79 Sadie Engelhardt 2022
8. 4:12.62 Katie Rainsberger 2016
9. 4:13.58** Katelyn Tuohy 2018
10. 4:14.11 Ella Donaghu 2016

*converted from 1600  **converted from mile

For comparison, Wiley’s time would have ranked second in the NCAA this year behind only Katelyn Tuohy’s 4:06.84. Engelhardt’s time would have ranked 13th.

Overall it’s been a banner year for high school girls’ distance running as Juliette Whittaker (1:59.80), Roisin Willis (2:00.03), and Sophia Gorriaran (2:00.58) have moved to #2, #3, and #5 on the all-time 800m list and Natalie Cook broke the high school 5,000 record with her 15:25.93 at the Stanford Invitational.

MB: Mary Cain’s 1600m/1mile record broken by Indiana’s Addy Wiley (4:26.16) 
MB: Engelhardt 4:11.79 at Portland Track Festival 

For our favorite reads from other weeks, go here.

***
Quotes Of The Day And Last Week’s Home Pages

To see the quotes of the day from last week or last week’s home page or any home page, go to our archive page.

***

Got a tip, question or comment? Please call us at 844-LETSRUN (538-7786), email us or post in our forum.

Like this article? Subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on social media

The latest running news, sent to your inbox weekly or when urgent news breaks.

You have been subscribed.