Katelyn Tuohy Cruises to Her First NCAA Indoor Track Title

By LetsRun.com
March 10, 2023

For coverage of the rest of the NCAA meet, go to the front page or here: Complete 2023 NCAA Indoor Coverage

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. –  Katelyn Tuohy’s fabulous 2023 season continued as the NC State star lived up to her favorite status and won her first NCAA indoor title with ease, capturing the 5000m at the 2023 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 16:09.65. A pair of Alabama runners took second and third as freshman Hilda Olemomoi ran 16:11.08 with two-time NCAA champ Mercy Chelangat third in 16:11.63.

After a slow start (5:22 at 1600), Tuohy took the lead at 2800 but much of the pace injection was done by Chelangat, who strung things out after the 3200 mark. By 3600, the top 3 had started to gap the field due to the pace injection. Of the first 13 laps, only the first 2 were under 40 seconds but the last 12 laps were all under 40 for the leader with the last 10 all 38 or faster. 

NC State had 3 scorers Katelyn Tuohy (1st), Kelsey Chmiel (4th), and Sydney Seymour (8th) Photo via Wolfpack_TFXCNC State had 3 scorers Katelyn Tuohy (1st), Kelsey Chmiel (4th), and Sydney Seymour (8th) Photo via Wolfpack_TFXC
NC State had 3 scorers: Kelsey Chmiel (4th), Katelyn Tuohy (1st), and Sydney Seymour (8th) Photo via Wolfpack_TFXC

With 800 to go, Tuohy took the lead for good and began to ratchet down the pace. With 400 to go, both Olemomoi and Chelangat were still within .64 of Tuohy but Tuohy blitzed a 33.51 penultimate lap to give herself a 1.66-second lead heading into the bell, during which she was able to let up late as victory was assured (33.89). She won her first NCAA indoor title and left something in reserve for tomorrow’s 3000m. She got the win by running her last 1600 in 4:46.15 and 800 in 2:19.38. 

  Athlete Time
1 Katelyn TUOHY
NC State [SO]
Alabama [SO]
Alabama [SR]
4 Kelsey CHMIEL
NC State [JR]
Utah [SR]
6 Amanda VESTRI
Syracuse [SR]
7 Gracelyn LARKIN
New Mexico [JR]
8 Sydney SEYMOUR
NC State [SR]
9 Sarah CARTER
Colorado St. [SR]
New Mexico [SO]
11 Elise STEARNS
Northern Arizona [SO]
13 Zofia DUDEK
Stanford [FR]
14 Ruby SMEE
San Francisco [SO]
15 Ella BARAN
Colorado [JR]
16 Natalie COOK
Oklahoma State [FR]

Quick Take: Tuohy has simply been fabulous over the last calendar year

Article continues below player.

Tuohy winning was expected today. Given that she’s already set NCAA records in the mile and 3000, it was hard to see her losing unless she didn’t respond well to altitude and she passed that test with flying colors.

But can we take a step back and appreciate how magical the last 12 months have been for Tuohy? Last year, she announced herself as a contender at the NCAA level as she finished second in both the 3k and 5k. A year later, she’s utterly dominant and an NCAA champion outdoors, XC, and now indoors and establishing herself as one of the all-time NCAA distance greats.

Quick Take: Coach Henes shut down the triple for Tuohy

In the video above, Tuohy was asked a lot about the altitude (she’s never done an altitude training stent, but her grandparents used to live in Colorado) and how she picked which events to run at NCAAs. Tuohy said it was pretty easy, “I went into [coach Laurie] Henes‘ office and I sat down and she’s like, we’re not tripling.” Tuohy still wanted to double though, so she settled on the 5k and 3k. A win on Saturday would make her the first woman to win both at NCAA indoors since Missouri’s Karissa Schweizer in 2018.

Quick Take: Pro groups, take note, Amanda Vestri says it’s her “dream” to run post-collegiately and she may be made for the marathon

In the fall of 2021, Amanda Vestri of Syracuse was in the form of her life, winning the Northeast Regional in XC by 23 seconds over Kayley DeLay, who ended up 10th at NCAA XC. How did Vestri do? She didn’t run as she got hurt between regionals and NCAAs. And since she didn’t have XC eligibility in the fall it’s been a long wait for her to return to NCAAs.

Tonight, in her first NCAA champs in 21 months, Vestri made the most of it as she scored for the first time at NCAAs, finishing 6th in 16:25.30. 

When we asked her if she wants to run pro after she finishes her eligibility she responded. “Absolutely, I would be so thrilled to run after (college). It’s my dream. It’s my whole purpose since I was 11 years old.”

Pro teams, take note. Syracuse coach Brien Bell raved about her potential in the marathon and he should know a thing or two about marathon potential as he coached US marathon champ Paige Wood (2:26:02 pb) at Syracuse as well.

Be a fan and talk about the meet on our world-famous fan forum / messageboard.

NCAA Discussion :

*More NCAA Coverage here
*More Videos here

Want More? Join The Supporters Club Today
Support independent journalism and get:
  • Exclusive Access to VIP Supporters Club Content
  • Bonus Podcasts Every Friday
  • Free LetsRun.com Shirt (Annual Subscribers)
  • Exclusive Discounts
  • Enhanced Message Boards