Grant Fisher Runs 12:51 5K, UW Leads 3 Teams Under NCAA DMR Record at Boston University

Fisher missed the American record by .23 and the world record by 2.24 seconds

BOSTON — Five days after running an American record of 8:03.62 for 2 miles at the Millrose Games, Grant Fisher came just shy of another American record on Friday night, running 12:51.84 for 5,000 meters at 2024 Boston University Terrier DMR Challenge. Running alone for the final 15 laps, Fisher came just .23 shy of Woody Kincaid‘s American record set on this track a year ago and was 2.24 off Kenenisa Bekele‘s 12:49.60 world record from 2004.

“You look back on a race like that, when you put it into context, half a second or a quarter second, could you have squeezed that more out of yourself?” Fisher said afterwards. “Those are the questions you ask after you finish. Man, I was giving it though. The rabbits did a great job, they got me to 2k, and then I knew it was going to be just a long, lonely grind out there, and that’s what it was.”

Fisher had pacing help from Cameron Proceviat and Mick Stanovsek through 2k (5:11.45 for Fisher), but was on his own after that, clicking off 31-second laps and steadily dropping down to 30s. Fisher summoned a 57.94 final 400 (28.57 last 200), which was a bigger kick than he managed last week at Millrose (59.64) after unsuccessfully trying to drop Josh Kerr in a race in which Kerr would go on to break the world record. That was not quite enough to take down Kincaid’s 12:51.61 AR, but it was still enough to move Fisher just behind Kincaid into #5 on the all-time world indoor list.

Fisher said he decided to run in Boston in order to mimic this summer’s Olympic Trials and Olympics, where he will have to run multiple races in close proximity — the men’s 10,000 final, 5,000 semis, and 5,000 final will all be contested within the span of nine days in Paris in August. Fisher said he considered using the USATF Indoor Championships in Albuquerque as his second race — the men’s 3,000 final was also held on Friday — but ultimately opted for the Boston meet.

“Slightly easier with travel to do Millrose and then stay on the East Coast and then do this race,” Fisher said. “Also if I was going to do US indoors, I would have wanted to do it with the goal of making the world team. If I would have made that world team, I would have declined the spot, probably, because I have to run a 10k in a month and get that [Olympic] standard in the 10k [at The TEN on March 16]. I wish I had that in my pocket already and I could do the fun stuff, like USAs and Worlds.”

Article continues below player.

Behind Fisher, the rest of the field was focused on the 13:05 Olympic standard. Once pacer AJ Ernst stepped off at 3200m (8:27), it came down to a battle between Puma athletes Patrick DeverJack Rowe, and Amon Kemboi and Nike Bowerman Track Club runners Moh AhmedCharles Hicks, and Thomas Ratcliffe. Puma earned a resounding victory in that race within a race. Dever, Rowe, and Kemboi went 2-3-4, with Brits Dever (13:04.05) and Rowe (13:04.75) both getting under the Olympic standard and Kemboi (13:06.30) running a big pb. Dever and Kemboi train together as part of Alistair and Amy Cragg‘s Puma Elite Running team in North Carolina, while Rowe is based in the UK but has been training in the US this winter.

The Bowerman trio of Ahmed, Hicks, and Ratcliffe went 5-6-7, with Hicks (13:09.38) and Ratcliffe (13:14.64) both running pbs. Ahmed’s 13:06.32 was not a pb, but he already has the Olympic standard thanks to his 13:01 in Monaco last summer. Bowerman steeplers Evan Jager and Duncan Hamilton both made it 4000 meters before dropping out, which Jager said had been the plan before the race.

*Full results

Grant Fisher on his 12:51 at BU and his six-day 2024 indoor season

MB: Grant Fisher SOLOs 12:51.84!!

Evan Jager explains his 2023 injury and life with the new-look Bowerman TC

Friday was Jager’s first race since April 2023. After making the 2022 Worlds team, Jager was feeling good about his fitness heading toward the 2023 US outdoor championships, but a stress fracture in the talus bone in his left foot — the same injury that wiped out his 2019 season — derailed his campaign and he wound up skipping USAs and the rest of the summer racing season.

As a result, Jager, who turns 35 next month, has been proceeding very cautiously as he tries to make his third Olympic team this summer. He spent the fall away from the Bowerman team in Portland, training on his own so that he did not get overanxious and try to ramp up workouts too quickly. Now he’s with the BTC squad in Flagstaff and feels things are going well, with the main aim staying healthy so that he can run at USAs — something he has managed only once since 2018.

Jager, who is now in his 16th year as a pro under coach Jerry Schumacher, also discussed why he decided to stay with Bowerman TC despite the exits of Grant FisherCourtney FrerichsElise Cranny, and Cooper Teare.

“[There] was a bit of a negative cloud over the team all last year and I think it wore on everyone,” Jager said. “I think everyone’s that decided to stay, it’s what they want to do and it’s been a lot more positive [lately].”

Washington women break NCAA DMR for second year in a row at BU, lead three teams under old record

Last year, the University of Washington women flew to Boston and set an NCAA record of 10:46.62. This year, a slightly different UW squad was back and ran even faster (10:43.39) to break their own record — and they had to, given runners-up Providence (10:44.07) and third placers BYU (10:44.67) also ran under the old record. It came down to a last-lap battle between anchors Carley Thomas (UW), Kimberley May (Providence), and Riley Chamberlain (BYU), but Thomas, who received the baton a second and a half up on Chamberlain and five seconds ahead of May, held on to deliver the win.

Thomas and 800 leg Marlena Preigh were both on last year’s record-setters but on different legs — Thomas ran the 800 last year and Preigh the 400. Chloe Foerster (1200) and Anna Terrell (400) rounded out Friday’s team.

Here are the splits from the four legs on Washington, Providence, and BYU.

School 1200 400 800 1600 Overall time
Washington 3:15.29 (Chloe Foerster) 54.74 (Anna Terrell) 2:03.34 (Marlena Preigh) 4:30.02 (Carley Thomas) 10:43.39
Providence 3:18.37 (Shannon Flockhart) 55.57 (Jill Fenerty) 2:04.30 (Alex O’Neill) 4:25.84 (Kimberley May) 10:44.07
BYU 3:16.71 (Sadie Sargent) 53.10 (Sami Oblad) 2:05.18 (Meghan Hunter) 4:29.69 (Riley Chamberlain) 10:44.67

Virginia Tech wins men’s DMR to move to #5 on 2024 NCAA list

In the men’s DMR at BU, Virginia Tech got the win in 9:22.71, even though their anchor leg, 3:59 miler Ethan Coleman, “only” split 4:00.37. That’s a super quick overall time for a 4:00+ anchor but their first three legs were very good — 2:50.1 (Nick Plant), 44.75 (Judson Lincoln IV), 1:47.48 (Christian Jackson). The Hokies’ time would have been #1 in the NCAA before today, but four schools ran faster at Arkansas earlier on Friday, led by Washington’s American record of 9:18.81.

Talk about Friday’s track action on our messageboard:

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