WTW: 12:55 Is The Old 13:05 + Winners & Losers From A Busy Week

The Week That Was in Running, May 13 - 19, 2024

Each week, we try to make the sport more fun to follow by putting the prior week’s action in perspective for you.  If you missed our on-site coverage of the USATF LA Grand Prix, catch up here: Day 1, Day 2. If you missed our coverage of the Morocco Diamond League, catch up here.

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12:55 Is The Old 13:08 13:05

Over the weekend at USATF’s LA Grand Prix, there was a re-working of the all-time US 5,000m list as training partners Cooper Teare (12:54.72) and Cole Hocker (12:58.82) broke 13:00 for the first time in a race where 11 men broke 13 (in case you are wondering, 13 is the all-time record from Florence last year). Here is the all-time top 25 US 5,000 list.

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1. Bernard Lagat (2011 Monaco) – 12:43.94 (adjusted)
2. Chris Solinsky (2010 Stockholm) – 12:45.84 (adjusted)
3. Dathan Ritzenhein (2009 Zurich) – 12:46.57 (adjusted)
4. Grant Fisher (2022 Brussels) – 12:46.96
5. Paul Chelimo (2018 Brussels) – 12:47.84 (adjusted)
6. Bob Kennedy (1996 Zurich) – 12:48.49 (adjusted)
7. Matt Tegenkamp (2009 Brussels) – 12:48.83 (adjusted)
8. Galen Rupp (2012 Eugene) – 12:49.17 (adjusted)
9. Sydney Maree (1985 Oslo) – 12:51.39 (adjusted)
10. Woody Kincaid (2023 Boston) – 12:51.61
11. Evan Jager (2013 Brussels) – 12:52.62 (adjusted)
12. Ben True (2014 Palo Alto) – 12:52.96 (adjusted)
13. Hassan Mead (2014 Palo Alto) – 12:53.02 (adjusted)
14. Cooper Teare (2024 Los Angeles) – 12:54.72
15. Joe Klecker (2023 Boston) – 12:54.99
16. Ryan Hill (2015 Brussels) – 12:55.87 (adjusted)
17. Eric Jenkins (2017 Boston) – 12:56.00 (adjusted)
18. Nico Young (2024 Boston) – 12:57.14
19. Chris Derrick (2013 Brussels) – 12:58.19 (adjusted)
20. Lopez Lomong (2020 Portland) – 12:58.78
21. Cole Hocker (2024 Los Angeles) – 12:58.82
22. Adam Goucher (2006 Huesden) – 13:00.13 (adjusted)
23. Matthew Centrowitz (2019 Beaverton) – 13:00.39
24. Emmanuel Bor (2022 Boston) – 13:00.48
25. Alan Webb (2005 Berlin) – 13:00.98 (adjusted)

Oh wait. That’s not the actual all-time US top-25 list but rather message board poster StatsGuy327’s “Super Shoes Adjusted” All-Time Top 25. The formula is pretty simple: if a time was run before the introduction of super shoes, multiply it by .9875 to get a modern-day time (so a 13:00 without super shoes is equal to a 12:50.25 today).

Embed from Getty Images

What do I think of that? The list is pretty darn good. Previously, in another message board thread after LA,  Racetraining wrote, “12:55 is the old 13:08.”

A 13-second adjustment seemed a little rich, so I decided to do some research and it ended up being almost identical to what StatsGuy327 determined – top 5,000 times are 9-10 seconds faster than they were before super shoes.

Consider these stats from the results database Tilastopaja.eu, which goes back to 1996.

In 2023, 15 men ran 12:55.47 or faster.
In 1996, 15th on the world list was 13:04.48.
Difference: 9.01 seconds.

Going in reverse:

In 1996, 7 men ran 12:55.76 or faster.
In 2023, 7th on the world list was 12:45.01.
Difference 10.75 seconds.

This works great for the world record as well: it was 12:44.39 in 1996 and now it’s 12:35.36. Difference: 9.03 seconds.  

So the easiest rule to compare 5,000 times is to just add or subtract 9-10 seconds depending on which way you are going. StatsGuy327’s formula has a 12:55.5 equal to a 13:05.32.

Runners who had a good week last week


Paul Chelimo – USA

I must admit that when doing my first draft of this article I had Paul Chelimo as one of the people that had a bad week. I initially wrote:

The 33-year-old Chelimo ran 27:34.04 at the Night of the 10,000 PBs last week showing that his recent 13:21 and 13:24 5000s in Europe weren’t just pacing efforts but rather an indication of his fitness. I’m not totally ruling out Chelimo, who has a great kick in the 5,000 and has medalled three times on the global stage, from making the Olympic team but it seems very unlikely at this point.

Let me change that. It was a great week for Chelimo. Why? Because he picked up 40 bonus points for finishing 4th at the Night of the 10,000 PBs and 40 points is worth 25.33 seconds for world rankings purposes. Couple that with his 27:34.04 time and his Road to Paris ranking is going to go way up from 36th to 26th (1,239 points) and they take 27 to the Olympics.

Based on who has the standard or ranking to qualify for the Olympics, it looks like the first three men across the finish line at the US Olympic Trials from this group of five will make the Olympic team in the 10,000: Chelimo, Grant Fisher, Nico Young, Joe Klecker, and Woody Kincaid.

Jakob Ingebrigtsen (5,000) – Norway

Jakob won the 5000 while sick last year. Kevin Morris photo

Ingebrigtsen didn’t race last week – heck, he hasn’t raced since September 17 of last year – but as I watched the pace lag during the fourth kilometer once the rabbit stepped off for the loaded men’s 5,000 at the LA Grand Prix, I thought to myself, “There is no way a healthy Ingebrigtsen loses a tactical 5,000 unless the other runners agree to sign a legally binding contract the night before the race where one runner’s name is drawn out of a hat and he is required to rabbit the race.”

With perfect weather and pacing for 3k, the guys in LA “only” ran 12:51. That means they’ll be lucky to break 13:00 in Paris. The fastest time at a Worlds of Olympics in the last 20 years is 12:57.82 (Bekele 2008), and it’s hard to imagine Ingebrigtsen loses a race like that. A championship 5,000 often turns into a 1500 (where Ingebrigtsen is the reigning Olympic champ) or 3,000 (he is the 2-mile WR holder), which suits Jakob perfectly.

Matthew Centrowitz – USA

At a surface level, the 2016 Olympic champ ran almost the same race as he did the week before. Two weeks ago, he ran 3:35.39 in a race in LA and placed 3rd. Last week, he ran 3:35.16 in a race in LA and placed 3rd again. The difference is, the first race (the Oxy Invitational) fell in the lowest tier of World Athletics races and only offered 5 bonus points for third, whereas the second race (the LA Grand Prix) was a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold race, which offers 110 bonus points for third.

It could be argued the WA bonus system is unfair as a 105-point difference is massive – it’s equivalent to 7.54 seconds in the 1500. As a result, Centrowitz’s Road to Paris ranking is set to skyrocket. Coming into the weekend, he was ranked just 60th but he’ll soon be 45th (and they take 45 to the Olympics).

Assuming Centrowitz doesn’t fall or totally bomb at the Pre Classic this week, where he very well may pick up the Olympic auto standard of 3:50.40 in the mile, it’s now pretty hard to envision a scenario where Centrowitz finishes top three at the Olympic Trials and doesn’t make it to Paris at least on world ranking.

But just to be sure, if you are a Centro fan, you really want to see him finish in the top 12 at Pre as that’s where the bonus points stop. 12th place is worth 45 bonus points, which is equivalent to 3.25 seconds. If Centro runs 3:53.00 and finishes 13th, he’ll move up to #43 on the Road to Paris list but if he runs 3:53.00 and finishes 12th, he’ll vault to #38.

Jake Wightman – Great Britain

The 1500 world champ from 2022 ran 1:44.10 for 800 in LA – the second-best clocking of his career and a time that is 1.25 seconds faster than Josh Kerr’s 800 PR and 2.34 seconds faster than Jakob Ingebrigtsen’s PR.

Hobbs Kessler – USA

Kessler won the B heat of the 800 in LA, running a PR of 1:45.07 (previous best of 1:45.80). Here are the 800 PRs of some of his expected chief rivals in the 1500 at the US Trials.

Matthew Centrowitz 1:44.62
Yared Nuguse 1:46.30
Cole Hocker 1:46.32
Cooper Teare 1:47.63

Hillary Bor – USA

The two-time Olympian returned to the steeple for the first time in over a year and looked good, as he was with the leaders at the bell in Morocco before he finished with a US-leading 8:13.30 (6th). He and Kennneth Rooks are near-locks for the Olympic team.

Matthew Wilkinson – USA

The former D3 star for Carleton came into the year with an 8:23 PR but he’s broken 8:19 in both of his steeples so far, first a 8:18.53 at UVA on April 19 and then a 8:16.59 last week, which got him 2nd in LA (top American). He’s the US #3 right now and has a real shot at the Olympic team after finishing 6th at USAs last year.


Diribe Welteji – Ethiopia 

Last year, after Welteji took World Championship silver in Budapest and beat Faith Kipyegon at the world road mile champs, it looked like the 21-year-old might be the future of the women’s 1500. However, after opening up 2024 with a 3:55 indoors, she was only 5th at World Indoors before only finishing 4th in Xiamen and dropping out of Doha. 

In LA, she showed it’s premature to write her off for 2024 as she ran 3:55.25 for the win. Ethiopia now occupies spots 1-6 on the 2024 world 1500 list.

Elle St. Pierre – USA

In her first race since stunning the world and Gudaf Tsegay at World Indoors, St. Pierre ran a huge 24-second PR of 14:34.12 to win the 5,000 in LA. 14:34 is far from a shock for someone of St. Pierre’s talent level but the most important thing is that the time shows she’s been healthy and training well since World Indoors.

Madie Boreman –  USA

Boreman, who ran a US junior record of 9:46.48 to get second at the 2017 NCAA championships as a freshman for Colorado, saw her Olympic prospects improve on Friday night when she ran a 9:21.98 for 2nd at USATF’s LA Grand Prix. Her Olympic chances went up even more the next day when Courtney Frerichs announced her season is over due to an ACL injury.

Ceili McCabe, Rose Davies and Joselyn Daniely Brea

All three ran big PRs last weekend and set national records. McCabe, who is redshirting at West Virginia this year, ran 9:20.58 to break the Canadian steeplechase record (previous PR of 9:25.98).

The 24-year-old Davies, who ran 15:07 in both 2022 and 2023, ran her third PR of 2024 to set an Australian record of 14:41.65 to erase Jessica Hull‘s previous mark of 14:43.80 and win the Seiko Golden Grand Prix in Tokyo. Her previous PR was 14:48.85

Brea ran 14:36.59 to finish 2nd in the LA 5,000 behind St. Pierre, destroying her own Venezuelan record of 14:47.76. She’s now close to 50 seconds faster than the second-fastest South American ever according to our own Jonathan Gault.

Prudence Sekgodiso – South Africa

Embed from Getty Images

The 22-year-old who has run 1:58 each of the last two years (1:58.41 PR), ran a huge PR of  1:57.26 at the Marrakech Diamond League meet on Sunday to remain undefeated at 800 on the year and set a world lead.

Fiona O’Keeffe – USA

The US Olympic Marathon Trials champion ran 31:03 for second at the Night of the 10,000 PBs race in the UK. To come within shouting distance of her 10,000 PR (30:52.77) while in the midst of marathon training is a great sign that her Olympic preparations are going well.

Elly Henes – USA

Henes only ran a 15:12.69 5,000 last week in LA. 2024 hasn’t gone well for Henes, who hasn’t come close to PRing in any event this year after offseason lung surgery. This year, she’s run 4:12 for 1500 when her PR is 4:05, 8:49 for 3,000 when her PR is 8:36, 15:12 for 5,000 when her PR is 14:47, and 31:07 for 10,000 when her PR is 30:48.

So why is she one of the winners from last week? Because it’s now clear she’s very likely to make the 2024 US Olympic team in the 10,000. Currently, Henes is the first woman out on the Road To Paris 10,000 list, but that means if nothing changes she’d be the last person in as we already know Alicia Monson isn’t running in Paris as she’s injured. Plus it’s quite possible a few of the cross country qualifiers don’t declare as well.

It would have helped Henes tremendously for no one to get the standard at the Night of the 10,000 PBs and that’s exactly what happened.

That being said, her team spot isn’t totally locked down. Right now, Weini Kelati, Katie Izzo, and Henes appear to have the standard/ranking they need but Natosha Rogers, Keira D’Amato, and Karissa Schweizer could all possibly get in if they run fast at USAs and place high.

Kate Grace – USA

2016 Olympic finalist Kate Grace didn’t make the Olympics in 2021 but rather than wallow in disappointment, she went out and won the Oslo 800 in her next race, one of four straight 1:57s in a row- the only four 1:57s of her career. However, we haven’t seen her since the end of 2021 as she struggled with long Covid in 2022 and then gave birth to her first son, River, in 2023.

According to Runner’s World, a stress reaction in her sacrum in December delayed her return even more, but she raced twice in LA last week and did pretty well. She won the D heat of the 800 convincingly in 2:01.93 before coming back and running 4:11.92 in the C heat of the 1500 (5th place). With the struggles of some of the higher profile US 800 runners (more on that below), Grace, who has left Team Boss and is coaching herself, can’t be totally ruled out of the Olympic team.

Runners who had a bad week last week

Jakob Ingebrigtsen (1500) – Norway

It was a good week for Ingebrigtsen in terms of his 5,000 chances but not so much for the love of his life on the track – the 1500. Winning gold there is not going to be easy as Josh Kerr has been in supreme form all year long and last week’s run in the 800 by Jake Wigthman makes me think Wightman is going to be in similar form in 2024 as he was in 2022.

All of the US 1500 runners not named Yared Nuguse, Hobbs Kessler or Cole Hocker

The men’s 1500 is unquestionably my favorite event in track & field right now. And I can’t wait for the US Olympic Trials but it really seems like the US team is going to end up being Yared Nuguse, Cole Hocker, and Hobbs Kessler.

Yes, as mentioned at the start of this article, Cooper Teare had a nice week and so did Centrowitz, but nothing they have done indicates they are one of the top eight milers in the world, which is what it looks like the other three all are.

Nuguse is a 3:43 miler (enough said) and Hocker and Kessler went 2-3 at World Indoors and are running great right now. 

Now Kessler’s tactical acumen is a work in progress, and he did run 1:45.8/3:32.6 last year before finishing 6th at USAs, so it’s possible he underperforms at USAs this year. But Kessler was only 20 last year and seems to be at a whole new level in 2024.

Considering Kessler ran 3:48.66 indoors at Millrose this year, a 3:47 at Prefontaine wouldn’t surprise me. And Hocker, who just ran 12:58 for 5,000, has a 1500 PR (3:30.70) that equates to 3:47.6 in the mile.

Grant Fisher – USA

There were five world-class Africans in the 5,000 in LA and four of them smoked Grant Fisher. That’s not good for someone who is trying to defy history and become the first North American-born man to medal in the 5,000 at the Olympics/Worlds in 60 years.

And can I please stop hearing after every race how Grant “left myself a little bit too much space with 200m to go?” Yes, Fisher wasn’t in a great spot at the bell (7th) if he was going to try to win the race, but the reality is Fisher had the 5th-best final lap in the field. Positioning wasn’t the problem — closing was.

Third-placer Joshua Cheptegei was barely ahead of him (0.21) at the bell but Cheptegei closed in 54.64 to Fisher’s 55.34. Coming into the race, Fisher fans were hoping that Cheptegei, who only ran 2:08:59 in the marathon In December and then didn’t medal at World XC, was washed up, but he’s clearly not.

Now does this mean that Fisher will never medal? No it does not. If at the Olympics they lined up all of the best distance runners on planet Earth in a single event and they are all healthy and in top shape, then I don’t think Fisher will ever be top three. But that’s not how the Olympics work.

Each country can only enter three runners, guys get injured, guys don’t bother to double back for the 5,000 after the 10,000, some guys don’t have the financial means to stay on the track and move to the roads, etc.

Heck after the LA race, Cheptegei told us he doesn’t care about the 5,000 at all if he wins the 10,000. 

“Most importantly I want to win the 10, that’s my special distance. If I win the 10K, I don’t care about the 5K,” said Cheptegei, who didn’t bother to run the 5,000 at Worlds last year after winning the 10,000 (though he cited a foot injury in Budapest). Kiplimo also didn’t run the 5,000 at Worlds in 2022 after he medalled in the 10k.

Evan Jager – USA

Jager set the American record in Paris in 2015

Like Chelimo, Jager is an Olympic medallist struggling to regain his old form. A week after opening at 8:33 in the steeple, he only ran 8:35. Finishing top three at the Trials looks like a REALLY tall order (let alone having the world ranking/standard) as eight guys in the US have run 8:20 or faster this year. Though admittedly, only three Americans have run faster than 8:19.96 this year.

Clayton Murphy – USA

Murphy won an Olympic medal in 2016, and in 2021 when he flashed a 1:43.17 to dominate the US Trials, it looked like he might win another.

After Murphy last week ran just 1:48.26 in LA, I’m wondering if he’ll even make the team in 2024. 

The run was particularly disappointing as Murphy had run pretty well in the two Chinese Diamond Leagues – 1:45.39 and 1:45.18.

In each of the last two years, Murphy has shown decent form in May (1:44.75 in 2022, 1:45.54 in 2023) but not really gotten better than that the rest of the year. Is that trend repeating itself in 2024?

Murphy should hope he’s just doing what he did in 2021. Then, he ran 1:45.41 on May 9 and bombed a 1:47.29 on May 21 before running 1:43.17 at the Trials.

Letsile Tebogo – Botswana

The 20-year-old Tebogo, who has been setting the world on fire this year at 200 (19.71a, -1.5), 300 (30.69), and 400 (44.29a), looked average in his first 100m of the year in LA where he ran 10.13 (+0.6). 

A day after the race, his mother Seratiwa tragically died in a hospital in Botswana, just after a wonderful Q&A with her about her relationship with Letsile was published by TheVoiceBW.com. The two were very close and she described their relationship as being “more than that of mother and son, we are more or brother and sister now.”

Tragically, she won’t get to celebrate the upcoming 21st birthday of her only son to whom she was going to give his dream car – a Toyota Land Cruiser LX-V8.

Abel Kipsang – Kenya

The disastrous outdoor campaign for Kipsang, who finished 4th globally in 2021 and 2023, continued on Saturday. After finishing 13th in Doha in 3:35.67, he was even worse in LA as he was 14th in 3:37.54. 

Josh Thompson – USA

The 2022 World Championship finalist at 1500 was one sport worse than Kipsang in LA, 15th in 3:37.59. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or bad thing to point out that it was actually Tompson’s season’s best time. 

Thompson doesn’t have the standard nor the world ranking for Paris as he’s currently #53 right now (they take 45). The odds of Thompson finishing top 3 at the US Trials are slim but Thompson is actually quite good in slow, tactical 1500s (the two times he’s been top 3 at USAs, he’s run 3:45 and 3:46). If USAs was super slow, Thompson couldn’t be completely ruled out for top 3 but the problem is his plight actually shows a major flaw in the WA rankings system. 

Bonus points are crucial for world rankings but they don’t help as much if they were acquired in a tactical race. My solution: your five best bonus points should be put in along with your five fastest times, even if they are different races. For example, let’s say you won the Olympic gold in 3:50 like Centrowitz did in 2016. Those 375 bonus points should go to your ranking along with your five best times.


Courtney Frerichs – USA

Last week, the American steeplechase record holder revealed on Instagram that she tore her ACL after landing awkwardly while practicing the water jump and is out for the season.

 MB: Courtney Frerichs tears ACL, out for 2024 season – LetsRun.com

Ajee’ Wilson and Raevyn Rogers – USA

If I told you at the beginning of the year that two of the greatest 800m runners in US history would run 2:04.87 (Wilson) and 2:06.17 (Rogers) at the LA Grand Prix on May 18 – just five weeks out from the Olympic Trials final – you would have probably assumed they both fell.

But they didn’t fall and that’s what happened on Saturday. Now this was only Wilson’s second 800 of the year (she ran 2:02.88 at Penn Relays) and she said all of the right things after the race. 

But this was the sixth 800 of the year for Rogers, and she hasn’t broken 2:02. Yes, I know that sometimes in years past the 2021 Olympic bronze medalist hasn’t been on fire before USAs and she’s still made the team, but she’s never been running close to this bad.

In 2021, Rogers wasn’t tearing it up as she was 5th and 6th in her last two races before the Trials, but she was running 1:59 in those races. Last year, on May 6 and May 13, Rogers only ran 2:03 but she won both races and those races were in Portland. She then ran 2:00.20 and 2:00.00 in her next two races before making the team at USAs.


Last Week’s Home Pages

Past editions of our Week That Was weekly recap can be found here. You should come to LetsRun each and every day for the latest news but if you miss a day, you can always go to our archive page. If you like our written weekly recap, you’ll love our weekly Track Talk Podcast as well. Got a tip, question or comment? Please call us at 844-LETSRUN (538-7786), email us, or post in our forum.


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

What did you think of htis article? One messageboarder likes it: MB: ROJO analysis of the good and bad is fairly accurate 

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