The Payton Jordan Invitational is the meet for distance runners each first weekend in May. It is a veritable right of spring. Nice, cool weather, a fantastic track, extremely knowledgable fans, and perfect pacing.
The guns were out tonight, as Shalane Flanagan, in her debut over 10,000 meters, ran a new American record of 30:34.49, eclipsing the 30:52.32 from Deena Kastor, also run on this track and at this meet. Flanagan duked it out with Kiwi Kim Smith, who has been very tough this winter, challenging Meseret Defar over the indoor two miles, and runnign a tough 10k in Osaka last year. Flanagan took control with two hundred meters to go and the race was hers. Also note that Jenn Rhines was in the pack of A qualifiers at this distance. Flanagan now holds the US indoor record for 3,000 meters, and the US outdoor records for both 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters. Kim Smith broke the New Zealand record of 31:20, by nearly forty-five seconds!
In the mens ' version of the Kim McDonald 10k, Australia's Craig Mottram ran a spectacular 27:34.48, leading a strong group of A qualifiers. Mottram has been racing long and hard this season already, running a 7:34 for 3 indoors and a 13:13 outdoors for 5k. This 10k shows that he can run long and hard with top competition.
On the one's to watch, not that Chico State's Scott Bauhs ran 27:48.06-this young man is for real, on top of his 1:03 half marathon from the Fall, Scott should be in the hunt this coming summer at the U.S. Trials.
Mo Farah, the fifth placer in Osaka, and the silver medalist at the Europeans over 5,000 meters, ran an elegant race, running a debut 27:44.54. Once he figures out that he can truly race with Mottram, etc, Mo Farah will be devastating over 10,000 meters.
In the Men's 1,500, section B, nice tussle with Tegankamp and Lukesic over 1,500 meters. Note that Don Sage is also out there running, getting back into shape.
In the Men's first 1,500, a fall involving Lomong, Solinsky near the 1200 meter mark put those two back and out of contention. Nick Symmonds ended up running quite well here, but Kevin Sullivan had the best finish, running 3:39.78.
Bernard Lagat showed his stuff over 5,000 meters with ease, and Brent Vaughn of Colorado showed that he will be one of the new studs to watch over 5,000 meters. Should be a great spring season!
Event that seems truly open this year? It is the steeplchase, baby!
To view the races, please check out the work of FLOTRACK: http://www.flocasts.org/flotrack/coverage.php?c=256