On Friday night, April 1, Shalane Flanagan ran a world leading 10,000 meters, with Kara Goucher and Jordan Hasay running strong races at the Stanford Invitational. The Stanford Invitational has created, for the past fifteen years, its position as the place to be to run a great distance race in early April.
Shalane Flanagan, Payton Jordan Invitational, 2011,
photo by PhotoRun.net
Stanford Invitational: Women’s 10,000: The Shalane Show (feat. Kara and NCAA stars)
By Kevin Mangan
As I was sitting in the stands at Cobb Track and Angell Field in perfect distance running conditions (low 50s, no wind), I couldn’t help but be impressed by Shalane Flanagan’s impressive 10,000 meter run, finishing 40 seconds under the “A” standard. One lap into the race, Shalane had already built a 25 meter lead on the pack. In an impressive field featuring a World Champs bronze medalist and NCAA stars past and present, through 800 meters, Shalane was on pace to lap everyone, including Kara Goucher at least three times.
Her performance was so dominant that a 90s middle distance star I was watching the race with verbally reassured himself that he had actually run faster than Shalane was on pace to run. She ended up lapping everyone except Kara, but she ran the fastest time in the world so far this year, a superb 31:04.85.
In her first race on the track since the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, Kara Goucher ran a very solid 31:46.64, one second shy of the “A” and the second fastest 10k so far this year. Despite the fact that she had no intention of going for the standard and didn’t think she could do it until the end, she ran a very smart race and finished strong to get so close.
The professional and collegiate ranks of track and field had their 10,000 meter yearly list populated by marks from Friday night. Lead by Flanagan and Goucher, Stanford produced the seven fastest 10ks run so far in the world this year. In her 10k debut, Jordan Hasay of Oregon (32:46.68) established the early season NCAA leading mark, as well as the third fastest time so far in the world this year. Other top collegians included fellow debutant Megan Goethals of Washington who finished fourth in the race in 32:52.78 and Arizona’s Jen Bergman, seventh in (33:04.58). If all three of these ladies go with the 10k as their main event, the Pac 12 is looking to be very dangerous in this event; especially with their proven championship experience (Hasay: multi-time national champion, Goethals: 2012 5k runner-up, Bergman: multi-time All-American).
Shalane and Kara looked great in their last tune-up race before Boston and showed some great early season fitness. In a couple weeks, I expect both of them to have great performances against a solid field.
(Shalane is actually the second American woman with the “A” for the 10k this year as Neely Spence got it by finishing in the top 15 at World Cross in Poland a week prior. Ben True and Chris Derrick also achieved the “A” this way. If getting the “A” standard the regular way eludes Americans this year, keep in mind that these three athletes may be able to sneak their way into a trip to Moscow.)