Mo Farah wins 5,000 meters, Mary Cain breaks AJR in brilliant women's 1,500 meters, by Larry Eder, with Peter Abraham

Evan Jager and crew warming up,
May 17, 2013, Oxy Perf Meet,
Photo by Peter Abraham

Men's Steeplechase, 
May 17, 2013, Oxy Perf Meet, 
Photo by Peter Abraham

An ebullient Mary Cain, 
post American Junior Record run of 4:04.62
May 17, 2013,
photo by Peter Abraham

a smiling Alberto Salazar, 
May 17, 2013, 
Oxy Perf Meet, 
photo by Peter Abraham

We thank the RBR readers who followed the FB and tweet interchange
 between Peter Abraham, on field at Occidental College and myself last night. It was a super meet, and there was much to see and observe. I have posted four of the photos Peter Abraham took during the meet last night. If you want to see more, just go to #OxyInvite and you will find our tweet coverage (
The USATF Oxy High Performance Meet is one of the true little gems in the athletic world. Last night, elite athletes from around North America ventured outside of Los Angeles to the the Occidental College campus to race 800 meters, 1,500 meters, the steeplechase or 5,000 meters. 

Ashley Higginson started the night off with her amazing last 150 meters, taking the lead, and winning in 9:45.83! 

Matt Hughes, who is on a three steeplechase winning spree, winning the race in 8:25.95, the only man to get the A standard in the steeple. 

In the 800 meters, Jenny Simpson, 2011 World Champion, showed that she is ready to defend her 2011 crown in Moscow, with her pb of 2:00.45 for the win, which follows her 4:03.31 for 1,500m on April 27 at Drake Relays. No women made the A standard in the 800 meters. Seventh place was 2:01.71, so depth was very good. 

On the men's 800 meter, Brandon Johnson won the 800 meters, not only making the A, but leading four American men under the A standard. Felix Kitur, who was given same time as Johnson, 1:44.85, was disqualified with a lane violation. 

The men's 1,500 meters saw Will Leer hold off Evan Jager in heat one, with Leer's 3:36.67. Nick Symmonds took the 1,500m crown and a check for $2,500 from RunningWarehouse, with his 3:36.07. Symmonds went by Evan Jager, who finished second in 3:36.34. No men made the A standard in 2013 over 1,500 meters, unlike 2012. 

The women's 1,500 meters was truly the highlight of the night, as four American women went under the A standard. In a mad race to the finish, Katie Mackey, of the new club Brooks Beasts, ran 4:04.60, holding off hard charging Mary Cain, who finished 4:04.62 and Nicole Sifuentes of Canada, who ran 4:04.65. Sarah Brown ran 4:05.27 for fourth, also making the A standard! 

Mary Cain, the sixteen year old phenom from Bronxville, NY, moved from seventh, with 300 meters to go, to third, and then, second destroyed the former American junior record held by Suzy Favor Hamilton by nearly five seconds with her brilliantly executed 4:04.62. 

Coach Alberto Salazar had told Mary Cain, per a report by Race Results Weekly, that she could run under 4:05, and guess what? She did! What surprised our observer, Peter Abraham, was the way she moved from seventh to third, then to second,  over the final 300 meters. 

In the women's 5,000 meters, Molly Huddle lead the way, winning in 15:05.56. The AR holder, Huddle ran with Katie Mackey, who did pacemaking chores, was to run through 2,000 meters, but stayed through 2,400 meters. At about 7:15 into the race, Molly Huddle took off, running alone through the finish. "I have not run by myself in the past, that mental toughening" was how Molly Huddle noted her experience after after the race. 
Molly Huddle is back is what observers noted. Also impressive was Treniere Moser, who ran 15:11, a PB by twenty-three seconds (we believe her PB is 15:34 from 2006). Brie Fienagle took third in a strong PB and Amy Hastings in fourth, with all found under the A standard.

The men's 5,000 meters was really about how fast Mo Farah wanted to run and when. The pace maker was supposed to stay up front until 3 kilometers, but exited early, leaving Aaron Braun all up front by himself. A chasing pack of Chris Solinsky, Galen Rupp, Ben St. Lawrence, Dathan Ritzenhein was as far back as five to six seconds. 

But the eyes were on Mo Farah, who started out in last, literally, and, after (well, could have) flossing his teeth, moved up to mid pack about seven minutes into the race, as the packs split up. Farah literally passed twelve people in about 150 meters, and moved himself into seventh, just behind Galen Rupp. 

Aaron Braun continued to lead until just around 11:33  into the race, when Farah and Dathan, showing more speed than he has in four years, just flew to the front. Galen Rupp dropped out just about twelve minutes (what Alberto Salazar told us he would probably do back in April), as Farah and Ritz got moving. Taking off with six hundred meters to go, with only Ben St. Lawrence following, Farah did not really let loose until 200 meters to go, putting two seconds between himself and Ritz, in one hundred meters. Ritz was digging down deep, and as Farah hit the finish, Ritz, then St. Lawrence followed, in third. 

Farah got the win in 13:15.68, with Ritz in 13:17.78 and St. Lawrence in third, no men making the 5,000m A standard. Farah showed that his finishing speed is ready for 2013. 

Mo Farah went in front of the crowd and thanked the fans noting how much he enjoyed the Oxy meet. 

Special thanks to Peter Abraham for his photos, tweets and commentary support. 

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