WEEKEND RECAP: Sisson’s Collegiate 5000 Meters Record Headlines Fri/Sat Distance Action

WEEKEND RECAP: Sisson’s Collegiate 5000 Meters Record Headlines Fri/Sat Distance Action

It was a historic and exciting weekend of distance racing as the collegiate indoor track & field regular season draws to a close this weekend with conference championships, and no performance was as historic or exciting as Emily Sisson of Providence setting the new collegiate indoor 5000 meters record.

Below we break down Sisson’s record-setting run at the BIG EAST Championships and check out some of the other big stories in the world of collegiate endurance racing through Saturday’s action.

Because so much happened this weekend, check out our separate post detailing the sprints/hurdles action this weekend, and another post for reviews of the field event/combined event action.

For all the weekend’s conference championships, hit the button below or click here for the USTFCCCA Conference Championships Central.


Collegiate 5k record for Emily Sisson


If anyone forgot about Providence’s Emily Sisson during the cross country season (she was out of XC eligibility and hit the road racing circuit to great success), she’s very much a known quantity now. The Providence grad student smashed the collegiate indoor 5000 meters record by two seconds with her 15:12.22 win at the BIG EAST Championships late Saturday night at the NYC Armory. She won by a minute and eight seconds over teammate Lauren Mullins.

The performance surpassed former Providence great Kim Smith’s previous record of 15:14.18, and is eighth all-time on the combined indoor/outdoor list for collegians under all conditions. She moved up to No. 3 all-time on the U.S. indoor performers list, just ahead of Molly Huddle and behind only Shalane Flanagan and Marla Runyan. It’s the fastest time for an American since Flanagan set the national record of 14:47.62 in February of 2009.

See what she had to say about it after the race here.

This is her third historic race of the season, following up on her now-sixth-fastest-in-collegiate-history 15:21.84 season debut at the Boston U Opener in December and her No. 5 all-time showing at 3000 meters in a fourth-place 8:52.60 effort at the Millrose Games.

Metronomic would be one way of describing how Sisson broke the record, as she hit 36.xx seconds per 200 meters 15 times and was within one second on nine more – with only her 34-second final lap as the exception. She passed through the 3000-meter mark in 9:11.32, a time that would have stood alone as the 20th-fastest in the country and may have qualified for NCAAs, depending on who elects to run which event at NCAAs.

  1 Sisson, Emily             SR Providence            15:12.22*  10        
35.933 (35.933)       1:12.174 (36.242)       1:49.142 (36.968)      
2:26.434 (37.293)       3:03.686 (37.253)       3:41.015 (37.330)      
4:18.131 (37.117)       4:55.134 (37.004)       5:31.675 (36.541)      
6:08.205 (36.531)       6:44.902 (36.698)       7:21.229 (36.328)      
7:58.112 (36.883)       8:34.860 (36.749)       9:11.320 (36.461)      
9:47.633 (36.314)      10:24.063 (36.430)      11:00.715 (36.653)      
11:37.305 (36.591)      12:13.894 (36.590)    13:25.699 (1:11.805)      
14:01.577 (35.878)      14:37.321 (35.745)


Michigan State Women Dominate at Big Tens; Disanza Struggles


It was a very different story for former collegiate women’s 5000-meters leader Sarah Disanza of Wisconsin Friday night in the Big Ten 3000 meters. Disanza was handled easily by Michigan State’s Rachele Schulist in what was the Badger’s first open race since running her now-No. 4 all-time 15:21.57 to top Sisson at the Boston U. Opener in December just weeks after a runner-up national cross country finish. Schulist ran a six-second PR of 9:01.25 – good for No. 4 in the country – to defeat Disanza by nearly 15 seconds as the Badger finished in 9:16.06. As of publication, that’s the No. 25 time in the country.

Though certainly not a good sign for Disanza, the Badger did suffer a pretty big defeat at the Great Lakes Regional during cross country at the hands of Schulist (and teammate Leah O’Connor) just two weekends before going on to finish runner-up at NCAAs as one of the meet’s biggest surprises.

For Schulist, this is her second 3000-meters PR of the season that has come in a victory of 12 or more seconds. How fast can she go when truly tested? We’ll find out in Fayetteville in a couple of weekends.

Speaking of O’Connor, the defending outdoor steeplechase national champ had herself a strong weekend, too. Friday night saw her anchor the Spartans’ DMR into the NCAA Championships field with a second-ranked 10:57.80, along with efforts from Katie Landwehr, Tori Franklin, and Aubrey Wilberding. The final results show a five-second win for MSU over rival Michigan, but O’Connor had to rally from behind to catch the Wolverines’ Brook Handler to capture the win. Michigan, meanwhile, bolstered its position as an NCAA qualifier looking to reclaim its national title from two seasons ago.

She followed that up on Saturday with a mile performance that was every bit as dominant as Schulist’s run at 3k the previous night, winning the open mile by nine seconds over Handler with a 4:32.29 effort to bolster her position as the No. 5 miler in the country. She finished seventh in this event at NCAAs a year ago.

Dominique Scott’s Great Weekend at SECs


Perhaps the most impressive distance double of the weekend was that of Arkansas’ Dominique Scott, as the senior won two SEC crowns en route to leading her Razorbacks to the decisive team title in Lexington, Kentucky.

Already the collegiate leader at 3000 meters as one of the fastest collegians of all-time, she didn’t need to truly flex her muscles Friday evening in a 9:17.24 win by four seconds over teammate Diane Robison.

That was very much not the case in the open mile the next day, as she needed to reprise her sixth-ranked mile performance to hold off a hard charging Rhianweed Price of Mississippi State for the second of her two wins.

The Razorback senior opened up a significant lead on the final lap of the race, only to have Price charge hard around the final turn and make a race of it at the very end. Scott was able to deflect the move late and pulled away for a win by less than half a second, 4:32.49 to 4:32.74 for Price, who now sits at No. 7 on the national list.

What will Scott do at NCAAs? Not the 5000, as she elected to sit out that race at SEC (without a top-16 time) with the Razorbacks having secured the team title. But she’s No. 1 at 3000, No. 6 in the mile and is the anchor of the defending champion distance medley relay currently ranked No. 7 in the country.

Scott wasn’t the only Razorback to double in the distance events, as Kemoy Campbell took the men’s titles at both 3000 and 5000 meters.

Goule Loses ACC 800 Meters


All season long, one of the seemingly most unassailable favorites in any event was two-time NCAA champ Natoya Goule of Clemson at 800 meters. As of Saturday, that status has been revoked.

Running her first open 800 meters final against collegiate competition, Goule was overtaken at the line by Virginia Tech sophomore Hanna Green by just .14 of a second, 2:03.43 to 2:03.57, and was nearly caught by North Carolina’s Elizabeth Whelan in 2:03.85.

What’s more, only two women had run times within a second of Goule’s 2:02.78 against the pros at the Armory Track Invitational in late January entering this weekend, with seven more having run within about two seconds. There are now about 15 women within two seconds of her, with Arkansas’ Crishuna Williams having nearly taken over the collegiate lead with her 2:02.95 to win the SEC Championships.

Goule’s 800 wasn’t the only dramatic distance race of the weekend at ACCs.

Competing on his home track, Virginia Tech’s Thomas Curtin emerged from a back-and-forth battle with Syracuse’s Martin Hehir with the 3000-meter conference title, 7:52.92 to 7:53.15, as both surpassed current U.S. Indoor two-mile champion Ryan Hill’s old meet record of 8:00.70.

Hehir, who had won the 5000 title in a meet-record 13:57.97 the day before, moved past Curtin into the lead late in the race, but Curtin was able to respond and eke out the victory by less than a quarter of a second.

Both look to be just inside the bubble to qualify for the NCAA Championships, though not all conference meets have been concluded and/or posted to TFRRS as of publication.

Oregon DMR Runs Fifth-Fastest Time in College History All Conditions


Though Oregon’s 9:32.xx from the Rod McCravy Memorial in late January was at one point the collegiate leader, their national-championships-qualifying footing had slipped significantly since as the Ducks were hanging on to the 12th and final qualifying spot entering this weekend’s MPSF meet at Washington.

How did they solve that problem? Well, a collegiate-leading 9:27.02 that ranks fifth all-time in collegiate history under all conditions certainly did the trick. The Ducks assured their spot into the NCAA field and established themselves as, at the very least, co-favorites (Villanova has run only .02 slower this year in a solo effort) behind the foursome of Edward Cheserek, Marcus Chambers, Johnny Gregorek and Eric Jenkins.

The Ducks won by nearly six seconds over California. Flotrack Pro users can watch the race here.

The DMR wasn’t Oregon’s only last-minute qualifier into the NCAA championships at the MPSF meet, as Jeremy Elkaim won the 3000 in 7:48.48 to take the No. 4 spot in the NCAA and Parker Stinson finished fourth in 7:52.21 for 13th on the NCAA list. Also pushing themselves into the top 16 were runner-up Erik Olson of Stanford, and third-place Morgan Pearson and fifth-place Jake Hurysz of Colorado.

Cristian Soratos Dominates at Big Sky Championships


Two weekends ago Cristian Soratos of Montana State electrified the track & field community with his collegiate-leading 3:55.27 at Washington to officially announce his arrival as a contender – with or without altitude conversions.

He backed that up at the Big Sky Championships this weekend, winning two individual titles in the mile and 800 and another title in the distance medley relay, as well as a fifth-place finish in the 4×400 relay.

He took down Northern Arizona’s Futsum Zienasellassie by two seconds to win the mile, with his 4:07.28 at Northern Arizona’s 7,000 feet of altitude converting to a 3:58 performance at sea level. Later that day he took the 800 meters title by nearly a second over teammate Matthew Tex in 1:51.33.

All of this after anchoring his DMR to a six-second win on Friday in 1:08.27.

Next up? NCAAs.

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