Collegiate History At Stake In Women’s 5K In Boston

The 2019-2020 collegiate indoor track & field season could get off to a record-breaking start on Saturday afternoon in Boston, Massachusetts.

That’s because Boston University is hosting its annual Sharon Colyear-Danville Season Opener – and if recent history has proven anything, a bunch of talented women are about to run at a blistering clip for 5000 meters (That’s 25 laps, for those who are still stuck in cross country mode).

From The USTFCCCA InfoZone: Meets & Results | Records & Lists

Just 371 days ago, four women cracked the all-time collegiate top-10 in the 5000 during the 2018 installment of the meet inside the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center: Ednah Kurgat of New Mexico (15:14.68, No. 3), Weini Kelati of New Mexico (15:15.24, No. 5), Sharon Lokedi of Kansas (15:15.47, No. 6) and Allie Ostrander of Boise State (15:16.38, No. 7).

Women’s Indoor 5000 Meters – All-Time Top-10 Performers

Emily Sisson
Kim Smith
Ednah Kurgat
New Mexico
Molly Seidel
Notre Dame
Weini Kelati
New Mexico
Sharon Lokedi
Allie Ostrander
Boise State
Sonia O’Sullivan
Karissa Schweizer
Sarah Disanza

Less than a year before that, Karissa Schweizer of Missouri clocked a time of 15:17.31 at the meet, which put her fifth on the chart at the time. Each of those aforementioned performances pushed Schweizer down to ninth.

And three years before Schweizer scorched the track, Sarah Disanza of Wisconsin did so for what made her the No. 10 performer in collegiate history.

The common thread between all of those performances is that those women parlayed fitness gained during the cross country season into strong efforts in Boston. That’s going to be the case again this year, as we’re just two weeks removed from the 2019 NCAA DI Cross Country Championships that took place in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Twelve of the women entered in the 5000 this weekend were All-Americans at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course: Individual champion Weini Kelati of New Mexico, Katie Izzo of Arkansas (3rd place), Taylor Werner of Arkansas (4th place), Courtney Wayment of BYU (5th), Erica Birk-Jarvis of BYU (6th), Whittni Orton of BYU (7th), Ednah Kurgat of New Mexico (9th place), Elly Henes of NC State (10th place), Joyce Kimeli (14th place), Kelsey Chimel (22nd place), Maria Mettler (36th place) and Jessica Drop (40th place).

It should also be mentioned that only seven of those women are listed as attached to a program – Kelati, Izzo, Orton, Kimeli, Chmiel, Mettler and Drop – which means they’re the only ones eligible to break the four-year-old collegiate record established by Emily Sisson should they keep up with the rabbit and power through by themselves once the rabbit drops off the track.

Race organizers asked the pace to be 9:06 through 3000 meters. If that pace is held the entire way, it would project to 15:10 – two seconds under Sisson’s standard.

Should they want to drop the hammer even further, the all-dates, all-conditions collegiate best of 15:01.70 set by Jenny Barringer in 2009 is for the taking. Barringer clocked that time on the oversized track at the Washington Husky Classic.

The men’s race pits champion against champion as Edwin Kurgat of Iowa State faces off against Ezra Mutai of American International, among others. Kurgat won the individual title at the 2019 NCAA DI Cross Country Championships, while Mutai pulled away late to earn the NCAA DII crown.

This will be the first time in three years that two reigning NCAA men’s cross country champions will face off on the indoor circuit. The last time it happened was following the 2016 cross country season when Edward Cheserek of Oregon went head to head with Alfred Chelanga of Shorter at the Husky Classic in Washington.