Jordan Invitational — Mission Accomplished For Simpson

A 15:21.12 gave Jenny Simpson a World Champs qualifier with the fastest outdoor American time of the year. (DON GOSNEY)

STANFORD, CALIFORNIA, May 02—The anomalous late timing of this year’s professional schedule, and perhaps some ambivalence in the fields about chasing tough Tokyo Olympic standards 5 months out from the World Championships, put an atypical spin on Stanford’s annual Jordan Invitational. At this always distance-friendly meet, the script is often hammer all out, run as fast as you can, reach the tough Q marks. This time there was some fast running. The highlight on the clock was the 13:10.72 outdoor world leader in the 5000 from Yomif Kejelcha, and the meet saw 5 U.S. leading marks (two of the outdoor variety) and 4 that topped the collegiate lists. Twenty-five ’19 World Champs qualifying marks were racked up.

But a lot of racing for the win broke out too. Exhibit A, Jenny Simpson running her outdoor opener—and just second race of ’19—in the 5000. The 4-time OG/WC 1500 medalist took the win in 15:21.12, 0.88 under the Doha standard, in her first outdoor foray at the distance since PRing (14:56.26) in Zürich 6 seasons ago. Simpson was pushed over the last lap by ’18 winner Rachel Schneider (15:21.44) as Briton Amy-Eloise Neale (15:21.58) also hit the Q. But Simpson confessed she didn’t lock in early. The field’s early dawdling put the 15:10.00 Olympic standard out of reach almost from the get-go.

For the Colorado alum, the night played out more as a chance to begin polishing her racing skills for what’s ahead. “There’s so many races where I run my own plan, no matter what is going on, and I get in the groove, get into 2nd or 3rd, and try to win,” she said. “Today was just, I think, a good opportunity and good practice to kind of let other people and other racers dictate the race for a while, and just tuck in and go for the ride. But it was kind of funny because, totally transparent to all of you, I thought I would just jump in there and set up on the rail and I could be anywhere from 1st to 7th and hit the standard. So that was kind of my plan, just tuck in and then race for fun the last lap. But, omigosh, we cut it close. I looked up at 1000—and this is why you always travel with your coach—cuz my coach [Heather Burroughs] was yelling, ‘You gotta get going.’ I look up, I kinda wake up, look up at the clock and realized I have a job to do here and we gotta get back on that pace.”

After Elinor Purrier led a tight pack through 3000 in 9:25.6, Simpson fully engaged 2 laps out and she and Schneider started to roll. The ’11 world 1500 champ led with a lap to go and blasted away from 200 out but clearly had to work in the homestretch. Finishing splits: 62.7, 2:13.2, 4:40.9. Schneider finished her final lap just as fast but was unable to change the margin.

“Let’s be honest. I never think I leave it too late,” Simpson said. “I’m in there thinking, ‘Heather, don’t worry, I’ve got this.’ But we did kind of leave it late and I had to do a lot of work there at the end and I’m so grateful Rachel responded, so I had help, I certainly didn’t do it alone. Seeing her shadow and feeling her pressure was super helpful. And feeling the other people that were there; I don’t know [exactly who] because I can’t look behind me. But it was a really good, it was just good racing. And then the other thing—if I’m allowed to be a little bit veteraned attitude—it was so physical and so sloppy out there, I kind of felt like, ‘Welcome to my world; this is my whole summer.’ I’m so used to it being so physical and so rough and tumble. So in a way I kind of felt at home.” (continues below)



The sight of indoor mile WR man Kejelcha in his outdoor opener captivated interest, arguably more so when his 8:04.7 split at 3K telegraphed he’d have work to do to reach the 13:13.50 Tokyo standard—not that he won’t have plenty of other opportunities this summer. The Ethiopian star wound it up and delivered, turning his last 4 laps in 4:00.0, with 1:54.1 and 57.5 figures for his closing 800 and 400. The American Distance Project’s Kirubel Erassa PRed in 2nd at 13:17.23, finishing nicely himself: 60.2, 1:59.1.

“I was actually leading the whole time [until Kejelcha moved],” said the Ethiopian-born Oklahoma State alum. “I’ve been training in Ethiopia for 2 months with the best out there and they gave me a lot of confidence. So I was running with confidence here today.… 10,000 feet [of altitude] helped me. I was breathing easy here.”

Rio 800 medalist Murphy ran his first race since taking the USATF Indoor 1000 crown in February and made the pace for the field to win in 3:37.59 (outdoor AL) from Robert Domanic’s 3:38.27. How much of the pace? “All of it,” said the Nike Oregon Project’s Murphy, who said his next move would be to visit NorCal wine country with fiancée Arianna Washington. “Training with guys like Yomif and then Donavan Brazier, staying up with them on both workouts gives you a pretty good idea you’re in good shape, so I don’t think this is necessarily a good [indication] of where I’m at. If I had had somebody to follow for 1300 it might have been a little bit different story but I think it was a good way to put the spikes on and dust off the uniform and get back out there after what seemed like forever.” Murphy’s finish was crisp, a 56.4 last circuit.

The men’s 10,000 fell out of Tokyo qualifying range (27:28.00) early as the field passed 5000 around 14:00.0. That left Ben True, the Jordan meet’s 5K meet record holder (13:02.74 in ’14) to gain more experience with the 25-lapper, which he said he wants to explore further in the future. Winning by close to 4 seconds from Briton Marc Scott with a 27:52.39 time but missing the Doha standard (27:40.00), True turned his last 4 circuits in the 64-second range (4:16.6 final 1600) to tie down the win. He said, “I kind of knew coming in today that I might have to do some work. I was really hoping that I would have to do more than 2K of work but I probably should have gone to the front a lot sooner—kind of just blowing my legs off and if I got beat, I got beat—but just trying to run a little faster time. But I wasn’t doing it today.”

In the women’s 10,000, all eyes were on débutante Sifan Hassan, the Netherlands’ multi-time Worlds medalist (in & out) at 1500, 3000 & 5000. Hassan chose caution and ran to win, pushing the lap tempo into 73- and 74-second territory over the last 9 go-rounds. With a 68.3 closer Hassan hit 31:18.12 to win from countrywoman Susan Krumins, the ’15 winner here. Krumins’ 31:23.81 also bettered the Tokyo Q mark (31:25.00).

“I was just nervous because I haven’t [raced] this long on the track and I’m not fond of laps,” said Hassan, another Nike Oregon Project member. “You have a lot of time to get nervous, scared. And I’m like, ‘When I’m gonna [get] tired?’” Not exactly an expected sentiment from the No. 8 half-marathoner all-time. Hassan debuted at the road distance in 65:15 in September and raced 65:45 in Berlin a month ago. But “the half-marathon you just run straight,” said Hassan, and you don’t know where you are. [For this] you have to count the laps. It’s my first time also and I’m no fan of laps. I like to run all out and done [as in a shorter track race] or just straight [as on the road].”


JORDAN INVITATIONAL MEN’S RESULTS

Stanford, California, May 02—

800: 1. George Espino (SnUt) 1:48.44; 2. Michael Wilson’ (NM) 1:48.77.

1500: I–1. Clayton Murphy (Nik) 3:37.59 (out AL) (56.4);

2. Robert Domanic (ReebB) 3:38.27; 3. **Reed Brown (Or) 3:38.76; 4. Sean McGorty (BowTC) 3:39.00; 5. William Paulson’ (AzSt) 3:39.04; 6. **George Kusche’ (Nb) 3:39.33; 7. Grant Fisher (Stan) 3:39.60; 8. *Mick Stanovsek’ (Wa) 3:41.20; 9. Mo Ahmed’ (Can) 3:41.59; 10. James West’ (Or) 3:42.41.

II–1. Adam Palamar’ (Can) 3:42.11; 2. Woody Kincaid (BowTC) 3:42.42; 3. **Charlie Hunter’ (Or) 3:43.08;

4. **Cooper Teare (Or) 3:43.13; 5. Robbie Fitzgibbon’ (GB) 3:43.18; 6. *Kasey Knevelbaard (SnUt) 3:43.95; 7. Matt Hughes’ (Can) 3:43.98.

St: I–1. **Ryan Smeeton’ (OkSt) 8:27.90 (CL); 2. Travis Mahoney (HokaNJNY) 8:28.76 (AL);

3. Jean-Simon Desgagnes’ (Can) 8:29.10; 4. Max Stevens’ (Aus) 8:29.48; 5. Obsa Ali (Mn) 8:31.15; 6. John Gay’ (Can) 8:31.40; 7. Kaur Kivistik’ (Est) 8:31.91; 8. **Matt Owens (BYU) 8:32.59; 9. Brian Barraza (adi) 8:33.03; 10. David Goodman (unat) 8:34.90; 11. Adam Visokay’ (GB) 8:34.92; 12. Donnie Cowart (CrazyR) 8:35.07; 13. Jordan Mann (NBal) 8:38.53; 14. Frankline Tonui (USAr) 8:41.58; 15. Troy Reeder (FurmE) 8:41.87; 16. Kyle Medina (TinE) 8:49.06; 17. Craig Nowak (FurmE) 8:52.45.

II–1. *Clayson Shumway (BYU) 8:39.74; 2. Emmanuel Rotich’ (Tul) 8:41.05; 3. Simon Sundström (Swe) 8:42.43; 4. Michael Jordan (USAr) 8:42.46; 5. Jose Pena’ (Ven) 8:43.79; 6. Jackson Sayler (Adams) 8:45.39; 7. ***Kenneth Rooks (BYU) 8:47.15; 8. Joseph Berriatua (unat) 8:48.75; 9. *Adrian Jones (UtV) 8:49.03; 10. *Jacob Heslington (BYU) 8:49.34; 11. **Zach Litoff (SClara) 8:52.38.

5000: I–1. Yomif Kejelcha’ (Eth) 13:10.72 (out WL) (8:04.7 @ 3000) (57.5, 1:54.1, 4:00.0); 2. Kirubel Erassa (ADP) 13:17.23 (out AL) (60.2, 1:59.1, 4:06.4);

3. Andrew Butchart’ (GB) 13:18.16; 4. Isaac Kimeli’ (Bel) 13:18.19; 5. Robin Hendrix’ (Bel) 13:19.50; 6. Justyn Knight’ (Can) 13:20.80; 7. Drew Hunter (adi) 13:21.18; 8. Gerard Geraldo’ (Col) 13:21.31; 9. Jordan Gusman’ (Aus) 13:21.35; 10. Eric Jenkins (NikOP) 13:21.71; 11. Josef Tessema (AMD) 13:22.28; 12. Sam Parsons’ (Ger) 13:22.32; 13. *Tyler Day (NnAz) 13:25.06; 14. Altobeli Da Silva’ (Bra) 13:27.90; 15. Lopez Lomong (BowTC) 13:28.74; 16. **Conner Mantz (BYU) 13:29.73; 17. *Geordie Beamish’ (NnAz) 13:31.58; 18. Clayton Young (BYU) 13:31.79; 19. **Luis Grijalva’ (NnAz) 13:37.11; 20. Ederson Pereira’ (Bra) 13:47.91; 21. Chris O’Hare’ (GB) 13:48.66.

II–1. Lander Tijtgat’ (Bel) 13:40.16; 2. Suguru Osako’ (Jpn) 13:40.48; 3. Per Svela’ (Nor) 13:40.63; 4. Federico Bruno’ (Arg) 13:41.52;

5. ***Connor Lane (Stan) 13:42.31; 6. Philo Germano (ReebB) 13:42.37; 7. *Alex Ostberg (Stan) 13:42.44; 8. Andreas Vojta’ (Aut) 13:44.32; 9. Alex Monroe (RootsRP) 13:45.21; 10. Tom Farrell’ (GB) 13:45.50; 11. ***James Mwaura (Gonz) 13:46.17; 12. Suldan Hassan’ (Swe) 13:46.63; 13. ***Evert Silva (Port) 13:48.04.

10,000: 1. Ben True (Sauc) 27:52.39 (AL) (64.5, 2:08.6, 4:16.6);

2. Marc Scott’ (GB) 27:56.19; 3. Harry Summers’ (Aus) 27:56.98; 4. Diego Estrada (Asics) 27:57.99; 5. Reid Buchanan (MamSkech) 27:58.67; 6. Lawi Lalang (USAr) 28:03.34; 7. Juan Luis Barrios’ (Mex) 28:04.39; 8. Jacob Thomson (BAA) 28:09.88;

9. Connor McMillan (BYU) 28:11.30 (CL);

10. Rory Linkletter’ (BYU) 28:12.42; 11. Benjamin de Haan’ (Neth) 28:17.25; 12. Ben Flanagan’ (Can) 28:19.51; 13. Geoffrey Kipchumba’ (Ken) 28:24.22; 14. Trevor Dunbar (BAA) 28:24.62; 15. Wily Canchanya’ (Per) 28:27.00; 16. Mario Pacay’ (Gua) 28:34.45; 17. Evans Kirwa (USAr) 28:47.74; 18. Ben Bruce (NAzE) 28:48.99; 19. Zach Zarda (KCSm) 28:57.24; 20. Benjamin Preisner’ (Tul) 29:13.38; 21. Kevin Lewis (TMn) 29:17.53.HT: 1. Alex Young (Velaasa) 237-3 (72.31).

JORDAN WOMEN’S RESULTS

800: I–1. Hanna Green (OTC) 2:01.61; 2. Susan Ejore’ (Or) 2:02.66; 3. Olivia Baker (GSTC) 2:03.29; 4. Laurence Coté’ (Can) 2:03.69; 5. Madeleine Kelly’ (Can) 2:03.96; 6. Ashley Taylor’ (Can) 2:04.35; 7. Jenna Westaway’ (Can) 2:05.25; 8. **Carolyn Wilson (Stan) 2:08.26.

II–1. Mariela Luisa Real’ (Mex) 2:05.66; 2. Shea Collinsworth (Nik) 2:06.48; 3. Adrea Propp’ (Can) 2:06.59; 4. **Kristie Schoffield (Boise) 2:07.52; 5. Annette Melcher (CSTC) 2:08.22.

III–1. *Linnea Saltz (SnUt) 2:05.82; 2. *Whittni Orton (BYU) 2:05.97.

1500: I–1. *Jessica Hull’ (Or) 4:12.08 (out CL);

2. Karissa Schweizer (BowTC) 4:12.10; 3. Hanna Hermansson’ (Swe) 4:12.93; 4. Elise Cranny (BowTC) 4:13.20; 5. *Erica Birk (BYU) 4:13.77; 6. Mariah Kelly’ (Can) 4:13.79; 7. Rebecca Mehra (Ois) 4:14.62; 8. *Carina Viljoen’ (Ar) 4:15.47; 9. Marielle Hall (BowTC) 4:16.47; 10. Dana Giordano (BAA) 4:17.53.

II–1. Lianne Farber (NBalB) 4:12.81; 2. Amanda Rego (CSTC) 4:13.31; 3. Siofra Cleirigh-Buttner’ (Ire) 4:13.51;

4. Jenna Hinkle (HokaAg) 4:15.28; 5. *Roisin Flanagan’ (Adams) 4:17.53; 6. Sarah Eckel’ (Aus) 4:18.81; 7. *Olivia Hoj (BYU) 4:19.48.

III–1. ***Lauren Gregory (Ar) 4:15.62; 2. **Allie Schadler (Wa) 4:16.57; 3. *Devin Clark (Ar) 4:17.01; 4. **Julia Heymach (Stan) 4:17.74; 5. Sharlie Dimick (SnUt) 4:17.83; 6. **Ella Donaghu (Stan) 4:18.71; 7. **Jordan Oakes (Stan) 4:18.85; 8. **Kate Hunter (BYU) 4:19.90.

IV–1. Maggie Montoya (RootsRP) 4:18.90; 2. ***Stephanie Cotter’ (Adams) 4:19.84.

St: 1. *Allie Ostrander (Boise) 9:45.66 (AL, CL);

2. **Adva Cohen’ (NM) 9:45.71; 3. Alicja Konieczek’ (WnCo) 9:52.32; 4. *Eilish Flanagan’ (Adams) 9:55.25; 5. *Charlotte Prouse’ (NM) 9:56.01; 6. Courtney Barnes (unat) 9:59.24; 7. Eva Krchova’ (CzR) 9:59.70; 8. Kate Ayers’ (Can) 10:00.09; 9. Rolanda Bell’ (Pan) 10:05.60; 10. Emily Hamlin (Wa) 10:05.79; 11. Maddie Cannon (BYU) 10:06.17; 12. *Emma Gee (BYU) 10:06.96; 13. ***Maxine Paholek’ (Boise) 10:07.96; 14. *Amanda Gehrich (Or) 10:10.99; 15. Katy Kunc (HokaNJNY) 10:11.71; 16. Cierra Simmons (UtSt) 10:19.68.

5000: I–1. Jenny Simpson (NBal) 15:21.12 (out AL) (9:26.5 @ 3000) (62.7, 2:13.2, 3:28.3, 4:40.9, 5:54.6);

2. Rachel Schneider (UArm) 15:21.44 (62.7, 2:15.2); 3. Amy-Eloise Neale’ (GB) 15:21.58; 4. Violah Lagat’ (Ken) 15:22.52; 5. Elinor Purrier (NBalB) 15:23.37; 6. **Weini Kelati’ (NM) 15:23.77; 7. Mel Lawrence (Ois) 15:24.69; 8. Rina Nabeshima’ (Jpn) 15:26.30; 9. Katrina Coogan (unat) 15:28.34;

10. Paige Stoner (Syr) 15:28.47 (AmCL);

11. Kim Conley (NBal) 15:28.52; 12. Erika Kemp (BAA) 15:28.69; 13. Jessica O’Connell’ (Can) 15:30.61; 14. Ednah Kurgat’ (NM) 15:32.70; 15. Sharon Lokedi’ (Ken) 15:35.96; 16. **Taylor Werner (Ar) 15:38.51; 17. Yolanda Ngarambe’ (Swe) 15:38.79; 18. Isobel Batt-Doyle’ (Wa) 15:41.36.

II–1. Emily Oren (GazE) 15:37.47; 2. *Carmela Cardama Baez’ (Or) 15:38.77; 3. *Fiona O’Keeffe (Stan) 15:38.88; 4. Erica Digby’ (Can) 15:39.10; 5. Angie Nickerson (SnUt) 15:46.02; 6. Cally Macumber (unat) 15:50.15; 7. Brenda Flores’ (Mex) 15:51.48; 8. Elly Henes (unat) 15:52.54; 9. Lauren LaRocco (Port) 15:55.60; 10. Abbie McNulty (Stan) 15:59.96.

10,000: 1. Sifan Hassan’ (Neth) 31:18.12 (68.3, 2:17.0, 4:42.7, 5:56.3); 2. Susan Krumins’ (Neth) 31:23.81 (68.5, 2:23.6); 3. Camille Buscomb’ (Aus) 31:33.04; 4. Ayuko Suzuki’ (Jpn) 31:33.62; 5. Carrie Dimoff (BowTC) 31:42.88; 6. Dominique Scott’ (SA) 31:43.18; 7. Natasha Wodak’ (Can) 31:43.26; 8. Ellie Pashley’ (Aus) 31:43.51; 9. Sarah Pagano (adi) 31:51.66; 10. Rachel Cliff’ (Can) 31:54.88; 11. Elaina Tabb (BAA) 31:55.72; 12. Alice Wright’ (GB) 31:56.52; 13. Jessica Tonn (unat) 32:06.19;

14. Carolina Tabares’ (Col) 32:19.59; 15. Emily Durgin (UArm) 32:23.40; 16. Mai Shoji’ (Jpn) 32:29.63; 17. Kaitlin Goodman (BAA) 32:34.03; 18. Laura Thweatt (Sauc) 32:34.24; 19. Tatiele Roberta de Cavalho’ (Bra) 32:45.99; 20. Jenny Nesbitt’ (GB) 32:46.55; 21. Kinsey Middleton’ (Can) 33:23.82; 22. Jessica Watychowicz (CSTC) 33:25.18.

PV: 1. *Kaitlyn Merritt (Stan) 13-10 (4.22).

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