NCAA Men’s 5000 — Let’s Go Out Slow And See Who Kicks The Best

After spending much of the race doing high-60s laps, Sean McGorty finished with a 56.53. (MIKE SCOTT)

With an anticipated slow pace awaiting them, a sprint finish in the 5000 can cause all kinds of havoc for a 24-man field, which has been standard since the ’10 NCAA. Sure enough, after a 32-second opening 200, the field slowed to 73 on lap 2 and 71 on 3 before settling into a 68/70 rhythm over the next couple of laps.

Even with the likes of Syracuse’s indoor champ Justyn Knight and Northern Arizona’s Andy Trouard—each of whom had a best under 13:20 this year—a breaker was needed to string out the pack. With everyone still in contention after the halfway point, Campbell’s Lawrence Kipkoech was in the lead and came by 3000m in 8:37.49, just a hair in front of BYU teammates Clayton Young and Rory Linkletter, followed by Stanford’s Sean McGorty, Washington’s Colby Gilbert, Alabama’s Vincent Kiprop, Kipkoech’s teammate Amon Kemboi, Colorado State’s Cole Rockhold, Stanford’s favored defending champ Grant Fisher and Knight, plus a slew of others.

Two more laps in the 67/66 range shuffled the field a bit, but with 3 laps to go things started to heat up as Kemboi’s 64.11 put him in front, with McGorty, Fisher, Kipkoech, Linkletter, Young and Knight on Kemboi’s heels.

On the penultimate lap, McGorty’s 62.44 put him into the lead, 0.15 ahead of Kemboi with Fisher and Knight and Fisher a couple ticks behind that.

Positions didn’t change on the last lap until the leaders entered the final homestretch. McGorty held on to the lead as Fisher challenged Kemboi for 2nd. But Knight wasn’t done. He produced the fastest straightaway of all and was even with Fisher with 40m to go. McGorty won in 13:54.81 with his 56.53 final circuit. Knight’s 56.18 finish was just enough to put him ahead of Fisher, 13:55.03–13:55.04, with Trouard 4th in 13:55.46.

Reflecting upon his victory, the 23-year-old McGorty said, “I’m extremely grateful. My coach talked to me about that before I raced for the first time since injury in indoor track and since then, it’s really stuck with me, just being incredibly grateful for each race and for pain-free running. I’m extremely grateful for this last moment in a Stanford jersey. We talked about a lot of different race plans, but the biggest thing was to not be too attached to one. The thing my coach really talked about was trusting myself. I think each week I’ve been getting better and I think it really showed.”


NCAA MEN’S 5000 RESULTS

(June 08)

1. Sean McGorty (Stan) 13:54.81

(32.17, 72.87 [1:45.04], 70.64 [2:55.68], 67.54 [4:03.22], 70.53 [5:13.75], 69.76 [6:23.51], 68.37 [7:31.88], 65.98 [8:37.86], 67.33 [9:45.19], 66.82 [10:52.01], 63.83 [11:55.84], 62.44 [12:58.28], 56.53)

(14.0, 27.5, 56.53, 1:58.97, 3:02.80, 4:09.62);

2. Justyn Knight’ (Syr) 13:55.03

(13.6, 27.2, 56.18, 1:58.57, 3:02.58, 4:08.85);

3. *Grant Fisher (Stan) 13:55.04

(13.8, 27.4, 56.40, 1:58.83, 3:02.87, 4:09.09);

4. Andy Trouard (NnAz) 13:55.46

(13.8, 27.5, 56.57, 1:58.78, 3:02.94, 4:08.81);

5. **Amon Kemboi’ (Camp) 13:56.37

(15.2, 29.0, 57.94, 2:00.71, 3:04.81, 4:11.50);

6. Dillon Maggard (UtSt) 13:57.40;

7. **Edwin Kurgat’ (IaSt) 13:58.01;

8. *Rory Linkletter’ (BYU) 13:58.20;

9. *Vincent Kiprop’ (Al) 13:59.60;

10. **Jaret Carpenter (Pur) 14:00.01;

11. *Cole Rockhold (CoSt) 14:00.96;

12. *Clayton Young (BYU) 14:02.17;

13. *Gilbert Kigen’ (Al) 14:03.06;

14. Philo Germano (Syr) 14:03.57;

15. **Conor Lundy (Prin) 14:04.08 PR;

16. ***Ben Veatch (In) 14:06.40;

17. ***Cooper Teare (Or) 14:08.18;

18. *Lawrence Kipkoech’ (Camp) 14:11.95;

19. Zach Perrin (Co) 14:16.56;

20. *Alfred Chelanga’ (Al) 14:19.36;

21. Chartt Miller’ (Iona) 14:20.90;

22. Colby Gilbert (Wa) 14:27.22;

23. *Zach Long (Tn) 14:28.97;

24. *Connor McMillan (BYU) 14:29.12. □

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