NCAA Women’s 5000 — Schweizer’s Successful Defense

Karissa Schweizer won the national 5K titles indoors and out. (MIKE SCOTT)

Just as their Lobo teammate Alice Wright had done in the 10,000, Ednah Kurgat and Weini Kelati of New Mexico went immediately to the front in the meet’s final individual race, presumably to take the sting out of the kick of defending champ Karissa Schweizer of Missouri, who had faded to 3rd in the 25-lap race 2 days before.

But they did little to put any more fatigue into the legs of either Schweizer or 10K champ Sharon Lokedi of Kansas, as the pace stayed well north of a 16:00 projected time, despite the favorable conditions for distance running. Thus, the entire field remained in contention past 3K.
Kurgat, the cross country champion last fall, finally began to push in earnest with 3 laps remaining, but Schweizer remained just off her shoulder, with Kelati tucked in behind, followed by Allie Buchalski of Furman, Vanessa Fraser of Stanford and Oregon’s Lilli Burdon.

Schweizer, who used a sustained push over the second half of the race to win last year, took the lead down the penultimate backstretch, only to be passed coming into the home straight by Fraser, who was looking to help the Cardinal’s team chances following the final round loss of points in the discus just prior to the start of the race.
The Cardinal senior’s move pulled her and Schweizer 6m ahead of Kurgat, as Burdon moved into 3rd down the backstretch.

Fraser began to tire in the final turn, as Schweizer moved by and Burdon looked poised to make a run for the win into the final straight. But Schweizer was not to be denied, her 66.18 final lap giving her the win in 15:41.58.
Buchalski closed hard to finish 2nd in 15:42.77 ahead of Burdon (15:43.22) and Fraser (15:43.77).

NCAA XC runner-up Amy Eloise-Neal of Washington went from 10th to 5th over the final lap to finish ahead of Kurgat 15:44.41–15:46.31.

Georgia soph Jessica Drop scored 2 crucial team points in 6th (15:46.39), ahead of Boise State’s Allie Ostrander (15:46.50),who was doubling back from her steeple win an hour and a half earlier. Lokedi ended up 12th in 15:51.29.

Schweizer used a blazing 4:42.24 final four laps to became the sixth athlete to win multiple titles in the event, and the first since Abbey D’Agostino in ’12 & ’13. Said the Tiger, after winning one of the deepest races in meet history (an unprecedented 16 broke 16:00), “Going into the race, my coach told me that I was going to have to kick, but to know I have another gear and no matter how tired I would be, I was going to have that extra gear. I just really dug deep and I knew I had that in me.”


NCAA WOMEN’S 5000 RESULTS

(June 09)

1. Karissa Schweizer (Mo) 15:41.58

(16.3, 33.0, 66.18, 2:15.72, 3:28.59, 4:42.24);

2. Allie Buchalski (Furm) 15:42.77

(16.1, 32.7, 66.53, 2:16.69, 3:29.62, 4:43.22);

3. *Lilli Burdon’ (Or) 15:43.22

(17.6, 34.2, 66.90, 2:16.79, 3:29.75, 4:43.31);

4. Vanessa Fraser (Stan) 15:43.77

(18.3, 35.5, 68.61, 2:17.60, 3:30.06, 4:43.99);

5. Amy-Eloise Neale’ (Wa) 15:44.41

(17.2, 33.6, 66.77, 2:17.80, 3:30.45, 4:44.41);

6. *Ednah Kurgat’ (NM) 15:46.31

(18.1, 36.2, 70.51, 2:20.55, 3:33.34, 4:46.99);

7. **Jessica Drop (Ga) 15:46.39

(18.1, 35.7, 69.11, 2:19.73, 3:32.64, 4:46.57);

8. **Allie Ostrander (Boise) 15:46.50

(16.8, 34.4, 68.83, 2:20.14, 3:32.94, 4:46.81);

9. ***Weini Kelati’ (NM) 15:46.57

(16.9, 35.0, 69.67, 2:20.60, 3:33.36, 4:46.97);

10. Erika Kemp (NCSt) 15:48.62;

11. Charlotte Taylor’ (USF) 15:49.70;

12. *Sharon Lokedi’ (Ks) 15:51.29;

13. Erin Clark (Co) 15:51.80;

14. *Nicole Hutchinson’ (Vill) 15:57.00;

15. **Savannah Carnahan (Furm) 15:57.42;

16. **Elly Henes (NCSt) 15:57.69;

17. Samantha Nadel (Or) 16:01.14;

18. **Alicia Monson (Wi) 16:04.46;

19. **Abbey Wheeler (Prov) 16:06.69;

20. **Rachel DaDamio (NDm) 16:07.39 PR;

21. *Katherine Receveur (In) 16:08.40;

22. *Morgan Ilse (NC) 16:08.83;

23. ***Hannah Steelman (Woff) 16:09.63 PR;

24. *Bailey Davis (Louis) 16:36.04.

(best-ever mark-for-NCAA-place: 5–13, at least) □

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