NCAA Women’s 5000 — The Pack Is Back

Katelyn Tuohy is leading an NC State distance resurgence. (MIKE SCOTT)

FOR BOTH Katelyn Tuohy and Parker Valby, the meet’s final individual race was about more than their own accomplishment — it was also about the prestige of their programs.

For soph Tuohy, it was a chance to reinforce NC State’s full emergence as a distance power. The Wolfpack’s Elly Henes won this event last season, the team won the XC title last fall, and Tuohy was one of no fewer than 5 NC State entries here. Tuohy herself was also emerging, having placed 2nd in both the 3K and 5K indoors.

For frosh Valby, it was a chance to clinch the team title for Florida. For Mike Holloway’s Gators to finish off Texas and sweep both the men’s and women’s meets, Valby only needed to score. She made it clear from the beginning that she was determined to do more than that.

Both accomplished their missions. Tuohy won in 15:18.39, fulfilling the promise she has shown since high school, and Valby followed her home in 15:20.10.

From the gun, it felt like they were the only two runners that mattered. Yes, other runners were at their heels for about 2M, but it was clearly Tuohy and Valby — the Gator often running a longer line off Tuohy’s shoulder —dictating the pace.

After a steady diet of 74-second laps, Valby made her bid with a mile remaining, notching circuits of 72.69 and 71.90. It was a bold move — she reportedly broke a bone in her heel during the indoor season, and on limited training, surely must have wondered about her fitness.

Tuohy, Colorado State’s Abby Nichols, 10K champ Mercy Chelangat of Alabama and Oklahoma State’s Taylor Roe gave chase.

Nichols was the first to surrender, with less than three laps left. Then with 600 to go, Tuohy powered past Valby, running a 69.18 penultimate lap to seal the deal. But Valby kept her grip on 2nd as Roe and Chelangat faded. Roe denied Chelangat a second medal, 15:24.41–15:24.54.

Said Tuohy, “I was looking at my coach [Laurie Henes, the ’21 champ’s mom] every lap looking for instructions, but she was just telling me to stay calm because I’m pretty comfortable running hard from the front. And then right around 600m to go, I figured, ‘I can open up a little bit of a gap. Maybe I can hold it for the end.’

“This one has meant a lot. Last year I didn’t even qualify for outdoor nationals and I watched from back home in New York and it was really cool to be able to follow in [Henes’] footsteps and win another title for NC State alongside my other teammates. So this one was really special.”


WOMEN’S 5000 RESULTS

(June 11)

1. **Katelyn Tuohy (NCSt) 15:18.39 (3, 3 NCAA)

(35.30, 77.78 [1:53.08], 75.45 [3:08.53], 75.11 [4:23.64], 74.66 [5:38.30], 74.95 [6:53.25], 74.90 [8:08.15], 75.01 [9:23.16], 72.66 [10:35.82], 72.31 [11:48.13], 71.77 [12:59.90], 69.18 [14:09.08], 69.31)

(69.31, 2:18.49, 4:42.57);

2. ***Parker Valby (Fl) 15:20.10 PR (4, 4 NCAA)

(69.88, 2:20.47, 4:44.30);

3. **Taylor Roe (OkSt) 15:24.41 (6, 7 NCAA)

(72.17, 2:24.02, 4:48.20);

4. *Mercy Chelangat’ (Al-Ken) 15:24.54 (7, 8 NCAA)

(71.46, 2:23.81, 4:48.45);

5. *Lauren Gregory (Ar) 15:28.33 (9, 10 NCAA)

(67.84, 2:19.98, 4:50.35);

6. Abby Nichols (Co) 15:33.09

(73.00, 2:30.03, 4:57.08);

7. **Gracelyn Larkin’ (NM-Can) 15:33.10

(68.69, 2:24.59, 4:54.86);

8. **Isabel Van Camp (Ar) 15:35.64 PR

(71.39, 2:27.06, 4:58.82);

9. ***Marlee Starliper (NCSt) 15:36.51 PR; 10. *Samantha Bush (NCSt) 15:42.61; 11. Hannah Steelman (NCSt) 15:43.45; 12. *Cara Woolnough (Ut) 15:45.26; 13. *Sydney Seymour (Tn) 15:51.50; 14. ***Emily Covert (Co) 15:52.99; 15. **Lucy Jenks (Stan) 15:55.19; 16. **Amelia Mazza-Downie’ (NM-Aus) 15:58.39; 17. **Amaris Tyynismaa (Al) 15:59.08; 18. ***Emma Heckel’ (NM-Ger) 16:01.51; 19. Eusila Chepkemei’ (MTn-Ken) 16:01.65; 20. *Savannah Shaw (NCSt) 16:02.32; 21. Nicole Fegans (GaT) 16:05.64; 22. Bethany Hasz (Mn) 16:12.58; 23. *India Johnson (Co) 16:16.09;… dnf—*Elizabeth Mancini (LaS).

(best-ever mark-for-NCAA-place: 2–23)

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