FAST TIMES & GLOBAL FINALS make for a nice résumé. Grant Fisher does not want one. He wants a medal.
To get one, he needed this first: win a national championship.
“Today was a step I needed to take to truly be able to put myself in there and believe myself,” he said.
After 3 runner-up places, Fisher ascended to the top of the podium, surging to a meet record of 13:03.86. The previous record was 13:08.62 by Paul Chelimo in ’17.
The race was moved to Sunday morning because of heat expected later in the day, but, at 81 degrees (27C), it was still hot. So was the pace.
Steeplechase winner Hillary Bor went out at 63-second pace before dropping out after 5 laps, his rabbit duties done. Similarly, steeple runner-up Evan Jager took over thereafter, towing the field through 3200 in 8:28.43. He, too, dropped out, as did the veteran Lopez Lomong.
Off such a tempo Fisher accelerated with 3 laps to go, running the closing 1200 in 2:58.51 — a good college DMR leadoff.
Said Fisher, “There were some moments when it was hard and hot, but I knew if I put in some pace with a few laps to go, I could break a lot of people. I wanted this to be a true 5K. I didn’t want it to be a 400. I wanted to make ’em hurt, and it worked.”
Woody Kincaid, running far off the necessary third spot to make the team, parlayed a 54.24 last lap to overtake Abdihamid Nur, Emmanuel Bor and Sean McGorty. He finished 2nd in 13:06.70, followed by Nur in 13:08.63. Conner Mantz climbed to 4th in a PR 13:11.81, and Emmanuel Bor, Hillary’s brother, was fifth in a PR 13:13.15.
It was the second sub-13:10 for Nur, who broke Henry Rono’s 44-year-old Collegiate Record with a time of 13:06.32 in May. Nur’s 19-year-old Northern Arizona teammate, Nico Young, was 8th in 13:19.15.
Kincaid said McGorty allowed him to pass with 500m left, “so I just put on the burners.” It was a redemptive moment for Kincaid, who dropped out of the 10,000 Trials in May after making the 5K and 10K teams for Tokyo.
“So making this team meant a lot,” Kincaid said. “I had one more chance to do it, giving myself a chance to do something on the world stage.”
Fisher, 25, has been targeting the World Championships but said it was “very important” to win a U.S. title. He said he wants to be in the conversation for a medal.
“I don’t think I would have said that a year ago, or through, I would say, at a point in my career, really, and really believed it,” he said. “But I really believe I can fight with those guys and battle with them. I’ve been up there, up close and personal, racing them, some of those really good international guys.”
MEN’S 5000 RESULTS
1. Grant Fisher (NikBowTC) 13:03.86 (out AL) (MR)
(30.99, 63.38 [1:34.37], 62.98 [2:37.35], 63.08 [3:40.43], 63.55 [4:43.98], 64.47 [5:48.45], 63.82 [6:52.27], 64.53 [7:56.80], 64.10 [9:00.90], 64.44 [10:05.34], 59.72 [11:05.06], 58.08 [12:03.14], 60.72) (60.72, 1:58.80, 4:02.96);
2. Woody Kincaid (NikBowTC) 13:06.70 (54.32, 1:56.44, 4:05.22);
3. Abdihamid Nur (NnAz) 13:08.63 (61.96, 2:02.84, 4:07.27);
4. Conner Mantz (Nik) 13:11.81 PR (59.23, 2:01.42, 4:09.98);
5. Emmanuel Bor (Tracksm) 13:13.15 PR (65.82, 2:06.98, 4:12.47);
6. Sean McGorty (NikBowTC) 13:14.97 (62.27, 2:04.83, 4:13.32);
7. Thomas Ratcliffe (NikBowTC) 13:17.48 PR (60.15, 2:05.88, 4:15.19);
8. Nico Young (NnAz) 13:19.15 (62.47, 2:07.32, 4:16.60);
9. Morgan Beadlescomb (Mi) 13:24.20; 10. Dillon Maggard (unat) 13:24.79; 11. Paul Chelimo (Nik) 13:24.82; 12. Cole Sprout (Stan) 13:26.61 PR; 13. Eduardo Herrera (Co) 13:27.05; 14. Sam Chelanga (NikUSAr) 13:49.71; 15. Casey Clinger (BYU) 13:51.60; 16. Willy Fink (UArm) 14:06.07; 17. Graham Crawford (ReebB) 14:07.57; 18. Christian Noble (NBal) 14:24.87;… dnf—Hillary Bor (HokaADP) , Evan Jager (NikBowTC), Lopez Lomong (NikBowTC). ◻︎