NCAA Women’s 10,000 — The Manager Is In

Weni Kelati arranged her typical race plan to perfection. (ERROL ANDERSON/THE SPORTING IMAGE)

MANAGING THE RACE is an important ingredient in Weini Kelati’s running package. That and turning on a sprint at 9900m. The New Mexico soph did exactly that to win a slowish 25-lapper under muggy conditions, edging Oregon’s Carmela Cardama Baez 33:10.84–33:11.56. “I try to control the race, whether it’s the pace or the speed,” said the favorite. “I always keep something back for the finish, because you never know what someone else might have.” That after she had led during the first 2000 and again from 4K through 6.

On this still night the 22-year-old Eritrean native, who led by as much as 30m during the final two laps, deployed an elbow-pumping, hard-charging sprint to claim her victory. At the top of the homestraight, she moved slightly ahead of the challenging Duck. Baez finished the race with a 68.72 to nearly catch the Lobo, who managed only 72.96. “I was just going, going,” said Baez. “I didn’t really see her, I was just looking straight ahead at the finish.”

The Spaniard, also 22, actually started stalking the lead just past the halfway mark as Kelati was leading at 15:56. Teammate Edna Kurgat was a step behind, running with early leader Anna Rohrer of Notre Dame, Michigan’s Erin Finn and Washington’s Isobel Batt-Doyle. Baez and teammate Weronika Pyzik moved among the top 10. As the race clicked along, Kelati and Rohrer traded the lead until Kelati took it for good with 6 laps to go. Kurgat faded, but Baez moved into 4th. Kelati’s lead expanded.

On the final backstretch, always running near the rail, Baez was clearly reducing Kelati’s advantage. On top of the final curve, the crowd—sensing a super comeback—came alive. But Kelati The Manager kept some reserves and sprinted away down the stretch. Batt-Doyle, always in a scoring position, finished 3rd in 33:17.81 with her fastest lap in the race (74.61), staying just ahead of Arkansas soph Taylor Werner (33:20.68/75.11).


NCAA WOMEN’S 10,000 RESULTS

FINAL 
(June 06)

1. **Weini Kelati’ (NM) 33:10.84 (79.45, 88.05 [2:47.50], 91.05 [4:18.55], 86.30 [5:44.85], 75.72 [7:00.57], 77.84 [8:18.41], 79.23 [9:37.64], 79.38 [10:57.02], 78.63 [12:15.65], 78.68 [13:34.33], 79.55 [14:53.88], 82.99 [16:16.87], 80.46 [17:37.33], 79.88 [18:57.21], 83.26 [20:20.47], 80.07 [21:40.54], 77.53 [22:58.07], 78.33 [24:16.40], 78.63 [25:35.03], 74.78 [26:49.81], 76.57 [28:06.38], 76.97 [29:23.35], 77.36 [30:40.71], 77.17 [31:57.88], 72.96) (72.96, 2:30.13, 3:47.49, 5:04.46);

2. *Carmela Cardama Baez’ (Or) 33:11.56 (68.72, 2:25.25, 3:43.03, 4:59.62);

3. Isobel Batt-Doyle’ (Wa) 33:17.81 (74.61, 2:31.72, 3:49.60, 5:08.17);

4. **Taylor Werner (Ar) 33:20.68 (75.11, 2:34.13, 3:52.59, 5:11.12);

5. Caroline Alcorta (Vill) 33:20.70 (73.39, 2:30.28, 3:49.00, 5:08.22);

6. Anna Rohrer (NDm) 33:25.91 (78.22, 2:37.54, 3:56.89, 5:15.91);

7. Paige Stoner (Syr) 33:32.80 (72.82, 2:33.46, 3:55.90, 5:18.97);

8. *Amy Davis (Wi) 33:34.20 (73.80, 2:33.85, 3:53.96, 5:14.71);

9. Ednah Kurgat’ (NM) 33:34.67 (74.64, 2:35.58, 3:57.39, 5:20.48);

10. Abbie McNulty (Stan) 33:38.55;

11. *Makena Morley (Co) 33:39.27;

12. Erin Finn (Mi) 33:40.88;

13. Weronika Pyzik’ (Or) 34:00.66;

14. **Amanda Vestri (IaSt) 34:02.78;

15. **Laura Dickinson’ (Syr) 34:03.76;

16. Kaitlyn Benner (Co) 34:06.39;

17. Margaret Allen (In) 34:16.09;

18. Militsa Mircheva’ (FlSt) 34:29.41;

19. ***Maddy Denner (NDm) 34:58.38;

20. **Megan Hasz (Mn) 35:03.50;

21. ***Monica Hebner (Duke) 35:28.28;

22. **Ivine Chemutai’ (Louis) 35:35.93;

… dnf—***Jackie Gaughan (NDm), **Samantha Halvorsen (WF).◻︎