NCAA Women’s 5000 — Valby Goes Out With Another CR

Valby ran with others for 600m then dropped a barrage of 71s as she ran off to lower her Collegiate Record. (MIKE SCOTT)

UNLESS CHICKEN LITTLE was right, and the sky was falling, it was a foregone conclusion that Florida’s Parker Valby would be crowned NCAA champion, again. This time, the 5000 was on deck and the defender of the title would again be in a space by herself as she negotiated 12½ laps to near perfection.

In her commanding 10K victory two days before Valby had worn shoes with a stack height too great to count for WA ranking points as she vies to become Paris-Olympics eligible — leg preservers, if you will, and 100% allowable under NCAA rules. This time she raced in WA-approved spikes.

Even so, the opening 400 was sheepish, at best. After staying at the back of the pack that went through the opening 200 in 36.08, Valby decided she’d had enough plodding. When the pack began to slow even more, she took measures into her own hands and bolted to the front, passing 400 in 76+.

From there on, she would dictate the pace and never feel a breath of a challenge.

Alabama’s Hilda Olemomoi (the 5000 runner-up) followed Valby’s lead and trod on her heels forcing the field to a single file after a dawdling 600.

Now in a metronome-like rhythm, Valby led the pack of 12 through 1600 (4:50.5), a pack of 8 through 2000 (6:01.6) and only Olemomoi through 3000 (8:59.3) after a series of 71 second loops.

Oklahoma State’s Taylor Roe and Colorado’s Bailey Hertenstein were 6 seconds behind Valby and Olemomoi, with Texas Tech’s Juliet Cherubet and Virginia’s Margot Appleton back another 3.

With 4 laps to go, it wasn’t as if Valby flipped a switch and stepped up the pace, but Olemomoi had had more than she could handle, and she began to slip back to the other pursuers.

Running solo, Valby’s objective was to win and get the valuable 10 team points, but she also was on pace to break the meet record and possibly qualify for Paris with a sub 14:52.00 performance.

She maintained her 70–71 pace before finishing her workout with a 69.58 final circuit. Her 14:52.18 crushed the meet record — and also snipped her own Collegiate Record set at the NCAA Indoor by 0.61.

Olemomoi hung on for 2nd, escaping a late charge from Hertenstein, 15:10.04–15:10.98. Appleton finished 4th in 15:24.24, followed by Cherubet (15:25.41) and Roe (15:26.18).

An additional accolade for the Florida junior is that she now owns 6 NCAA titles, with a record 5 of them coming within this 2023–24 academic year, breaking the record of 4 shared by Suzy Favor Hamilton, Clare Eichner, Amy Skieresz and Sally Kipyego.

“It’s very surreal,” Valby said. “I looked up to Katelyn Tuohy and Taylor Roe. It’s incredible to be in their position. I’m just super grateful for everyone and everything it took to get here.”

The bad news is that Valby is closing the door on her recordbreaking NCAA career, even though it looks like she could easily add another 5 titles to her total.

The good news is that the door is now open for all comers.


(June 08)

1. *Parker Valby (Fl) 14:52.18 CR (old CR 14:52.79i Valby ’24)

(37.21, 74.59 [1:51.80], 71.22 [3:03.02], 71.84 [4:14.86], 71.19 [5:26.05], 71.76 [6:37.81], 70.99 [7:48.80], 70.47 [8:59.27], 70.83 [10:10.10], 71.01 [11:21.11], 70.97 [12:32.08], 70.52 [13:42.60], 69.58) (69.58, 2:20.10, 4:42.08);

2. *Hilda Olemomoi’ (Al-Ken) 15:10.04 (70.08, 2:27.36, 4:59.69);

3. Bailey Hertenstein (Co) 15:10.98 PR (7, x C) (63.17, 2:17.37, 4:49.08);

4. *Margot Appleton (Va) 15:24.24 (69.33, 2:25.78, 4:59.22);

5. ***Juliet Cherubet’ (TxT-Ken) 15:25.41 (70.77, 2:27.41, 5:00.54);

6. Taylor Roe (OkSt) 15:26.18 (75.60, 2:33.43, 5:06.98);

7. Ella Baran (Co) 15:28.43 PR (67.73, 2:18.05, 4:50.61);

8. Sadie Sargent (BYU) 15:30.63 PR (65.93, 2:19.72, 4:54.15);

9. Annika Reiss (NnAz) 15:30.64 PR; 10. Gracelyn Larkin’ (NnAz-Can) 15:32.82; 11. ***Sophia Kennedy (Stan) 15:33.29 PR; 12. *Chloe Thomas’ (Ct-Can) 15:34.48 PR; 13. *Sydney Thorvaldson (Ar) 15:38.52; 14. **Grace Hartman (NCSt) 15:46.62; 15. **Siona Chisholm’ (NDm-Can) 15:47.71; 16. **Silan Ayyildiz’ (Or-Tur) 15:47.85; 17. ***Amy Bunnage’ (Stan-Aus) 16:00.04; 18. Flomena Asekol’ (Fl-Ken) 16:03.51; 19. *Phoebe Anderson’ (Col-GB) 16:04.28; 20. Samantha Bush (NCSt) 16:04.61; 21. **Maelle Porcher’ (IaSt-Fra) 16:07.38;… dnf—*Chloe Scrimgeour (Gtn).