Portland Track Fest — Super Hare Helps Cranny & Schweizer

Sifan Hassan was “having fun.” Elise Cranny and Karissa Schweizer raced to Olympic 5000 Q times. (KIM SPIR)

PORTLAND & GRESHAM, OREGON, June 08–09— It’s not often you get the privilege of having an Olympic champion set pace for you, but such was the case on a cool Sunday evening here as a number of American distance runners tried for qualifying times on the last eligible day (June 09) to get a mark for the upcoming Trials.

Others from around the world were also looking for OG Q’s or to improve their standing in advance of the Games.

The volunteer rabbit in question was none other than Sifan Hassan, the reigning gold medalist in the 5K and 10K. She helped Americans Elise Cranny (14:46.49) and Karissa Schweizer (14:48.60) get under the OG auto 5K standard of 14:52.00 before galloping past them to get the W in 14:43.85.

Not a half hour later, Hassan was back on the track assisting in the 1500 rabbiting, though no one there got an auto Q.

“I didn’t really want to travel to Europe,” said Hassan, who lives in Portland. “It’s far away.” She agreed to jump into the meet “but because of the wind, I couldn’t push myself.” She didn’t reveal what races she might attempt in Paris. “I’m having fun.”

For both Cranny and Schweizer, it was a final tuneup prior to the Trials now just 2 weeks away.

“I haven’t raced in a while,” Cranny said. “This is so fun being out here. To be honest, I haven’t felt that way in over a year.”

For Schweizer, who is returning from surgery, “it was nice to see everything come together. I know there’s more in there. I haven’t raced a 5K in a long time.”

The biggest Trials haul came in the men’s 15, where 12 Americans got under the OT auto standard of 3:37.00. The winner of the fastest section, Cooper Teare, already has the OG standard, but no one else was able to reach that tough 3:33.50.

“I’m really happy with how that last 100 went,” Teare said. “The speed’s there, the endurance is there.” He said he plans to double 15/5 at the Trials.

As the evening wore on, rapidly dropping temperatures and a pesky wind held down some performances. At the end it was in the 50s.

The two-day meet was held in different arenas. On Saturday the steeple and 10K were contested at Mt. Hood CC in nearby Gresham. Sunday was at the beautiful new Lincoln HS track in Northwest Portland.

There was also significant high school news amid the more established stars. Daniel Simmons (American Fork, Utah) appeared in trouble in his quest for the 5K High School Record when, with 2 laps to go, he trailed most of the field. But he covered the final 800 in 2:01 and in the process passed 8 other runners, running 13:25.86 to beat the year-old mark by 8 seconds. Simmons said he hopes to be able to run at the Trials.

Prior to the race, however, Simmons said that “doubt crept in. I was scared.” Once the race started, “I thought, am I going to finish last?” At 3200, which he reached in 8:42, “I said to myself, I have 4 laps to go? I gotta let off the gas or I’m going to die.”

But with 4 laps to go, he made the calculation in his head. “I need to run a 4:13. I can do this.”

Other US-leading prep marks were recorded by Owen Powell, 1:48.60, and his teammate from Mercer Island, Washington, Victoria Rodriguez, 10:19.20 in the steeple. Sadie Engelhardt (Ventura, California), who improved her 1500 best to 4:08.86, becoming the fifth prep all-time to dip under 4:09. In a box at the gun, Engelhardt broke free to run 62.7 on the final lap, passing 5 runners along the way.

Other Highlights

800 — Cole Hocker cruised from last to first to take the seeded race in 1:45.63 as no one reached the OG standard of 1:44.70. Veteran Craig Engels drifted back to 5th in 1:46.86. “The 800 was a good chance for me to test my wheels,” said Hocker, who had never run 1:45 before. “It gives me a lot of confidence.”

Penn State teammates Handal Roban (1:46.10) and Darius Smallwood (PR 1:46.17) ran well as did Villanova frosh Daniel Watcke (PR 1:46.78). Roban runs for the small Caribbean nation of St. Vincent.

The seeded women’s race was won by the reigning U.S. champion, Nia Akins (1:58.04). Kate Grace, who is making a comeback from maternity leave, was in good position with 200 left but gave ground down the straightway and was passed by Villanova grad McKenna Keegan (1:59.93) and miler Sinclaire Johnson (1:59.95). For Keegan, it was her first time under 2:00. “Things are coming together,” she said. “I’m super-excited to be going to the Trials.”

1500 — Twenty-two women broke 4:10 but no one was under 4:07, hindered somewhat by the wind.

The men’s field included PRs by a number of collegians who raced up I-5 from the NCAA in time to get in another race — Wes Porter (3:35.63) and Gary Martin (3:35.77) of Virginia, Parvej Khan (3:36.21) of Florida and India, and Abel Teffra (3:36.52) of Georgetown.

5000 — Dylan Jacobs got a Trials auto, winning in 13:18.18. In the women’s seeded race, steeplechaser Lexy Halladay-Lowry had a big PR (15:02.89), just ahead of Rachel Smith (15:03.24), who is back from childbirth. Veteran Emily Infeld, after being in contention, dropped out.

Steeple — Kenneth Rooks, last year’s U.S. champion, won the men’s race in 8:18.77, while Evan Jager, now 35, ran 8:25.77, his fastest since ’22. The women’s race was won by 27-year-old Allie Ostrander, who ran a PR 9:24.70 in just the second steeple she has finished since ’21.


Men’s Events

800: I–1. Cole Hocker (US) 1:45.63.

II–1. Matthew Erickson (Can) 1:45.74.

1500: I–1. Cooper Teare (US) 3:35.48; 2. Kieran Lumb (Can) 3:35.63; 3. Gary Martin (US) 3:35.77; 4. Waleed Suliman (US) 3:35.86.

II–1. Wes Porter (US) 3:35.63; 2. Lucas Bons (US) 3:35.88.

St: 1. Kenneth Rooks (US) 8:18.77; 2. Avinash Sable (Ind) 8:21.85; 3. Anthony Rotich (US) 8:24.13; 4. Evan Jager (US) 8:25.77; 5. Benard Keter (US) 8:27.25;

6. Brett Gardner (US) 8:27.55.

5000: 1. Dylan Jacobs (US) 13:18.18; 2. Gulveer Singh (Ind) 13:18.92; 3. Wesley Kiptoo (Ken) 13:21.77; 4. Eric Van Der Els (US) 13:21.78; 5. Ben Veatch (US) 13:22.68; 6. Andrew Colley (US) 13:23.24; 7. Tai Dinger (US) 13:23.34;

8. Daniel Simmons (Utah HS) 13:25.86 HSR (old HSR 13:34.96 Lex Young [CaHS] ’23) (4, 5 AJ).

10,000: 1. Samuel Chelanga (US) 28:09.77; 2. Yuto Imae (Jpn) 28:12.74; 3. Aidan O’Gorman (US) 28:14.34; 4. Kartik Kumar (Ind) 28:14.67; 5. Aidan Reed (US) 28:15.42; 6. Suguru Osako (Jpn) 28:16.00; 7. Jake Ritter (US) 28:19.67.

Women’s Events

800: I–1. Nia Akins (US) 1:58.04; 2. McKenna Keegan (US) 1:59.93; 3. Sinclaire Johnson (US) 1:59.95; 4. Hannah Segrave (GB) 2:01.27; 5. Kate Grace (US) 2:01.48.

II–1. Teagan Schein-Becker (US) 2:00.54; 2. Meghan Hunter (US) 2:00.75.

1500: I–1. Anna Camp-Bennett (US) 4:07.13; 2. Ella Donaghu (US) 4:07.27; 3. Gracie Hyde (US) 4:07.60; 4. Sifan Hassan (Neth) 4:08.22; 5. Whittni Morgan (US) 4:08.29; 6. Gabija Galvydytė (Lit) 4:08.60; 7. Eleanor Fulton (US) 4:08.70;

8. Sadie Engelhardt (US) 4:08.86 (5, x AJ; 5, 8 HS)..

II–1. Angelina Ellis (US) 4:08.59; 2. Allie Buchalski (US) 4:08.86; 3. Gracie Morris (US) 4:08.94…

St: 1. Allie Ostrander (US) 9:24.70; 2. Pamela Kosgei (Ken) 9:28.88; 3. Parul Chaudhary (Ind) 9:31.38; 4. Marisa Howard (US) 9:34.01; 5. Kayley Delay (US) 9:38.81; 6. Grace Fetherstonhaugh (Can) 9:45.32.

5000: 1. Sifan Hassan (Neth) 14:43.85; 2. Elise Cranny (US) 14:46.49; 3. Karissa Schweizer (US) 14:48.60; 4. Lauren Ryan (Aus) 14:59.99; 5. Lexy Halladay (US) 15:02.89;

6. Rachel Smith (US) 15:03.24; 7. Natalie Rule (Aus) 15:03.48.

10,000: 1. Sanjivani Jadhav (Ind) 32:22.77; 2. Kellyn Taylor (US) 32:23.95; 3. Atsede Bayisa (Eth) 32:24.43; 4. Aubrey Frentheway (US) 32:33.33; 5. Makayla Perez (US) 32:54.87.