USATF Women’s 10,000 — Huddle Had A Kick

The Boston Marathon didn’t rob Molly Huddle’s legs of all their pop. (KIRBY LEE/IMAGE OF SPORT)

Leading up to the meet, one could be forgiven for predicting two things for the longest run on the track: the weather would be oppressive and top athletes would stay away. Neither came to pass. Despite a relatively early 7:00pm start time, 80 minutes earlier than the ’13 edition, the weather was about as accommodating as it gets at the start of the Midwest summer.

Molly Huddle looked no worse for the wear just over 9 weeks after a frozen 13th at the Boston Marathon, as she led all but a half a circuit of the 25-lap race. After a cautious opening lap, the Notre Dame alum took over and proceeded to crank out a steady diet of 77-second circuits, passing halfway in 16:18, with more than half the
field still in contact, if strung out single file.

“I just think if you’re strong you need to tire people out,” said the winner of the previous three titles. “Otherwise there’s too many people there at the end. It’s a tried-and-true strategy; if you just do the work you’ll whittle it down. I was hoping some of my marathon strength would still be in there and that I’d be strong enough to do that and a 10K by myself. I felt pretty comfortable.”

No one seemed eager to test Huddle’s post-marathon legs, and the 33-year-old began pushing in earnest with 4 laps remaining. A 73.1 lap quickly whittled the challengers down to 3: Olympian Marielle Hall, ’17 World Champs 10K team member Emily Sisson, and Stephanie Bruce, who was coming off the London Marathon two months prior.

Huddle continued to press on the accelerator, with a 71.8 lap shedding Sisson and Bruce. Hall began to yo-yo a bit as well, but still loomed dangerously, her finishing speed a sharp weapon if she could maintain contact. But Huddle’s 68.98 penultimate circuit did enough damage to soften up Hall for the final blow, a torrid 64.52 final lap that gave Huddle a comfortable 31:52.32–31:56.68 win, making her the first ever to win four consecutive titles. Bruce managed to outkick Sisson 32:05.05–32:06.31 for 3rd.

“I didn’t think I’d have that kind of speed,” said Huddle of the kick she pulled out. “So I think maybe my last race brought me on. That painful Mini 10K [the New York City road race 3 weeks before, which Huddle called "a grind” after placing 3rd in 32:25] kind of got my legs going so, yeah, I was surprised by the last lap. I was hoping I could run like a 66 so that was better than I thought.”


(June 22)

1. Molly Huddle (Sauc) 31:52.32 (AL)

(81.45, 78.62 [2[2:40.07]78.03 [3[3:58.10]76.96 [5[5:15.06]77.52 [6[6:32.58]77.30 [7[7:49.88]77.16 [9[9:07.04]77.17 [1[10:24.21]77.22 [1[11:41.43]77.83 [1[12:59.26]77.46 [1[14:16.72]78.38 [1[15:35.10]77.32 [1[16:52.42]78.54 [1[18:10.96]76.74 [1[19:27.70]78.07 [2[20:45.77]77.19 [2[22:02.96]77.48 [2[23:20.44]77.63 [2[24:38.07]77.32 [2[25:55.39]78.54 [2[27:13.93]73.13 [2[28:27.06]71.76 [2[29:38.82]68.98 [3[30:47.80]64.52)

(16.3, 32.5, 64.52, 2:13.50, 3:25.26, 4:38.39);

2. Marielle Hall (BowTC) 31:56.68 (16.8, 33.9, 68.51, 2:17.60, 3:29.37, 4:42.45);

3. Stephanie Bruce (Hoka) 32:05.05 (69.02, 2:23.05, 3:37.04, 4:50.49);

4. Emily Sisson (NBal) 32:06.31 (70.03, 2:24.54, 3:38.59, 4:51.89);

5. Sarah Pagano (BAA) 32:13.21;

6. Rochelle Kanuho (unat) 32:19.49;

7. Gwen Jorgensen (BowTC) 32:24.09;

8. Molly Seidel (SaucFr) 32:24.78 PR;

9. Chelsea Blaase (HansBrk) 32:28.97;

10. Carrie Dimoff (BowTC) 32:32.00;

11. Jessica Tonn (Brk) 32:47.29;

12. Anne-Marie Blaney (HansBrk) 33:27.85;

13. Samantha Bluske (rabbit) 33:48.11;

14. Bridget Lyons (AtlTC) 33:49.40;

15. Olivia Pratt (HansBrk) 33:51.19;

16. Emily Durgin (NBal) 33:53.22;

17. Katrina Spratford (NEDist) 34:04.11;

18. Amy Regan (KCSm) 34:04.32;

19. Molly Grabill (unat) 34:21.35;

20. Hannah Dorman (Chico) 34:44.42. □