Restrictions regarding social distancing and COVID-19 have been getting more relaxed in the U.S. lately, and that has allowed for clubs to hold in-person track meets and competitions. On Tuesday night, the Bowerman Track Club joined other high-profile and elite training groups which have held competitions in the past month, such as the Oregon and Atlanta track clubs, which held a dual meet a couple of weeks ago, and Team Boss in Colorado, which ran a record-breaking intra-squad mile event on June 27. The Bowerman event featured 1,500m and 5,000m races for both the men and women, and it saw some seriously fast times, with multiple athletes smashing their PBs.
.@BowermanTC is staging an intra-squad race tonight in Portland. No live stream. Location secret. Video to come after.
Here's the lineup…
— Chris Chavez (@ChrisChavez) July 1, 2020
PBs for everyone
The women’s 5,000m saw seven athletes line up to race, and the top four walked away with new PBs. Elise Cranny won the race in 14:48.02, which was a more than 30-second improvement on her PB of 15:25.66. It was also good enough to make her the seventh-fastest American woman ever over 5,000m. Second place was Courtney Frerichs, who entered Tuesday night with an indoor PB of 15:02.91 but an outdoor best of 16:22.98 from 2013. She smashed both of those times, running 14:50.06, which catapults her to eighth on the all-time list of American women.
Colleen Quigley finished in third place, and although the 5,000m isn’t her specialty, she still dropped a blazing fast time of 15:10.42, which was 48 seconds faster than her previous best of 15:58.90. Finally, in fourth place was Gwen Jorgensen, who beat her outdoor PB with a time of 15:18.25 (although she has a faster indoor PB of 15:02.27).
Great night at the track! Sorry for the last minute announcement and lack of live stream. It was a near run thing to get these races put on and they came with some restrictions. However! There were some fancy cameras out at the track and we hope to have video for you soon! https://t.co/ZYPL3REGKV
— BowermanTC (@BowermanTC) July 1, 2020
On the men’s side, Sean McGorty won ahead of Grant Fisher, both of whom beat their 5,000m PBs with times of 13:11.22 and 13:11.68, respectively. McGorty’s previous best was 13:21.35 and Fisher’s was 13:29.03.
The 1,500m events had fewer participants, but both races saw a PB each. The men’s run had a thrilling sprint finish between Josh Thompson, Lopez Lomong and Canadian Mohammed Ahmed. Thompson ran 3:39.652 to edge out Lomong, who ran 3:39.660, and Ahmed, who posted a PB of 3:39.84, finally breaching the 3:40 barrier. The women’s race also saw a tight finish, with Shelby Houlihan eking out a win in 4:02.37 over Karissa Schweizer, who ran a four-second PB with a time of 4:02.81.
Official races may still be on hold, but the Bowerman athletes have sent a message to the rest of the track world, showing everyone that they’ll be fit, fast and ready to race whenever the season resumes.