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Bowerman women set new world record in 4 x 1,500m relay

That the Bowerman women pulled off a WR without fans or competition from other teams is remarkable

The Bowerman Track Club’s female 4 x 1,500m relay team broke the world record for the event on Friday, running 16:27.02 at the club’s fourth of five intra-squad meets in Portland. In the process, the team, consisting of Colleen Quigley, Elise Cranny, Karissa Schweizer, and Shelby Houlihan , raised more than $6,000 for the Equal Justice Initiative.

RELATED: Bowerman Track Club to attempt 4 x 1,500m WR for charity

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NEW WORLD RECORD!!! ‎ ⠀ The #BowermanBabes team of Colleen, Elise, Karissa, and Shelby took 7 seconds off the 4x1500m 🌎 Record last night- the first World Record in the club’s history. Colleen got some help from Courtney on the opening leg but after that each athlete was left all alone to extract as much from themselves as they could in 3 and ¾ laps. Their splits of roughly 4:07, 4:09, 4:06, and 4:04 brought them home in 16:27, comfortably inside the mark set by a Kenyan team that included a World Championship Silver Medalist and two World Championship Gold Medalists. ‎ ⠀ Thank you to everyone that pledged to our @eji_org fundraiser! Sorry about how far they went under the old American Record- but it’s for a great cause! ⠀ Videos of all races are available at USATF.tv and will be up on our YouTube page later today. ⠀ 📸: @cortneywhite_ . . . #BowermanTC #Track #UntilWeAllWin #YouCantStopUs #WorldRecord

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The Bowerman women’s time was six seconds better than the previous record of 16:33.58 set by Team Kenya at World Relays in Nassau, Bahamas in 2014. It works out to an average of 4:06.76 per runner.

The club’s men’s team improved on the American record in the same event. With Lopez Lomong anchoring, the squad’s 14:34.97 was almost six seconds better than the previous record, also set at the 2014 World Relays. 

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The Bowerman meets have provided some much-enjoyed competition in what has been a quiet summer for track fans, thanks to the pandemic – and Canada’s own Mohammed Ahmed’s star has risen even higher as a result. The club staged its first sanctioned intra-squad meet, with no fans or livestream, on June 30, with multiple runners improving their PBs, including Ahmed, who broke the 3:40 barrier in the 1,500m for the first time. On July 11, Ahmed set a new Canadian and North American record in the 5,000m, in 12:47.20 (his previous record was 12:53), while Houlihan broke the American women’s record in 14:23.92. And on July 21, Ahmed won the 1,500m, lowering his PB to 3:34.89 and becoming the fifth-fastest Canadian in the event.

Multiple Canadian record holder Gabriela DeBues-Stafford recently announced that she will join the Bowerman squad in September. 

Videos of the meet will be available on the club’s YouTube channel today.