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13-year-old Grace Ping runs 16:26 for 5K against pros

Grace Ping improves upon her own single-age world record in the 5,000m in Portland, Ore.

Grace Ping

Grace Ping is still in middle school and she broke 16:30 for 5,000m at Sunday’s Portland Track Festival.

The 13-year-old set a new single-age world record at the Oregon-based event, one of the more popular spring competitions among middle- and long-distance runners. Clocking 16:25.63, her performance improves upon her own record by more than a second. In March, Ping, currently in Grade 8, ran 16:26.83, also amongst professionals and world-class athletes.

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According to MileSplit, the teen will attend Winona Cotter High School in Winona, Minn., her hometown, this fall. Ping, who turns 14 in early July, has spent the past year, according to FloTrack, in Utah.

MileSplit notes that Ping is the holder of six age-group world records. On Sunday, she finished 10th in her heat, one level below the top section.

RELATED: Rachel Cliff runs big PB over 10,000m to hit world qualifying standard.

Shannon Rowbury, the American record holder over 1,500m, a three-time Olympian and World Championships bronze medallist, won the women’s 5,000m at the Portland Track Festival. Rowbury ran 15:12.52. In the same section, and also of note, 16-year-old Canadian Brogan MacDougall ran 16:08.84, which, amazingly, is not even her personal best. The Grade 11 Kingston, Ont. athlete ran 16:06.75 at the Penn Relays in April.

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Canadian Julie-Anne Staehli won the heat which featured Ping running 16:06.48.

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