Chris Derrick and the Time Machine

Have you ever complained about your age group? “If I was born one year earlier, I would have been all-conference / all-state / all-American / etc.”

If Chris Derrick had been around four years ago, he’d be at the very top of distance running in the U.S. While he’s among the upper, upper echelon right now, let's not compare him to the present, but look at what other athletes his age (22) have done.

Say, Galen Rupp.

While most of the chatter at the Armory was about Lomong’s run, Derrick put together an incredible race to take second in 13:12.00. That’s two straight years of running the 5000m at the Armory and two years of huge personal bests, indoor or out.

How do Derrick’s marks from this year compare to Rupp’s from 2009? If we go back to using data points as indicators for the future, then the future is very bright for Derrick (then again, you didn’t need any data to verify this claim).

Chris Derrick (at age 22)
Event Time
1500m 3:41.17
3000m 7:46.81
5000m (indoors) 13:12.00
10000m 27:31.38


Galen Rupp (at age 22)

Event Time
1500m 3:39.14
3000m 7:44.69
5000m (indoors) 13:18.12 AR
10000m 27:37.99


Considering that Derrick is a bit young for his age-group (his birthday is 10/17/90) and that Rupp was twenty-three when he ran some of those times, we’ll just say that the future looks bright for the Stanford graduate.

Could he be a world-class 10000m athlete in a few years? We’ll have to wait until Rio (or sooner?).