Two American records and a collegiate record could go down on Saturday afternoon in Boston. You can watch all the action live on FloTrack, beginning at 1:00 PM Eastern. We quickly preview the action below; all times are in Eastern.
Who: Edward Cheserek, Kyle Merber, Colby Alexander, Johnny Gregorek, Ford Palmer, Graham Crawford, Donn Cabral, Drew Hunter, Julian Oakley, Liam Dee, Dan Huling
When: 3:10 PM
Why: This is the rare opportunity to watch Cheserek just try to run fast, as opposed to try to collect NCAA titles. The indoor collegiate mile record is Lawi Lalang's 3:52.88 from three years ago. All you need to know about Cheserek's chances of breaking the record is that 1) the race will be rabbited fast enough and 2) Ches split 3:52 for 1600 meters on a DMR last year just half an hour after running a 13:47 5K.
Cheserek isn't guaranteed a win in this field, though. Merber was third in the Wanamaker mile in 3:54.67 two weeks ago, and his teammates Alexander and Gregorek both made the Olympic Trials 1500m final with him this past summer. Hunter is also having a solid first pro season. He's run 3:56 and 3:58 so far.
But the headline here is unquestionably Ches vs. 3:52. The numbers to watch are 57.89 per 400 and 28.9 per lap. The BU track is very, very fast--Galen Rupp ran 3:50.92 there four years ago. Ches is going for it.
Who: Molly Huddle, Emily Sisson, Regan Rome
When: 4:55 PM
Why: This is Huddle and Sisson's first track race since last summer. Sisson's 5K PR is 15:12, but it's from indoors two years ago, so that could be a mark ripe for improvement. Huddle's 14:42 PR, meanwhile, was the American record until last summer. Shannon Rowbury took Huddle's 5K outdoor AR while Huddle was focused on marathon training, and this race could be Huddle going for the indoor American record.
Her last race was the New York City Marathon in November, so she might not be totally sharp. But Huddle is one of two American women who have ever broken 15:00 indoors. Her 14:57 is No. 2 all-time, ten seconds shy of Shalane Flanagan's American record. 14:47 is almost exactly 71 seconds per 400, 35 seconds and change per 200 meter lap indoors.
Who: Evan Jager, Eric Jenkins, Chris Derrick, Mo Ahmed, Ben True, Ryan Hill, Lopez Lomong, Dan Huling, Matt Hughes, Woody Kincaid, Kemoy Campbell, Tommy Curtin, Jacob Choge
When: 4:55 PM (after women's 5K)
Why: If everything breaks right, as Ryan Hill told us yesterday, Galen Rupp's 13:01.26 American record could be in jeopardy. (Rupp is also No. 7 in world history in the indoor 5K.) At a minimum, this race will rewrite the American indoor 5K all-time list. The race is tentatively being rabbited at 13:20 pace, and only four Americans have run under 13:20 indoors. I count six--Jager, Jenkins, Derrick, True, Hill, and Lomong--who could do it today. Lomong and Derrick have already done so before, when Lomong ran 13:07.00 for a then-American record in 2013.
The American and Canadian records in the men's 5K went down in the same race in 2014, when Rupp ran 13:01 and Cam Levins ran 13:19. Mo Ahmed broke Levins's two mile Canadian record at Millrose in 8:13, and has a great shot at setting the 5K Canadian standard in Boston.
Jager, Lomong, Jenkins, Derrick, True, and Hill are all in good shape. Hill and True both ran 8:11 for two miles at Millrose, times only bettered in American history by Rupp and Bernard Lagat. Lomong and Jager ran a 3:55 mile together in Seattle two weeks ago. Jenkins won the Wanamaker mile that same weekend in 3:53. And Derrick hasn't raced on the track this year, but he was fifth in an extremely good field at U.S. cross three weeks ago. Additionally, he ran 27:38 for 10K in Japan in November, a mark roughly on par with a 13:15 5K. Derrick has three more months of training under his belt since then.