Friday and Saturday’s UW Invitational is an opportunity to see global medalists Galen Rupp, Shalane Flanagan, and Sifan Hassan, as well as collegiate stars Brandon McGorty, Dillon Maggard, and Fiona O’Keeffe.
Here are a few events and storylines we’re following.
When: Saturday, 11:40 PM PT
Names to Watch: Sifan Hassan, Emily Lipari
This race serves as the 2018 debut for Nike Oregon Project’s Hassan. The two-time bronze medalist outdoors and reigning world indoor champion in the 1500m is entered in two races on Saturday. If she is anywhere near her form from last year, she should cruise to victory. Lipari had a strong 2017 and has a personal best of 4:28 in the mile outdoors.
When: Saturday, 4:25 PM PT
Names to Watch: Sifan Hassan, Shalane Flanagan
The second the of two races where Hassan is scheduled to make an appearance. Here she will share the starting line with Shalane Flanagan. It was only three months ago when Flanagan was openly contemplating her retirement. Now, after her victory at the New York City Marathon, she’s put together a mini-indoor season — her first time racing indoors since 2011.
She ran 8:55 for 3000m and won the UW Indoor Open two weeks ago. With Hassan along as competition, and another two weeks of training, Flanagan should go even faster as she continues her preparations for the Boston Marathon in April.
When: Saturday, 12:05 PM PT
Names to Watch: Yomif Kejelcha, Lopez Lomong, Andy Trouard, Colby Gilbert
Kejelcha won a tactical mile two weeks ago in Seattle against Lomong. The time wasn’t impressive for the Ethiopian, but his finishing kick left no doubt who the top runner in the field was that day. Trouard of Northern Arizona and Gilbert of Washington are the top collegians entered in the field. Trouard was part of the NAU’s championship cross country squad and owns a 3:38 personal best in the 1500m. Gilbert is a sub-four miler racing on his home track.
When: Friday, 7:20 PM PT
Names to Watch: Yomif Kejelcha, Galen Rupp, Scott Fauble, Michael Jordan
The second scheduled appearance of Kejelcha’s day comes seven hours after he toes the line in the mile. His Nike Oregon Project teammate Galen Rupp is scheduled to join him in the 5000m. Rupp’s appearance comes as bit of a surprise after saying last year that his days of track racing were behind him. Like Flanagan, he’s racing the Boston Marathon in April and is perhaps using this race to sharpen up and break up the monotony of all those high mileage weeks.
Scott Fauble is coming off a 2:12 marathon that he ran last fall. The Northern Arizona Elite athlete has a 5000m best of 14:00. Jordan runs for the American Distance Project and finished 12th in the U.S. championships in the steeplechase.
When: Friday, 7:05 PM PT
Names to Watch: Fiona O’Keeffe, Vanessa Fraser
A pair of Stanford runners are expected to be at the front of the pack. O’Keeffe was fifth in the 5000m last year at the NCAA outdoor championships and was 13th in the NCAA cross country championships. She’s a redshirt freshman and Friday will mark her first race of 2018. Fraser, a senior for the Cardinal, is coming off a redshirt season where she ran 15:25 in the 5000m and placed seventh at the U.S. outdoor championships.
When: Saturday, 4:15 PM PT
Names to Watch: Brandon McGorty, Collins Kibet, Clay Lambourne
Stanford’s McGorty is making his collegiate 800m debut after running the 1000m two weeks ago on the same track. The true freshman comes in with much hype after his 1:48 performance in high school. McGorty will be challenged by two veteran collegians, Collins Kibet of Arizona and Clay Lambourne of Utah State. Kibet has run 1:46 and Lambourne posted a 1:47 outdoors.
When: Saturday, 4:50 PM PT
Names to Watch: Dilon Maggard, Jack Bruce, Mike Tate
Arkansas’s Bruce was second at the 2017 NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 5000m and will be making his 3000m debut in 2018. Utah State’s Maggard was sixth at the NCAA cross country championships and Southern Utah’s Mike Tate has run 13:34 in the 5000m.