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The coming weekend will be the busiest two days of the entire indoor season. With Millrose going down in NYC and six live events on FloTrack alone, you’re all but assured to get your track itch scratched this Friday and Saturday. And for those of you who call yourselves distance fans, Friday night on Flo should provide that much-needed itch relief as five elite 5k races between three events promise a load of fast times and top-notch competition.
From Bowerman in Boston to a bounty of NCAA distance stars split between Iowa State and Seattle, here’s what to watch in each 5k race on Friday night:
(Note: All start times are listed in Central Time (CT))
BU David Hemery Valentine Invitational - Men’s 5,000m (5:10 pm CT)
Who: Ryan Hill, Sean McGorty, Marc Scott, Matt Hughes
Analysis: The Bowerman guys are shipping up to Boston to go standard hunting. The 13:22.50 target should be no problem for someone like Ryan Hill, who two years ago ran 13:07 on this very track, but it will be interesting to see how young pros Sean McGorty (13:21 outdoor PR) and Marc Scott (13:22 outdoor PR) fare as their PRs are close to the standard. Bowerman teammates Lopez Lomong and Josh Thompson will serve as pace-setters.
Ryan Hill ran his 13:07 indoor 5k PR two years ago at BU:
Iowa State Classic - Women’s 5,000m (5:50 pm CT)
Who: Paige Stoner, Amy Davis, Haley Herberg, Savannah Carnahan
Analysis: Syracuse’s Paige Stoner and Wisconsin’s Amy Davis were among six women to break 15:50 in this race last year, and a similar outcome will be expected on Friday in Ames. Stoner was third in the NCAA steeple last June.
Iowa State Classic - Men’s 5,000m (6:15 pm CT)
Who: Clayton Young, Vincent Kiprop, Connor McMillan, Rory Linkletter, Edwin Kurgat, Gilbert Kigen, Conner Mantz, Jaret Carpenter, Peter Seufer, Danny Kilrea, Clayson Shumway, Obsa Ali, Andrew Jordan
Analysis: The men’s Iowa State 5k is a who’s who of NCAA distance talent, and I count at least 10 men in this field who are Division I cross country All-Americans. BYU’s Connor McMillan is the defending champ, but he’ll face plenty of heat from the Cyclones’ own Edwin Kurgat (3rd at NCAA XC in 2018), as well as sub-13:40 guys Clayton Young, Rory Linkletter and Vincent Kiprop.
Husky Classic - Women’s 5,000m (4:45 pm CT)
Who: Lilli Burdon, Makena Morley, Fiona O’Keeffe, Weronika Pyzik, Emily Venters, Clare O'Brien
Analysis: 2018 NCAA outdoor 5k third place finisher Lilli Burdon of Washington will look to get back on form against a formidable cast of PAC-12 foes. Stanford’s Fiona O’Keeffe (15:38 PR) and Makena Morley of Colorado (15:40 PR) are the favorites to win this deep race.
Husky Classic - Men’s 5,000m (5:25 pm CT)
Who: Joe Klecker, Tanner Anderson, John Dressel, Steven Fahy, Zach Long, Logan Orndorf, Tibedu Proctor, Paul Roberts, Emmanuel Roudolff-Levisse, James Sugira, Aaron Templeton, Hassan Abdi
Analysis: The Husky men’s 5k sees Iowa State’s 10 DI cross country All-Americans and raises it to 13, including a whopping six men who finished in the top 20 last November in Madison. Colorado’s Joe Klecker and his 13:30 PR would seem to be the favorite, but in this deep of a field anything can happen. There’s no doubt, however, that Klecker will be tough to beat; he ran a converted 7:48 3k (8:01) last weekend in Boulder that is currently fastest in the NCAA this season.