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With the official track season in the United States on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Nike-sponsored Bowerman Track Club held a closed competition at Jesuit High School in Portland, Oregon, last night to test their fitness. USA Track & Field officials were present, and fully automatic timing was used. With the pandemic still raging, the club could not promote the competition nor allow fans to watch.
"I know everyone misses track and we want to deliver the goods," tweeted Colleen Quigley, an Olympic steeplechaser and one of the strongest voices in the Bowerman Track Club. "Corona has everyone trying to figure out what's best for safety. we appreciate your understanding."
In the women's 1500m, 13-time national champion Shelby Houlihan clocked 4:02.37 to defeat narrowly teammate Karissa Schweizer (4:02.81). Houlihan's mark was the fastest outdoor time in the world this year, and her first race in four months.
In the men's 1500m, 2020 USA 1500m indoor champion Josh Thompson just edged two-time Olympian Lopez Lomong. Both men were timed in 3:39.66, but Thompson's extended time was .008 seconds faster. Mo Ahmed, the 2019 World Athletics Championships bronze medalist at 5000m, was a close third in 3:39.84.
The women's 5000m race produced sparkling results. Elise Cranny, the former Stanford University athlete, smashed her personal best and ran a surprising 14:48.02, a world-leading time and the #11 mark (combining indoor and outdoor times) in USA history. She is now the #7 USA performer of all-time. Courtney Frerichs, the 2017 World Athletics Championships steeplechase silver medalist, ran a career-best 14:50.06, the #13 time in USA history. Steeplechase Olympian Colleen Quigley finished third in 15:10.42, a huge personal best, followed by 2016 Olympic Triathlon gold medalist Gwen Jorgensen in 15:18.25.
The results of the men's 5000m was nearly as good. Sean McGorty, Grant Fisher and Evan Jager finished 1-2-3 in 13:11.22, 13:11.68 and 13:12.12. Both McGorty and Fisher set personal bests, and McGorty's mark was a 2020 world leader. Ryan Hill, the 2016 World Athletics Indoor Championships 3000m silver medalist, finished third in an excellent 13:15.28.