Shelby Houlihan smashed her own 5,000m American record by over 10 seconds in running 14:23.92 on Friday night in Portland. Competing in a Bowerman Track Club time trial, Houlihan held off teammate Karissa Schweizer with her patented kick as Schweizer also went well below the old mark in 14:26.34.
The previous record, set in 2018 by Houlihan, was 14:34.45.
Shelby Houlihan smashes her own 5,000m American record in 14:23.92! Karissa Schweizer goes under the old record in 14:26.34! pic.twitter.com/NWzG699h7k— FloTrack (@FloTrack) July 11, 2020
Although relegated to second, Schweizer lopped off 19 seconds from her personal best set last fall in the World Championships final.
As expected, the race for the national record came down to the last lap between Houlihan and Schweizer just as it did back in February when the 24-year-old Schweizer stunned Houlihan and her 3:54 1500m speed to take the indoor 3,000m U.S. record.
In that race, Schweizer held off her teammate with a faster last lap, but this time around it was the miler returning the favor with a 61-second final circuit. On Friday, Houlihan dropped Schweizer for good with 200 meters to run as the runner-up settled for a 63-second last lap.
The clocking moves Houlihan into 12th on the women’s 5,000m all-time list and stands as the second-fastest time in the distance ever on U.S. soil. (Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba’s 14:19.76 from 2015 is the fastest ever in the U.S.)
Once again, Houlihan’s fireworks underscore her status as one of the greatest 1500m/5k runners in the world. And even if she just focuses on the 1500m at the Olympics next year, Bowerman has another star who can fill her spot over 5,000m quite admirably.