SEATTLE—The invitational men’s 5000 meter run lived up to its pre-meet billing, as Oregon’s Edward Cheserek (left/photo by Paul Merca) ended Washington’s Colby Gilbert’s undefeated streak at home this indoor season, as the reigning NCAA champion at this distance scored the victory by a 13:32.59 to 13:34.85 count to open the first day of competition at the Husky Classic at the Dempsey Indoor Friday night.
With Jeremy Elkiam serving as the pacer, he, Cheserek and Dan Huling, a 4-time USA world championships team member in the steeplechase representing the Portland based Bowerman TC, tried to break away early, while Gilbert bided his time in the chase pack.
As the race progressed, Gilbert slowly worked his way up to the front and eventually traded the lead or was a step behind Cheserek, the 15-time NCAA champion at various distances.
With less than a mile to go, Gilbert and Cheserek gapped the chase pack, which included Spokane native John Dressel, competing for the University of Colorado.
On the final lap, Cheserek opened up a gap on Gilbert, using a kick that looked something out of the Bernard Lagat bag of tricks to take the victory in 13:32.59, the fastest time in the NCAA and the world this season.
Gilbert’s effort got him a time of 13:34.85, the second fastest time in the world this season, and a new University of Washington school record.
Behind those two, Dressel finished in fourth in 13:42.57, while Fred Huxham of the Dawgs was 11th in 13:51.87.
In an exciting women’s 5000, sophomore Tessa Barrett of Penn State held off Harvard freshman Judy Pendegrast to win in 15:51.32 to 15:52.64, the fourth and fifth fastest NCAA D1 times this season.
Evergreen State College alum Zeb Hoffman won the men’s weight throw with a toss of 67-11.75 (20.72.m).
The Husky Classic resumes Saturday at the Dempsey Indoor beginning at 10 am.