Fleshman wins London 5k in second fastest time of her life
8/7/2011 12:00 AM
Oregon Track Club Elite’s Lauren Fleshman lit up London with a breakthrough performance on Saturday afternoon – winning the 5,000 meters in the second-fastest time of her career: 15 minutes, 0.57 seconds.
The 29-year old runner and 2010 USA Outdoor 5k Champion, was not able to begin training for the 2011 season until April, due to a foot injury. She steadily got herself back into racing shape, though not quickly enough to finish well at the USA Championships, where she placed eighth, in the end of June. But on Saturday, in front of a sold-out Crystal Palace crowd, Fleshman showed she’s back in top form.
After hugging the inside rail at the back of the pack through the first 4k, Fleshman surged into the top three and took the lead with just over 800 meters to go. She fought off a few challenges from fellow American Desiree Davila, and finally left her and the rest of the field in the dust, going for broke with 500 meters to go, and clocking a 62-second final lap to win by over six seconds.
Her time was the fastest she’s ran in over three years and was only two seconds off her PB of 14:58.48.
Fleshman is now the second fastest American in 2011, behind only Shalane Flanagan, who will run the 10k at the World Championships in Daegu at the end of August. Fleshman is also one of only three Americans (who raced in the 5k at the USA Outdoor Championships) to have dipped below the IAAF ‘A’ Standard (15:14.0) this season, and will await the outside chance she may be able to represent Team USA at Worlds.
“I knew Lauren was rounding into good shape, she just needed to be patient and let her fitness surface,” OTC Head Coach Mark Rowland said from London. “I know the selection for Team USA is a little complicated, but I would like to think that she would be considered to run in Daegu. Regardless, we’re happy to be where we are at this stage.”
Williams is second in high jump
Another OTC highlight at Crystal Palace was a second-place showing from Jesse Williams in the men’s high jump. The field in London was quite possibly the most competitive Williams has seen so far this year, as he was one of four men to clear 2.31 meters (7-feet, 7-inches). Williams and 2008 Olympic Champion Andrey Silnov of Russia were the only two to clear 2.34 (7-8), and Silnov garnered the win with a first-attempt make at 2.36.
After missing his first attempt at 2.36, Williams passed to 2.38 (7-10), where he had two solid jumps, but no clearances.
“I am happy with the result – going without any misses and being in control of the competition until 2.36,” Williams said. “I wanted to win though and it was hard not to get the win.
“I like my chances better than anyone else for winning in Daegu and I feel like I will be ready physically to jump a PB there. Everything is lining up perfectly, it’s just a matter of getting it done, which is the hardest thing to do.”
Williams and Silnov are now tied at the top of the Diamond League standings with nine points each and two competitions remaining in September, following the World Championships.
Two other OTC athletes competed in London on Saturday: Bridget Franek and Russell Brown. Franek was tenth in the 3,000 steeplechase in 9:40.24 and Brown grabbed 11th in the Emsley Carr Mile in 4:02.11. The latter event was won by American Leo Manzano in 3:51.24.