Monday, April 29, 2013

Jager, Solinsky Headline Stanford Marks

Sunday evening,¬†Evan Jager and Chris Solinsky were the big stories for KIMbia out in Palo Alto at the Payton Jordan Invitational. Jager narrowly missed getting the win in a hot 5000, but still notched a major lifetime best. Ben True won to continue a torrid streak in which he was sixth at World Cross — but Jager took him to the wire, clocking a 13:14.60 to place second by just fourteen-hundredths of a second. The mark erased our resident steeplechase specialist’s previous PB of 13:22, set back in 2009 at the US Championships.

Meanwhile, Solinsky made his return to big-time competition after two and a half years of rehabbing his leg and rebuilding his fitness — and delivered a highly encouraging performance. While his mark of 13:23 was only good for eleventh, and stands some 28-seconds off his personal best, the Stevens Point-native bested accomplished athletes such as Bobby Curtis and Jeff See. Moreover, in 2009 — a year in which Solinsky made the World Championships final at 5000m — he opened his season up with a 13:18 performance. It seems evident that he is close to competing for World teams once again. And after his 2009 season spent running in and around the 13:20’s, we all remember how his following season went: 26:59, 12:56, 13:08, 12:55, 12:56…

With a stacked 5000, it could have been easy to overlook the final events of the night, but Boulder-based¬†Sean Quigley slashed his 10,000m PB from 28:03 to 27:50.78 to impress as the top KIMbia finisher in the Kim McDonald 10,000m. That performance was good for ninth place in a race that yielded three World Championships “A” standards, and eleven more “B” standards. Among the latter group, Andrew Bumbalough made his debut in the event with a very credible 27:56. As he tweeted before the race, “After being in the sport for 12+ years, it’s not often you get to do something completely new,” and the Georgetown alum acquitted himself well in that opportunity.

To the surprise of no one, Stanford was once again rich with fast performances. And with Jager leading the way, one could easily be reminded of the 2009 Payton Jordan meet, where, as a 20-year-old, he announced his arrival as a national-caliber pro with a 13:29 5000. That summer saw his first World team, and 2013 looks even more promising.

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