Monday, June 7, 2010

Solinsky Smashes PB, Takes 6th at Bislett Games

Chris Solinsky sliced an incredible 16-seconds off of his PB, clocking a 12:56.66 in Oslo on Friday evening. Hot on the heels of his own American Record in the 10,000m, Solinsky approached the standing national record in the 5,000m, a 12:56.27 logged by Dathan Ritzenhein in Zurich in 2009; in Oslo, that record still fell, as fellow American Bernard Lagat ran 12:54.12.

With speculation over a possible AR performance running rampant, given Lagat’s pedigree and 12:59 PB, and Solinsky’s standout 26:59 performance at Stanford, the opening kilometer was reached in a very hot 2:32 — 12:40 pace for 5,000m. As the field in this Diamond League race continued to run positive splits — 2:35 and 2:38 to reach 3,000m — there was reason to doubt a record performance.

Solinsky, for his part, stayed in his customary position on the rail, content to sit in the middle of the pack and prepare to race, as a yet-slower 2:39 kilometer brought the leaders to 4,000m. Soon, it became evident that the slowing laps were not necessarily a product of a too-fast opening, and Solinsky matched the leaders as the pace quickened and the race began in earnest. A blistering kilometer of 2:32 finished off with a strong final 400m brought the Stevens Point-native all the way to sixth-position and his first sub-13:00 clocking, leaving behind him a litany of the world’s-finest: Eliud Kipchoge, PB 12:46 #4 all-time, World Champion, Olympic Silver and Bronze Medalist; Saif Saaeed Shaheen, WR Holder in the 3000m SC, PB 12:48 (#7 all-time); and Edwin Soi, Olympic Bronze Medalist, PB 12:52.

Solinsky’s old PB of 13:12 dated all the way back to 2007, but two years of consistent finishes in the thirteen-teens hinted at a breakthrough-in-waiting, with the Stanford 10,000m shocker the opening salvo in this dream season, and the start of realized aspirations. At 12:56.66, Solinsky now sits third all-time among American men, seconds ahead of Bob Kennedy‘s longtime AR, which stood for thirteen years before Ritzenhein bettered it. In crossing the line, Solinsky became just the fifth American ever to run faster than 13:00 for 5000m.

[ Full Results ]

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