Former CU star and two-time Olympian Jenny Simpson took home the USA Track & Field 5,000-meter championship on Sunday afternoon, winning the race in 15:33.77.
The CU volunteer assistant already has a bye in the 1,500 to compete at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow this August, but decided to run her first 5k in a couple years at the USA Championships.
Simpson went to the front from the gun and ran in third place until there was a little over a mile left when she moved up to second behind Molly Huddle. Right behind those two was Kim Conley, who decided to make a move with about 700 meters remaining. Simpson went with her and was able to drop Conley before Huddle came back into the mix. Simpson and Huddle battled it out down the back stretch and then with about 150 meters left Simpson outkicked her to record the victory, besting Huddle who finished in 15:35.45.
“Molly [Huddle] and Amy [Van Alstine] did most of the hard work and led most of the race,” Simpson said. “It was definitely a little windy out there. A lot of credit goes to them. My strategy was to sit around and wait to pounce. That’s exactly what I did. It was a little hard for me to not take control of the race because that’s what I’ve been trying to do this season.”
In the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase, Aric Van Halen placed ninth (8:38.85) and Billy Nelson took 12th (8:52.63). Jeremy Dodson also placed 13th in the semifinals of the 200 (20.93).
The IAAF World Championships will take place August 10-18 in Moscow.