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Huddle and Simpson face off again (┬ęKirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE)

Barnburner Set For Women's 5000m At Mt. SAC Relays

The Friday night distance carnival at the Mt. Sac Relays always features strong fields but this year’s women’s 5000 meters should be better than most.

Leading the way are Molly Huddle and Jenny Simpson, the defending champion and runner-up, respectively.

Huddle, the American record holder for 5000 meters, won her first U.S. title in 2011 but was injured prior to the World Championships and was unable to make it out of the rounds in Daegu. She recently finished second at the USA Cross Country Championships.

Coming off her world title last season, Simpson had a strong indoor season that included wins in the mile and 3000 meters at the USA Indoor Championships. Simpson’s 5000 meter best of 15:01.70 was run back in 2009.

A few other professionals entered in the race are coming off recent success. Sara Hall defeated Huddle to win her first U.S. title in cross country on February 11. Nike Oregon Project’s Jackie Areson ran a blistering last 400 meters to win the 5000 meters at last weekend’s Stanford Invitational in an ‘A’ standard 15:18.31. Tara Erdmann, now out of NCAA eligibility at Loyola Marymount, set a big personal best of 32:31.15 in the 10,000 meters at Stanford.

**UPDATE: According to Ken Goe of OregonLive.com, Areson will not run the 5000 and will instead contest the 1500 meters.

Middle distance specialists Brenda Martinez and Anna Pierce will test their strengths at the longer 12 1/2 lap distance.

The battle to be the top collegiate finisher should be a fierce one. Five-time NCAA champion Sheila Reid did not have indoor eligibility for Villanova but is now back for her final collegiate season. She will take on Big East rival Emily Infeld of Georgetown, who is fresh off her indoor 3000 meter title. Neither has run a fast rabbited 5000 meter race of this sort. Also in the field are Dartmouth’s Abbey D’Agostino, the cross country third place finisher, and indoor mile champion Lucy Van Dalen of Stony Brook.

Olympic Games and U.S. Olympic Trials qualifying standards will be targets for many of the competitors. The Olympic ‘A’ standard is 15:20.00 and ‘B’ standard is 15:30.00. The standards for the Olympic Trials are 15:35.00 and 15:50.00, respectively.

Look for the women’s 5000 meters to go off on Friday, April 20 at 7:40 PM.

Click for full list of men’s and women’s accepted entries.

Some of the top entrants:

Angela Bizzarri Brooks
Kim Conley SRA Elite
Julie Culley Asics/NYAC
Abbey D’Agostino Dartmouth
Malindi Elmore Speed River
Tara Erdmann Unattached
Stephanie Garcia New Balance
Megan Goethals Washington
Sara Hall Asics
Molly Huddle Saucony
Emily Infeld Georgetown
Katie Mackey Brooks
Elizabeth Maloy New Balance
Brenda Martinez New Balance
Alissa McKaig Zap Fitness
Anna Pierce Nike
Beverly Ramos New Balance/PUR
Sheila Reid Villanova
Jenny Simpson New Balance
Emily Sisson Providence
Lucy Van Dalen Stony Brook
Christin Wurth-Thomas ICR

Tags: Mt Sac

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