FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Call it the “Fabulous 5,000” part two.
Galen Rupp ran 13:18.12 in the 5,000 meters Friday night at the Tyson Invitational to break four decades-old records held by some of the great names in the sport of running.
“It was a fun race today,” said Rupp. “The crowd was great. Everyone got into it. Awesome atmosphere.
“We talked about the possibility of getting (a record), but you never want to get too focused on a time,” he said.
The senior from Portland, Ore., broke Doug Padilla’s American indoor 5,000 meter record of 13:20.55 set 27 years ago at the 1982 Millrose Games in New York City.
He also bettered the collegiate indoor 5,000 meter record, just eclipsing the 1981 time of 13:20.4 by Suleiman Nyambui’ of Texas-El Paso. Nyambui’s mark came in a race better known as the “Fabulous 5,000,” where the great Tanzanian runner outlasted Oregon’s Alberto Salazar, who until Friday night held both the American collegiate and Oregon indoor 5,000 meter records, with a time of 13:22.6 from his Millrose Games’ race with Nyambui’.
Rupp’s time was also the second-fastest run by an American collegian in all locations. The only faster American collegiate 5,000 was and outdoor 13:15.77 by Oregon’s Bill McChesney in 1981.
Friday evening at the Randall Tyson Track Center, it was a magnificent three-way contest between Rupp, Ethiopia’s Bekana Daba, and Sam Chelanga of Liberty. All three runners shattered the stadium record, 13:28.93 by Arkansas’ Alistair Cragg in 2003.
Daba went on to win in 13:17.89, with Rupp less than a second back and Chelanga, from Nairobi, Kenya, a stride back in third at 13:19.79. The three stayed in the lead pack the entire race, and Rupp and Daba took turns leading in the final laps before Daba took the lead late for the win, pulling Rupp along with him into second and into the record books.
“I think we were a little slow at the beginning. Nobody wanted to lead,” said Rupp. “Chelanga and I had a great race in cross county and I knew he was gong to be there. And Daba is such a great runner.
“The coaches were great,” said Rupp. “They just told me to stay relaxed, stay relaxed. The kick is going to come. I was really happy with my finish. I kept my form.”
The Tyson Invitational will be televised on a delayed basis Sunday at 2 p.m. on ESPN.
Randall Tyson Track Center
1. Bekana Daba, adidas, 13:17.89
2. Galen Rupp, Oregon, +13:18.12
3. Sam Chelanga, Liberty, 13:19.79
4. Markos Geneti, adidas, 13:31.71
5. Shawn Forrest, Arkansas, 13:37.77
6. Elkanah Kibet, Auburn, 13:53.05
7. Stephen Sambu, Rend Lake CC, 13:58.03
8. James Strang, Arkansas, 14:11.29
9. Jonathan Pierce, USA, 14:23.30
10. Girma Mecheso, Auburn, 14:25.89
-- Seth Summerside, adidas, DNF
+ American Record, Collegiate Record, American Collegiate Record, Oregon Record
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