That’s the amount of time that separated Missouri junior Karissa Schweizer, who finished fourth in the women’s 5,000-meter event at the USA Track & Field Championships on Friday in Sacramento, California, and Olympian Molly Huddle, who came in third.
Courtesy The Missourian-Quinn Malloy, click here! Shelby Houlihan-SC EAST – ASU and Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou ©Jim Kirby 2017
Huddle is a three-time U.S. national champion in the 5K. Schweizer hadn’t competed against professionals at her signature distance on a national stage before tonight.
Granted, 3.4 seconds is significant in the world of track and field, where runners are measured to the hundredth of a second and shaving several ticks off a race time is considered an accomplishment worth celebrating.
That’s why it’s all the more impressive that Schweizer’s time at the USATF Outdoors — 15 minutes, 18.69 seconds — was a remarkable 20.24 seconds faster than her winning time at the NCAA Championships (15:38.93).
Schweizer’s USATF time also surpassed the internationally recognized World Championship standard for the women’s 5,000 (15:22.00), although she missed automatically qualifying for the August meet in London by that one place.
Earlier in the day, freshman Ja’Mari Ward defended his title in the junior long jump. Ward fouled on his first two attempts before leaping 25 feet, 7½ inches to put himself at the head of the field. He would stay there for the final three rotations and add a second USATF gold medal to his collection.
Freshman Emily Stauffer and former Tiger Tony Carodine also competed Friday.
Stauffer placed 12th in the junior women’s shot put with a mark of 47-0¾, and Carodine’s 52-6½ earned him ninth in the men’s triple jump.
Supervising editor is Pete Bland.