Amanda Vestri continued her red hot fall, ripping a 21 second personal best and lopping 7 seconds off the 12-year old ZAP 5,000m record Saturday night in Boston.
Amanda came into the meet, her first track race in a ZAP uniform, expecting a personal best after running 15:38 to take 7th at the US 5k Championships a month prior. However, she had been more focused on cross country training than track training as she prepares for the US Cross Country Championships in January and wasn’t completely sure what to expect.
One of the goals was to race it more like cross country with less of a focus on time and splits. She positioned herself in the top 5 within the first 1000m of the race and remained fully planted in the front of the chase pack throughout the race. After getting clipped several times in the pack Amanda moved up into 3rd within the first half of the race, leading the chase pack. Her lead there was short lived as she tucked back in heading into the 2 mile, split in 9:48.
With 1000m to go Amanda made a move to the front of the chase pack, back into 3rd place, and began to stringing out a group of 8 behind her. Amanda would relinquish the lead with 600m remaining and go on to finish in 8th place in a stellar field that saw the NCAA record fall.
Her time of 15:21 broke Alissa Doehla’s (McKaig) 12 year old club record of 15:28 from the 2011 outdoor season. Prior to running that mark, Alissa qualified for the World Cross Country team that went on to win the bronze medal at the World Championships. Amanda will be aiming to replicate that feat when she competes at the US Cross Country Championships in Richmond on January 20th.
Amanda will have one cross country race prior to Richmond as she’ll be running it back next week to compete in the US Club Cross Country Championships in Tallahassee, FL where she will compete for her first national title.
She’s particularly excited to tackle the course in Tallahassee. In her junior year at Syracuse Amanda won the Northeast Regional Cross Country Championships and then came down with a stress fracture 2 days later that kept her out of the National Championships that year in Tallahassee.
Dan Schaffer opened up his track season in Boston as well, also competing at 5000m. Dan entered the meet with an indoor personal best of 13:46 and an overall personal best of 13:36. Coming off a 13:46, 4th place performance at the US Road 5k Championships a month prior Dan took aim at a big performance.
Sitting in the back of a very fast race, Dan went through the opening mile in 4:16, spot on 13:20 pace. Despite a little bit of yo-yoing with the pace the 2 mile split was dead even, passed in 8:33. Just after 2 miles Dan was began to struggle. After riding a razor’s edge, Dan slowed a bit over the final mile, hanging on to clock a new indoor personal best of 13:40, a 6 second improvement upon his mark from this same meet last year.
He walked away a little disappointed but acknowledging the progress he has made this season, noting that he was 15 seconds faster through 2 miles than he had ever been before and knowing that would pay off moving into 2024.
You can find the full results from the meet here.
Dan will be back in action on the indoor track in late January, stay tuned for race updates from him.