Adrian Wildschutt, Edwin Kurgat And The Biggest Winners From The 2024 BU Terrier Classic Men’s 5Ks

By Chris Chavez

January 27, 2024

On Friday night, Hoka Northern Arizona Elite’s Adrian Wildschutt led 11 total men under the Olympic qualifying standard of 13:05.00 for 5000m at the John Thomas Terrier Classic at Boston University. In the “White” section, the South African outsprinted Northern Arizona University’s Nico Young, who broke the NCAA record in 12:57.17.

In the previous section, 2019 NCAA cross country champion Edwin Kurgat stunned a field that included U.S. mile record holder Yared Nuguse and British miler George Mills. Kurgat won the “Scarlett” heat in 12:57.52.

Here’s what you need to know:

– Kurgat, who joined Under Armour Dark Sky Distance last fall and now trains under coach Stephen Haas in Flagstaff, put together the best performance of his professional career. He dropped his personal best from 13:08.46 to 12:57.52.

– Wildschutt, who already secured the Olympic standard with his 13:02.46 last summer in Heusden, managed to break 13:00 for the first time in his career. His 12:56.76 is the early world lead and a South African national record.

Nico Young’s NCAA record examined

– Last weekend, Nico Young ran 3:57 at altitude on an oversized track in Flagstaff, which converted to an NCAA-leading 3:48.71 mile. While many were quick to debate the accuracy of conversions, Young backed up that performance by clocking the fastest time by an American on Friday night.

– His 12:57.14 broke the NCAA record of 13:03.78, which was set just eight weeks ago by Harvard’s Graham Blanks on the same track. Young becomes the first collegian to break 13 minutes.

– Young is currently atop the NCAA qualifying list in the mile, 3000m and 5000m. He has options for which events he will choose to focus on at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in March, which will also be held in Boston. Last year, he only raced the 5000m at the NCAA Indoor Championships and finished fourth. In 2022, he was seventh in the 3000m and third in the 5000m.

Who else qualified for the Olympics?

– Great Britain’s George Mills finished second to Kurgat in the “Scarlett” heat. He managed to secure the Olympic 5000m standard in his indoor 5000m debut. He is now the fastest British man to qualify for Paris in the 5000m off the entry standard. His compatriot, Sam Atkin, also ran under the qualifying standard in the “White” heat with a 12:58.73.

– Nuguse also made his indoor 5000m debut and despite moving toward the front to push the pace with Mills in his heat, he tied up in the closing laps and finished third in 13:02.09. He nabbed the Olympic standard but has no plans of contesting another 5000m race soon. He will not shift his focus to defending his Wanamaker Mile title at the Millrose Games on Feb. 11.

Abdihamid Nur, who has qualified for the last two World Championships, was the third-fastest American on the day and managed to lower his personal best to 13:03.17. Last summer, he ran 13:05.17 in Los Angeles in May to secure the World Championship qualifying standard and now has checked the box for the Paris standard. He plans to run in Sound Running’s The Ten in March to get the 10,000m standard. He holds a personal best of 27:42.73 from 2021 and has not run a 10,000m race as a professional yet.

George Beamish broke his own New Zealand indoor record and managed to go faster than the outdoor record of 13:10.19 set by Adrian Blincoe in 2008 with his 13:04.33 to get under the Olympic qualifying standard. He is now qualified for Paris in the steeplechase and 5000m.

– Belgium’s John Heymans ran 13:03.46 to take nearly 11 seconds off his personal best from outdoors. The 26-year-old ran 13:14.16 last year and then qualified for the World Championships in Budapest.

– The Very Nice Track Club had a very nice showing on Friday night. Ben Flanagan became the second Canadian to his the Paris standard with his 13:04.62 personal best. Last summer, he qualified for his first-ever Canadian global championship team off his world ranking. Now, he’ll have a much clearer path to trying to make his first Games. His teammate and U.S. road 5K champion, Morgan Beadlescomb, went in the second heat and managed to get under with a 13:03.57 for sixth place in the “White’ heat. Last summer, he was 13th in the 5000m final at the U.S. Outdoor Championships.

Who just missed out?

Joe Klecker, who ran 12:54.99 at this meet last year, was just shy of the Olympic standard with a 13:06.02 for sixth place in the “Scarlett” heat. He will still have to chase the 5000m standard but is also preparing to run in Sound Running’s The Ten in March.

– This performance may be a bit bittersweet for Morgan McDonald. He just missed out on the Olympic standard with a 13:07.30 for seventh place in the “Scarlett” heat but it was a six-second personal best over 5000m after dealing with injuries the past two years.

Mike Foppen just missed out on the Olympic standard but set a Dutch indoor national record of 13:08.60.

Woody Kincaid, the U.S. indoor 5000m record holder, struggled a bit and ran 13:15.14 for eighth place in the “White” heat.

– NAZ Elite’s Olin Hacker ran a 5000m personal best of 13:08.76. It was just a tad faster than his outdoor personal best of 13:09.94 from Heusden last summer.

Keita Sato, the 20-year-old Japanese star who ran 27:28.50 for 10,000m in November, ran a personal best of 13:09.45. Japan does not have any men who have hit the qualifying standard for Paris in the 5000m.

What other notable performances took place?

– Northern Arizona sophomore Colin Sahlman ran 4:03.21 for the mile at altitude on an oversized track in Flagstaff last week, which converted to a 3:54.38. He took down a men’s mile field that included Pan American Games champion Charles Philibert-Thiboutot and 2019 World Championship finalist Craig Engels as Sahlman closed hard to win in 3:53.17. Three hours later, Sahlman came back to run 7:59.27 for 3000m.

– Puma Elite’s Jack Rowe and Amon Kemboi went 1-2 in the fastest section of the men’s 3000m in 7:38.35 and 7:38.99. South Carolina’s Anass Essayi, who recently signed an NIL deal with adidas, ran 7:39.00, which puts him at No. 8 on the NCAA all-time indoor list.

What’s next?

The women take center stage at the Boston University track on Saturday afternoon. The women’s 5000m will also feature an Olympic standard chase by Josette Andrews of the On Athletics Club. Alicia Monson, the U.S. outdoor 5000m record holder, will pace.

Chris Chavez

Chris Chavez launched CITIUS MAG in 2016 as a passion project while working full-time for Sports Illustrated. He covered the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and grew his humble blog into a multi-pronged media company. He completed all six World Marathon Majors and is an aspiring sub-five-minute miler.