The beginning of high school marks the time for many high school runners to experiment with the 5000-meter distance. It would seem that after a few trial runs, one should know how to cover the 3.125 mile distance, but this knowledge does not come easy.

Each time barrier broken, whether that is running under 25 minutes or under 13 minutes, is representative of the work that has been done in the past and what must be improved on to continue progressing as a runner.

Progress is the name of the game, and most runners always believe complete satisfaction is impossible.

After smashing the world record, Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia said in an interview with the International Federation of Athletics Association, “I could have run faster if the pacing was a little better.”

Dibaba set the mark of 14 minutes and 11 seconds on June 6, 2008 at the ExxonMobil Bislett Games, while countrymate Kenenisa Bekele had set the men’s world record of 12 minutes and 37 seconds on May 31, 2004.

The 5K is a personal favorite for many runners, including the men and women of the Miami University Track and Field Teams.

“I like the 5K because it is a longer event so I can get into a good rhythm but no so long as the 10K, nor short as a 1500 [meters],” sophomore Brad Davis said.

The average time for a five-kilometer race is more than two times slower than the world records. The average time for a male in 2014 was 28 minutes and 46 seconds and the average time for a woman was 34 minutes and 53 seconds, according to Running USA.

With consideration to the recent successes of Miami’s men’s and women’s teams in the event, the RedHawks could complete almost two 5Ks in the time of these national averages.

Currently, senior Jake Brumfield has the team’s fastest time, which he set in late April at the Penn Relays. Brumfield ran close to a 25-second personal best on Thursday, where his time of 14 minutes and 25 seconds placed 31st at the meet.

Close behind Brumfield is sophomore Sean Torpy in a time of 14 minutes and 26 seconds, a mark he set on March 30 at the Adidas Raleigh Relays. Both Brumfield’s and Torpy’s times are automatic Mid-American Conference (MAC) Championships qualifiers and respectively ranked fourth and fifth in the conference.

Eastern Michigan’s Hlynur Andresson ran a blistering 13 minutes and 58 seconds at the Virginia Challenge last weekend to reset his own Icelandic national record in the distance. Of the top ten times in the conference, eight of the times come from Eastern Michigan and Miami.

Multiple RedHawks on the men’s team also set personal records at the Jesse Owens Track Classic, hosted by Ohio State, and Bryan Clay Invitational in Azusa, California which had steep collegiate and professional competition.

In California, the men had three runners within eight seconds of each other. Senior Ben Metzger led the way with a season-best time of 14 minutes and 40 seconds with sophomores David Coffey (14:42.29) and Zac Thompson (14:48.12) close behind. Metzger ranks sixth in the MAC, while Coffey ranks seventh and Thompson ranks eleventh.

The strong pack mentality has been seen in practices as well.

“We help one another in practice, and in races,” senior Maria Scavuzzo said. “We believe in one another and support each other.”

Scavuzzo ran a lifetime best of over 18 seconds at the Mt. Sac Relays, hosted by El Camino College in Torrance, California. Her time of 16 minutes and 16 seconds moved her into the second in the MAC and third in Miami history, although she is less than two seconds away from first-place in both rankings.

Scavuzzo says she uses the 5K to help her pursuits in longer distances, but says that, “the 5k is a great race, and really allows me to mentally commit to running 12.5 laps at a fast pace.”

Leading the MAC is senior Alsu Bogdanova of Eastern Michigan in a time of 16 minutes and 14 seconds. Bogdanov, the Russian national, was last year’s NCAA Division 1 Outdoor Track and Field Championships runner-up in the 5K in a time of 15 minutes and 43 seconds.

Sophomore Carly Davis started off a strong weekend for the Davis twins, where she ran a personal best by 20 seconds at the Mt. Sac Relays. Her time of 16 minutes and 34 seconds currently sits sixth in the conference and fourth in RedHawks history.

Brad Davis ran at the Jesse Owens Track Classic, where he set a 12-second personal record that is the seventh fastest time in the conference.

With senior Alesha Vovk running a time of 16 minutes and 51 seconds at the Penn Relays, the women now have three MAC auto-qualifiers and five of the 20 fastest times in the conference.

The men’s and women’s teams will look to master the Art of the 5,000 meters this weekend at the Mid-American Conference Outdoor Championships.

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