asics Greenville Track Club-ELITE - a post-collegiate, Olympic-development program
ASICS Greenville Track Club-ELITE's Austin Steagall returned to the Clemson University Indoor Track & Field facility for the second time in two weeks and moved up to the 5,000 meter distance with familiar results. After setting a new facility record of 8:04.45 in the 3,000 meters at the Bob Pollock Invitational on January 28, Steagall returned to win the 5,000 meters at the Tiger Paw Invitational in a time of 14:08.68.
After following the designated pacer through 2,000 meters in 5:05, Steagall ran just behind Clemson's James Quatlebaum for a couple of laps before taking the lead and passing 3,000 in 8:28. He then ran solo for the final 2,000 which included lapping most of the field. The time just barely bested his outdoor 5,000 personal best of 14:08.7.
ASICS GTC-ELITE's Mark Leininger ran with Steagall for most of the first half of the race and passed 3,000 in 8:31 before losing contact. Leininger finished with a time of 14:27.89.
Earlier in the evening their teammate, Kimberly Ruck placed second in the women's 5,000 with time time of 16:30.9 It was a homecoming of sort for the former Clemson All American, who set her personal best of 16:01 while wearing Tiger orange. She ran the race alone as eventual winner Anna Rohrer of Nortre Dame (16:15.9) took the pace out from the gun and passed the first 1600 in a brisk 5:01. Ruck ran more conservatively, passing 1600 in 5:09 and 3000 in 9:48. Both Rohrer and Ruck lapped the entire field, which they had to pass throughout the second half of the race.
GTC-ELITE produced four qualifiers for the 2016 USA Olympic Trials Marathon in Los Angeles and is sponsored by ASICS, the 44-year-old Greenville Track Club, Greenville Health System, ScanSource, Joy Real Estate, the Bare Minimum Track Club, generous individual contributors and partnerships with Performance Therapy, Carolina Spine and Rehab, Soleus Running Watches, Boston Bill Sunglasses, Roll Recovery, FinalSurge, The ATI Running Academy, ElliptiGO, and NormaTec Recovery Boots.