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Christiansen, Kurgat to Run at Jesse Owens Classic

April 30, 2015  Columbus, Ohio  RSS
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Ednah Kurgat (left) and Jacy Christiansen (right) will compete in the women's 5K, Friday evening at the Jesse Owens Track & Field Classic in Columbus, Ohio.

Ednah Kurgat (left) and Jacy Christiansen (right) will compete in the women's 5K, Friday evening at the Jesse Owens Track & Field Classic in Columbus, Ohio.

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Liberty senior Jacy Christiansen and freshman Ednah Kurgat will be part of a deep women's 5K field at the Jesse Owens Track & Field Classic, Friday evening at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.

The race, which features 15 runners with sub-17:00 personal-best 5K times, will begin at 7:30 p.m.

How to Follow the Flames and Lady Flames
Live results will be available throughout the meet. Meanwhile, the Big Ten Network will air tape-delayed coverage of the action May 11 at 7 p.m.

Breaking Down the Field
The Jesse Owens Track & Field Classic meet record for the women's 5K is 16:11.24, set by Megan Wright a year ago. That mark could be challenged on Friday, as Toledo's Brooke Tullis (16:09.59) and Mackenzie Chojnacky (16:15.35) both boast personal-best times in that range.

Michigan State's duo of Melanie Brender and Alexis Wiersma placed 1-2 in the Raleigh Relays 10K on March 27. Ednah Kurgat made her 10K debut in that race, finishing sixth in 34:38.75.

The 20-member field includes six Toledo Rockets, four Michigan State Spartans and four Ohio State Buckeyes.

Catching Up with Christiansen
Friday's race will be Jacy Christiansen's second 5K of the 2015 outdoor season, after she clocked 17:13.84 for third place at the Duke Invitational on April 11. She has been running well at shorter distances this year, posting a personal-best 800 time of 2:15.26 and running just off of her 1,500 best at 4:34.04.

The reigning Big South outdoor women's 5K champion, Christiansen has posted a pair of sub-17:00 5Ks during her career, topped by her personal-best 16:45.99 effort at the 2014 Stanford Invitational.

Keeping Up with Kurgat
Kurgat has only run 10 collegiate races, but has already crafted an impressive resume. The native of Eldoret, Kenya was the 2015 Big South indoor women's 3K champion and clocked Liberty and Big South-record indoor women's 5K times of 16:28.29 on Feb. 6.

Kurgat's only previous outdoor 5K was a 16:49.00, which netted second place at the Duke Invitational on April 11. If she runs well in Columbus, the Liberty (16:31.00) and Big South (16:26.99) outdoor women's 5K records could be within reach. A time within that range would also give Kurgat a chance to qualify for the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round.