© Copyright- 2022 – Athletics Illustrated
Behold the Fisher King.
Grant Fisher is one of America’s all-time great distance runners and is on his way to becoming perhaps the greatest. First, however, he needs to win a major championship. He had three opportunities to do so in 2022 and came close. Prognosticators suggest it may be the surging that takes place in global championships that Fisher needs to deal with, others, the killer instinct.
As an NCAA and national champion and multi-time North American record holder, it is unlikely that he lacks the killer instinct.
On Friday, September 2, the 25-year-old ran the 5000-metre event in the time of 12:46.96 in Brussels, Belgium.
The performance is a North American record surpassing Canadian Mo Ahmed‘s 12:47.20 performance from July 2020 in Portland, Oregon. Fisher now lives in Portland and trains at the Bowerman Track Club under coach Jerry Schumacher, as does Ahmed.
Ahmed’s time remains the Canadian record even though Fisher was born in Calgary, Alberta. He was raised in Grand Blanc, Michigan. Fisher attended Stanford University and went on to become a 12-time All-American and two-time NCAA champion, once in cross-country as well as the 5000m event, respectively.
Fisher holds five North American records, four he set in 2022 alone, including the 3000m in 7:28.48 at the Monaco Diamond League meet on August 10. He ran the 10,000m in March in the time of 26:33.84 at the Sound Running meet. At Boston University in February, he clocked a record 12:53.73 indoors in the 5000m event. In July 2020, he was a member of the 4x1500m relay team that took the North American best performance (not record) at 14:34.97. And of course, there is the Sept. 2 5000m race.
Demonstrating range Fisher ran a 1500m personal best in 2022 stopping the clock at 3:35.53 in Portland on June 11. According to the World Athletics points performance rating system his best outdoor performance is in the 10,000m at 1268 points.
There is no doubt that he has the ability to medal at a major championship although he finished fifth at the Tokyo Olympic Games clocking a 27:46.39 performance. At the Eugene World Athletics Championships, he finished one position higher in the time of 27:28.14. Fisher also ran the 5000m event in Eugene clocking 13:11.65 finishing sixth — so close.
When Fisher took down the 5000m record, he improved upon Bernard Lagat‘s time of 12:53.60. Lagat became an American citizen after attending university in the US, however, was born and raised in Kenya. During Fisher’s record run at the Memorial Van Damme Diamond League meet, he finished second to Kenyan Jacob Krop, who clocked a 12:45.71. Krop had taken silver at the Eugene World Championships meet. The 21-year-old dropped the pace over the final lap even though Fisher ran a stunning final 400m in sub-58 seconds.
Apparently Fisher will have to work on his top-end speed while racing the business end of a distance race.
Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda holds the 5000m world record at 12:35.36 as well as the 10,000m record at 26:11.00. Both were set during the summer of 2020. Fisher is number 12 globally, all-time in the 5000m and 12th in the 10,000m behind six other athletes.