File Photo. Justyn Knight

© Copyright – 2017 – Athletics Illustrated

Syracuse University runner, Justyn Knight of Toronto, Ontario, won the 5,000-metre race at the Payton Jordan Invitational Friday night in the time of 13:17.51. He defeated a strong field in the faster of two scheduled sections.  He finished .04 of a second ahead of Sam McEntee of Melbourne, Australia. The two finished nearly three seconds up on Tanzanian Gabriel Geay, who finished in 13:20.35.

All three set new personal bests in the race.

“The race played out pretty well,” shared Knight. “We accomplished everything that we wanted to. My coaches and I weren’t sure what to expect on the day because it was very windy. However, everyone in that race managed to run a good time, even with non-favourable conditions. I decided to run to win, rather than chase a time like last year. So I just sat in fourth place and tried to respond to any moves that were made.”

“King” Edward Cheserek, as he is often referred to as continues to surprise by his slightly off performances. This time he finished in fourth position with a 13:24.72 finish time. The 23-year-old Kenyan owns a personal record that is now three years old at 13:18.71. The King continues to be taken by the Knight.

Other Canadians in the race were Mike Tate, Lucas Bruchet, and Nathan Brannen. They finished in 13:34.28, 13:40.65 and 13:44.85 respectively.

Asked about his upcoming schedule, Knight said, “Next up I just have conference championships that happen next weekend and then regionals, followed by (NCAA) nationals. After that, I’m going to focus on making the world team.”

To qualify to run for Team Canada at the IAAF World Track and Field Championships that is taking place in London, England this year, Knight will have needed to run faster than 13:22, be one of the top-3, 5,000m runners during the qualification period and compete in the national trials. The first and second finishers at nationals get an automatic berth regardless of their time at that race, providing that they have already run a qualifying time.

There were many other Canadian performances at the meet this weekend including St. Catharine’s, Ontario native Mo Ahmed who ran to a new personal best time in the 10,000m event. He finished second overall.

He stopped the clock at 27:30:00, more than four and half seconds faster than his previous best.

The Canadian record is owned by Black Creek, BC’s Cameron Levins at 27:07.51

Pat Tiernan of Australia won the race in the time of 27:29.81.

Ahmed owns the national record in the 5,000m event with his 13:01.74 from May of last year.

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