Kosgei sets new women's record
HUNTINGTON -- Recently graduated West Virginia University track standout Jordan Hamric said earlier in the week she was participating in The Herald-Dispatch West Virginia 5K Championship because she wanted a 5K time she could be proud of and she wanted to run a race she could potentially win.
Well, Hamric's time of 17 minutes, 8 seconds ended up breaking the women's record for the course, 17:13, set by Jennifer Davis, of Star City, W.Va., in the inaugural 5K in 2009.
The only problem for Hamric was someone else broke it, too.
Lydia Kosgei, 27, of Richmond, Ky., won the women's division Saturday with a time of 16:56. Not only was that good enough for first among women, but 10th overall. Hamric didn't do too shabby either, finishing 12th overall.
In the history of the race, no female competitor had ever cracked the top 20 in overall results.
"I heard the record time before the race, and I was like, 'I don't know if I can beat that,'" Kosgei said. "I had run faster than that before, but that was a long time ago when I was in great shape. When I saw my time, I was just like 'Wow, that's great.'"
Kosgei said she felt like she could have done a little better without the mid-80-degree heat and noticeable humidity.
Hamric said the same.
"I'm pretty pleased with my time, it makes me feel confident that I could've gone 16s had it not been humid and hot," she said.
Hamric and Kosgei were running side-by-side for a time.
"I tried to stay with her (Kosgei) for I'd say almost a mile, and then I had to pull back a little," Hamric, 23, said. "But I still feel like I kept in there pretty well. I'm proud of my performance.
"Two people breaking the record on the same day, what are the odds?"
It was the first time either had run the event, and both had high praise for the course, atmosphere and organization surrounding the 5K Championship.
"I loved that they had the (distance) markers on the street," Kosgei said. "At least you could tell you were at the right pace and just keep going."
Hamric, who hails from Bruceton Mills, W.Va., said she enjoyed the atmosphere more than anything.
"The music at the start was awesome, and just seeing people cheering the whole way, the whole thing was great," she said.
Kosgei won $300 for her first-place finish, which she called "the best part" with a sheepish laugh. Hamric received $200.
Finishing third among the females was 16-year-old Peyton Panger, of Charleston, who will receive $100. Panger clocked in at 18:58 and finished 44th overall.
Former Cabell Midland High School and Ohio University sprinter Danielle "Deedee" Winningham said earlier in the week her goal was to break 20 minutes given her relative inexperience in distance running.
Winningham finished with a time of 19:23 that was good enough for fifth place in the women's division.
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