Kirk Clocks Top 5 NCAA Time At Husky Classic

UABSPORTS.COM Kirk won Friday's 5,000 by nine seconds over the runner-up finisher.
Kirk won Friday's 5,000 by nine seconds over the runner-up finisher.

Feb. 14, 2014

SEATTLE, Wash. ---- UAB's Elinor Kirk turned in one of the most impressive performances in the collegiate ranks this season on Friday as she shattered a Blazer school record by more than 35 seconds at the Husky Classic.

The Husky Classic, hosted by the University of Washington, annually attracts many of the nation's top collegiate competitors. Twelve of the current top 25 NCAA women's teams are represented in this year's meet.

Kirk, from Swansea, Wales, won Friday's 5,000-Meter Run Invite by nine seconds over runner-up and nine-time All-American Kathy Kroeger of Stanford and also shattered the UAB 5,000 indoor record by more than 35 seconds. The top five finishers in the race included runners with multiple All-America accolades, as well as an NCAA champion and an Olympian.

Kirk's winning time was 15:44.38, breaking the Blazer mark of 16:18.92 previously held by Elizabeth Ambrus (2008) and Rhiannon Johns (2013). Kirk's time also ranks among the top five registered among collegiate runners this indoor season.

"Eli ran an absolutely incredible race," said UAB distance coach Tony Houchin. "It was a lot of fun to watch her win in such convincing fashion against this stacked field. This performance puts her in the conversation for who will get on the podium at the national meet.

"Before then, we have things to do at the C-USA Championships. Eli is such a pleasure to be working with. She embodies everything any coach in any sport would want."

Kirk's time bested second-place finisher Kroeger's effort of 15:53.35. Rounding out the top five were another Stanford runner, Aisling Cuffe (15:53.95), Hannah Walker of Florida State (15:58.15) and Colorado's Shalaya Kipp (16:00.15).