It had been a quiet 2017 outdoor season for Syracuse Orange distance standout Justyn Knight. Well that changed in a hurry last night at the Payton Jordan Invitational held by the Stanford Cardinal. Knight took down a talented field for the victory in a new school record time of 13:17.51.
Not only did he smash his previous Syracuse record of 13:27.23 set last year, but Knight’s time is also the fastest 5k time in the world this season. Justyn used a 57.63 final 400m to overtake Australian Sam McEntee for the victory. The next fastest collegiate runner was Oregon Ducks star Edward Cheserek, who was seven seconds behind Knight.
Here are Knight’s splits from the race. You can see that not only was he closing fast in the final lap, but his last 800m was run in just over two minutes. His 13:17 is now the 6th fastest collegiate 5k of all-time.
Anyone who has followed Justyn’s career at Syracuse knows how successful he has been, but he still continues to improve and grow as a runner. Before the race he talked about his goal of winning the race and he delivered in a big way. Getting a second victory over Cheserek is going to help Justyn’s confidence grow (not that it really needed a boost), but he might be one athlete from Toronto who can deliver in the post-season in 2017.
The other Syracuse athlete to compete at Payton Jordan was Adam Palamar. The senior ran 3:42.7 to place 7th in the top section of the 1500. Palamar will be one of the favorites in the event at next week’s ACC Championships.
The story of the meet was Knight’s performance. With the rest of this season, and next year still ahead of him, there is a lot more in store from Knight, including some more of these post-race victory interviews.