From an international perspective, much of the attention at the Oxy High Performance meeting in Eagle Rock was understandably on Great Britain’s Olympic hero Mo Farah but he was rather upstaged by US prodigy Mary Cain on Friday night (17).
The double London 2012 Olympic Games gold medallist used his deadly speed over the last lap to win the 5000m in 13:15.68, his first race over the distance since the Olympic final last summer, with USA’s Dathan Ritzenheim second in 13:17.38.
It was an unremarkable time for a man who has run 12:53.11 but nevertheless it was a useful start to the summer and it should be remembered that Farah also started his 2012 outdoor campaign with two wins at the same meeting 12 months ago.
Cain had to settle for second in her 1500m, just being edged out of first place by 0.02 US runner Katie Mackey, but her time of 4:04:62 rewrote the national record books for teenagers.
She shattered the US junior record of 4:09.10 that had been held since 1987 by Suzy Favor Hamilton, and broke her own US youth and high school record of 4:10.77.
Having just turned 17 earlier this month, Cain is now one of the hottest favourites for a gold medal at the IAAF World Youth Championships in Donetsk this summer as she is more than 10 seconds quicker than any other girl in the world at the moment.
Like Farah, Cain is also advised by the US distance running guru Alberto Salazar, having teamed up with him at the start of the year after he saw videos of her finishing sixth at the 2012 IAAF World Junior Championships.
He has obviously started to have a profound influence and in addition to her domestic statistics on the California track on Friday, Cain ran the quickest time by a youth girl for a decade and moves to fourth on the world youth all-time lists.
In what was a terrific race with 0.05 covering the first three runners home, Nicole Sifuentes was third in in 4:04.65 and the top six were all under the meeting record of 4:05.92 set last year by Shannon Rowbury.
Nick Symmonds, fifth over 800m in London last summer, won the men’s 1500m with a burst of speed down the home straight to cross the line in 3:36.07. US 3000m Steeplechase record-holder Evan Jager was second in 3:36.34.
Molly Huddle won the women’s 5000m from the front in 15:05.56 while World 1500m champion Jenny Simpson won the 800m in 2:00.45.
Phil Minshull for the IAAF