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Mile posts: Items on Christopher Collet, Reed Fischer, Diane Nukuri, Alexina Teubel, Mike Jasa, Kassie Parker, Blake Whalen, Tyson Wieland

Apr 04, 2023

Christopher Collet may have peaked a week too late. Nevertheless, the Wartburg College senior set an incredibly special record Saturday night in Portland, Ore.

Collet set an all-time NCAA Division III record for the 3,000-meter steeplechase during a victory in the High Performance race at the Portland Track Festival. The 2022 NCAA Division III steeplechase champion ran 8 minutes, 38.46 seconds to eclipse the previous mark of 8:42.46 set the previous weekend by UW-Whitewater's Christian Patzka in the NCAA final. For his effort, Collet leads off this edition of the WEEKEND UPDATE of the best performances by Iowa-based collegiate and postcollegiate distance runners and triathletes.

Collet had to fend off a quality field that included Israel's Reyna Quintanilla, who took runner-up honors in 8:39.13.

Patza had denied Collet a repeat championship when he ran that 8:42.46 time in Rochester, N.Y., on May 27. Collet ran 8:50.61 in the final to finish second nationally. Collet improved nearly 10 seconds on his previous best for the event, an 8:47.57 effort run at the Drake Relays in late April. That time had put Collet eighth all time for the division.

The all-time Division III record for the steeplechase, an 8:43.78 mark set by Peter Kosgei of Hamilton, had stood for 15 years until the past month.

Staying in Portland, former Ballard (Huxley) prep star and Minnesota All-American Abby Kohut-Jackson placed fourth in the women's 3,000 steeplechase Beynon race Saturday night. The graduate student at Saint Louis University and Under Armour athlete ran 9:48.66. Top American Colleen Quigley was the winner in 9:32.48.

Also, former Sioux City North prep and South Dakota athlete Merga Gemeda finished fifth in the men's 5,000 High Performance race. Gemeda, who finished his college career in the NCAA West Prelims 10,000 the previous weekend, ran 14:06.89. Evan Jenkins, running unattached, won in 13:54.65.

Moving briefly to the roads, where a former Drake University All-American dominated a strong field in the Windy City on Sunday. Reed Fischer of the Tinman Elite team rolled to victory at the Bank of America Chicago 13.1 race in 1:03:02, a 4:49 pace. Fischer won by 37 seconds over Connor Winter in downtown Chicago. Fischer resides in the Boulder, Colo., area.

Returning to action was Fischer's Tinman teammate, Brogan Austin, likewise a former Drake star. The former Boone High star was in solid form while finishing in fifth overall in 1:05:50. Austin has missed months of action because of injury.

The women's winner also ran for an Iowa university. Former Hawkeye All-American Diane Nukuri, a professional runner for Asics, took the women's half marathon title in 1:15:25. Nukuri, now based in Flagstaff, Ariz., won by 33 seconds over fellow American Joyline Chemutai.

Jumping to the track, where current Northern Iowa head cross country and assistant track coach Alexina (Wilson) Teubel was very busy. The former Mount Vernon/Lisbon prep star started her week by placing third in women's mile at the HOKA Festival of Miles in St. Louis. Teubel ran 4:27.67, under the previous meet record. Abby Nichols was the champion in a new meet record 4:26.08.

Two days later, Teubel was at the Music City Track Carnival to run in the women's 1,500 Pro race and captured second overall in a new personal-best 4:05.79. Addy Wiley was the winner in a new best of 4:03.22.

On Friday night, former Iowa All-Big Ten performer and 3,000 steeplechase school record holder Nathan Mylenek placed third in the 3,000 steeplechase Pro race. The Michigan resident ran 8:28.72, which gets him the standard for U.S. nationals in July. The winner was former Michigan runner Mason Ferlic in 8:22.25.

In the women's Pro B section Saturday afternoon, former Iowa All-American and Davenport Assumption prep star Mallory (King) Lindaman ran a season-best 2:03.70 to place fifth. France's Claudia Saunders was the winner in 2:01.76.

Two Loras College runners who completed their eligibility a week ago were the winners of the featured Elite Men and Women Mile races during the second Belmont Mile event at Lindberg Stadium in Rock Island, Ill., on Saturday. Recent grad Mike Jasa set a nine-second personal-best time for the mile after running a winning time of 4:06.10. The former Cedar Rapids Prairie prep who won the NCAA Division III 800 title indoors in March wrote on Instagram that he ran the second 800 in about 1:57. Jasa was coming off a runner-up finish in the NCAA 800 outdoor final in Rochester.

Finishing .87 behind Jasa was Simpson College's Spencer Moon, who has one season of elibility left. The American Rivers Conference 10,000 and 5,000 champion proved he can drop down in distance after finishing runner-up in 4:06.97. He is a former South Central Calhoun prep who calls Lake City home.

Jasa's Loras teammate, Ryan Harvey, placed fourth in 4:08.79. Runablaze Iowa's Josh Evans, a former Linn-Mar prep star, placed fifth in 4:10.04. That time by the Ankeny resident is now No. 2 in club history. Iowa's Max Murphy, the Big Ten outdoor runner-up in the 10,000 and 5,000, was sixth in 4:11.17. The former Pleasant Valley prep now competes part-time for the Running Wild Elite team.

Lance Sobaski, third at nationals a week ago and right behind Collet, was seventh in 4:12.23. The Wartburg sophomore-to-be and former Washington High prep calls Brighton home. Wartburg teammate Wyatt Schmidt, a junior athletically this season, was ninth in 4:18.95. Schmidt is a former Northeast (Preston) prep. Running Wild Elite's Trevor Albert, a Grand View University assistant and former Vikings great who prepped at Cardinal of Eldon, was 10th in 4:20.38. Ben Huftalin, a former Osage prep and Grand View athlete, took 11th in 4:22.66. Loras grad and former Hudson prep Wyatt Kelly grabbed 12th in 4:23.02. Former Cornell College great Ean Caskey was the top masters athlete in 4:26.79. The RWE athlete was 13th.

The women's Elite mile champion at Augustana College was recent NCAA Division III 10,000 and 5,000 champion Kassie Parker. The Loras graduate student and former Clayton Ridge (Guttenberg) clocked a 4:46.81 effort to cruise to the victory by nearly 12 seconds over fellow Iowan Caroline Cunningham. Cunningham, an All-American for NCAA Division II Northwest Missouri State in the 3,000 steeplechase a week ago, ran 4:58.63. Cunningham attended Cedar Falls. In third was former Mount Mercy All-American and Marion High standout Andrea Ertz. The Running Wild Elite athlete was timed in 4:58.89. Taking fifth place was Iowa graduate student and former Linn-Mar prep Madeline Block of Marion. Block ran 5:12.53.

Going overseas at the Trond Mohn Games in Bergen, Norway, on Saturday, former Drake University All-American Adam Fogg finished third in the men's 3,000. The Under Armour Mission Run Baltimore team member and British athlete ran 7:46.67. The winning time was 7:43.94.

Moving to the roads, where Runablaze's Blake Whalen of Des Moines captured his fifth Grandview Gallop victory in Dubuque on Saturday. The former Dubuque Senior and Iowa Central Community College standout ran 19:31 over the four-mile course to win his third consecutive title. Teammate John Donovan of Dubuque was runner-up in a distant 20:03. Recent Loras runner Luke Guttormson of the Runablaze team was third in 20:20, with fourth-place Michael Eyres of Dubuque owning the same time. Dan Froeschle, a former Davenport Assumption prep, was the lead Running Wild Elite athlete in fifth in 20:30. Loras athlete and former Dubuque Senior prep Will Whalen of Dubuque was the final runner under 21 minutes, taking sixth in 20:52.

Runablaze's Tricia Serres set a new women's course record of 23:07. The former Luther College runner now based in Asbury, outside of Dubuque, won by 54 seconds.

At the fourth running of the in-person Dam to DSM event from Saylorville Dam to downtown Des Moines, former Earlham prep Zachary Dixon was the winner. Dixon, 20, ran 1:12:37 for the half marathon distance to win by 2:12 over David Schmieg, 27, of Ankeny. The women's winner was professional triathlete Jess Smith, 41, of Clive in 1:24:31.

Husband and wife Devin and Kelsey Allbaugh set course records at the Rhubarb Run 5K in Aledo, Ill. Devin, 33, of Bettendorf ran 14:50 to win by 1:20. He is a former Pleasant Valley prep star and current Running Wild Elite men's team coordinator. Kelsey, 31, ran 18:48 to win by nearly three minutes. She is the RWE women's team coordinator.

At the Blue Grass Days 5K on Friday, RWE's Nathan Hopp, 40, of Cedar Rapids tied for the ninth-best time ever for a masters runner in Iowa while taking the victory. Hopp ran 16:25 to win by 55 seconds over fellow masters runner Rick Pahl, 40, of Muscatine.

Turning to triathlon and the legendary Pigman Triathlon in Palo, on Sunday, where former Johnston High and Iowa Central standout Tyson Wieland continued his run of victories in Iowa triathlons. Wieland won the Olympic distance event in 1:44:36, topping college athlete John Judge by 3:12.

Former Mount Pleasant prep and Coe College standout Elaina Biechler was the women's sprint winner in 1:09:04. The Dubuque resident and Runablaze athlete was fifth overall. Ian Hoover-Grinde was the overall winner in 1:03:34. Hoover-Grinde was a winner by 3:01. Hoover-Grinde is a Cedar Rapids native who also ran for Coe.

GOING BACK: Huftalin won the Kwik Star Criterium Running Wild Mile in Davenport on May 29. The Runablaze athlete ran 4:26. He topped RWE's Keith Sands, a former Augustana College athlete, by two seconds.

MISSING A TOP DISTANCE RUNNER OR TRIATHLETE?: Let me know at [email protected].

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WEEKEND UPDATE MISSING A TOP DISTANCE RUNNER OR TRIATHLETE?: Want to hear more about distance running in Iowa. Listen to my podcast here: