NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Senior distance runner Holly Anderson broke the 25-year-old indoor 5,000m record in her season debut in the event to highlight a strong first day at the Meyo Invitational.
The health fitness major from Fruitport, Mich., ran a 16:49.93 to finish eighth in a race loaded with nationally ranked student-athletes, and eclipsed the previous record of 17:01.3 set in 1987 by Chris Cooper. Cooper was elected into the Central Michigan University Marcy Weston Athletics Hall of Fame in 2011.
"I'm really proud," Anderson said. "I'm really excited for the future. It shows how far our program has come and how hard the girls on the team have worked, because we're all hashing it out during practice."
Her performance on Friday replaces a previous career-best of 17:14.84 set during the 2011 indoor season, and is the first sub-17:00 5,000m run in CMU indoor track and field history.
Becky Wade of Rice won the race in a time of 16:21.81.
After initially falling behind the pace set by the lead pack, Anderson was able to run about the same pace as the leaders and push her way up through the field as the race went on.
"She wanted it, she got it done," Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Willie Randolph said. "It was drifting away at points, but she wanted it and she grabbed it back. She deserves the record."
Anderson's is the third school record to fall in the past week, following Tecumseh Adams' record in the 5,000m run and Josh Kettlewell's heptathlon record last weekend. Much like those two student-athletes, great weeks of practice leading up to her record were key.
"I've been feeling very good at practice; everything has been clicking," Anderson said. "My workouts have been very good and I just felt ready."
Assistant coach Matt Kaczor, who specializes in the long-distance running events, saw a performance like this from Anderson coming after her strong showings in practice.
"Her workouts have been going great," assistant coach Matt Kaczor said. "She's been leading the group, and she's been doing uptempo runs faster than ever before. I knew she was ready for a breakout race this weekend if she stuck to the gameplan, and she pretty much did."
Moving forward, Anderson expects to keep challenging her record as the season progresses.
"I'm just hoping to push as far into the 16's as I can," she said. "It might mean ten seconds more, it might be 20 seconds more, I don't know at this point. Hopefully I can just get back to the track and start working hard again so that I have the confidence to push it as far into the 16's as I can."
Senior Dierra Riley finished just shy of the finals with a 17th place showing in the 60m dash in a time of 7.75, despite recording the Chippewas' fastest 60m dash time this season.
Sophomore Krista Parks finished 19th with a career-best time of 17:15.67 in the 5,000m run.
Day two will begin Saturday at 10 a.m. Be sure to check cmuchippewas.com Saturday evening for a complete recap.