For those of you who tuned in to the Prefontaine Classic on Sunday on NBC, you may have witnessed the best American 1500m race of all time if you caught the women’s race towards the beginning of the coverage. For those of you who missed it, lucky for you the video of the race is below.
Colorado senior Jenny Barringer ran a 62-second last lap and nearly caught the leader, Gelete Burka, while dipping under the 4-minute barrier for a jaw-dropping finish time of 3:59.90. This marked the first time since 2002 that an American woman broke the 4-minute barrier.
And that’s not all. Just behind her, fellow American Olympian steeplechaser Anna Willard finished 4th in 4:01.44, 1500m Olympian Christin Wurth-Thomas 5th in 4:01.72, and 1500m Olympian Shannon Rowbury 6th in 4:03.92. All times except for Rowbury’s were huge PR’s, and all times put these women at the top of the 2009 world leaders list. There has never been such a strong contingent of 1500m runners from the US as there appears to be this season. Any one of these women could medal at the World Champs in Berlin in August, and maybe more than one.