Anticipating An Elizabeth Leachman 5,000m National Record

Elizabeth Leachman runs at the 2023 UIL 5A Track and field State Championships

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Elizabeth Leachman was entered in the elite girls 5,000m at the Texas Distance Festival (TDF) on March 16. 

It was reasonable to think then that she could have gone after the outdoor track 5,000m national record. 

There was only one problem.

It came a week after the Boerne Champion sophomore returned from New York City, where she won the 5K and two mile double at Nike Indoor Nationals.

That trip put some wear on her legs with air travel and unprecedented performances, like the fastest indoor 5,000m race ever run by an American high school girl and one of the fastest two miles. 

Passing on TDF was a smart move, considering she had another one up her sleeve.

Recently, she was accepted in the university/college 5K race at the Texas Relays, which presents maybe her last opportunity to chase after the outdoor national record this season. 

There is little doubt she would have re-established the event standard at TDF, however the chances are drastically higher at the Texas Relays, which also possibly makes for an even faster performance on the horizon.

Related: Texas Relays Meet Entries

Leachman was just three seconds off Flower Mound alumnus Natalie Cook's national record of 15:25.93 from 2022 with her 15:28.9 indoor national record run three weeks ago. However, there were a few key differences. Not only was it on an indoor track, but it was procured in a high school-only field. 

On Thursday, Leachman will compete with a more experienced, stronger, and faster field. The less pacing load she has to carry, the better chance she will have for a faster performance (and a potential national record).

Theoretically, the 5K at the Texas Relays will provide Leachman with a faster tempo for a longer period of time throughout the race, something high school fields can't often provide. 

Photo Credit: Casey Chancellor/MileSplit TX

Set Up For Success


We've witnessed Leachman blast off to extreme race paces as a tactic before. 

For example, at the 2023 UIL Region 4-5A 3,200m race Leachman crushed the first seven laps but hit a wall, disallowing her to finish in state meet qualifying position. 

Then, a few months later at Nike Cross Nationals, her aggressive running style led her to hitting meet and course record paces only to falter over the final 1,000m of the race.

This outdoor track season we've seen Leachman apply more strategy to her racing. She has displayed patience and exhibited more nuance to her tactics, which she illustrated in her runs in New York.

The sophomore also has the experience of competing at the college level. In January, she ran 9:16.84 for 3,000m to win at the Texas Tech Corky Classic.

Blasting through the 3200m outdoor national record with solo performances this outdoor season and having the opportunity to compete with collegiate runners should create anticipation. 

Just what can we expect with all those lessons behind her? 

Adding to the intrigue are personal bests she has run this calendar year in the 800m and mile. Last weekend, Leachman ran 2:10.74 and went 4:48.55 in the indoor mile.

She's already having a season for the record books and it's crazy to believe what we still might see from Leachman.

But believe in the possible. Leachman is simply setting the bar that high.