Remember the name.
The USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships are this weekend and the bar has been raised for qualification to the World Championship team. Only four men have achieved the 10,000m standard of 27:40, and only seven have achieved the 5,000m standard of 13:22.50. There is only one man in the entire country who has hit both qualification standards, and that man is Kirubel Erassa.
Based on these facts, it is clear that Kirubel Erassa is of an elite caliber and will be contending for a spot on the World Championship team. After we found out Kirubel had no contract, we stopped what we were doing and made him a premium, 1 of 1, ArtiKen singlet.
Unfortunately, in a last minute change, Kirubel will tow the line this evening wearing a NIKE singlet. However, it will not mean he landed a sponsorship.
Kirubel graduated from Oklahoma State University in 2015, and earned three All-America honors during his time there. Earlier this year, Kirubel competed internationally for the U.S. at the Great Edinburgh Cross Country meet, in which he placed 26th. Qualifying for the Worlds team would be a major breakthrough for Kirubel, and a well-deserved one. We know that he is capable of making it, and so does he. Kirubel has been quietly making a name for himself since graduating college, and it’s time for him to prove that coming in with the top seed time is no fluke.
Kirubel has been on an absolute tear this outdoor season, setting personal bests in five different events. This year he has run 3:38 for 1500m, 7:47 for 3,000m, 8:25 for two miles, 13:17 for 5,000m, and 27:32 for 10,000m. We have no doubt that he is ready to compete on the world stage and he has two amazing opportunities to get there. We are very proud to work with athletes like Kirubel as he chases one of his biggest goals - racing at the World Championships.
More importantly, Kirubel will tow the line this evening as an unsponsored athlete which is hard to believe given his incredible 2019 campaign. Despite Kirubel wearing a NIKE uniform this evening, we hope that he does something special to earn a well deserved contract - from whomever. What he will have is the 4th fastest seed time of any athlete in the field and a great contingent to make the USA team.
Keep an eye out for Kirubel tonight at 6:23 PM [CT] in the Men's 5,000M Final on NBCSN as he looks to secure his ticket to the World Championships in Doha, Qatar! We can’t tell you exactly how he will perform, but we can tell you to remember the name because he's going to be a force to reckon with as we head towards the Tokyo Olympics!