Scott Falters as 4 Break His Record at Carlsbad


Steve Scott, the optimist, thought he still had a chance to overtake the leaders, about 30 yards ahead, when he rounded the corner onto Elm Avenue for the final leg of Sunday’s Carlsbad 5,000.

But Steve Scott, the 32-year-old idol of eventual winner Yobes Ondieki of Kenya, did not have any kick left.

As a result, Scott, the Carlsbad three-time champion, fell to sixth place as he watched four of the five runners ahead of him break his world-best 5,000-meter road-race time.


Ondieki’s mark of 13 minutes 26 seconds for the 3.1-mile course broke Scott’s record of 13:30.2.

William Musyoki of Kenya and Ignacio Fragoso of Mexico, who were second and third, respectively, finished at 13:29.

Julius Kariuki, also from Kenya, also came in ahead of Scott’s mark, finishing at 13:30. Ed Eyestone placed fifth at 13:32 and Scott finished at 13:36.

It was the third time in the event’s four-year history in which a world best had been recorded (Scott had also established a world best in 1985 when he finished at 13:31.0.).

And it was only the first of two world records on the day. Less than two minutes after Ondieki broke Scott’s record, Canadian and former San Diego State track star Lynn Williams broke the tape at 15:19.3 to eclipse the women’s world’s best in the 5,000-meter road race by more than 10 seconds.

Liz McColgan set the record of 15:29.7 last year at Carlsbad.

Williams was more than 14 seconds faster than second-place runner, Patti Sue Plumer (15:34).

In the men’s race, Kariuki was the first runner to break from the pack, opening an approximately 20-yard lead just after the two-mile mark.

It appeared that Kariuki would maintain the lead, but just after rounding the corner from Carlsbad Boulevard onto Elm for the final two blocks of the race, he found Ondieki at his right shoulder. In the tight race that ensued, Kariuki, the gold medalist in the steeplechase at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, simply sputtered.

“When we came to the two-mile mark, there were five guys (in the leaders’ pack),” Ondieki said. “Then Kariuki pulled it out, but I didn’t give up. We came to a downhill (grade) and Kariuki put on a bit of a sprint. I thought maybe I’d have to settle for second place, but I kept on pushing.”

Ondieki kept on pushing all right; he pushed Kariuki all the way back to fourth.

“When you come into the lead in the last minute,” Ondieki said. “you have a good feeling, you know?”

One runner who knows is Scott. But this time he only felt disappointment.

“I’d like to think of myself as an optimist,” Scott said. “And even coming around that last turn, I thought that if I could come up with a really awesome kick, I could catch (the leaders).

“But for me personally, I just didn’t feel as good as in years’ past. I didn’t come around the turn (just after the two-mile mark) with plenty of life left in my legs. I came around just flat. I was hoping to use the crowd in the last minute, but by the time I got there (to the final stretch), I was more or less spent.”

Ondieki and Williams won $5,000 apiece.