3 February 2019
NSW Men’s 5000m: Gusman returns
Similar to the women’s NSW 5000m event, a strong field assembled the Crest at Bankstown last evening to battle out the 2019 Men’s 5000m title. The unknown was how favourite for the race, Jordan Gusman (Bankstown) would handle his recent change of coach.
It is fair to say Jordan Gusman is a favourite son of NSW middle-distance running. We have ridden the highs and lows of his career. We have seen him so regularly support our local state competitions, on the track and over cross country. Hailing from the far NSW north coast the 400m/800m school champion lost his great mate and training partner Harry Scouller in 2016, moved to Canberra to train with Dick Telford but that national vest eluded him. In late 2018 he changed his coaching setup - to the Colorado-based Tinman Elite squad with Tom Schwartz. But how would he go in this new resume?
After a few modest performances at Zatopek in December and a mile in Melbourne, the answer was clear after a powerful win in the NSW 5000m championships last evening.
“Zatopek was a little disappointing but I was only four or five weeks into the program,” Gusman explained. “A lot of the US group are running cross country races at the same time. I jumped into that same sort of training, but it hadn’t clicked like it now has done in the last two weeks.”
Today’s win was very decisive.
“The plan today was to sit back and push it at 3k, maybe at world championships standard levels. Maybe I didn’t go as fast as I wanted over the last 2k but I didn’t plan on leading the whole way. I was able to also help the boys run some good times, there were some PBs out there.”
Gusman won by over 22 seconds in 13:49.27, ahead of Matthew Clarke (Vic) 14:11.60, Tim Logan (Vic) 14:12.60, with the NSW medals claimed by Kieran Tall (UTN) 14:22.55 and Guy Walters (NEW RUNERS) 14:26.09.
“I felt pretty good and it is good to be back running over the 5000m. It is a build up to some races,” said Gusman.
“It has been a little bit slower start to the season, now with the US focus and being based there it is built around America and some comps in Europe. I think the fitness is where it usually is this time of the year. I just don’t feel I’m overdoing it.
“My new coach wants me to focus a little more on the 5000m now and he thinks that our training will suit me better. I have come from a speed background, but I seem to respond better off the 5000m and 10000m strength work.”
There were impressive runs by juniors Jackson Sharp (RUN CREW) 14:33.71 and Oli Raimond (SUT) 14:46.58, who were both named this week in the Australian team or the World Cross Country Championships.
Jordan Gusman reflected on his change of coaches in 2018.
“I just keep getting sick and I was a little over it,” he explained. “A month before I was going to head over and run Berlin and Zagreb world challenge meets (In September 2018) I ended up getting sick, pretty similar to before the Gold Coast trials. That was two major races I focused on that year and it was disappointing to miss both of them. A month prior to that my girlfriend got a job in Melbourne. So after that I went home and spoke to my parents. I’ve lived with my girlfriend for nearly four years and it was so different without her so I ended up moving to Melbourne, solely for that purpose, but I thought I may as well make a change. I’m getting older now, I’m aged 25. In American around 23 or 24 athletes usually finish their college and move onto a new coach. I’d been with Telford for four years and I don’t think anything was wrong with the program it was just I needed something different so I looked out there, so I thought American would be the best for me with opportunities and some big races. So it was an opportunity to jump in with them and travel and race with them.”
Late in 2018 he joined the Tinman squad in Boulder. He has also reassessed his planning.
“It has been a little problematic with my long-term goal setting and short term focus. So this has been one of the big changes moving to America looking at the big picture and I think Tokyo will be the main goal and hope to knock off the world championships standard in Payton Jordan in May, then head to Europe and run some of the later meets and if I can do that you will see me at world champs otherwise I switch my focus to the standard for Tokyo.”
Gusman also confirmed he will run in the Australian 5000m Championships at the Sydney Track Classic on February 23.
David Tarbotton for Athletics NSW
Images Jordan Gusman (courtesy of David Tarbotton)