R.V.’s Erika Kemp set to race world-class field at unusual distance in Boston!!!

Erika Kemp will take a shot at the rarely run two-mile distance this weekend.

Kemp, a Rancocas Valley graduate, is in a loaded field for the two-mile run at the 2021 New Balance Indoor Grand Prix, scheduled for Saturday at the Reggie Lewis Center on the campus of Roxbury Community College just outside Boston. The race is scheduled for 4:46 p.m.

Kemp has tremendous range, from 4:17.84 for 1,500 meters to 31:35.63 for 10,000 meters. Her strongest distance is likely the 5,000, but the two-mile should be right in her wheelhouse.

Her PR for 3,000 meters is a scalding 8:53.06 a year ago this week at the Armory, which is No. 37 in U.S. history and was No. 29 in the world in 2020.

Kemp’s last indoor race was a brilliant 15:14.76 for 5,000 meters in Boston late last February, which got her a No. 13 world ranking last year and is No. 17 all-time U.S. and No. 45 on the all-time world list.

Her last track race was a 10,000 outdoors in December in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., when she ran that 31:35.63, which is No. 28 on the all-time U.S. list and made her No. 21 in the world in 2020.

Although Kemp has run plenty of 3,000s, her last actual two-mileor metric equivalent was a 5th place in the 2013 Meet of Champions in South Plainfield in 10:40.95 in her senior year at R.V.

Kemp was the state Group 4 champ at 3,200 meters both indoors (10:46.63) and outdoors (10:43.02) at Rancocas Valley. She was a six-time All-America in the 3,000, 5,000 and XC at North Carolina State.

Among the others in the field Saturday in Boston are Emily Lipari, a two-time NCAA champ at Villanova who’s run 15:17.72 for 5,000 meters; Olympic steeplechase bronze medalist Emma Coburn; and three-time NCAA champ Dani Jones.

The two-mile run is rarely contested on the collegiate, national or internatonal level, but it is held occasionally.

Jenny Simpson set the U.S. record of 9:16.78 in Des Moines in April of 2018, and 33 U.S. women have run sub-10 minutes. That’s also the world record, not surprisingly because the 2M has probably never been contested outside the U.S.

The New Jersey alumni record is 10:16.30 by Bernards High School graduate Dana Giorano in Greensboro, N.C., in 2012. 

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