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Record-breaking weekend in NYC for two OAC stars

Eye-catching performances leave Oliver Hoare and Joe Klecker with their eyes set on a trip to Tokyo later this year.


On Athletics Club is celebrating a double success after Oliver Hoare and Joe Klecker both smashed records at the Indoor Grand Prix in New York.


Australian Hoare took gold in the 1500m, crossing the line at Staten Island’s Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex in a national record of 3:32.35. Hoare’s time was comfortably under the 3:35.00 qualifying time for the Tokyo Olympics.


Meanwhile, Klecker’s third-place finish in the 3000m – coming in at 7:44.91 – was a new PR for the Minnesotan. His eventual time of 8:14.20 for the 2 Mile earned him a silver medal, another PR and the sixth fastest American time ever recorded for the indoor event.


“I’m really happy,” said Hoare. “I felt great in the race and executed it well. (OAC head coach) Dathan (Ritzenhein) and I had a simple plan of making sure we made a statement for 2021 right out of the gates.”


Hoare admitted he was confident ahead of the race. Now the satisfaction of performing in the heat of the battle has left him anticipating a strong 2021.


He said: “Training has been going well with the team and we’ve been constantly building each week. The race went out fast, and to be able to close well off a fast pace was something I wanted to prove I could handle. I’m excited for the weeks and races ahead.”



For Klecker, it was an important step in his preparation for the Olympic trials this summer. “I wanted to use the race as an opportunity to practice for Championship-style racing,” he said.


“Going into the Olympic year, Dathan is putting extra emphasis on being in the top three in every race we run. When the Olympic trials come around in June, I want to be ready for anything. Being second and closing in a 4:00 mile for the second week in a row, with an even faster last 400 than the previous week, has helped my confidence grow.”


Dathan Ritzenhein added his congratulations to both athletes. He said: “I’m so proud of the OAC boys. Oliver was incredible. Watching him storm his way to the Australian national record was a thing of beauty… and Joe ran a great 8:14 two-mile. He always shows up. These guys are something else!”



Attention now turns to the Trials of Miles Texas Qualifier on February 26-27, where all OAC athletes with the exception of Carlos Villarreal will compete in the 5000m. Hoare, Klecker and George Beamish are all hoping to fare well with potential Olympic qualifying times, while Leah Falland is also strongly tipped to excel.


Watch this space.


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