Jenna Mulhern drops to 12th in fastest 5K in high school history

PHILADELPHIA CREAM — Jenna Mulhern stepped into the spotlight late Friday night at the Penn Relays, and she walked away with another fast time.

The West Chester Henderson senior – who ran untethered – was fourth in the Women’s Open/Club 5000 metres, clocking 16:07.50 in an elite field after 9pm.

Susanna Sullivan, a 31-year-old Notre Dame alum, won in 15:29.02, sweeping away from the field for the victory.

For Mulhern, it’s the 12th fastest time in high school history. Earlier this spring, Natalie Cook of Texas set the national high school record at the Stanford Invitational, clocking 15:25.93.

It also breaks the Pennsylvania State record in the event, topping Lydia Russell’s 16:18.72 of New Balance Nationals Outdoor in 2019. It’s also the fastest 5K by a PA high school student — at indoors or out – topping Tessa Barrett’s 16:11.85 from New Balance Nationals Indoor in 2014.

Mulhern even ran splits throughout the twelve and a half laps at Franklin Field. Bouncing between third and fifth throughout the race, Mulhern ran quarter-mile splits of 77 and 78 seconds. She fought with Elena Hayday and Stephanie Aldea. In the end, Hayday edged Mulhern for third in 16:06.79. Aldea was fifth in 16:12.52.

Friday night’s performance continues what has been a successful senior season for Mulhern, who competed with Project Dark Horse rather than his high school, West Chester Henderson, this year. Mulhern finished fourth at the Garmin RunningLane XC Championships and third at the Eastbay XC Championships in the fall.

Then, during the indoor season, Mulhern ran 5,000 meters in 16:17.47 at Camel City Elite and she won the 2 mile at the adidas Indoor Nationals in 10:03.86.

Watch a replay of the race above.

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