Bates, who qualified for the National Championships on Thursday in the 10,000, was in the top four for the duration of the 5,000 tonight. In the last few laps, the pace picked up, led by Aisling Cuffe of Stanford, the #1-ranked runner in the nation.
Heading into the backstretch, Bates kicked it into another gear just as Cuffe was struggling, and Emma won it at the wire. She has been second or third in most of her national races in her career. Today, the announcer called Bates's name first.
Bates has a short trip to the Nationals, held this year in Eugene, Oregon, beginning next Wednesday. She'll be joined at the National Championships by teammates Marisa Howard in the women's steeplechase and Hayli Bozarth in the women's hammer.