Joe Klecker

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Joe Klecker (born 16 November 1996) is an American distance runner. He finished 2nd in the NCAA DI XC Championships in 2019 and turned pro with On Running, coached by Dathan Ritzenhein in 2020. Klecker holds PRs of 3:37.55 for 1500m, 7:39.18 for 3000m, 13:28.98 for 5000m, and 27:35.57 for 10000m, all of which were set in his Professional Career.[1]

Klecker attended Hopkins High School in Minnetonka, Minnesota. He graduated in 2015 and attended The University of Colorado in the Fall. At Colorado, he was a 9-time All-American in all 3 running sports including 2 runner-up finishes. He is currently the school's record holder in the indoor 5000m.[2]

Running Career

High School and Recruitment

Klecker had a successful high school career, leading to two individual state championships his senior year. He was also named the Gatorade Minnesota Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year during his senior year. Klecker set a 1600m state record of 4:06.54. He considered Minnesota, Furman, Georgetown and Tulsa before choosing Colorado. [3]


Klecker chose to redshirt his Freshman season of Cross Country but competed in indoor and outdoor track, setting PRs of 3:44.55 for 1500m, 7:59.77 for 3000m, and 13:44.23 for 5000m. The 5000m time was good enough to qualify him for the West Preliminary round, the outdoor qualifier for the NCAA DI Championships.

Klecker picked up his first all-american honors at the 2016 NCAA DI XC Championships, placing 28th. He ran track PRs of 7:51.43 for 3000m, 13:42.64 for 5000m, and 3:41.69. Klecker placed 4th at the 2017 NCAA DI Indoor Track and Field Championship in the 3000m, and 7th in the Outdoor Championships for 5000m.

Klecker won the NCAA Mountain region championships and placed 2nd at the Pac-12 Championship for Cross country. Klecker did not repeat his all-american status his Junior year of cross country, placing 67th at the championship race. He did not race indoor or outdoor track for Colorado the following winter and spring. Klecker ran a PR in the 5000m in June 2018, with a time of 13:30.09.

In 2018, Klecker repeated as the Mountain Region Champion, and placed 8th in the NCAA XC Championships, his first time in the top 10. On February 23rd, 2019, he ran 3:58.51 in the Mile in Seattle, WA. In doing so, he became the 538th American to break 4 minutes in the Mile.[4] He finished 2nd in the NCAA Indoor 5000m to Morgan McDonald and 3rd in the 3000m to McDonald and Grant Fisher. He did not race in the outdoor championships due to a mid-season injury.

During his 2019 XC campaign, Klecker won the Pac-12 Championships. At the NCAA Championships, he finished 2nd to Edwin Kurgat, leading Colorado to a 3rd place team finish.[5] Klecker went on to run a 3000m personal record of 7:47.57, but the indoor championships were cancelled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic as well as the entire outdoor season.[6]

Turning Pro

In August 2020, Klecker became a professional runner for On Athletics Club, a newly formed group mostly composed of recent collegiate runners including Oliver Hoare and Alicia Monson. The group is coached by Dathan Ritzenhein.[7]

Professional Career

Under Ritzenhein, Klecker ran personal bests of 3:37.55 for 1500m, 13:28.98 for 5000m and 27:35.57 during the second half of 2020.

On February 6 2021, Klecker opened his season at the Prickly Pear Invitational in Phoenix, AZ. He placed fourth to Bowerman teammates Marc Scott, Grant Fisher, and Sean McGorty. Klecker's time of 7:39.18 was a personal record and his first time under 7:40. One week later, he competed in the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in New York, NY. He finished 2nd to Justyn Knight in the 2-mile with a time of 8:14.20. His 3000m split en-route was 7:44.91, good for an indoor personal best.[8]


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