2021 Olympic Trials – Woody Kincaid wins men’s 10,000-meter
In the first track final of the US Olympic Track and Field Trials, Woody Kincaid, Grant Fisher and Joe Klecker secured spots on the US team heading to Tokyo.
Kincaid, 28, finished in 27: 53.62, thanks to a dazzling 400-meter final, which he completed in 53.47. His Bowerman Track Club teammate Fisher, 24, was less than a second behind in 27: 54.29, and Klecker, also 24, of the new On Athletics Club in Boulder, ran in 27: 54.90.
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Ben True, 35, finished in unlucky fourth place; he failed to match the closing kick from the three Olympians and crossed the line in 27: 58.88. It’s true, who has never made an Olympic team, will be the replacement.
The race opened at a rapid pace, as most participants lacked the Olympic qualifying standard of 27:28 they needed, as well as a top-three spot, to earn a trip to the Games. . This race was the last chance for them to run the standard.
Conner Mantz of BYU, Robert Brandt of Georgetown and Frank Lara of Roots Running ran in front for the first two miles, but halfway, reached in 13:56, the pace slowed, leaving no hope for anyone without the standard. to get on the team. Lopez Lomong gave up, grabbing his right leg, as did Eric Jenkins, leaving just five men with the standard on the pitch.
The large crowd in the first few miles was embarrassing for Kincaid. “My confidence was on the lowest 10 laps, that’s when the doubts really crept in,” he said at a press conference after the race. But as the miles went by, the pace slowed down and he moved forward, he felt better. “With four laps to go, I had practiced in my head over and over again. I’m going to put myself in third or fourth position, like in training, and that’s what happened.
Kincaid said his last round was the easiest part: “That’s all you’ve got,” he said. “Getting there, in a position to win, is the hard part. “
He praised his teammate, Fisher, who he runs with every day. “It’s a shame that I love it so much, because I have to run it all the time,” Kincaid said.
Kincaid said he plans to run the 5,000-meter and if he makes the team in that event he will do both the 10,000-meter and the 5,000-meter at the Games.
Fisher soaked in the moment. “I dreamed of that moment, but even now it doesn’t feel real,” he said at the post-race press conference. “I don’t even know how to describe it, but I’m so happy.”
Klecker, the third, saw his college career at the University of Colorado cut short by the pandemic. “It means a lot,” he said. “I mean my NCAA career was cut short. I’ve never won an NCAA title, but making an Olympic team makes up for that.
He is the son of Janis Klecker, Olympian in the American marathon in 1992. His advice? Candy. “She told me that the night before forming an Olympic team, she ate a Snickers bar, and I followed that through and it worked,” Klecker said.
True said he would turn his attention to the 5,000-meter later in the competition, but he has a lot more to look forward to. His wife is expecting their first child on July 15 and he will make his marathon debut this fall.
Galen Rupp, who already represents the United States in the marathon, was sixth in 27: 59.43.
These are the first Olympics for Kincaid, Fisher and Klecker. The event represents a changing of the guard – the top three are a complete renewal of the 2016 squad, when Rupp, Shadrack Kipchirchir and Leonard Korir were the Americans who traveled to Rio at the event.
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