July 1, 2016
EUGENE, Ore. – Both U.S. track and field fans, as well as the Hayward Field faithful were treated to a familiar sight on Friday night at the U.S. Olympic Trials as Galen Rupp won his eighth-consecutive American Championship at 10,000 meters, Saturday. With the win, Rupp set the record for the most consecutive U.S. Titles in track and field history.
Rupp, who already qualified for the Olympic Games in the marathon earlier this year, was in control of the race from the beginning.
“This was really tough with the heat and great competition too,” Rupp said. “…I’m just so thrilled to be able to represent my country again.”
After sitting back early, he made a strong move about two miles into the race but no one in the field felt compelled to follow. After a few laps running on his own, the Portland, Ore., native allowed the group to catch him before making another move with about two miles left, this time, he was followed by Shadrack Kipchirchir.
Kipchirchir stayed with Rupp and even passed the U.S. Champ on the penultimate lap. Rupp responded in the final 200 meters, blowing past Kipchirchir and cruising through the finish line in 27:55.04.
“I made a couple surges…kind of testing out Shadrack and he was always right on me and he covered everything so well,” said Rupp. “I knew it was going to be a battle at the end. So with a couple laps to go I was more mentally gearing up for a big finish.”
Though the day ended with the stakes of Olympic dreams on the line, much of it was spent qualifying through the first rounds on the track. Oregon Sophomore Raevyn Rogers accomplished exactly that in the women’s 800. Rogers finished third in the final heat of the day in a time of 2:01.67, moving on to tomorrow’s semifinal.
It was a bittersweet final heat for Oregon fans. While the two-time defending NCAA Champion was able to secure her bid, 2014 NCAA Champion Laura Roesler was bumped from the final qualifying spot after finishing in 2:03.55.
Both current and former Ducks advanced to the semifinals in the men’s 400. Rainier Beach High School graduates Mike Berry and Marcus Chambers, who hold the top two spots in the Oregon record book, finished with the 10th and 11th fastest times of the day. Chambers advanced by finishing second in his heat (45.87) while Berry was the second fastest time qualifier of the day (45.79).
Oregon school record holder Phyllis Francis posted the second-fastest women’s 400-meter time of the day to win her heat and advance in 50.81.
Jasmine Todd grabbed the last qualifying spot in the women’s long jump (21-2.75/6.47m) to make for a busy Saturday, when she will contest the finals while debuting on the track in the women’s 100 as well. Todd will not be a stranger to the big stage of a trials final after qualifying to last year’s IAAF World Championships in Beijing.
What to Watch on Saturday:
Saturday will mark the first day of the decathlon, where Olympic Gold Medalist Ashton Eaton will look to defend his title and secure his bid to Rio. Fans will remember Eaton’s last decathlon at Hayward Field when he set a world record in dramatic fashion at the 2012 Olympic Trials. Alongside the Oregon alum will be current Duck Mitch Modin who finished 13th at the NCAA Championships less than a month ago.
The women’s 100 meter field looks like a page taken out of the Oregon record book as six current or former Ducks will toe the line, all of whom have top 10 marks in Oregon history. The deep showing represents the emergence of the Oregon women’s sprints program over the last decade, and features the latest in that line with 2016 Ducks – Ariana Washington, Deajah Stevens and Jasmine Todd.
Marcus Chambers and Mike Berry will compete in the 400 meter semifinal, Saturday. Chambers was a finalist at last year’s U.S. Championships after a Berry disqualification in the prelim opened a spot for his former teammate.
Jordan Hasay will be the lone athlete with Oregon ties in a final on Saturday, competing in the 10,000 meters at 11:04 a.m.
Saturday Schedule (Oregon Entrants)
9:45 a.m. – Decathlon 100 meters (Eaton, Modin)
10:30 a.m. – Men’s pole vault qualifying
10:35 a.m. – Decathlon long jump (Eaton, Modin)
10:45 a.m. – Women’s discus throw final
11:04 a.m. – Women’s 10,000 meters final (Jordan Hasay)
11:35 a.m. – Decathlon men’s shot put
11:43 a.m. – Women’s 800 meters semifinals (Raevyn Rogers)
11:45 a.m. – Women’s long jump final (Jasmine Todd)
12:00 p.m. – Men’s 800 meters semifinals
12:33 p.m. – Women’s 100 meters first round (English Gardner, Jasmine Todd, Jenna Prandini, Ariana Washington, Deajah Stevens, Mandy White)
12:45 p.m. – Men’s javelin qualifying (Cyrus Hostetler, Sam Crouser, Cody Danielson)
12:50 p.m. – Decathlon men’s high jump (Eaton, Modin)
1:01 p.m. – Men’s 100 meters first round
1:30 p.m. – Women’s 400 meters semifinals (Phyllis Francis)
1:45 p.m. – Men’s long jump qualifying
1:46 p.m. – Men’s 400 meters semifinals (Mike Berry, Marcus Chambers)
2:55 p.m. – Decathlon men’s 400 meters (Eaton, Modin)