Where Your Dreams Become Reality
BROE AND MCGREGOR TAKE U.S. 5000M AND 10,000M TITLES
CARSON, Calif. (24-Jun) -- Both Tim Broe and Katie McGregor won fast, hard fought victories here tonight on the second day of the U.S. Outdoor Track & Field Championship at the Home Depot Center.
Broe, the former steeplechaser from the University of Alabama, had to hold off the challenges of the NCAA 5000m champion and runner-up, Ryan Hall and Ian Dobson, who kept the pace high and pushed Broe to a championship record of 13:12.76. All three athletes set career best times and sailed across the finish line well under the IAAF World Championships "A" standard of 13:21.50.
"Heck, my hat's off to the young talent," said Broe after the race adding, "I was one hundred percent prepared to run under 13:20."
From the starter's gun Broe went right to the front and took the field through the first 400 meters in a snappy 61.1 seconds. Broe held a two-second lead through the first three laps, but coming up to 1600 meters, Hall and Dobson began to draw closer. Hall shot to the front at 2000 meters (5:20.1) and both Broe and Dobson stuck right with him.
"Ryan just made a big move," recalled Broe. "I was so surprised."
Both Hall and Dobson took turns at the front, with the taller Dobson taking the trio through 3000 meters in 7:59.3. Surely they knew that Broe had the superior finish, but by keeping significant rivals Jorge Torres, Adam Goucher and Jonathon Riley well behind they were more likely to get the "A" standard in tonight's race, assuring themselves of a national team berth.
"'I got to get the 'A' standard'," Hall said he was telling himself. He had run 13:22.32 to win the NCAA title less than two weeks ago, but that wasn't good enough to assure him of a spot on the team.
Perhaps predictably, Broe ran away from his younger rivals with a 59.1 closing lap. But Dobson and Hall hung in there to ran 13:15.33 and 13:16.03, respectively, and guarantee their starting positions in Helskini. Their feat was particularly sweet because each was running their first professional races, Dobson for adidas and Hall for Asics, and they were hoping to impress their new sponsors.
"I can't believe it just happened," said a jubilant Hall who last Friday got engaged to Stanford teammate, Sara Bei.
"Definitely the most exciting race of my life," Dobson added. "This is a dream come through."
For Broe it was just another step in his ascendancy to becoming world class. He was 11th in last summer's Olympic Games, and said he has now run for 18 months without any injury troubles.
"On my best day I can run 13:05," he speculated. "This is the first time since 2001 I've come in (to the national championships) 100%. I haven't had to take off due to injury in 18 months." He also said that he had yet to do his best quality track workouts. "I haven't done anything faster than 60 second pace," he said.
The top-8 finishers broke 13:30, including Torres (13:25.00) and Riley (13:25.05), who finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
MCGREGOR WINS FIRST OPEN TITLE
Like Broe, McGregor had a group to work with throughout the race. In the fifth kilometer, a pack of six was running together: McGregor, Blake Russell, Elva Dryer, Jen Rhines, Deena Kastor and Laura O'Neill. Russell did most of the leading, and the laps were holding steady in the 76 to 77 second range.
Kastor, who was still wearing a boot to control the inflammation of a stress reaction in her left foot only two weeks ago, stayed at the back with O'Neill, trying to maintain her original competitive goal of making the World Championships before running the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon in October. Although she didn't make the podium, she ran well, finishing fourth in 31:45.08.
"I knew it would be one of my most challenging races," said Kastor adding, "My foot didn't hurt in the race at all." She'll return home to Mammoth Lakes to continue her preparations for her fall marathon.
For the first three of the final four laps, the running order stayed the same: McGregor, Rhines, Russell and Kastor, but it was Russell who took the bell. She still had the lead with 200 meters to go when McGregor began her long sprint for home. She simply had a little more left than Rhines or Russell. She crossed the line in 31:33.82, not far off of her personal best, taking her first U.S. open title.
"You put in all the work, but you never know when it will fall together," said McGregor who finished fourth at last year's Olympic Trials and did not make it to Athens. She said "no" when asked if this victory made up for last year's disappointment. "It was great but I'd rather make the team in Athens," she said.
McGregor praised her Team Minnesota coach, Dennis Barker, and the support of all of her teammates. "You can't say enough about Dennis," she said. "He's just amazing. We're all just so strong right now."
Russell crossed next in 31:35.25, with Rhines third in 31:37.20, both personal bests. The top-3 qualified for the U.S. team for Helsinki and all intend to take their spots.
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