0 for 13: Lucky 13 - Galen Rupp Snaps Winless Streak In Style - 52.54 Last Lap Beats Bernard Lagat & Steve Prefontaine's Meet Record

Rupp Is Now Officially A Gold Medal Threat

by LetsRun.com
June 28, 2012

0 for 12. Now make that 1 for 13.

Galen Rupp ended his winless streak against Bernard Lagat in the most dramatic way possible. Rupp, the guy who used to be viewed as lacking a kick and who didn't break 4:00 in the mile until 2009, let it come down to the final 400 and then outkicked the second-fastest 1,500 runner in history. Not only did Rupp get the win in front of the hometown Oregon crowd, he also broke Steve Prefontaine's meet record by running 13:22.67.

Lagat ended up second in 13:22.82 with Lopez Lomong third in 13:24.87.

After modest opening splits of 4:25.3 and 8:47-8 for Rupp, Lagat and Lomong, the race came down to the last 400 when Rupp had the lead and Lagat was in third. Lagat moved up onto Rupp's shoulder as they entered the final 200. At this point, everyone in the stadium who has closely been paying attention over the last few years was thinking, "We know how this ends." Lagat took the lead with roughly 150 to go but Rupp didn't give up. Halfway down the backstretch, the nearly unthinkable happened, Rupp came back on Lagat on the inside and got the win.

Rupp's last 400 was 52.54. Lagat's final 400 was actually slightly faster - 52.46.

After the race,  in the post-race press conference (click here for video), Lagat was complimentary of Rupp for getting the win but when asked why he thought he lost, he had to do something he's not used to doing - close the gap between him, Rupp and Lomong and the two early leaders Mo Trafeh and Brandon Bethke (see below for more race details) of the race as he wasn't sure they would not get the 'A' and if they both got the 'A', he'd have to beat everyone behind him as his #1 goal was to make the team.

Rupp interestingly said that he let it come down to the last lap because coach Alberto Salazar told him that he's got to be able to do it in the final 400 in London and if he can't do it here in the Trials, then he won't be able to do it in London.

Quick Take #1: The comparison's between this race and last year's World Championship final are scary. Rupp most definitely is a legitimate medal threat - gold medal threat. If you can beat Bernard Lagat, then you have to be considered a big time medal threat.

Leaders Splits

2011 WC 2012 US Trials
1k 2:50.90


3k 8:13.70


5k 13:23.36 13:22.82
Last Lap 52.75 52.54

QT #2: Rupp got his doors blown out in the last mile in this race last year and ended up running 26:48.00. How fit must he be this year?

QT#3: Lagat must be kicking himself for letting Rupp pass him on the inside in lane 1. It's a rookie mistake that Lagat should not make.

Race details, split and result appear below.

Video highlights of race here.

For post-race interviews, look below or see the LetsRun.com youtube channel. We have the press conference, an interview it Ian Dobson, and 4th placer Andrew Bumbalough.

The Details Of The Race:
The first 200 was slower than the women.  Also of note, despite the relatively high pollen count today, Galen Rupp was mask-less.

Mo Trafeh brought the field through in a pedestrian 72.2 at 400, but he was steadily picking up steam and by 600 meters, things began to string out.  Robert Cheseret was in second, Brandon Bethke in third, Andrew Bumbalough in fourth, followed by Rupp, Bernard Lagat and Lopez Lomong.

At 1200, Trafeh had a 10 meter lead on Bethke who was all of a sudden 20 meters ahead of Cheseret and the rest of the field.  Lagat seemed to take notice and led a charge of the top men to begin to close the gap.  

Trafeh and Bethke hit 1600 in 4:22.1 while the Lagat-led chase group trailed in 4:25.3.  Immediately behind Lagat was Lomong, Rupp, Bumbalough, Ben True and
Brent Vaughn.

Bethke had the lead at halfway (roughly 6:48...they’d need roughly 13:00 pace the rest of the way to get the A standard)  and then Lagat had bridged the gap so with six to go, everyone was back in contention.  Trafeh and Bethke seemed to be trading the lead to keep things going at near A standard pace but heading into 3K, the pace had slowed to a 66 and Trafeh hit 3K at 8:12.50.  As he hit 3K, however, Trafeh made another big move and now had another significant lead, close to 15 meters as he hit in 3200 in 8:45.  The top contenders seemed content to let him run a fartlek up front.

With four to go, the chase pack would need roughly a 4:00 final 1600 to hit the A of 15:20.00.

With three to go the frontrunning Trafeh had a 30 meter lead...could he steal it and somehow hit the A?  If so, he was going to need to pick it up.

Lagat, Lomong and Rupp seemed willing to wait to take a run at him.

Trafeh hit 4K at 10:55.0, needing a 2:25 last 1K to hit the A.  With two to go, the real racing seemed to begin as Rupp surged up on Lagat and all of a sudden, in a blink of an eye, Trafeh was swallowed up.  With 700 to go, Lagat and Rupp stormed to the lead.  Lomong and Bumbalough and True were in close pursuit.

With a lap to go, Rupp surged to the outright lead with Lomong and Lagat and Bumbalough still in the hunt.  Bumbalough was hanging on even as Rupp seemed to have a slight edge on Lagat and Lomong.

As they hit the steeple pit with 150 to go, Lagat had found his way into the lead and it looked like he would take another victory from Rupp.  The team seemed set coming off the Bowerman Turn:  Lagat, Rupp and Lomong were now clear of Bumbalough.

But Rupp was not going to settle for simply making the team and would not be denied, coming up on Lagat on the inside at 70 meters to go, was on his inside shoulder at 50 meters to go, and then was by him on the inside in the final 20 meters, closing in a remarkable 52.54 for his last lap and 25.9 on our watch for his last 200.  (Lagat was 52.46 over the last 400 but Rupp out-raced him.)  Rupp’s final time of 13:22.67 broke the Trials record held by Steve Prefontaine...he was .15 ahead of Lagat who was also under the old Prefontaine record.  Rupp ran last 1600 was 4:02.36.

72.2 (Trafeh)
63.2 (Trafeh)
63.1 (Trafeh)
63.8 (Trafeh - 4:22.1)
64.1 (Bethke)
65.9 (Bethke)
66.9 (Trafeh)
66.4 (Trafeh - 8:45.3, 4:21.2)
64.6 (Trafeh)
65.1 (Trafeh)
64.9 (Lagat/Rupp)
56.7 (Rupp) - 12:56.5, 4:11.2
25.9 (Rupp - 13:22.67)

1 Galen Rupp Nike 13:22.67
2 Bernard Lagat Nike 13:22.82
3 Lopez Lomong Nike 13:24.47
4 Andrew Bumbalough Nike 13:26.67
5 Ryan Hill North Carolina State 13:27.49
6 Benjamin True Saucony 13:28.02
7 Elliott Heath Stanford 13:28.20
8 Hassan Mead Minnesota 13:30.21
9 Scott Bauhs Unattached 13:31.69
10 Mohamed Trafeh Nike 13:36.19
11 Trevor Dunbar Oregon 13:40.66
12 Robert Cheseret Unattached 13:50.39
13 Brent Vaughn Nike 13:51.49
14 Ian Dobson Nike / Oregon TC Elite 13:51.77
15 George Alex Oklahoma 13:57.15
16 Brandon Bethke Unattached 14:03.37

Top 3 Men's Press Conference

Portion of Press Conference Just With Galen

4th Place Finisher Andrew Bumbalough: Even With a Lap to Go He Thought He Had It

Ian Dobson 14th Place Talks About His Wife Julia Lucas Coming so Close

Shorter Ian Dobson Interview

Mo Trafeh Says He Wishe He Ran 10k

More: *MB:
1500, 5000 & steeple play by plays - women and men *Rupp did it. Beat Lagat! *Galen MF Rupp (5000M Final Video) *Pay Attention World: Galen Rupp IS a Medal Threat  *tonight's 5k last 400 analysis   *WTF IS RUPP ON?    *Rupp CANNOT medal

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