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Day 1 Recap of USATFs: Shalane Flanagan Runs Away and Steals Women's 5000m, Abdi Abdirahman Wins Thrilling Stretch Battle over Meb Keflezighi
June 23, 2005

The women's 5000m and men's 10,000m were the two track finals on Thursday night and each event had its own drama. The women's race was on paper a supercompetitive affair with 4 or 5 women expected to be battling it out up front for the win. However, Shalane Flanagan, broke clear of the field a mile into the race and the pack decided not to chase after her. Flanagan lengthened her lead to ten seconds and would hold on to win first USATF outdoor track title. (Full Race recaps below)

On the men's side, Abdi Abdirahman and Meb Keflezighi shadowed each other single file for 24 laps of the men's 10,000m and then had a tremendous sprint finish down the homestretch, with never more than a foot separating them the entire final 100m. Keflezighi edged ahead of Abdi with about 60 meters to go, but Abdi nudged back ahead before the finish and got the narrowest of wins. Detailed race by race recaps below, with splits and quotes.

Other recaps below for all the distance prelims on Thursday (800m men's round 1-no surprises, 1500 m men's round 1-David Krummenacker ran round 1 and did not advance but makes himself eligible to possible run this event at worlds, 1500 m women's- Shayne Culpepper and Carrie Tollefson did not advance to the final after the tried to qualify less than an hour after their disappointing 5000m, and steeplechase round 1-no real surprises).

Event by Event Recaps below

Women's 5000m
Shalane Flanagan
did what few expected on Thursday. She ran away from the field to win the women's 5000m in convincing fashion.

After a relatively slow opening mile (4:55), Flanagan moved to the front and begin reeling off 72 and 73 second laps. Her lead at first was not too big, just 3-5 meters by 2000m, but by the next lap none of the girls in the pack went with her and the lead was 10 meters. Shayne Culpepper, Lauren Fleshman, Amy Rudolph, and Carrie Tollefson, the leading contenders in the chase pack, faced a decision whether to push after Flanagan or play it safer and kick for the World Championship places (top 3) on the line. They decided to play it safe and slowly Flanagan lengthened her lead (3k in 9:09.3, 4k 12:12.3) and by 4k she was about ten and a half seconds in the lead.

The victory seemed pretty safe for Flanagan at this point and the question was who from the chase pack of 8 would remain for the final 2 world championship spots. Lauren Fleshman and Amy Rudolph pushed the pace the best over the final 800m and although they would close on Flanagan, her victory (15:10.96) was never in doubt. In the end, Fleshman was strongest on the final lap, and was a clear second (15:16.80) to Rudolph's 3rd (15:18.92). The biggest surprise was pre-race favorite, Shayne Culpepper, getting dropped when Fleshman and Rudolph dropped the hammer over the final 800m. She would finish a distant 4th in 15:23.31. Lauren Fleshman still needs to attain the World Championship qualifying standard (15:08.7), otherwise Culpepper will get her spot on the team. Fleshman indicated her first race to try and get the standard would likely be July 8th in Rome.

Culpepper left the mixed zone in tears and tried to run the 1500m trials thirty minutes later, but failed to advance to the final (see below recap of that race)

Shalane Flanagan:
On whether she was nervous while having the lead for much of the race: "I don't like being too far out (in front) because I get real nervous that maybe I'm going too fast and people are running smarter than me because that happens a lot. I was a little nervous, but I felt good. I knew I was in control. I wasn't running too ridiculously hard."

On whether running in spikes might have aggravated her foot injury (tendonitis under her navicular bone): "I'm definitely going to have to take care of it any time I wear spikes or get up on my toes, but it's been manageable with icing and therapy."

Lauren Fleshman, 2nd place, and visibly excited about her run:
On why they let Flanagan break away so early: "I had to make a decision after a mile whether to go with Shalane when she made the move or to stick with the pack. I kind of spaced out when she made the move and I let her go, well we all let her go. But it was fun we are all running together in a pack. There was a lot of anxiety. Who's going to take the lead, is anyone going to push it? And lap after lap nobody did (take the lead) and we all just stuck close together, a little jostling, a little too close for comfort. My plan was to really make a bold move with 500 meters to go and try and break everybody and to try and pick it up each straightaway from their to the finish. I locked up a little bit at the end, but it was good."

Amy Rudolph: On whether she's a 5k or 10k runner (she became the #2 American at 10k this year): "This year, I'm a 5,000m runner... I've yet to win an outdoor title, I guess that's the next thing."

On whether she thought of going with Flanagan once she got a lead a mile into the race: "My initial reaction was to cover it (the move), but then I decided to be smart and run with the pack and fight it out with everyone else for second and third. We were gaining on her (at the end), another couple laps and we might have had her but it was a gutsy run and my hat is off to her."

Results below. More detailed splits from our live commentary on the race is here:

  1 Shalane Flanagan             Nike                  15:10.96
  2 Lauren Fleshman              Nike                  15:16.80
  3 Amy Rudolph                  adidas                15:18.92
  4 Shayne Culpepper             Nike                  15:23.31
  5 Carrie Tollefson             adidas                15:24.13
  6 Sara Bei                     Unattached/Asics      15:24.74
  7 Amy Begley                   adidas                15:24.88
  8 Sara Gorton                  Colorado              15:32.05
  9 Nicole Aish                  Nike                  15:33.17
 10 Renee Metivier               Nike                  15:40.56
 11 Kara Goucher                 Nike                  15:41.27
 12 Melissa Buttry               Reebok                16:07.89
 13 Julia Lucas                  North Carolina St.    16:14.04
 14 Sharon Dickie                Nike                  16:18.17
 15 Katherine Newberry           Unattached            16:27.61

Men's 10,000m
The probably less than 200 fans who stayed around to watch the men's 10,000m final featuring Olympic marathon silver medallist, Meb Keflezighi, and the 10th placer at the 2000 Olympics at 10,000m Abdi Abdirahman, were treated to an incredible finish.

As expected this race, which lacked some of the depth its had up front the last few years, was a two man affair. Abdi and Meb began to pull away from the field by 1000m and would remain on each other's heels or side by side the rest of the way. They reached 5000m in 14:01 and would slow slightly the final 5000m as the pace slackened a bit in the final mile as both runners decided to let it come down to a final kick. Abdi did make a brief surge with 1000m to go to see if Meb would go with him, but Meb quickly covered the move, and before you knew it Abdi had quickly slowed things back down.

With 400m to go Abdi was in the lead with Meb right on his heels. As the pace quickened they stayed exactly the same on the back stretch, where Abdi looked over his shoulder to see Meb still right on his heels. As they hit the home stretch, the furious dash for home was on. Meb pulled up side by side to Abdi and even lurched slightly ahead approximately 60 meters from the finish. Abdi was not done yet and slowly fought back on Meb as they were virtually side by side the entire home stretch. Abdi running on the inside in lane one got back ahead by the width of his body and was able to hold Meb off at the finish getting the win in 28:10.38 to Meb's 28:10.57. Abdi threw his hands in the air in celebration and then took a victory lap before the appreciative fans in one of the official's straw hat.

Chris Graff had been the only athlete to try and stay with Meb and Abdi, and he was swallowed by the chase pack that included every athlete left in the race except for 3 stragglers by 5000m. The pack began to really up the tempo over the final kilometer and actually made up some ground on Abdi and Meb who were a half a lap ahead and preparing to duke it out over the final 400m. With 600 to go James Carney unleashed a furious move that sent the pack sprinting like mad for home. Matt Downin in the end would come back and pass Carney for 3rd while Carney would hold on for 4th. Fans in the stands around us were going nuts for Downin saying, "He's going to Worlds, He's going to Worlds" but in reality Downin and every other athlete in the field behind the first two is faced with hitting the daunting world championship qualifying standard (27:49) to go to Worlds.

After the race both Abdi and Meb said they felt good during the race and liked their chances in a race.

Meb's quotes: "I thought I would outkick Abdi but at the end of the day he won it, but we're good friends, we warm up together, we talk about the race, and I'm just delighted we're both going (to Worlds). Someone told me Matt Downin got third, I'm very delighted to hear that....I felt fine (during the race). It's just I thought I could pull it off at the end. It (the last 100m) kind of reminded me of Sydney when it was Haile and Tergat (neck and neck down the straight for the Gold) but that's a different level."

Abdi: "I was so comfortable (during the race). I 've never felt that good in a 10,000 in a long time. I thought we were going to run a lot faster than 28:10 (heading into the race), but we were just running to make the team because I didn't want to push the pace. I was just feeling comfortable, just run a good pace, and just wait until the last 400."

Abdi on making a very brief surge with 1000m to go: "I just wanted to see what would happen .He responded a little bit, and I just said 'you know lets just make it a 400m race'... I was going to wait until the last 50 meters (to really go). When he passed me I just changed gears. The good thing I did was when he came next to me, I didn't wait, I kept on going to the finish. I didn't get shocked or anything (by Meb coming up on him).

Results below. More detailed splits from our live commentary on the race is here:

  1 Abdi Abdirahman              Nike                  28:10.38
  2 Meb Keflezighi               Nike                  28:10.57
  3 Matthew Downin               New Balance           28:34.65
  4 James Carney                 Big Sur DP            28:35.95
  5 Bret Schoolmeester           Colorado              28:37.56
  6 Joe Driscoll                 Zap Fitness           28:37.97
  7 Patrick Gildea               New York Ath          28:39.49
  8 Chris Graff                  Asics                 28:41.32
  9 Ryan Kirkpatrick             Unattached            28:43.44
 10 Matthew Lane                 Nike                  28:44.65
 11 Steve Sundell                Nike Farm Team        28:45.01
 12 Edwardo Torres               Reebok                28:46.67
 13 Josh Eberly                  Hansons Odp           28:50.07
 14 Jason Hubbard                Unattached            28:57.77
 15 Ryan Sheehan                 St. Francis           29:38.22
 16 Luke Humphrey                Hansons Odp           29:38.98
 17 Sergio Reyes                 Aggie Running Club    29:45.33
 -- Mike Donnelly                Nike                       DNF

Men's 1500m Round 1 Top 2 Each Heat plus Next 6 Best Times to Final
Heat 1

Opening splits of 62.5, 2:05.4 (62.9), kept the pack together in this one. Ray Weeden led early and Adam Perkins was leading with 600 to go and at the bell (2:49) the pack was still together and Alan Webb found himself in a box he tried to get out of then. On the backstretch, Bryan Lindsay, the NCAA runner-up, made a big move after the 1200 (3:04.1). Sean Jefferson made a big move on the turn and would come down the homestretch in the lead. The US's #1 1500m runner Alan Webb, in his first 1500m of the year, seemed to make a point to keep chasing after him, passing him just before the line.

  1 Alan Webb                    Nike                   3:44.32Q
  2 Sean Jefferson               Indiana                3:44.40Q
  3 Zachary Griffin              Nike Farm Team         3:44.89
  4 Luke Watson                  adidas                 3:45.37
  5 Ryan Ponsonby                Unattached             3:45.47
  6 Bryan Lindsay                New Balance            3:46.15
  7 Sean O'Brien                 Nike Farm Team         3:46.99
  8 Michael McGrath              Unattached             3:47.08
  9 Raymond Weeden               Unattached             3:48.31
 10 Adam Perkins                 Arkansas               3:49.10

Heat 2
Jon Rankin
of UCLA led a fast opening lap (57.5). He continued to lead at 800 in 1:57.6. 400 to go was reached in 2:41 and Rankin retook the lead which he had at 1200 (2:56). Rob Myers stayed close enough and would come up over the final 200m to get the win while Charlie Gruber would overtake Rankin for the final automatic spot but Rankin would get in on time.

  1 Rob Myers                    Reebok                 3:38.96Q
  2 Charlie Gruber               Nike                   3:39.41Q
  3 Jon Rankin                   Unattached             3:39.71q
  4 Jason Jabaut                 Nike Farm Team         3:40.59q
  5 Daniel Wilson                Asics                  3:41.01q
  6 Sean Duffy                   American U.            3:41.38q
  7 Grant Robison                Reebok                 3:42.96
  8 Hunter Spencer               Indiana Invaders       3:47.16
  9 Kalpanatit Broderick         Unattached             3:47.35
 -- Thomas Brooks                Unattached                 DNS

Heat 3
The big surprise in this heat was that David Krummenacker, after running the 800m first round earlier in the day, toed the line. In the end he was not a factor. Through opening splits of 60.3, and 2:00.1 (Scott McGowan, and Chris Estwanik in the lead), Krummenacker remained in last place. At the bell (2:43), McGowan was still in the lead with Estwanik, Jason Lunn and Rob Lukezic close by. Krummenacker was 3 seconds back and would not be a factor on the final lap. Lukezic would move up on the final stretch to get with Lunn who got the win.

Krummenacker's lack of punch made sense after the race when he indicated that he only ran the race so he could keep open the 1500m as a possibility at the World Championships at the end of the season. By running the prelims, Krummenacker left open the option of going to Worlds in the1500m, if he hits the World Champs qualifying standard and 3 athletes in the final of the 1500m do not hit the standard (editor's note: we believe 2 currently have it).  As Krummenacker said,  "Right now 2 guys have the standard (3:36.2), and if no one else gets it, it leaves that option later in the summer (to run the 1500 at world championships).' Krummenacker said he is excited about his prospects in the 800 and also is returning to training more like he did in 2002 when he did "longer strength work" and set his prs (3:31.93 for 1500m and 1:43.92). "My training has been going really well. I'm excited about that (the 800m at USAs). Last year I put everything into the 800 and it didn't work out, so this year I've gone back to the exact program I was doing in 2002, and that year I was able to run the 1500 and 800 really well."

  1 Jason Lunn                   Nike                   3:40.78Q
  2 Christopher Lukezic          Georgetown             3:40.82Q
  3 Scott McGowan                New Balance            3:41.09q
  4 Christopher Estwanik         Nike Farm Team         3:41.29q
  5 Josh Spiker                  Unattached             3:42.23
  6 Matthew Groose               Wisconsin Ru           3:43.21
  7 Russell Brown                Stanford               3:44.35
  8 Shane Stroup                 Florida                3:44.88
  9 John Jefferson               Indiana                3:47.31
 10 David Krummenacker           adidas                 3:48.69
 11 Joaquin Chapa                Stanford               3:49.83

Women's 1500m Top 4 in each heat plus next 4 times advance
Heat 1

After an opening 800m of 2:19.6, Christin Wurth pushed the pace on the next lap leading at 1200 (3:25.5, 65.9). Treniere Clement the former Georgetown runner would move up over the final 200m to get the win. Carrie Tollefson toed the line after failing to qualify for worlds in the 5000 earlier in the night, but was a non-factor.

  1 Treniere Clement             Nike                   4:13.95Q
  2 Christin Wurth               Nike                   4:14.14Q
  3 Lindsey Gallo                Unattached             4:14.34Q
  4 Jenelle Deatherage           Reebok                 4:14.74Q
  5 Anne Shadle                  Reebok                 4:14.86q
  6 Bethany Brewster             Wisconsin Ru           4:14.89q
  7 Erin Donohue                 North Carolina         4:15.02q
  8 Elizabeth Woodworth          Wisconsin Ru           4:16.86
  9 Carrie Tollefson             adidas                 4:28.68

Heat 2
The big news was Shayne Culpepper toed the line in this heat after her disappointing fourth place finish in the 5000m, but was not a factor (4:20.15). Thus, Culpepper will not go to the World Championships this year unless Lauren Fleshman fails to hit the qualifying time in the 5000m. Tiffany McWilliams led through the opening laps of 66.6, 2:15.3. The honest pace separated the top 5 from the rest of the field. Over the final lap McWilliams would fade a bit, but the top 4 were going to the final anyway. Sara Schwald and Jen Toomey were 1-2 just .01 apart and Amy Mortimer was a close 3rd.

  1 Sarah Schwald                Nike                   4:13.25Q
  2 Jennifer Toomey              Nike                   4:13.26Q
  3 Amy Mortimer                 Reebok                 4:13.83Q
  4 Tiffany McWilliams           adidas                 4:15.02Q
  5 Arianna Lambie               Stanford               4:15.18q
  6 Heather Sagan                adidas                 4:18.79
  7 Shayne Culpepper             Nike                   4:20.15
  8 Amanda Chase                 Zap Fitness            4:30.83
 -- Sara Bei                     Asics                      DNS
 -- Mary Jayne Harrelson         Nike                       DNS

Men's 800 Round 1 of 3 Top 3 Each Heat plus Next 6 Best Times to Semi
Heat 1
Joel Legare
of Connecticut led the opening lap of 55.16. Kevin Hicks, 2005 NCAA outdoor runner-up, and the 2005 NCAA and USATF indoor champ, would move up the final 100 for the win with Courtney Jaworski gaining ground on the inside for second.

  1 Kevin Hicks                  Florida A&M            1:50.66Q
  2 Courtney Jaworski            Unattached             1:50.71Q
  3 Elliott Blount               Nike Farm Team         1:50.75Q
  4 Joel Legare                  Connecticut            1:50.78q
  5 Joel Williams                Unattached             1:50.93q
  6 Mike Inge                    Kent St.               1:51.22

Heat 2
Sam Burley
and Richard Smith led a slow opening 400 (56.19) 600 was in 1:24 and the top 3 of Smith, Burley and Jonathon Johnson would get clear of the field to get the automatic qualifying spots to the semifinal.

  1 Samuel Burley                Asics                  1:50.41Q
  2 Jonathan Johnson             Unattached             1:50.44Q
  3 Richard Smith                Nike                   1:50.60Q
  4 Jacob Koczman                Indiana Invaders       1:50.95
  5 Neville Miller               Missouri               1:51.28
  6 Ryan Kleimenhagen            Unattached             1:52.22
 -- James Hatch                  Unattached                 DNS

Heat 3
Marcus Mayes
led at 400 in 55.44 with Derrick Peterson and David Krummenacker on his heels. Peterson would lead at 600 and Jebreh Harris would come up the final 200 to get the 3rd auto spot from Zachary Glavash who had made a bid early on the final straight.

  1 Derrick Peterson             adidas                 1:50.46Q
  2 Jebreh Harris                Unattached             1:50.55Q
  3 David Krummenacker           adidas                 1:50.58Q
  4 Zachary Glavash              Illinois               1:50.81q
  5 Raphael Asafo-agyei          Unattached             1:51.02
  6 Marcus Mayes                 Missouri               1:51.64

Heat 4
After a fast opening 200 (25) by Jeffrey Fisher, Christian Smith led at 400 in 52.87 the fastest of the day as these guys knew they could get in on time if they ran decently with the slow other heats. Smith, Khadevis Robinson, and Duane Solomon were clear of the field the final 200 for the auto spots.

  1 Duane Solomon                Unattached             1:48.90Q
  2 Khadevis Robinson            Nike                   1:48.91Q
  3 Christian Smith              Kansas St.             1:49.06Q
  4 Timothy Dunne                New York Ath           1:49.61q
  5 Jeremy Mims                  Kansas                 1:50.18q
  6 Jeffrey Fisher               L S U                  1:50.35q

Men's Steeple Chase Top 4 Each Heat plus Next 6 Best Times to Final
Round 1

(We didn't see this first race, and are relying on third hand info)
Daniel Lincoln
opened things up from Steve Slattery one mile into the race, and they would go 1-2 in the heat with Joshua McAdams of BYU third and Max King, formerly of Cornell, in 4th, getting the automatic qualifying spots.

  1 Daniel Lincoln               Nike                   8:35.32Q
  2 Steve Slattery               Nike                   8:36.90Q
  3 Joshua McAdams               B Y U                  8:37.15Q
  4 Max King                     Team XO                8:37.27Q
  5 Andy Smith                   North Carolina St.     8:38.47q
  6 Lucas Meyer                  Yale                   8:40.26q
  7 Jordan Fife                  Indiana State          8:47.42q
  8 Thomas Brooks                Unattached             8:50.19
  9 Benjamin Bruce               Unattached             8:52.34
 10 Brett Holts                  Oregon                 8:52.92
 -- Jordan Desilets              Reebok                     DNS

Heat 2
Robert Gary,
the distance coach at Ohio State, was racing two of his own athletes in this race, Aaron Fisher and Brian Olinger. 2004 Olympians Anthony Famiglietti and Robert Gary, plus Olinger and Fisher distanced themselves from the field and Famiglietti continued to push the pace the final lap getting an easy win. Gary and his two Ohio State pupils would secure the other 3 automatic qualifying spots.

  1 Anthony Famiglietti          adidas                 8:36.64Q
  2 Brian Olinger                Ohio State             8:37.05Q
  3 Robert Gary                  Reebok                 8:39.05Q
  4 Aaron Fisher                 Ohio State             8:45.15Q
  5 Tom Burns                    Indiana                8:45.90q
  6 Isaiah Festa                 Wisconsin Ru           8:46.50q
  7 David Vidal                  Stanford               8:47.66q
  8 Lyle Weese                   Unattached             8:47.81
  9 Ryan Warrenburg              Arizona State          8:50.25
 -- Michael Spence               Unattached                 DNF
 -- Jacques Sallberg             Run With Us                DNS
*Full Results for all Events
*Preview of Friday's Day 2 Action (Men's 5000m Final, Women's 10,000m Final)
*Live Recap of Women's 10k and Men's 5000

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