Race Results Weekly Recap of Shalane Flanagan's American Record for 10,000m
By David Monti
(c) 2008 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
PALO ALTO, Calif. (04-May) -- She'd never run a 10,000m race before,
but Shalane Flanagan can safely say that she's already mastered the
distance on only her first try. Helped by excellent pacemaking
provided by Kenya's Rose Kosgei and a spirited battle with New
Zealand's Kim Smith which went right to homestretch, the 26 year-old
Olympian toppled Deena Kastor's American record with a sparkling
"Thanks to the New York Road Runners, they set me up with a rabbit and
that gave me a cushion," Flanagan told a clutch of reporters after the
race. "It really worked out very well."
Kosgei, who won the Union-Tribune Race for Literacy 8-K this morning in
San Diego in an easy 29:34, went a little too hard from the gun,
dipping under 70 seconds for the first lap. But the Kenyan with
closely-cropped hair quickly settled down and started to tick off 73 to
74 second laps. Flanagan tucked in right behind her, while Smith
remained a few strides behind. Smith slowly caught up, and the
threesome passed halfway in about 15:14. Kosgei went another lap and a
half, leaving the two women to work together for the remaining laps.
"It was great to have Shalane," Smith said after the race. "She runs
the way I run. She doesn't mind leading; she doesn't mind doing the
The two traded the lead, smoking through 8 km in 24:31.3, well under
American record pace. Flanagan was just a little stronger in the final
lap, finishing just a few meters ahead of Smith who set an Oceana
record of 30:35.54. Kenya's Sally Kipyego was a distant third in
31:25.45, but the Texas Tech senior broke her own NCAA record of
31:56.72 set at this meet last year. In all, ten women got under the
Olympic Games "A" standard of 31:45.00.
Flanagan looked fresh after the race, happy but underwhelmed. Asked
whether tonight's time made her think differently of her American 5000m
record of 14:44.80 set last year she said, "that it's weak." She said
that her training was "going in the right direction" and she could see
getting down to the 14:30's now.
"It's great to shoot for goals and set some records," she said.
In the men's 10,000m, Craig Mottram showed his training is also going
in the right direction. The big Aussie ran patiently behind former
training partner Mo Farah who did most of the leading after pacer Haron
Lagat dropped out early. Mottram methodically dropped the pace in the
final six laps, running 2:42.7 for the ninth kilometer, closing in
64.8-61.0-59.2 for the final three laps. His finish time of 27:34.48
was second-fastest by an Australian, just shy of Shaun Creighton's 1996
national record of 27:31.92.
"It was good," said Mottram. "It was all right. I just focused on five laps to go."
Austria's Guenther Weidlinger finished second in 27:36.46, a national
record, and Kenyan Josphat Boit got third in a personal best 27:40.64.
A disappointed Farah finished fifth in his debut, but nonetheless got
his Olympic "A" standard by running 27:44.54.
Mottram saw the race as providing an important mental boost for his
2008 campaign. He said he entered tonight's race "just to compete, to
learn to get back in and compete."
His long-time friend, Sonia O'Sullivan, agreed. "He's walking on water, not treading it now," she quipped.
"Make sure you write that she said that and not me," Mottram said playfully.
Bernard Lagat also had a good meet, winning the 5000m in a very solid
13:16.29 and obtaining his all-important Olympic Games "A" standard
prior to the U.S. Olympic Trials at the end of June. Off of a solid
pace set by Christian Hesch who ticked off 64-second laps until
retiring six minutes into the race, Lagat was joined by Abdi
Abdirahman, Boaz Cheboiywo, Boniface Songok and a surprising Brent
Vaughn of the University of Colorado in the closing laps of the race.
Vaughn finished the strongest of Lagat's chasers, smashing his
personal best and getting his Olympic Games "A" qualifier in 13:18.46.
Cheboiywo was third (13:19.21), Songok fourth (13:21.46) and
Abdirahman fifth (13:23.79).
"At some point we were on 13:23 but I didn't panic," said Lagat who
showed strong sprint speed in the final 200m. He added: "I'm really
pleased with my race."
Other key results included Shannon Rowbury's solo 4:07.59 personal best
in the 1500m, just shy of the 4:07.00 Olympic "A" standard. The top
athletes in the men's 1500m were split into two separate races with
Kevin Sullivan handily winning the first in 3:39.75 over Nick Symmons
(3:40.98) and Matt Tegenkamp winning the second in a sprint to the line
over Chris Lukezic, 3:40.04 to 3:40.29. Emily Brown and Ari Lambi both
ran personal bests in the 5000m, finishing 1-2 in 15:19.57 and
15:22.51. Neither athlete has a shoe company sponsor.
"Hopefully, I catch someone's eyes," said the plain-spoken Brown who
ran 9:45.38 in the steeplechase at the Drake Relays last weekend. "Try
to get something going."