Lauren Fleshman's 5k National Championship The Shock Of USAs
Fleshman and Lagat win 5000m Titles, Mid-Distance Finals Are Set
By Ryan Craven for LetsRun.com
July 26, 2010
Des Moines, IA
The second day of professional action saw the first big surprise of the championships as Lauren Fleshman returned from virtual ignonimy to win her 2nd US 5000m title (the other was in 2006). In the women's 800, national stalwart Hazel Clark missed the final while most of the other star Americans advanced to the mid-distance finals on Sunday. As expected, Bernard Lagat sat and kicked on an inferior 5000m field to pick up an anti-climactic win over Tim Nelson.
Women’s 5000m Run
In what began as a bit of a tactical affair, the women’s 5k saw several exciting efforts from some of the USA’s finest. With heavy favorites Shalane Flanagan and Shannon Rowbury on the sidelines in anticipation for tomorrow’s 1500 final, the field waited patiently for someone to break the race open. With a little over a mile left, it was Adidas’ Jen Rhines who would be the first to move. As her gap continued to increase, the chase pack decided to wait out the move and see if a later push might be the way to go. Molly Huddle of Saucony attempted to chase down Rhines, but soon made her way back to the safety of the pack. This strategy proved to be a solid one as Huddle was able to capture second place behind the inspired drive of Lauren Fleshman. With 600 to go, Fleshman powered home much to the excitement of the Midwestern crowds. “As far as I knew, someone was on my tail,” Fleshman said of her approach. “I hoped that I had broken them and they’d lost their will to live.” Behind the duo of Fleshman and Huddle, Jenny Barringer made a gallant effort all the way to the line despite being out of contention. “It was a hard race and today I didn’t have it,” admitted the young professional. Always the optimist, Jenny was quick to point out that, “in the scheme of things, this is still early in the season for us.” Rounding out the top five was University of Illinois’ Angela Bizzari. After a disappointing NCAA meet, Angela had a renewed sense of purpose in the race. “I just wanted to leave it all out there tonight.” And leave it out there she did as the celebrated collegiate held her own against an impressive field of professional runners.
|1||Lauren Fleshman||Oregon TC-Nike||15:28.70||1(1)|
|3||Jenny Barringer||New Balance||15:33.33||1(3)|
|5||Angela Bizzarri||Illinois at Urbana-Champaign||15:39.81||1(5)|
|7||Rebecca Donaghue||New Balance||15:46.66||1(7)|
|8||Renee Metivier Baillie||Nike||16:03.22||1(8)|
|10||Karen Dimoff||Bowerman AC||16:08.51||1(10)|
|11||Frances Koons||New Balance||16:22.53||1(11)|
|12||Lauren Weaver||Asics Aggie RC||16:48.15||1(12)|
|13||Alisha Williams||Boulder Running Co||17:27.50||1(13)|
|DNF||Toni Salucci||Adidas Raleigh TC||1|
|DNS||Bridget Franek||Penn State||1|
|DNS||Shalane Flanagan||Oregon TC-Nike||1|
Men’s 5000m Run
With just a mile left in the race, twelve of the thirteen competitors were still in contention. The only question that remained is who would finish behind the inevitable champion Bernard Lagat. The field was content to race for second and third as the pace dropped, whittling the tentative field down from twelve to just five by the bell. Of course it was no big surprise to see Lagat’s trademark wide-eyed, tongue out visage cross the line first as Tim Nelson and Andrew Bumbalough gave everything they could to fight back. Bernard’s goal for the day was simple. “I just wanted to come here, have fun and support United States Track and Field.” Nelson showed his range (his PRs in the 1500m and 3000m are 3:43.52 and 7:48.87, respectively) as the marathon bound kicked hard to hold off an equally impressive Bumbalough. “I’m pretty confident in my speed now,” said the often soft-spoken Nelson. And why shouldn’t he be? The University of Wisconsin 10k record holder has proven time and time again the he is a factor in national level races. While Nelson finished up what was just another great finishes in a series of national caliber performances, Georgetown’s Andrew Bumbalough showed the has what it takes to race with the big guns. “I feel like I can finish with anybody,” Andrew beamed after the race. He was happy to run a slower race, asserting that, “every lap kept building my confidence.” That confidence shined through as he separated himself from former D2 standout Aaron Braun and seasoned racer Brent Vaughn who rounded out the top five with strong finishes of their own.
|2||Tim Nelson||Oregon TC-Nike||13:54.80||1(2)|
|7||Brandon Bethke||Arizona State||14:02.08||1(7)|
|8||Ian Dobson||Oregon TC-Nike||14:03.53||1(8)|
|9||Stephen Furst||Adidas Raleigh TC||14:07.40||1(9)|
|10||Bobby Mack||Athlete's Foot||14:08.74||1(10)|
|13||Benjamin True||Oregon TC-Nike||14:21.20||1(13)|
Men’s 3000m Steeplechase
Two-time Olympian Anthony Famiglietti put on a show early in the race as he brought a lead pack consisting of Ben Bruce and Daniel Huling along for a ride. After one lap, the three man race barreled down the track well ahead of the field and on pace to break Kyle Alcorn’s track record of 8:28.26. Alcorn, who would maintain his fourth place position for the rest of the race, opted to stick behind the trio and avoid a pace that proved to be too much for the competitors in the summer sun. As Fam began to fade after leading the majority of the race, Huling and Bruce moved past comfortably before pulling up for a high five before the line. Capturing the last auto qualifying spot was Billy Nelson. “I didn’t want to run 8:20 pace,” said the ’08 Olympian. “I just raced to get that auto qualifier.”
In the second heat, Steve Slattery set the early pace. The former Colorado harrier strung the race out to just six contenders after just one lap. “I’d rather run over clean hurdles, especially in the wind,” said Slattery. Never looking back, Steve continued to push through all the way to the tape to capture first as he pulled Brian Olinger, Donald Cabral, Josh McAdams and Jacques Sallberg under the 8:50 mark. Sallberg had one of the more exciting races as he made several bold moves throughout the race to pass several runners who had trouble with Slattery’s pace to grab the last automatic qualifying spot.
Men’s 1500m Run
OTC’s Russell Brown had no problem going right to the front and making the race honest as he and Rob Novak brought the runners through 800 in just over two minutes. Matt Centrowitz hung tough up front before eventually sliding towards the back of the pack, but the young Duck was able muster a great finishing kick to grab the second automatic qualifying spot. The young collegian was no match for the always race savvy Leo Manzano however as the veteran crept up slowly towards the front by the bell. By the backstretch, Manzano had taken the lead and begun to open up his stride, bringing Jack Bolas for a ride that would eventually lead the Badger to a third place finish.
Midwest native Jeff See brought out the early pace of the second heat as several favorites including Lopez Lomong at first seemed happy to race from the back. It didn’t take long for the 08 Olympian to bring himself to the front as he made a strong push from 900m out. In the end, the pace wasn’t quite as hot as the first heat as Lomong and Will Leer were the only two to advance to the final. The pair pulled away effortlessly on the final straight to secure their spots. Always a class act, Lomong spoke of the young runners who didn’t qualify as a necessary part of this country’s development as they remind more seasoned runners that, “anybody can come up and steal it from you.”
Of those who finished the third heat, only two did not advance to the final. Last year’s rookie sensation Evan Jager got out well behind training partner Matt Tegenkamp before having to pull off of the track due to a lingering foot issue. After a near tangle on the turn, Tegenkamp asserted his dominance over the last 300 as he and David Torrence passed a tiring Stephen Pifer. Pifer, who led the first three laps of the race, was happy with his finish and cited his earlier 1500s this season as his source of confidence while running out front. “If I just go out and run, I’ll make the final,” said Pifer who will be joined in Sunday’s final by Ryan Hill and John Mickowski.
Women’s 800m Run
There were few surprises in heat 1 of the women’s semi finals as favorites Alysia Johnson, Maggie Vessey and Morgan Uceny all advanced automatically to the final. Vessey who has struggled to match the brilliance of her breakout 2009 season again seemed to hold back on the final straight as she and Uceny watched Johnson finish first. A bit back from the lead, Johnson’s teammate Treniere Moser grabbed a spot in the final as well.
In the second heat, Tennessee standout Phoebe Wright entered into a memorable dual with a very experienced Hazel Clark. Clark moved into the lead coming off of the first turn, but her time at the front was short lived as Wright was not about to let anyone steal her race. Wright quickly took over up front and continued to power through despite several attempts by Clark to move back up on the young runner. “This race is no different than any other,” said Phoebe speaking of the pressures of racing professionals. “I just wanted to run the first 400 and race the last 400.” And race she did. Coming off of the last turn, Clark made one last valiant attempt to overtake the NCAA champion before eventually fading hard to sixth place. Clark wasn’t alone in her struggle as the OTC’s Geena Gall also came up just short of making the final behind Laura Januszewski (2nd), LSU’s Latavia Thomas (3rd), and Alice Schmidt. The women will have a day to rest after what was surely a grueling two days out on the hot Drake Stadium track.
Men’s 800m Run
The first heat of the men’s
semi finals saw an exhilarating run by North Carolina based Karjuan
Williams. Williams ran strong from the front for the first half
of the race before gapping the field on the backstretch. Williams executed
his plan of “finding a pace and sticking to it” as he continued
to run alone out front. After passing through the 600 in 1:18.2,
Williams’ gap began to wane as Jacob Hernandez and Ryan Brown closed
hard to secure their spots in the final. Elijah Greer, Cory Primm
and Lance Roller all ran a very hard fought effort, but in the end their
bravado was simply no match for the experienced trio of professionals
The field in the second heat knew it would no easy to feat to secure a spot in the final as the top two spots were practically guaranteed to Duane Solomon and Nick Symmonds. Solomon finished first in a blistering 1:45.23 while Symmonds opted to cruise in the final meters to finish second in 1:45.91. Iowa native Tyler Mulder finished fourth to grab the first non automatic spot while collegians Charles Jock of Cal Irvine and Richard Jones of LSU finished 3rd and 5th respectively to make the final.