Men's 10,000m: Galen Rupp Closes Out Matt Tegenkamp With 1:52.5 Final 800m

June 23, 2011

The men's 10,000m turned into the men's 1,000m, but the result for Galen Rupp was what the Hayward Field faithful have come to expect - an impressive victory, as Rupp blasted the last 800m in 1:52.5 to win the 2011 USATF crown over Matt Tegenkamp.

Prior to the race, the expectation was that the US record holder Chris Solinsky and the US #2 Rupp would square off at 10,000m for the first time since Solinsky's American record run last year. Instead, it was Solinsky's training partner Matt Tegenkamp, who until this year, famously did not run the 10,000m, taking on Rupp in a star-studded field that had five other sub-28:00 performers besides Rupp and Tegenkamp.

Past champion and surprise entrant Abdi Abdirahman (he was not on the published start lists and had not run a 10,000m since 2009, which proves that John Chaplin can let whomever he wants into the meet) led the field through a series of pedestrian 69-second opening laps and hit 4 laps in 4:37.7. Oregon's Luke Puskedra, known for his aggressive racing, was in second, and with a medium to high pollen count of 8.9, local hero Galen Rupp was in third, easily visible with a black mask to help deal with his allergy problems. With the pace slowing even more in the second mile, the entire field was still in contention.

The second 1,600 was a very slow 4:49.7, and Puskedra made an impatient move to the front, much to the delight of the Hayward Field crowd. But he only dropped the pace down to a 68.5, which did little to string out the field, and Abdirahman soon regained control of the pacing duties. Former Oregon star Jason Hartmann soon took over the pace, but the tempo remained in the 69-70 range as the field went through 5k in a pedestrian 14:38.7. Everyone was still in the hunt.

Rupp Drops The Mask

To the roar of the crowd, Rupp ripped off his mask at 6K and appeared ready to take off. But any move from Rupp had to wait, as just as he threw away the mask, Puskedra moved from the middle of the pack and back to the lead.

The crowded pack hit 6K at 20:27.7, with Puskedra in the lead and an unmasked Rupp lurking second. Puskedra's tactics continued to be puzzling, however, as it seemed like he was in the race merely to pace the other competitors. With 7 to go, Puskedra unexpectedly move into lane two, briefly putting Rupp in the lead. He then proceeded to retake the lead 100 meters later. Rupp and Matt Tegenkamp (who had carefully worked his way up through the field) were in second and third. 2009 World Championships team member Tim Nelson sat on the inside in fourth. It was growing increasingly clear that no one wanted to start the real racing.

19 runners - yes, 19 - remained in the lead pack at 8K, as the group hit 23:19.9. Also lurking was former steepler Brian Olinger and former NCAA 5k champ Bobby Curtis. Rupp appeared to be playing games with the field, as he slowed down the pace when he took the lead with 1,600 to go. With 1,200 to and after a 70-second lap with Rupp in charge, Bobby Mack took the lead for the first time. Amazingly, nearly everyone in the field was still in contention for the win.

That soon changed. Rupp took command with 1,000 to go, as he ran a 65.3 and all of a sudden the race had a serious edge. Tegenkamp lurked close, along with Nelson and Bobby Curtis and former DII star Scotty Bauhs from Chico State.

A 58.1 penultimate lap by Rupp put five in contention: Rupp, Teg, Nelson, Curtis and Bauhs.

The big show came in the final lap as Rupp looked like a possible medalist at the World Championships, running 54.4 despite shutting down the engine with 20 meters to go, as he claimed his third-straight national title at 10k in very impressive fashion with a 1:52.5 final 800m. Tegenkamp, known for his fierce kick, closed in 56.1 to place second and a hard-charging Bauhs grabbed the final World Championships berth. Curtis rallied for fourth while Nelson faded the last 200m to fifth.

Rupp ran approximately 4:07 for his last mile with the 1:52.5 final 800m, and his ability to shift gears twice in the last lap will give American distance fans hope that he has the ability to mix it up with the best in the world in September at the World Championships.

Rupp was full of smiles afterwards and said, "This meet is so much pressure because it's a great system - top 3- you've got to have it on that day. It think it gets you prepared well for major championship meets because you have to do it here first. You can't take these championships lightly."

Rupp credited his training partner Mo Farah and said, "Neither of us wants to give up an inch to the other person but it is the friendliest of rivalries."

Rupp then indicated there is a "good chance" he'll run the 5,000m on Friday and double at Worlds. He said it's a "doable double."

Matt Tegenkamp said 10 days ago they finally decided for him to run the 10,000m here. Clearly his group kept the decision pretty quiet and Teg made reference to the Prediction Contest (where we left Matt out as a possible pick, assuming he wouldn't run the 10,000m because everyone knows he doesn't run the 10), saying, "How'd I do for your contest?"

Quick Take: Remember when Galen Rupp had no speed? Until his senior year - despite having made Olympic and World Championships teams - Rupp was known for not having speed. He was often the runner-up and had never broken 4 minutes in the mile. Now he is an incredible finisher. His transformation is amazing.

Quick Take #2: There appears to be a definite rivalry between the Salazar and Schumacher groups. It easily could have been announced in advance that Chris Solinsky was not running and that Matt Tegenkamp was. Instead, the group kept it quiet.

Quick Take #3: What happened to Scott Bauhs? The Chico State star burst onto the scene in 2008 with a 27:48 10,000m. He still hasn't run faster since. He did run 27:51 this year, but his last race two weeks ago was a 13:45 19th-place finish at adidas. Now he's going to the World Champs. He summed up his career well: "Anyone who has been paying attention knows I have been going through some growing pains the last couple of years. Coming into this race, I told myself to just run hard as soon as people start going to the finish. It didn't matter if I was trying to beat last place or first place. Just run hard. And stop thinking about this. You can stress yourself way out in this sport." He added this line which will impress his fans: "I started thinking about passing Tegenkamp, but then I started blacking out a little bit."

Galen Rupp Likes The US System And Will Likely Attempt The Double

Matt Tegenkamp Admits To Sabotaging The Prediction Contest

The Legend Of Scotty Bauhs Is Back:
"I started thinking about passing Tegenkamp, but then I started blacking out a little bit."

1 Galen Rupp Nike 28:38.17
2 Matt Tegenkamp Oregon TC Elite 28:39.97
3 Scott Bauhs adidas 28:40.51
4 Robert Curtis Reebok 28:42.50
5 Tim Nelson Oregon TC Elite 28:43.41
6 Ryan Vail Brooks 28:45.60
7 Aaron Braun McMillan Elite / adidas 28:48.31
8 James Strang unattached 28:49.28
9 Bobby Mack unattached 28:51.99
10 Scott Smith McMillan Elite / adidas 28:53.13
11 David Jankowski ZAP Fitness Reebok 28:53.63
12 Christopher Landry unattached 28:54.94
13 Jorge Torres Reebok 28:55.74
14 Nick Arciniaga McMillan Elite / adidas 28:57.64
15 Abdi Abdirahman Nike 28:57.79
16 Luke Puskedra Oregon 29:02.12
17 Patrick Smyth Nike 29:05.90
18 Charlie Serrano Run Racing TC 29:15.20
19 Jason Hartmann Nike 29:15.91
20 Sergio Reyes Asics Aggie Running Club 29:17.65
DNF Stephen Haas New Balance
DNF Brian Olinger Reebok
DNS Chris Solinsky Oregon TC Elite

Men's 800m:
LRC Men's 800m: Nick Symmonds Makes it Four in a Row
Women's 800m: LRC Women's 800m: Alysia Goes Wire to Wire
Women's Steeplechase: LRC Emma Coburn Wins, Stephanie Garcia Falls, and Hey Delilah Goes to Korea

Saturday USATF Coverage
Men's 1500m: LRC Matt Centrowitz Jr Pulls Away from Bernard Lagat
Women's 1500m: LRC The Thrill Victory (Morgan Uceny) and Agony of Defeat (Christin Wurth Thomas)
Men's Steeple: LRC Billy Nelson's Return to Oregon is Successful

Friday: USATF Coverage
Men' 5000m: LRC Men's 5,000m: Bernard Lagat's 3:57.80 Close Wins A Thriller Over Chris Solinsky And Galen Rupp
Women's 5000m: LRC Women's 5,000m: Molly Huddle Impresses, Hastings And Bizzarri Continue The Mammoth Mojo
800m Semis: LRC All the Favorites Advance And KD Asks For Some Energy From His Fans In The Final
*Ashton Eaton Sets PR With Decathlon Win, Olympic Gold Medallist Bryan Clay Falls In 110 Hurdles And Doesn't Finish The Meet
*Walter Dix Just Outleans Justin Gatlin To Win US Champs 100 
*SI's Tim Layden Takes a Look at Justin Gatlin's Situation
*Post Race Interviews

Complete Thursday USATF Coverage: *10k Photos
Men's 10k: LRC Men's 10,000m: Galen Rupp Closes Out Matt Tegenkamp With 1:52.5 Final 800m
Women's 10k: LRC Women's 10,000m: Shalane Flanagan Goes Wire to Wire Over Kara Goucher and Field
1500m Round 1 and Men's Steeple Round1: LRC Thursday's 1500m Heats: 2011 US Leader Russell Brown Bows Out
800M Round 1: LRC: 800m Round 1 Goes According to Form


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