By Jonathan Gault
May 28, 2015
It came as a surprise when the Bowerman Track Club’s Chris Derrick was not on the start list for either of the major American 10,000s this spring — the Payton Jordan Invitational at Stanford on May 2 or Friday’s Prefontaine Classic. His absence had many fans wondering about 24-year-old Derrick’s health, so I reached out to him via email to get an update on his status. Here’s what Derrick had to say:
“About a week before World XC I re-aggravated an old injury and it took longer to clear up than I was expecting after the race. I am training with the group now at altitude camp and will compete at USAs in the 10,000. I may also run the Portland Track Festival [on June 13-14] if [coach] Jerry [Schumacher] and I determine that is appropriate.”
Derrick, who was third at USAs in the 10,000 in 2013 and second last year, currently does not have the 27:45.00 IAAF standard to compete at Worlds in Beijing. In order to run for Team USA this summer, he will need to run faster than that between now and August 9 (UPDATE: LetsRun visitor Teddy Mitchell points out that Derrick can also qualify by winning the 10,000 at the NACAC Championships in Costa Rica August 7-9 as the area champion in an event does not need the IAAF standard). Derrick did not go into specifics about the injury (he has dealt with Achilles problems in the past) or his plans for achieving the standard, but the most sensible plan of action would be for Derrick to go after the standard at USAs.
That’s not an ideal situation, but there aren’t any major 10,000s between now and August for Derrick to get the time and runners have been able to get the standard at USAs in the past, notably Dathan Ritzenhein at the 2012 Olympic Trials. Derrick likely won’t have a teammate to help him out like Ritz had with Galen Rupp, but several runners will have an incentive to make USAs a fast race. Currently, Rupp, Ben True and Shadrack Kipchirchir are the only Americans with the standard. Hassan Mead and Diego Estrada will try and get the time at Pre on Friday, but even if they both break 27:45, there will still be several guys trying to make USAs fast.
One of those men is Portland-based Ryan Vail, who basically admitted in his most recent blog post that he and Aaron Braun will be looking to push the pace at USAs:
“I found out this week that Aaron Braun will be joining me in Portland for the final 10-14 days leading up to the USA Champs. He’ll be coming down from altitude to get some final rust-busting sea-level training before the 10km. While we will be competitors come race-day, we both have an interest in having a fast pace set in order to hit the IAAF ‘A’ standard as neither of us have hit the mark this year. Hopefully the trip will be a time to focus and plan. We will likely be helping eachother keep the pace hot midway through the race, and the last couple of miles will be every man for himself. We’ll battle, shake hands, and likely grab a beer. With only 3 spots open for the World Team in Beijing, it is probably that at least one of us will be very disappointed, but that’s the nature of the sport.”
Derrick may not have raced since World XC on March 28 (where he finished as the top American in 24th) but if he can make it to the start line at USAs on June 25 in one piece, he’ll have a shot to make his second straight U.S. team on the track.
An email asking Derrick’s coach Jerry Schumacher for comment was not returned.
Discuss Derrick’s status in our running forum: Chris Derrick Has “Re-aggravated An Old Injury” That “Took Longer To Clear Up” Than Expected – Will Run 10,000 at USAs.