Race of the Decade: Lagat Region, Round of 64

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By LetsRun.com
December 11, 2019

We are determining the RACE OF THE DECADE (overview here).

Below you’ll find the matchups for the round of 64 in the Lagat Region (US distance races) in our Race of the Decade bracket. Voting will be open until the end of the day (midnight ET) on Thursday, December 12.

You can vote on matchups in the other regions by clicking the links below.


Race descriptions by Jonathan Gault.

Seeds are in ().

Matchup #1

(1) 2010 Payton Jordan Invitational, men’s 10,000 meters

What was billed as an American record attempt for Galen Rupp instead ended with a stunning American record for Chris Solinsky, igniting the Alberto SalazarJerry Schumacher rivalry in the process. Solinsky was the first non-African-born man to break 27:00 for 10,000; at 6-1 and roughly 165 lbs, Solinsky was also the tallest and heaviest man to break 27.

LRC Solinsky Stuns with USA 10,000m Record at Stanford

(16) 2019 NCAA Outdoor Championships, women’s 1500

In 96-degree heat, Oklahoma State’s Sinclaire Johnson and Jessica Hull posted the #2 and #4 times in NCAA history in the NCAA final.

LRC Sinclaire Johnson of Oklahoma State becomes 2nd fastest collegian ever, wins thrilling NCAA 1500 duel with Jessica Hull


Matchup #2

(2) 2016 Olympic Trials, men’s 5,000 meters

Daddy can still kick. After missing the US World Championship team for the first time the previous year, 41-year-old Bernard Lagat dropped out of the 10,000 on day 1 of the 2016 Olympic Trials, the sun seemingly setting on his career. Eight days later, he responded with one of his greatest victories.

LRC 41-Year-Old Bernard Lagat Wins Crazy Men’s 5000 at 2016 US Olympic Trials

(15) 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships, men’s 1500

One of the greatest races in the storied history of Oregon track & field. Not only did Andrew Wheating close out his NCAA career with an 800/1500 sweep — the first man to accomplish that since fellow Duck Joaquim Cruz in 1984 — but he did it by going 1-2-3 with teammates A.J. Acosta and Matthew Centrowitz.

LRC Men’s 1,500m: Event Of The Day, As Wheating Tops Himself And Leads Oregon To 1, 2, 3, Sweep 



Matchup #3

(3) 2014 NCAA Outdoor Championships, men’s 5,000 meters

Edward Cheserek burst onto the scene with a shocking NCAA XC title in the fall of 2013, and since then looked invincible, sweeping the NCAA indoor 3k and 5k titles and closing in 24.8 (!) for his final 200 to win the outdoor 10k title. But Lawi Lalang, his predecessor as king of the NCAA, had one last great race in him, running his final 1600 in 4:09 to win in 13:18.36 to Cheserek’s 13:18.71 in a dazzling finish that threatened to blow the roof off of Hayward Field.

LRC A Race for the Ages: Lawi Lalang Defeats Oregon’s Edward Cheserek and 10,000 Screaming Oregon Fans

(14) 2016 NCAA Indoor Championships, men’s distance medley relay

Washington’s Izaic Yorks did all he could to prevent Edward Cheserek from carrying Oregon to a repeat DMR title, but it didn’t matter. Even though Yorks split 3:54, Cheserek was too good for him, splitting 3:52 to anchor Oregon to the win — barely 30 minutes after winning the 5,000.

LRC The Legend of King Cheserek Grows Even Bigger – Edward Cheserek Wins Two More NCAA Titles Thanks To 3:52 DMR Anchor Less than 35 Minutes After 5000 Win


Matchup #4

(4) 2012 Olympic Trials, women’s 5,000 meters

Julia Lucas didn’t need to go to the lead with three laps to go. With the Olympic standard in her pocket, she didn’t need to push the pace. She did it anyway, building a comfortable lead, only to see it all come crashing down over the final 200. Kim Conley — 4.4 seconds behind Lucas with 200 to go — nipped Lucas at the line for third. And because Lucas had kept pushing the pace, Conley dipped under the Olympic standard as well, by just .21 of a second. Conley went to the Olympics. Lucas went home devastated.

LRC The Women’s 5,000 Final – The Olympic Trials At Its Absolute Best
LRC An Oral History Of The 2012 Olympic Trials Women’s 5,000, Part I: The Road To The Trials
LRC An Oral History of the 2012 Olympic Trials Women’s 5,000, Part II: The Race
LRC An Oral History of the 2012 Olympic Trials Women’s 5,000, Part III: The Aftermath

(13) 2015 World Relays, men’s distance medley relay

Okay, we’re cheating a little since this race didn’t take place in the US. But we had to squeeze it into the bracket somewhere. Kenya’s Ferguson Cheruiyot took his 800 leg out in 47.84 (!!!) and handed off to Timothy Cheruiyot — running his first international race — who took out the 1600 leg in 51.96. Those pacing errors allowed the Americans, led by Ben Blankenship’s terrific 3:51 anchor leg, to get the win and the world record.

LRC USA “Motley Crew” Caps Distance Relay Sweep With Wild World-Record Victory In Men’s DMR – 9:15.50 In A Crazy Race


Matchup #5

(5) 2016 Olympic Trials, women’s 800 meters

One of the most anticipated races of the Trials turned with 150 meters to go, when a jumble of bodies caused Brenda Martinez to lose her balance and Alysia Montaño to tumble to the ground. Kate Grace wound up winning, with Chrishuna Williams edging Molly Ludlow by .04 for the final Olympic spot.

LRC Absolute Madness in the Women’s 800: Alysia Montaño Falls Down In Tears As Kate Grace Wins a Wild Race

(12) 2014 USATF Outdoor Championships, women’s 5,000 meters

This matchup pitting American record holder Molly Huddle against Shannon Rowbury, who would go on to break Huddle’s record in 2016, did not disappoint. Despite Rowbury’s 1500 prowess, it was Huddle who came from behind to win over the final 100. Between this race, 2012 USA XC, the 2015 Worlds 10k, and the 2016 NYC Half, Huddle was involved in several fantastic finishes this decade.

LRC What A Race: Molly Huddle Triumphs Over A Brave Effort From Shannon Rowbury In 2014 USATF 5,000


Matchup #6

(6) 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships, men’s 800 meters

The quintessential Robby Andrews race. Running in dead last for the first 600 meters, Andrews passed the entire field over the last 200 to win in incredible comeback fashion.

LRC Robby Andrews Does It Again And Wins A Legendary Race

(11) 2010 NCAA Indoor Championships, men’s 800

Senior Andrew Wheating may have been a 2008 Olympian and the reigning NCAA outdoor champion, but that didn’t matter to true freshman Robby Andrews, who came from behind to win his first NCAA title by .01. This concludes the Robby Andrews portion of this bracket.

LRC NCAA 800: Freshman Robby Andrews Takes Down “Man Among Boys” Andrew Wheating


Matchup #7

(7) 2011 USATF Outdoor Championships, men’s 5,000 meters

It took a 3:57 final 1600 for Bernard Lagat to win a thriller over Chris Solinsky and Galen Rupp.

LRC Bernard Lagat’s 3:57.80 Close Wins A Thriller Over Chris Solinsky And Galen Rupp

(10) 2016 Penn Relays, high school boys’ distance medley relay Championship of America

Usually handing your 4:06 miler a nine-second lead on the anchor leg of a high school DMR is a safe bet. Not when Drew Hunter is involved. Hunter led his Loudoun Valley (Va.) team to an epic victory, his 4:00.73 anchor leg barely enough to edge out La Salle (R.I.) anchor Jack Salisbury by one-thousandth of a second.

LRC Drew Hunter Delivers Again (Barely) – Overcomes 9+ Second Deficit On Anchor Leg And Guns Down 4:06 Miler To Give Loudoun Valley The DMR Victory At Penn By .001


Matchup #8

(8) 2019 NCAA Outdoor Championships, men’s steeplechase

The top two — Stanford’s Steven Fahy and Indiana’s Daniel Michalski — both fell within the final 200 meters. Despite his wipeout on the final barrier, Fahy got up and won the race to become an NCAA champion.

LRC Steven Fahy of Stanford Survives Fall, Wins Wild Men’s Steeplechase Final at 2019 NCAA Championships

(9) 2015 USATF Outdoor Championships, men’s 1500

Behind Matthew Centrowitz’s dominant win up front, the battle for the final two spots to Worlds was as close as it comes. Robby Andrews (stop us if you’ve heard this before) made up a huge deficit over the final 150 to grab second, with Leo Manzano third and Ben Blankenship fourth. Just .03 separated the trio.

LRC Matthew Centrowitz Amazes & Robby Andrews Kicks His Way Onto US 1500m Team as Leo Does What He Always Does


You can vote on matchups in the other regions by clicking the links below.



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