Last night, Galen Rupp took home his eighth straight title in the 10,000 meter final at the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials, becoming the first American to win eight straight titles in any event.
Rupp crossed the finish line in 27:55.04, swinging both arms like a slugger knocking a home run out of the park, because that is exactly what he did.
On a night where temperatures were in the high 70s to low 80s, Rupp ran strong, leading the field for much of the way. He’s no stranger to running big races in the heat, either. Back in February, Rupp won the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials on a hot day in Los Angeles where temperatures soared into the 80s, causing much of the field to drop out.
Throughout the race, Rupp would surge every now and then, seeing who would match his pace. The move was a tactical one to break down the field and eliminate the runners who couldn’t handle the heat. Rupp’s coach, Alberto Salazar, said the moves were more to help his teammate, former Duck Eric Jenkins, who wound up dropping out.
Rupp eventually dropped the hammer, leaving behind Shadrack Kipchirchir of the U.S. Army’s World Class Athlete Program, who finished second in 28:01.52. Kipchirchir’s teammate, Leonard Korir took the final spot, finishing third in 28:01.52.
Bernard Lagat, the American record holder in the 5,000, was in the top three late in the race, but ended up dropping out with six and a half laps to go. Lagat previously said this year’s track & field season would be his last, so we very well may have seen his last ever race on the track.
The action continues at Hayward Field all day today. Here is a schedule of the day’s events and results.