Galen Rupp

Galen Rupp cruises to 10,000m title at U.S. Championships; Thursday recap

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Olympic silver medalist Galen Rupp won his sixth straight U.S. title in the 10,000m in Sacramento, Calif., on Thursday night.

Rupp eased pass Chris Derrick with about 500m to go and crossed the finish line in what appeared a comfortable 28 minutes, 12.07 seconds. Derrick ended up 6.11 seconds behind for second.

Rupp, who broke his own American record in the 25-lap race with a 26:44.36 on May 30, said after his race Thursday that he would not contest the 5000m on Friday.

Kim Conley, a 2012 Olympian in the 5000m, won the women’s 10,000m despite pacing Jordan Hasay for the final two miles. Hasay finally made a pass on the final lap, but Conley summoned a final surge to retake the lead and finish in 32:02.07. Hasay followed in 32:03.28, and then 2012 Olympic finalist Amy Hastings.

Beijing Olympic bronze medalist Shalane Flanagan withdrew earlier Thursday but said she was healthy and preparing for a fall marathon on Twitter.

Alysia Montano runs 800m while 34 months pregnant

In other action, Olympic silver medalist Trey Hardee scored 4,441 points in the first five decathlon events. He leads by 368 points going into the final five events Friday. Olympic champion and world record holder Ashton Eaton was not entered, rather focusing on the 400m hurdles this season.

Olympic champions Allyson FelixLaShawn Merritt and Sanya Richards-Ross all advanced to the semifinals of their sprints.

Felix tied for 14th overall in the 100m preliminary heats at 11.53 to be among 16 women advancing. Defending champion English Gardner was fastest at 11.3, followed by world 200m leader Tori Bowie in 11.33.

Merritt easily qualified second into the 400m semis at 45.19, behind Gil Roberts (45.16). Merritt is the only American capable of bettering 44 seconds.

“The 400’s always tough,” Merritt said in a video interview posted by RunnerSpace. “For me sometimes, the slower I run, the more tired I am.”

[WATCH LIVEU.S. Championships, Friday at 10 pm ET]

Richards-Ross finished second in her heat in 52.39 to advance in the women’s 400m. She still feels pain in her right big toe, which she had surgery on last year and delayed her training to start this season. World Indoor champion Francena McCorory is the favorite.

“This is the best I’ve felt all year,” Richards-Ross said, according to The Associated Press. “I’m actually in more pain most of the time, but I’m getting through.”

Dentarius Locke, the third fastest American in the 100m this year, pulled up with an injury in his preliminary heat. The two faster Americans, World silver medalist Justin Gatlin and NCAA champion Trayvon Bromell, are not racing in Sacramento.

That leaves Olympic and World relay medalists Mike RodgersCharles Silmon and Ryan Bailey as the top men going into the semifinals and final Friday.

USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships broadcast schedule

Study shows which colleges produce most U.S. Olympians

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Want to be an Olympian? Go West, young athlete.

An OlympStats.com study found that Stanford, UCLA, USC and the University of California were the top colleges or universities attended by the 9,000-plus Americans to compete in Olympic history.

Olympic historians Bill Mallon and Hilary Evans spent the summer compiling the statistics.

They found that Stanford had at least 289 Olympians, followed by UCLA with 277, USC with 251 and Cal with 212.

Stanford and UCLA tied for the most Summer Olympians with 280.

The most Winter Olympians? The University of Minnesota with 93, more than two-thirds being hockey players.

Ivy League schools Harvard and Yale dominated the early editions of the Summer and Winter Olympics.

But USC topped the list at every Summer Games from 1928 through 1964 (tied with Cal in 1948). UCLA’s run went from 1968 through 2004. Stanford had the most in 2008, 2012 and 2016.

In Winter Olympics, the University of Utah topped the 2002 and 2006 teams, followed by Utah’s Westminster College in 2010 and 2014. Many skiers and snowboarders who train in Park City take classes at those two schools.

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Andre Ward, last U.S. man to win Olympic boxing gold, retires

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Andre Ward, the only U.S. male boxer to win Olympic gold in the last 20 years, is walking away from the sport at the top of his game.

Undefeated. A world champion. Arguably the world’s best pound-for-pound fighter.

“All I want to be is an Olympic champion. All I want to be is a world champion. I did it,” a voice appearing to be Ward’s said in an online video.

Today is the first day since 1952 that there are zero active male U.S. Olympic champion boxers. Claressa Shields, gold medalist in London and Rio, is now a professional fighter.

Ward, 33, ended his career without a loss since the age of 13 but said the cumulative effect of boxing for 23 years started to wear on his body. He no longer had the desire to prepare the way he used to.

“My goal has always been to walk away from this sport and to retire from the sport and to not let the sport retire me,” Ward, nicknamed S.O.G. “Son of God,” said on ESPN. “I have that opportunity today.

“I know it’s time. I’ve studied retirements. … How they walked away, who came back and all these different things. I’ve talked to a lot of guys, and they’ve always told me, you’re just going to know when it’s time. Nobody else will know but you.”

At the Athens Olympics, Ward fought in memory of his father, who died of a heart attack in his sleep at age 45, two years before the Games. He blew a kiss to the roof on the medal podium.

“In the second round, I got thumbed in my eyes, and I saw a double [vision],” Ward said on NBC after the gold-medal bout. “I never experienced nothing like that before.”

Ward turned pro and went 32-0, winning eight world titles.

His last fight was a June 17 TKO of Russian Sergey Kovalev to retain his WBA, IBF and WBO light heavyweight titles.

“I want to be clear – I am leaving because my body can no longer put up with the rigors of the sport and therefore my desire to fight is no longer there,” Ward said in a statement on his website. “If I cannot give my family, my team, and the fans everything that I have, then I should no longer be fighting.”

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