Olympic silver medalist Galen Rupp smashed his American record in winning the 10,000m on the opening night of the Prefontaine Classic on Friday.
Rupp clocked 26 minutes, 44.36 seconds, as Olympic champion and training partner Mo Farah analyzed the race trackside in a headset. Rupp’s previous American record, set in 2011, was 26:48.
“The time was a great added bonus,” Rupp said. “The crowd really carried me across the finish line.”
Rupp broke from a lead pack of four with a little more than two laps left at legendary Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.
“He’s gone,” Farah said on the broadcast. “He’s not going to catch him. … Come on, Galen. Come on, boy.”
Nobody came close to him. Rupp crushed the final 1000m and won by 5.05 seconds with the fastest time in the world since 2011.
Rupp pumped his fist as he finished, in a 58.58 last lap, and screamed.
“I was thinking about waiting until about 300 meters to go to really start kicking, but I felt great here,” Rupp said. “I noticed that the pace was starting to slow down a little bit, so I thought that the guys might have been getting a little tired ahead of me. [Coach] Alberto [Salazar] told me beforehand, earlier this afternoon, don’t be scared to take it with two or three laps to go.”
It was the second-fastest time ever on American soil behind Ethiopian world-record holder Kenenisa Bekele, who ran 26:25.97 in Eugene in 2008.
Rupp, 28, also bettered Farah’s personal best of 26:46.57, which Farah recognized.
“He’s faster than me now,” Farah said.
Salazar said Rupp recently spent parts of three weeks in the hospital with his wife, who is expecting twins.
“I think we’ve got a few future ducklings on the way,” said Rupp, a Portland native and former University of Oregon standout.
Earlier, Olympic and world long jump champion Brittney Reese suffered a rare loss, taking fourth at 6.86m. World bronze medalist Ivana Spanovic of Serbia won with a 6.88m leap. Reese has won every global championship since the 2008 Olympics.
Olympic bronze medalist Reese Hoffa won the shot put with a 21.64m throw, besting Americans Joe Kovacs (21.46) and Christian Cantwell (21.38).
World Indoor champion Chanelle Price won the 800m in 2:00.38. Price opened a 10-meter lead on the first lap but was nearly run down by Maggie Vessey, who finished one tenth behind.
“Coming around the 150, I got a little bit too excited,” Price said. “I didn’t know where they [other runners] were. I just knew I was feeling good. I just made too many moves. It cost me the last 40 meters. … It went from like a 10 to a 1 so fast.”
Vessey had the racing outfit of the night.
Mary Cain was eighth in 2:02.31 to open her outdoor season. Cain, 18, withdrew from the World Indoor Championships in March with a calf injury. She became the youngest American to compete at the World Outdoor Championships in August, when she finished 10th in the 1500m. She turned professional in November, while a Bronxville (N.Y.) High School senior.
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