Galen Rupp, Molly Huddle win 10,000m on U.S. Championships opening night

Galen Rupp
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Olympic medalist Galen Rupp and Molly Huddle won the 10,000m at the U.S. Championships in steamy Eugene, Ore., on Thursday night, leading qualifiers for August’s World Championships.

Athletes are aiming to finish in the top three of their events to make the U.S. team for the Worlds, Aug. 22-30 in Beijing. Full results from Thursday are here. The meet runs through Sunday.

Rupp, the Olympic 10,000m silver medalist, surged to the lead with less than three laps left and prevailed in 28 minutes, 11.61 seconds for his seventh straight U.S. title in the event (race video here). Temperatures were in the 90s at Hayward Field on Thursday night.

Rupp competed for the first time since ProPublica and BBC June 3 reports accusing his coach, Alberto Salazar, of violating medical and anti-doping rules, specifically with Rupp. Salazar responded to those reports with an 11,000-word open letter Wednesday.

Rupp and Salazar hugged shortly after the race.

“It’s definitely been hard with all that other stuff going on,” Rupp, a 29-year-old who has never failed a drug test and said three weeks ago that Salazar has never suggested he take banned substances, said in a post-race interview. “I really just try to keep focus on my track and always be professional. I still have a job to do here and can’t let it get in the way of that.”

“I think the truth will prevail,” Rupp later told media in Eugene. “I stand behind him [Salazar] 100 percent.”

Ben True finished second in 28:14.26 and Hassan Mead third in 28:16.54, both making their first Worlds teams.

In the women’s 10,000m, Huddle emerged from a three-woman pack at the start of the final lap to prevail in 31:39.20 for her first U.S. 10,000m title (race video here). The 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Shalane Flanagan was second (31:42.29), with Emily Infeld third (31:42.60).

Huddle, 30, made her third straight World Championships team and first in the 10,000m. Flanagan, 33, will go to Worlds for a sixth straight time. Infeld, 25, will make her Worlds debut.

Kenyan and Ethiopian women have won every Olympic and Worlds 10,000m medal since 2009.

In the U.S. men’s long jump final, Buffalo Bills wide receiver Marquise Goodwin placed fourth in his first competition since the London Olympics with a wind-aided 8.37m leap and will not go to the World Championships.

Every men’s and women’s 100m contender advanced out of the first round except for 2012 Olympic fifth-place finisher Ryan Bailey, who false started and was disqualified.

Baylor rising junior Trayvon Bromell clocked a personal-best 9.84 seconds to make him the fourth fastest U.S. man all time behind Tyson GayJustin Gatlin and Maurice Greene and tied for the 10th fastest man all time.

Bromell, 19, improved on his record for fastest time by a teenager by .06 despite slowing just before crossing the finish line to win his heat (race video here).

“I’m real surprised because when I slowed it down, I didn’t think I was going to run that fast,” Bromell, a shoe collector who has broken both knees and a forearm and cracked a hip, told media in Eugene. “I’m like, man, this is crazy, because I ain’t ever tried to run that fast in prelims.”

The women’s and men’s 100m semifinals start at 8 p.m. ET on Friday. The finals are at 10:21 p.m. ET on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra.

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