U.S. Olympic Trials

Galen Rupp
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Galen Rupp wins 10,000m at Olympic Track Trials

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EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Pick a distance, any distance, and Galen Rupp can run it.

Already qualified for the marathon, Rupp added the 10,000 meters to his list Friday night at Olympic trials. Next up, he’ll try to make it at 5K, as well.

If — more like when — that happens, he says he’ll choose two of the three to run in Rio. Racing in all three would simply be too much, even for Rupp.

Rupp is leaning toward running the 10,000, especially given the way he won at trials. He threw surge after surge at Shadrack Kipchirchir and Leonard Korir — both of whom run for the Army’s World Class Athlete Program in Fort Carson, Colorado — and finished to a loud ovation. No surprise, since Rupp rose to prominence at Hayward Field as a member of the Oregon Ducks.

“It was tough. It wasn’t easy. I was pushing pretty hard,” said Rupp, who finished in 27 minutes, 55.04 seconds, more than 6 second clear of Kipchirchir. “I made a couple surges with five or six laps to go, kind of testing out Shadrack. He was always on me. He was right there. I wanted to make it a tough race.”

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Now, Rupp will recover. He’s got the first round of the 5,000 on Monday and — if he qualifies — the final five days later.

Rupp won the Olympic marathon trials during his debut at that distance in February in Los Angeles. Nothing seems to slow him down.

But it has been tough to balance the training between the marathon and 5,000. For the marathon, he goes on more long runs. For the 5,000, he does more speed work.

“We run a fine line, do a lot of miles — a lot of long, hard runs,” Rupp explained. “It’s hard to recover from. It’s really hard to do that, come back and do the speed work. It’s been a little bit of a learning process, sometimes coming back too soon and can’t hit a workout. We’re always adjusting and figuring it out.”

The 30-year-old Rupp is the Olympic silver medalist in the 10,000 meters.

“What impresses me most is his work ethic, his mental toughness,” his coach, Alberto Salazar, said. “All the pressure and limelight on him, sometimes bad, sometimes good. He doesn’t care. He puts it aside.”

As for his say in the matter of what races Rupp will run, Salazar wants to wait and see.

“He’ll make a decision between 5,000 and the marathon. He can’t run all three,” Salazar said. “He does everything right. He dedicates his life (to running). The only thing that ever takes him away from running for an instant is his family. That’s it.”

MORE: Allyson Felix advances in 400m at Olympic Trials; Sanya Richards-Ross out

Allyson Felix advances in 400m at Olympic Trials; Sanya Richards-Ross out

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EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Allyson Felix blocked out the knifing agony in her right ankle and made her first run at Olympic Trials look like a jog Friday night.

Sanya Richards-Ross felt a different kind of pain.

On a night Felix cruised on auto-pilot in the 400-meter qualifying round to keep her chance at a 200-400 double alive, Richards-Ross bid a tearful adieu to the fans, after pulling up 250 meters into her lap around the track — her hamstring too tight to carry on.

“I’ve had an amazing career,” Richards-Ross said. “To have my last race be here, at Hayward Field, in front of these fans, it’s incredible.”

In addition to her four Olympic gold medals, including the individual title at the London Games, Richards-Ross holds the stadium record in Eugene — better known as Track Town USA. It was here, five weeks ago at the Prefontaine Classic, that fans got their first true glimpse of what might be coming. Richards-Ross finished seventh that day.

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In this one, her first 15 steps out of the blocks were smooth, but she went from a sprint to a trot. By the time she hit the first curve on the backstretch, she was slowing. And then she pulled up completely.

“Let’s be honest, I hurt my hamstring real bad,” she said. “I worked with a great doctor just to get out on the track today.”

After she pulled up, she walked to the finish line. Fans rose from their seats and Richards-Ross blew kisses.

She earned as many of those fans through her failures as her successes — her long battle with illness and injuries, her third-place finish in Beijing that left her weeping underneath the stands, then, finally, the gold medal in London.

“Most fans have seen my heart through my running,” Richards-Ross said. “I don’t win every time I step on the track. I don’t deserve the ovation because I’m always a champion. But I think they see my heart, my determination, my desire to be a good person.”

Now, though, they’ll be watching Felix and others finish up the 400.

Felix finished second in her heat, posting a time of 51.96 seconds, then headed straight to the trainer’s room for treatment.

She hurt the ankle in the spring and has had a rough time coming back — forced to do most of her running the wrong way around the track so as not to put the injured ankle at more risk.

She has less than 18 hours to recover. Her semifinal heat is set for Saturday afternoon.

The top qualifier to the 400m semi-final was Courtney Okolo, who set an NCAA record in April with a time of 49.71, second fastest in the world this year.

MORE: Jeter, Symmonds out of Olympic Trials

Katie Ledecky misses top spots in 100m freestyle final

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Katie Ledecky’s hopes of swimming another relay event at the Rio Olympics took a big hit when she finished seventh in the 100-meter freestyle at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials.

Ledecky was hoping for a top-six finish Friday night, which likely would have assured her of at least swimming in the preliminaries of the 4×100 free relay in Rio.

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Nineteen-year-old Abbey Weitzeil claimed her first trip to the Olympics by touching first in 53.28 seconds, while another 19-year-old, Simone Manuel, took the second spot in 53.52. She, too, is an Olympic rookie.

The next four finishers are also likely to swim on the relay, and all are Olympic veterans. Amanda Weir is heading to the Summer Games for the third time after finishing third in 53.75, followed by Lia Neal (53.77), Allison Schmitt (53.87) and Dan Vollmer (53.92).

Ledecky was next at 53.99, an impressive showing given that sprinting isn’t her forte but not quite good enough. Still, she’s already earned spots on the Olympic team in the 200 and 400 free, and will be an overwhelming favorite in her final event of the trials: the 800 free Saturday night.

Since she’ll be in Rio, Ledecky would be available to join the 4×100 free relay if there’s any sort of issues, such as an injury or illness. She’ll be busy enough as it is, also competing in the 4×200 free relay.

MORE: Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte go 1-2 in last showdown before Rio Olympics