Olympians Karissa Schweizer and Joe Klecker won U.S. 10,000m titles to earn spots on the World Championships in Athletics team, but what happened behind them caused greater turmoil in Eugene, Oregon on Friday night.
Schweizer, 12th at the Tokyo Games, moved away from Alicia Monson in the final 200 meters to win the women’s race in 30:49.56. Schweizer, who was still returning from Achilles surgery in October, was just 1.57 seconds off his personal best. The video is here after 48 minutes.
Monson, who finished 13th at the Olympics, finished 1.53 seconds behind to grab the team‘s second spot for the world championships in July, also in Eugene.
The third and last place went to 31 years old Natasha Rogers, who made his first national team on the track. In 2012, Rogers finished second in the 10,000m at the Olympic Trials, but didn’t have the standard time to make the team.
Rogers had to fight until the very end. She jumped past Emilie Infeldbronze medalist at the 2015 World Cup, candidate for her first national team since 2017.
“I was nervous with, like, five yards to play. She almost took me there. Just my head, I was like, no, it’s mine today. So I was able to dig a little deeper, barely,” Rogers said. “It’s been a lot of heartache, failure, losing sponsorship at one point and crawling back.”
The race lacked an Olympic Trials winner Emilie Sissonwho focused on road racing, and Elise Cranny, the 5000m winner of the Olympic trials who pulled out on Thursday saying she didn’t feel like herself in training. Cranny will be aiming for the 5000m at the USATF Outdoor Championships next month, also in Eugene, to make the world team.
The 10,000m races were an addition to the Préfontaine Classic weekend. NBC Sports airs live coverage of the main schedule on Saturday. The information is here.
Later Friday, Olympians Klecker and Grant Fisher completed an unsurprising double in the men’s 10,000m to earn world spots. Klecker crossed in 28:28.71, just a tenth ahead of Fisher, who was the top American in Tokyo in fifth place. The video is here at the 89 minute mark.
Behind them, Emmanuel Bor appeared en route to the third and final world spot. But he began to struggle, passed out in lane two and eventually crashed onto the track four strides from the finish line at Hayward Field. Bor, 34, was trying to make his first outdoor world team.
“Once I tripped, I knew it was over” Bor told LetsRun.com.
As he fell, he passed by Sean McGortya steeplechaser last year who rose from sixth on the final corner to grab the last world spot.
Woody Kincaidthe third Olympian from Tokyo, stopped two-thirds into the race after clinging to his side and grimacing.
Three more Friday night races billed as world record attempts – Burundi Francine Niyonsaba in the women’s two mile, Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey in the women’s 5000m and in Uganda Joshua Cheptegei in the men’s 5000m — ended with zero records.
In the featured field event, the Olympic gold medalist Mondo Duplantis won a men’s pole vault duel with the silver medalist Chris Nilsen with a clearance of 5.91 meters.
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