EUGENE, OREGON — Hayward Field favorite Galen Rupp made history as he won his eighth consecutive USATF 10,000m title, while Oregon native Ryan Crouser highlighted a team of first-time Olympians in the men’s shot put to open track & field action Friday.
Rupp, a native of Portland, Oregon led the pack early with the competitors going in single-file formation from the gun.
In a move that seemed very un-Rupp-like, the 2012 Olympic silver medalist broke away with 14 laps remaining to put nearly 20 meters between him and the chase pack.
After the ensuing 800m, Rupp looked to let up and U.S. Army’s Shadrack Kipchirchir (Eldoret, Kenya) and four-time Olympian Bernard Lagat made their move to join Rupp away from the pack.
Lagat faltered with seven laps to go and Leonard Korir (Iten, Kenya) join the duo with Hassan Mead and Chris Derrick on their heels.
With 800m remaining, and after Mead did not finish, it was clear that Rupp, Kipchirchir and Korir would be the trio to compete in Rio, but their placing was unclear.
As Kipchirchir edged ahead on the bell lap, Rupp shifted into another gear and felt the Hayward magic under his feet.
Rupp charged around the Bowerman curve with the Hayward faithful on their feet to finish in 27:55.04. Kipchirchir qualified for his first Olympic team in 28:01.52, while U.S. Army teammate Korir finished third in 28:16.97.
Rupp finished second in the men’s 10,000m final at the London 2012 Olympic Games behind training partner Mo Farah of Great Britain.
The 30-year-old holds a personal best of 26:44.36 in the event.
Track & field events continue July 2 and run through July 10 at Hayward Field in Eugene. The NBC family of networks will be broadcasting action from the Olympic Trials live on NBC, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra. USATF.TV will then air The Cool Down live from Hayward Field each day after the end of the NBC broadcasts. Fans can follow along with the U.S Olympic Trials – Track & Field on social media by using #TrackTown16 on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.