Olympic Trials Men’s 10,000 — Woody Kincaid Had Biggest Kick

Woody Kincaid finished off his 27:53.62 with a blistering 53.47 last lap. (KIRBY LEE/IMAGE OF SPORT)

A 25-LAP RACE has lots of numbers, but the operative numbers here were a 79-degree (26C) temperature and 12 runners — half of the 24-man field — bunched within 2 seconds at the bell. What ensued was a hyper-paced last lap with Woody Kincaid (53.47), Grant Fisher (54.53) and Joe Klecker (54.54) closing fastest.

Kincaid, a 28 year-old Colorado native, bolted a 25.8 final 200 to close out a 27:53.62 win, analyzing, “The last lap is the easiest part because it is everything you got.”

The race got off to a quick start led by a group of collegians hoping to replicate the record-blasting NCAA race a week earlier. BYU’s Conner Mantz hit the front at 800 (2:11.55) and went to a full gallop and strung out the pack passing 1600 in 4:22.63 — only to pull back on the reins with a 69.86 fifth circuit. The hot pace quickly gave way to more cautious running.

When halfway was passed a few ticks under 14:00 it was assured that the Tokyo qualifiers would come from the 7 who had the 27:28.00 Olympic standard — save favored Lopez Lomong, whose hamstring gave out on lap 11 and Eric Jenkins, who veered off the track with 7 to go.

By 8K, the remaining 5 with the standard — Kincaid, Fisher, Klecker, Ben True and Emmanuel Bor — were all ensconced in the lead group, and all were hesitant to move off the 68-second pace. Three laps were passed with no moves until Reid Buchanan spurted to the lead with 800 to go and lifted the pace slightly, but as he slowed a bit around the turn the pack and plot thickened as Galen Rupp and Mantz latched onto the lead group.

Fisher moved past Buchanan at the head of the straight with 500 to go but didn’t accelerate and Biya Simbassa and Kincaid moved quickly to follow his lead. Heading up the straight, True worked his way out of box and moved up on the outside, as did Rupp, leaving Klecker boxed in on the rail behind Buchanan.

Fisher accelerated at the bell and moved a stride ahead as Kincaid ran wide around Simbassa on the turn. Klecker escaped his box, shooting through a little gap between True and Rupp and hit high gear on the backstretch and closed in on the Bowerman TC mates.

Klecker’s advance earned a quick glance from Kincaid, who then went to work over the final 200, moving wide again to pull even with Fisher at the top of the turn and forging a 1-meter lead as they hit the finishing straight. A little spurt secured Kincaid’s lead as Fisher (27:54.29) and Klecker (27:54.90) held form and their position on a very fast closing sprint.

Kincaid credited the nervous energy of the OT environment for his performance, saying, “The more nerves you have in a race, the more instinct takes over, and my kick is always there.”

As was Fisher’s who admitted, “I was in a good position to try to kick and try to win and Woody gunned me down at the end, but I’ll take a 2nd-place today; it’s mission accomplished.”

Klecker keyed his efforts on longtime rival Fisher, saying, “My race plan was to run right behind Grant. I knew that if I’m right behind Grant I’m probably making the team.”

Just missing the squad was True whose 27:58.88 brought only the frustration of consecutive OT 4th-place finishes.

MEN’S 10,000 RESULTS

(June 18)

1. Woody Kincaid (NikBowTC) 27:53.62

(pace — 66.87 [66.87], 67.58 [2:14.45], 65.41 [3:19.86], 65.89 [4:25.75], 68.86 [5:34.61], 68.23 [6:42.84], 66.37 [7:49.21], 65.99 [8:55.20], 66.36 [10:01.56], 67.21 [11:08.77], 68.37 [12:17.14], 68.36 [13:25.50], 68.12 [14:33.62], 68.10 [15:41.72], 69.03 [16:50.75], 68.71 [17:59.46], 68.51 [19:07.97], 68.30 [20:16.27], 67.75 [21:24.02], 68.98 [22:33.00], 68.35 [23:41.35], 68.13 [24:49.48], 67.21 [25:56.69], 63.47 [27:00.16], 53.46)

(finish — 25.8, 53.46, 1:56.93, 3:04.14, 4:12.27);

2. Grant Fisher (NikBowTC) 27:54.29

(26.4, 54.53, 1:57.85, 3:04.87, 4:13.03);

3. Joe Klecker (OnAC) 27:54.90

(54.54, 1:58.35, 3:05.61, 4:13.84);

4. Ben True (unat) 27:58.88

(58.63, 2:01.84, 3:08.91, 4:17.33);

5. Conner Mantz (BYU) 27:59.37

(58.72, 2:01.89, 3:09.00, 4:17.22);

6. Galen Rupp (Nik) 27:59.43

(59.03, 2:02.17, 3:09.63, 4:17.64);

7. Biya Simbassa (unat) 27:59.94

(59.97, 2:03.09, 3:10.37, 4:18.46);

8. Sam Chelanga (unat) 28:02.47

(60.77, 2:04.82, 3:11.89, 4:20.49);

9. Reid Buchanan (OnAC) 28:03.12

(62.93, 2:06.91, 3:12.87, 4:21.11);

10. Emmanuel Bor (USAr) 28:05.00

(64.42, 2:07.82, 3:15.27, 4:23.32);

11. Zach Panning (HansB) 28:05.96

(64.56, 2:08.24, 3:15.46, 4:23.71);

12. Robert Brandt (Gtn) 28:09.92

(68.67, 2:12.98, 3:20.86, 4:29.06);

13. Diego Estrada (unat) 28:10.78

(68.00, 2:12.95, 3:20.70, 4:27.91);

14. James Mwaura (Gonz) 28:11.89

(65.17, 2:12.66, 3:20.69, 4:29.49);

15. Leonard Korir (USAr) 28:13.84

(67.23, 2:15.02, 3:22.81, 4:30.62);

16. Girma Mecheso (USAr) 28:20.15

(72.47, 2:21.90, 3:29.39, 4:37.63);

17. Jacob Thomson (Tracksm) 28:42.08

(67.41, 2:17.59, 3:28.09, 4:38.61);

18. Frank Lara (TracksmRRP) 28:45.41

(65.07, 2:18.28, 3:37.67, 4:48.84);

19. Dillon Maggard (Hoka) 28:52.38

(71.92, 2:25.88, 3:41.09, 4:56.13);

20. Marty Hehir (ReebB) 29:02.91

(69.30, 2:17.64, 3:29.03, 4:41.66);

21. Eric Hamer (CoSt) 29:34.50

(70.71, 2:29.23, 3:44.81, 5:01.18);

22. Isai Rodriguez (OkSt) 29:49.80

(67.32, 2:19.96, 3:33.39, 4:48.49);

… dnf—Abdihamid Nur (NnAz), Eric Jenkins (Nik), Lopez Lomong (NikBowTC).

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