NCAA Men’s 10,000 — Formchart? Flanagan Didn’t Need Any Stinking Formchart

Ben Flanagan came from 0.8 down with 100m to go to edge out Vincent Kiprop. (BILL LEUNG)

Championship 10,000s often go one of two ways; fast from the start, or a big sprint among a half dozen or so over the final lap. This one actually had both.

A trio of Alabama Kenyans, led by favored Vincent Kiprop, immediately went to the front and set an unsustainable pace of 60.94/2:05.49 for the first 2 laps, which immediately strung out the field before a chase pack formulated and bridged the gap to the leading threesome just before the completion of four laps (4:24.18).

The pace dropped to 70/71 for the second mile, as Northern Arizona soph Tyler Day became the first to break up the Crimson Tide trio. Just before 9 laps, Day—No. 2 on the formchart—was joined by teammate Matthew Baxter, and the Lumberjack pair began to push the pace, just as they did at the XC Champs last fall, when they finished 3rd and 2nd, leading their team to the title.

A steady diet of laps in the 68–69 range, passing halfway in 14:15.96, slowly whittled down the field until, with 6 laps remaining, only 8 were still in contention. Kigen went back to the lead, and even though the pace slowed, the contenders continued to shrink until 3 laps remained, with a half-dozen—Kigen, Baxter, Day, Jacob Thomson of Kentucky, Utah State’s Dillon Maggard, and Big 10 champ Ben Flanagan of Michigan—still together.

Maggard, who seemed to be marshalling his energy throughout the race, taking his time to cover moves and only passing when a gap started to form, moved around the pack with 600m to go, and took the lead heading into the bell, looking like he might run away with it.

But into the backstretch, Kiprop sprinted with the same burst of speed he showed on the opening lap, and moved past Maggard, as did Flanagan.

The diminutive Kenyan opened up 2m on Flanagan on the final turn, and looked to be on his way to victory until the 23-year-old Canadian, not known for his speed, put in a burst that swept him into the lead with 40m remaining.

The Wolverine senior’s last lap was a swift 56.95, giving him a PR win over Kiprop 28:34.53–28:34.99. It was Michigan’s first title in the event since John Scherer won back to back titles in ’89 & ’90.

Said the under-the-radar winner, who came into the meet with a PR of 29:13.72 that dated back to ’16, didn’t make T&FN’s Top 10 formchart, “Going into this race, I knew I had a shot. I knew it was an outside shot, but I told myself if I was in the top 3 to not get too excited about it. If I’m in contention for the win, don’t settle for anything else.”

Maggard (28:38.36 PR) held on for 3rd ahead of Day (28:39.03) and Baxter (28:39.35), with Thomson 6th in 28:40.50.

Galen Rupp ’09 remains the only American to win this event in the last 15 years.


NCAA MEN’S 10,000 RESULTS

(June 06)

1. Ben Flanagan’ (Mi) 28:34.53 PR

(64.35, 65.31 [2:09.66], 66.37 [3:16.03], 68.15 [4:24.18], 71.31 [5:35.49], 70.73 [6:46.22], 70.60 [7:56.82], 71.27 [9:08.09], 69.84 [10:17.93], 66.53 [11:24.46], 68.94 [12:33.40], 68.96 [13:42.36], 69.28 [14:51.64], 69.51 [16:01.15], 69.35 [17:10.50], 68.93 [18:19.43], 69.07 [19:28.50], 69.08 [20:37.58], 70.67 [21:48.25], 71.31 [22:59.56], 71.19 [24:10.75], 70.80 [25:21.55], 70.97 [26:32.52], 65.07 [27:37.59], 56.94)

(13.8, 27.8, 56.94, 2:02.01, 3:12.98, 4:23.78);

2. *Vincent Kiprop’ (Al) 28:34.99

(14.6, 28.5, 57.36, 2:02.72, 3:13.64, 4:24.44);

3. Dillon Maggard (UtSt) 28:38.36 PR

(61.02, 2:05.49, 3:15.95, 4:26.50);

4. **Tyler Day (NnAz) 28:39.03

(60.52, 2:06.32, 3:17.33, 4:28.06);

5. Matthew Baxter’ (NnAz) 28:39.35

(61.08, 2:06.90, 3:17.23, 4:27.95);

6. Jacob Thomson (Ky) 28:40.50 PR

(61.34, 2:07.88, 3:18.67, 4:29.33);

7. *Gilbert Kigen’ (Al) 28:55.66;

8. *Robert Brandt (UCLA) 29:13.12;

9. Colin Bennie (Syr) 29:13.66;

10. Arséne Guillorel’ (Samf) 29:16.71;

11. Grant Fischer (CoSt) 29:20.73;

12. *Connor McMillan (BYU) 29:32.65;

13. *Lawrence Kipkoech’ (Camp) 29:34.52;

14. Michael Crozier (Gtn) 29:38.21;

15. *Frank Lara (Furm) 29:42.87;

16. *Alfred Chelanga’ (Al) 29:44.08;

17. **Emmanuel Roudolff-Levisse’ (Port) 29:45.39;

18. Jonathan Green (Gtn) 29:46.57;

19. Nahom Solomon (GaT) 29:46.96;

20. Matt Welch (Port) 30:02.69;

21. Mike Tate’ (SnUt) 30:14.75;

22. ***Conner Mantz (BYU) 31:37.34;

23. *Clayton Young (BYU) 31:37.54;

24. *Rory Linkletter’ (BYU) 31:37.69. □

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