NCAA Men’s 10,000 — The Patience of Jacobs

Dylan Jacobs outsprinted Alex Maier to win the first running final of the 2022 NCAA. (MIKE SCOTT)

NO TWO SCRIPTS ARE THE SAME. The ’21 NCAA 10K was the fastest yet, with 10 running under a meet record of 28:01.30 that had stood for 41 years. This time Dylan Jacobs surprised as champion in a patient cat-and-mouse game, never taking the lead until the final turn.

The Notre Dame junior’s 28:12.32 win came over Oklahoma State soph Alex Maier (28:12.68) as the unexpected 1–2 duo kicked away from favorite Abdihamid Nur (28:14.51) over the last 150. Jacobs — whose best-remembered prior win was back at the ’17 Foot Locker XC — zipped his last 200 in 27.6, last lap in 55.44 and his wrap-up 800 in 1:57.62 off a thoroughly negative-split race pattern, 14:16.4/13:55.9.

One man, however, sought to reprise “the last war.” With the evening still and neither warm nor cool, Athanas Kioko hared off from the gun with a 63.35 first lap that put him nearly 4 seconds up on the field.

The collective reaction looked to be a clear yet unspoken, “We’ll get ’im.” Campbell senior Kioko stuck to his guns. Though his early pace heat was cooling even as he reached 1600 in 4:19.12, he wasn’t coming back just yet.

Kioko’s lead over his hunters stood at 90m at 3200 — Kioko 8:51.68, 9:06.83 for Patrick Kiprop leading the ginormous pack.

Kioko reached 5K around 14:03, 12 seconds and change up on the pack, then his grip slackened: a 70m lead at 6K slipped over the next circuit to 50. Late in the 19th lap, the pack swallowed the bold soloist. Kioko, it must be acknowledged, never fully folded his tent and he wound up a respectable 5th in 28:17.17.

As the sizeable front group reached 4 to go, 5000 CR holder Nur drew near the front on the outside. The Northern Arizona junior’s expected MO was to control the finish with a long kick as he had in both the 5K and 3K at the NCAA Indoor.

From a bit more than 3 laps out, that’s what the favorite did, with Jacobs, a full head taller and clad in singlet and shorts of lucky Irish green, right on his shoulder. Nur buzzed lap 24 in 62.10, then surged for the kill on the backstretch.

Jacobs resisted, challenged back, both runners in full flight. At last midway through the turn, Jacobs charged ahead and Nur tightened.

Meier, who had rushed to 3rd at the bell, moved to 2nd at the end of the bend.

Jacobs ran on Notre Dame’s indoor distance medley winning-squad in ’19. He also tripped and fell on the eighth lap here, got up and found himself little the worse for his stumble.

Asked to connect his Foot Locker win nearly 5 years ago to this one, he said, “It feels like such a long time ago, but college is a whole different piece. I went through a whole lot of ups and downs early on, got my butt kicked a lot early in college, and it’s been slow trying to get to the top.

“Every day it’s kind of just day in and day out, being prepared, recovering, doing everything possible to become a better runner and I’m so fortunate to be able to be at this level right now and to compete against the best guys in the country.”


MEN’S 10,000 RESULTS

(June 08)

1. *Dylan Jacobs (NDm) 28:12.32 (55.44, 1:57.62, 3:04.02, 4:11.76)

(68.00, 69.05 [2:17.05], 68.05 [3:25.10], 69.37 [4:34.47], 68.40 [5:42.87], 66.42 [6:49.29], 68.57 [7:57.86], 70.31 [9:08.17], 68.90 [10:17.07], 67.23 [11:24.30], 69.02 [12:33.32], 69.35 [13:42.67], 67.40 [14:50.07], 68.21 [15:58.28], 69.91 [17:08.19], 68.01 [18:16.20], 68.74 [19:24.94], 67.76 [20:32.70], 67.89 [21:40.59], 70.46 [22:51.05], 69.51 [24:00.56], 67.74 [25:08.30], 66.40 [26:14.70], 62.18 [27:16.88], 55.44) (14:16.4/13:55.9);

2. **Alex Maier (OkSt) 28:12.68 (55.50, 1:57.62, 3:03.83, 4:11.53);

3. *Abdihamid Nur (NnAz) 28:14.51 (57.76, 1:59.86, 3:06.30, 4:14.04);

4. **Cole Sprout (Stan) 28:14.89 (56.87, 1:59.14, 3:05.80, 4:13.97);

5. Athanas Kioko’ (Campb-Ken) 28:17.17 (59.73, 2:01.77, 3:08.43, 4:16.98);

6. **Charles Hicks’ (Stan-GB) 28:17.88 (59.60, 2:02.65, 3:09.31, 4:17.12);

7. Adriaan Wildschutt’ (FlSt-SA) 28:18.28 (60.62, 2:03.40, 3:09.89, 4:17.97);

8. Aaron Bienenfeld’ (Or-Ger) 28:19.05 (59.77, 2:03.69, 3:10.08, 4:18.53);

9. *Barry Keane’ (Butler-Ire) 28:19.94; 10. Amon Kemboi’ (Ar-Ken) 28:21.64; 11. *Brandon Garnica (BYU) 28:21.81; 12. **Casey Clinger (BYU) 28:22.99; 13. ***Acer Iverson (Harv) 28:23.29; 14. **Patrick Kiprop’ (Ar-Ken) 28:26.25; 15. *James Mwaura (Gonz) 28:29.58; 16. *Matthew Carmody (NDm) 28:34.28; 17. Kieran Lumb’ (Wa-Can) 28:36.31; 18. *Matthew Pereira (Harv) 28:43.95; 19. **Haftu Strintzos’ (Vill-Aus) 28:47.35; 20. *Fearghal Curtin’ (ChSn-Ire) 28:52.40; 21. **Joshua Methner (NDm) 28:57.31; 22. **Bob Liking (Wi) 29:02.46; 23. ***Victor Kiprop’ (Al-Ken) 29:05.83; 24. Andrew Alexander’ (NDm-Can) 29:09.02.

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