Olympic Trials Women’s 10,000 — Emily Sisson’s Strategy Plays Out

Emily Sisson bided her time for the first mile… and then she was gone. (KEVIN MORRIS)

IT HELPED TO HAVE A GOOD RACE PLAN heading into the rescheduled Saturday-morning 10,000, and Emily Sisson displayed even better execution as she powered her way through a Meet Record 31:03.82.

Karissa Schweizer (31:16.52 ) duplicated her runner-up finish from the 5000 with a strong finishing lap to claim her second Tokyo berth, passing a fully spent Alicia Monson (31:18.55) as the Wisconsin grad advanced to the Olympics in just her third attempt at the distance.

Sisson’s long-time mentor Ray Treacy has guided more than a few Olympians and the Providence coach put together a race plan that played to her strength and front-running experience.

“The plan was to see how the first few laps go hoping someone else would take it and I could just sit in behind and I did that for the first mile,” Sisson said.

After a couple of 79-second laps, the 29-year-old favorite moved on to the frontrunning part of the plan heading past 2K in 6:24.77, noting. “If it was going a little slower than 76s or 77s and Ray said to just take it and try to go through 5K in 15:50 which I think we did. Then try to pick it up the last 5K and then wind it up in the last 5 laps.”

Sisson’s up-front presence was felt immediately with a 74.36 circuit and then sustained through 6 straight 75s to pass halfway right on plan in 15:49.18. Very steady and heady running on an 82-degree morning that had already pared the cumbersome 41-woman field to 10 contenders.

Then — true to her plan — Sisson picked it up again, tapping out a steady stream of 74s, reaching 8K in 25:06.79 and in the process putting an end to many an Olympic dream. New U.S. citizens Ednah Kurgat and Weini Kelati were dropped by 6K. Emily Infeld lost contact in the seventh K, Natasha Rodgers let go on the 19th lap, with Sara Hall to follow.

Said Sisson, “I’m used to leading from the front so it doesn’t really spook me. I was prepared to lead and it felt like a grind pretty early on but I knew, ‘Everyone else is feeling the heat too,’ so I didn’t really let it to affect me mentally.”

With 2K to go only Monson and the Tokyo 5K team of Schweizer, Elsie Cranny and Rachel Schneider were able to cling to Sisson’s dictate, that is before she moved on to that “wind it up in the last 5 laps” part of the plan.

Sisson began the push with a 72.58 that taxed the well-worn legs of the 5K squad who were into their 45th circuit of the Hayward Field oval. Schneider was left behind, and Monson jumped past Schweizer and Cranny.

Sisson broke free a lap later, ramping up the pace with 72.48, 71.47, 71.25 and 69.26 laps to close out a huge negative split 15:49.18/15:14.64 to make her first Olympic team — a bit of redemption after a disappointing DNF in the OT marathon back in February of ’20.

“The marathon trials really broke my heart,” she admitted. “That was so hard to go through. I went into this trial with only the goal to win and make the team and some days it works out, some days it doesn’t, but I’m really happy it worked out today.”

WOMEN’S 10,000 RESULTS

(June 26)

1. Emily Sisson (NBal) 31:03.82

(70.15, 78.41 [2:28.56], 79.55 [3:48.10], 79.45 [5:07.55], 77.13 [6:24.67], 74.36 [7:39.02], 75.39 [8:54.41], 75.07 [10:09.48], 75.24 [11:24.72], 75.51 [12:40.22], 75.93 [13:56.15], 75.49 [15:11.63], 74.71 [16:26.33], 74.16 [17:40.49], 74.23 [18:54.71], 73.78 [20:08.48], 74.52 [21:23.00], 75.07 [22:38.06], 74.60 [23:52.65], 74.14 [25:06.79], 72.58 [26:19.37], 72.48 [27:31.85], 71.47 [28:43.32], 71.25 [29:54.56], 69.26)

(15:49.18/15:14.64) (69.26, 2:20.50, 3:31.97, 4:44.45);

2. Karissa Schweizer (NikBowTC) 31:16.52 (15:50.30/15:26.22) (68.80, 2:22.53, 3:37.60, 4:54.69);

3. Alicia Monson (OnAC) 31:18.55 (15:50.85/15:27.70) (74.33, 2:27.47, 3:42.61, 4:57.56);

4. Elise Cranny (NikBowTC) 31:35.22 (15:50.04/15:45.18) (75.11, 2:34.27, 3:55.51, 5:14.08);

5. Rachel Schneider (Hoka) 31:42.92 (15:51.37/15:51.55) (76.70, 2:35.00, 3:53.29, 5:11.86);

6. Sara Hall (Asics) 31:54.50 (77.02, 2:36.53, 3:57.72, 5:17.70);

7. Natosha Rogers (HansB) 31:59.09 (73.95, 2:33.45, 3:53.31, 5:14.97);

8. Emily Infeld (NikBowTC) 32:19.94 (74.42, 2:33.07, 3:54.05, 5:17.75);

9. Emily Durgin (UArm) 32:25.45 (73.64, 2:32.76, 3:52.72, 5:13.71);

10. Jaci Smith (USAF) 32:33.33 (75.92, 2:33.94, 3:52.92, 5:11.92);

11. Ednah Kurgat (USAr) 32:36.93 (79.95, 2:42.93, 4:04.56, 5:28.44);

12. Kellyn Taylor (HokaNAZ) 32:42.00 (73.05, 2:33.37, 3:53.88, 5:14.26);

13. Stephanie Bruce (HokaNAZ) 32:42.01 (70.07, 2:27.28, 3:47.69, 5:12.18);

14. Makenna Myler (RunEl) 32:44.72 (75.40, 2:38.39, 4:02.05, 5:25.38);

15. Hannah Everson (USAF) 32:48.02 (75.02, 2:33.61, 3:52.30, 5:12.57);

16. Anne-Marie Blaney (HansB) 32:49.26 (77.54, 2:34.96, 3:55.14, 5:15.61);

17. Nell Rojas (RISE) 32:51.43;

18. Lauren Hurley (unat) 32:52.60;

19. Makena Morley (Asics) 33:02.87;

20. Fiona Okeeffe (Puma) 33:03.09;

21. Elvin Kibet (USAr) 33:06.17;

22. Lindsay Flanagan (Asics) 33:08.69;

23. Katrina Coogan (NBalB) 33:10.22;

24. Elaina Tabb (BAA) 33:10.86;

25. Olivia Pratt (HansB) 33:11.88;

26. Maya Weigel (PenDC) 33:14.59;

27. Carrie Verdon (TracksmTmBou) 33:18.61;

28. Maria Mettler (USAF) 33:20.96;

29. Emma Bates (Asics) 33:21.00;

30. Carrie Dimoff (BowTC) 33:25.00;

31. Grace Forbes (Rice) 33:28.98;

32. Cailie Logue (IaSt) 33:32.51;

33. Sarah Pagano 33:39.98;

34. Paige Stoner (ReebB) 33:43.28;

35. Amy Davis (HansB) 33:47.01;

36. Marielle Hall (NikBowTC) 34:35.79;

37. Jessica Watychowicz (TracksmCSTC) 35:01.12;

… dnf—Weini Kelati (UArmDS), Erika Kemp (BAA), Lauren Paquette (HokaNAZ), Gwen Jorgensen (NikBowTC).

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