USATF Men’s 10K — Lomong Extends His Range

You have to go back many a decade to find a winner of such diverse distances as Lopez Lomong. (MIKE SCOTT)

In one sense the 10K won by Lopez Lomong rang familiar for our time. The 33-year-old’s 28:58.38 winning mark was slow like last year’s winner by Hassan Mead (29:01.44). And by another measure Lomong’s victory was evocative of a long gone era as the Bowerman TC veteran became only the second past 1500/mile champion to add a 10,000 title to his collection, following in the spike marks of Joie Ray in… 1928!

Lomong won the metric mile in ’09 and ’10—after a 3rd-place showing in ’08, in which season he also placed 5th in the 800 for the second year in a row—and with his swift-kicking display here to win from Rio 10K Olympian Shadrack Kipchirchir (28:59.67) staked a claim to both range and longevity. An appropriate new challenge will be to match Ray in the latter of these categories. A 3-time Olympian and mile WR setter, Ray won the first of his 8 national mile titles in ’16, 12 years before his 10K victory. He also won the long track race, a 5-miler, in ’16. Ray had predecessors too. In 1888–91 Thomas Conneff won a pair of mile crowns and four 5M titles. Before Conneff, Edward Carter won nationals mile/5M doubles in 1886 and ’87.

Distance runners tend not to come to Des Moines in late June seeking fast times, and although heat wasn’t much of a factor at the start (Lomong wore arm warmers), the field dawdled out behind Ben Bruce’s 72.87 first lap and stuck to lap times above 70 for the first half. On laps 14 & 15, Kipchirchir threw in some pace—64.49 followed by 65.56—to lead a 4-man breakaway, including Lomong, Brooks Beast Garrett Heath and Elkanah Kibet of the U.S. Army squad.

The tempo drifted back up to 70s and 71s for the next 5 go-rounds, so at the end of a 67 circuit with 4 laps left 6 ran in the front group headed by Tinman Elite’s Reed Fischer. Matt McClintock ran in front of Kibet in 5th. When lap 24 went in 68 seconds, there was only one more in which to settle the score. At the bell Kipchirchir led Lomong, Fischer, Heath and Kibet with just 0.41 separating the quintet.

The rush for home commenced, Kipchirchir and Lomong busted free from the rest entering the backstretch and with a drum corps beating a tattoo, Kipchirchir, the Kenyan-born former U.S. Army star who had placed 2nd the last two years, led and Lomong chased. Lomong swung wide off the turn and finally found some miler’s speed to get past Kipchirchir some 50m from home. With one glance over his shoulder, he opened his margin to about 7m at the end, having covered his last 100 in 12.0 to Kipchirchir’s 13.4. Last laps: 54.15 and 55.55. Behind Kipchirchir’s 28:59.67, his training mate Kibet was 3rd in 29:05.51 in front of Fischer’s 29:06.81.

Said the winner, “I didn’t win the USA championship in the 800, but I came so close, but 15 and 10, this is good. It’s a good thing and I’m just going to continue doing it. Next season is going to be a new block to see on my training log, and we’ll see how that is going.” He added, “We’ll maybe do a few things here and there and tweak and go for it, just go out and put the USA jersey on again.”


USATF MEN’S 10,000 RESULTS

(June 21)

1. Lopez Lomong (BowTC) 28:58.38

(73.50 [1:13.50], 73.92 [2:27.42], 70.93 [3:38.35], 73.42 [4:51.77], 73.53 [6:05.30], 70.40 [7:15.70], 70.71 [8:26.41], 71.14 [9:37.55], 70.44 [10:47.99], 70.36 [11:58.35], 69.88 [13:08.23], 69.09 [14:17.32], 68.74 [15:26.06], 64.40 [16:30.46], 65.56 [17:36.02], 71.89 [18:47.91], 70.77 [19:58.68], 69.71 [21:08.39], 70.14 [22:18.53], 71.15 [23:29.68], 67.36 [24:37.04], 69.57 [25:46.61], 69.50 [26:56.11], 68.12 [28:04.23], 54.15)

(12.0, 25.5, 54.15, 2:02.27, 3:11.77, 4:21.34);

2. Shadrack Kipchirchir (Nik) 28:59.67

(13.4, 27.0, 55.55, 2:03.77, 3:13.31, 4:22.87);

3. Elkanah Kibet (USAr) 29:05.51

(60.98, 2:08.95, 3:18.49, 4:27.79);

4. Reed Fischer (Tinman) 29:06.81

(62.43, 2:11.15, 3:20.67, 4:30.23);

5. Garrett Heath (Brk) 29:09.15

(64.67, 2:12.75, 3:22.27, 4:31.90);

6. Matthew McClintock (ZapF) 29:11.47;

7. Ryan Mahalsky (HansBrk) 29:18.16;

8. Zachary Zarda (KCSm) 29:23.38;

9. Zachery Panning (GVal) 29:23.97;

10. Mark Parrish (PureA) 29:24.92;

11. Colin Bennie (Syr) 29:27.14;

12. Joel Reichow (TUSAMn) 29:28.10;

13. Kevin Lewis (TUSAMn) 29:42.59;

14. Ben Bruce (Hoka) 29:48.16;

15. Tyler Mueller (Tinman) 29:52.91;

16. Kyle Masterson (Skech) 29:53.60;

17. Sean Davidson (HokaAg) 29:58.55;

18. Gregory Leak (TacomaC) 30:06.49;

19. Nicholas Kipruto (USAr) 30:19.75;

20. Craig Lautenslager (unat) 30:21.73;

21. Will Geiken (HokaAg) 30:25.29;

22. Rajpaul Pannu (HokaAg) 30:46.07;

… dnf—Sid Vaughn (HudsonE).

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