Friday, June 3, 2011

Distance night at the Nike Prefontaine Classic...

7:45 pm--Welcome to distance night here at the Nike Prefontaine Classic from Hayward Field in Eugene.

We are about an hour into this world record 25k/30k attempt and Moses Mosop (photo by Paul Merca) of Kenya is ahead of world record pace, going through 20k at 58:02.2.

I am sitting up high in the press box here at Hayward Field.  It feels like a a gathering of the gang from Berlin two years ago, with all of the regular media folks here for this stop on the Samsung Diamond League tour!

I'll add stuff during the course of the evening.  We will have a women's 5000 at about 8:30, and the men's 10000 at close to 9 pm.

7:52 pm--Mosop will get the world 25k record at 1:12:25.2!  He's got 5 k to go!

9:45 pm--Finally got back upstairs from playing photographer down on the track.

Great Britain's Mo Farah (left/photo by Paul Merca), who originally was born in Somalia,  set a European and British  record in the men's 10000, running 26:46.57.

The old European record was set by Mohammed Mourhit of Belgium in 1999, running 26:52.30.

Farah, who is now being coached by Nike Oregon Project leader Alberto Salazar, stayed in the pack, moving up toward the front with about a kilometer to go, leaving in his wake a talented field including Ethiopia's Imane Merga (26:48.35, a PR), Josphat Bett of Kenya (26:48.99), and Paul Tanui of Kenya (26:50.63).

Such was the depth of this race that nine men broke 27 minutes in this race. Fourteen runners set personal bests Friday night, and of the 26 starters, 19 men finished under 28 minutes.

American record holder Chris Solinsky dropped out shortly after the 3000 meter mark.  Former Oregon star Galen Rupp did not start.

In the women's 5000 which was a Samsung Diamond League race, Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya set a meet record, running 14:33.96 to take the Diamond League lead, having won in Shanghai.

It was a Kenyan sweep, as Linet Masai was second in 14:35.44, and Mercy Cherono was third in a PR 14:37.01.

Texas Tech grad Sally Kipyego, who now trains in Eugene,  was fourth in 14:39.71.  Shalane Flanagan was sixth in 14:49.68.

Kara Goucher was ninth at 15:11.47.

The meet resumes Saturday morning, with action starting at 10:00 am, and the NBC Sports show airing beginning at 11:30 am.

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