Joe Klecker Upsets American Record Holder Grant Fisher To Win 2022 USA 10,000 Title

Sean McGorty clinches third for Team USA as Emmanuel Bor travels just short of the finish line

May 27, 2022

EUGENE, Oré. – The first 24 rounds of the USATF Men’s 10,000 Meters Championships on Friday were largely drama-free except for the defending U.S. champion Woody Kincaid exiting the track at 6600m after catching his sore side with what felt like a cramp. But the last round? It was the kind of excitement that 10k fans live for.

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Heck, forget the last lap. In the last 100 meters alone, the following things happened:

Joe Klecker held by American record holder Grant Fisher to win his first U.S. title, 28:28.71 to 28:28.81

Emmanuel Bor went from what looked like a guaranteed spot in the squad with 50 yards to go to clearing yards before the finish line

Sean McGorty rose from 6th to 3rd to make his first All-American team 10 months after undergoing Achilles surgery – his fifth operation in the last five years

Klecker edges Fisher

The victory was significant not only for Klecker, who was a two-time NCAA finalist in college but never a champion, but also for his team On Athletics Club, which won its first U.S. track title during its second full year of existence. Fisher, meanwhile, will have to wait for his first U.S. title, but he’ll have the comfort of competing at Worlds with his close friend McGorty, a longtime teammate first at Stanford and now at Bowerman Track Club, who put two men on the 10,000 team for the second consecutive year. And while Dillon Maggard was the fourth official finisher in 28:30.75 (another strong result in what has been a career year), Bor is the one who will feel like the odd one out. Turned down the chance to compete at the World Indoors earlier this year by the US militaryBor was only yards away from making his first USA away team but couldn’t hold on and stumbled heartbreakingly, forced to watch McGorty walk past him from the ground.

the race

The pace was very slow at first (2:30 to 800), which forced Hansons-Brooks to Panning Zach to take the lead and pick up the tempo, with only Sam Chelanga Next. They were finally caught by 3200 meters (9:22) and the pace will remain moderate for most of the race, with the peloton reaching 5k in 14:31.27 and 8k in 23:08.24. Three laps from the finish, 16 men remain in the leading pack. It would come down to a kick.

After a penultimate lap of 65.30, Klecker took the lead with two to go and began his long run to the finish, dropping the pace to 60.24 and shaking off some of the contenders. At the end of the bell round, six men remained in contention to make the team: Klecker, Fisher, 2018/2019 United States champion Lopez LomongMcGorty and American cross-country champion Shadrack Kipchirchir.

On the final corner, Klecker, Fisher and Bor started to separate, and those three were clear with 100 yards to go as Klecker and Fisher brushed Bor aside and started to fight in earnest for the win. Fisher, running outside Klecker, briefly took the lead, but Klecker didn’t relent and broke Fisher just yards from the line, giving him a chance to raise a finger in celebration as he broke the tape. Klecker ran his final lap in 54.81 and his final 800 in an impressive 1:55.05.

There was more drama a few steps behind them. Bor, who looked like he was on the team with 50 players to play, glanced over his shoulder to check if anyone was winning on him. Turns out someone was: McGorty, who was in 6th behind Lomong and Kipchirchir on the final turn, but now cutting lane three.

Bor suddenly became more interested in blocking McGorty than going the shortest distance to the finish line, drifting to lane three himself, but McGorty noticed the move and in response began to drift gently in lane two to avoid it. Bor tried to respond by moving to lane two himself, but lost his balance in doing so, falling to the ground as McGorty passed to clinch the third and final spot for Team USA. Bor finished 8th in 28:32.90.

The results, analysis and post-race interviews appear below.

Quick Take: Joe Klecker, finally national champion

Klecker was a two-time NCAA runner-up in Colorado, but missed two of his best opportunities to win a national title as the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships were canceled in his final year of 2020 due to COVID- 19. So even though Klecker has been a pro for less than two years, it must be pretty nice for him to finally qualify as a national champion.

Beating Grant Fisher to do it was a big deal and Fisher had Klecker’s number throughout his NCAA career. In fact, since their first game as high school seniors at the adidas Dream Mile in 2015, Klecker had been 0-19 against Fisher. Until tonight.

Quick Take: The wait for a US title continues for Fisher

Going into this race, we wondered what strategy Fisher would choose to employ. With a pb over 30 seconds faster than anyone else on the pitch, if he was solely focused on winning, his best strategy might have been to try and break the pitch long before the bell. – but it might also have been a bit more risky. in terms of leaving him more vulnerable to a blowout and not finishing in the top 3. Fisher later revealed Team Bowerman’s tactic was simple – wait for the last 400. They were confident in their kicks and didn’t want to lead.

Fisher said he wasn’t thrilled with his tactics as he thought he had too much body to contend with in the closing laps and thought Klecker was better positioned tactically, but gave credit to Klecker for getting the job done . Fisher admitted he was disappointed not to win.

Quick take: Sean McGorty made his first world team less than a year after Achilles surgery

McGorty was thrilled to make his first American team. He said on the last lap there was a ton of traffic to contend with, but in the end he joined the team after Bor crashed. He said that even without the schedule change of moving 10,000 to three weeks before the United States, he would have run 10,000 this year. He didn’t want to run the steeple – the event he contested at Trials last year – because it would involve seven water jumps per race and he didn’t want to put additional stress on his leg while recovering the Achilles surgery he had last time. year. However, he did not rule out a return to the steeple in the future.

Quick take: Emmanuel Bor was too worried about McGorty in the last 50 meters and it may have cost him a place in his world first team

With 70 yards to go, Bor had a five yard lead over McGorty and looked like the third member of the USA team. But he was also clearly starting to tire, and when he looked behind him to check if anyone was winning, he saw McGorty, who suddenly became all Bor could think of for the rest of the way home. Rather than mustering what little energy he had left to reach the finish line, Bor focused on staying in front of McGorty, moving first to lane three in an attempt to outrun him. block, then going back into lane two once McGorty. tried to cut inside.

We understand the temptation to stay ahead of someone, but the goal of racing is to reach the finish line first and the shortest way to get there will always be the straight line. Bor should have just ducked his head and sprinted as hard as he could once he saw McGorty coming. Bor still may not have beaten him (McGorty shut down really hard), but he would have reached the finish line faster and had a better chance of staying on his feet.

Quick take: Woody Kincaid had a cramp

We didn’t speak to Kincaid but we heard he had a cramp. He was obviously in pain when he ran off the track with 3,400 meters to go.

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