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HomeAthleticsMANTZ, O'KEEFFE WIN THRILLING OLYMPIC TRIALS MARATHON

MANTZ, O’KEEFFE WIN THRILLING OLYMPIC TRIALS MARATHON


MANTZ, O’KEEFFE WIN THRILLING OLYMPIC TRIALS MARATHON
By David Monti, @d9monti
(c) 2024 Race Outcomes Weekly, all rights reserved, used with Permission ORLANDO (03-Feb) — Conner Mantz and Fiona O’Keeffe scored spectacular victories this morning on the USA Olympic Workforce Trials Marathon, clinching their Paris Olympic crew spots with robust occasions.  Mantz, 27, who had the quickest qualifying time for these Trials, broke away late within the race along with his coaching companion Clayton Younger and completed in 2:09:05, simply three seconds slower than Ryan Corridor’s 2007 occasion report.  Younger solely completed a second again and in addition made the Olympic crew.  O’Keeffe, 25, made a sensational marathon debut, pulling away from the pack within the nineteenth mile and working alone to the end in a Trials report of two:22:10, a USA debut report.  Behind her, Emily Sisson (2:22:42) and Dakotah Lindwurm (2:25:31) booked the opposite two crew spots.The third-place man, Leonard Korir, solely secured a provisional crew spot.  The USA has not but “unlocked” a 3rd quota place for the Paris 2024 Males’s Marathon, and Korir’s time at the moment of two:09:57 was effectively off the two:08:10 required by World Athletics to safe a 3rd spot.  It’s nonetheless doable for him to safe a crew berth by means of the World Athletics factors system or if one other USA athlete runs beneath the time customary by Could fifth.  It’s largely out of Korir’s arms at this level.

PANNING BREAKS THE RACE OPEN

Zach Panning, the highest American from final summer season’s World Athletics Championships Marathon, was the primary athlete to make a severe transfer in at the moment’s males’s race.  Panning, 28, who trains with the Hansons-Brooks Unique Distance Undertaking, surged to the lead in the course of the sixth mile, recording a 4:49 mile cut up.  Sixteen males stayed with him, however that will quickly change.

“After I noticed Zach hit the entrance at 5 and a half miles, I checked out Clayton,” stated Mantz, who represents Nike.  “I simply checked out him.  I didn’t even nod.  He checked out me, and I used to be like, we’re going for it.”

Panning, carrying a vibrant yellow cap and sun shades, ran a blistering sequence of miles: 4:49, 4:48, 4:47, 4:51, 4:49, 4:48, and 4:52 by means of the 13-mile mark.  He hit midway in 1:04:07, which put the Paris qualifying customary of two:08:10 inside his grasp.  Solely seven different males had been in a position to maintain that tempo: Mantz, Younger, Korir, Teshome Mekonen, Galen Rupp, Elkanah Kibet, Andrew Colley, Shadrack Kipchirchir, and Nathan Martin.

Panning felt assured.  He had skilled in Florida all winter and knew what the nice and cozy and sunny circumstances would imply later within the race.  Nonetheless a younger marathoner, he felt free to experiment.

Zach Panning, Connor Mantz, Clayton Younger, photograph by Kevin Morris, 2024 US Olympic Trials

“This was my first Trials and, I might say, inexperience was exhibiting slightly bit,” he stated later.  “I’m actually pleased with how I raced.”

Panning saved up the recent tempo by means of 16 miles, then pushed even more durable within the seventeenth mile, the place he ran 4:44, the quickest of the race.  That introduced the pack down to 5: Panning, Mantz, Korir, Colley, and Kibet.  Rupp was 5 seconds again and would proceed to fade within the last miles of the race to complete sixteenth in 2:14:07.  His quest for a fifth Olympic crew was over.  Colley would additionally drop out.

“I did one of the best I might to get throughout the road,” a weary Rupp instructed reporters.  “It simply wasn’t my day at the moment.  It’s clearly actually disappointing.  I had hoped to do higher. It’s simply the best way it goes generally.”

After hitting the 20-mile mark in 1:37:22, Panning’s vitality began to wane.  His subsequent three miles had been 4:59, 5:08, and 5:06.  The two:08:10 end time, which appeared so doable ten miles earlier than, was now inconceivable.

“I executed the race plan however possibly bought slightly antsy slightly early,” Panning lamented.  “Simply possibly a pinch too excited.  It’s hindsight 20-20.  I’m actually pleased with how I raced, and I feel I did all the things I might.”

By the 24-mile mark, Mantz and Younger had been alone.  Panning was 18 seconds again, and Kibet was coming for him.  Panning solely managed a 6:03 for his twenty sixth mile and would end sixth in 2:09:33.

Clayton Younger, Connor Mantz, U.S. Olympic Workforce Marathon Trials
Orlando, Florida
February 3, 2024, photograph by Kevin Morris

However the battle for third wasn’t over.  Korir discovered new energy after mentally giving up earlier within the race.  He realized that he might catch Kibet and handed him with about 800m to go to take third in 2:09:57.  Korir had been fourth on the 2020 Trials and didn’t need that to occur once more.

“After I noticed these guys coming again to me and I used to be seeing it was like 800 meters to go, and I used to be like, don’t end fourth once more,” Korir instructed Race Outcomes Weekly.  “Strive no matter you’ve bought to do.”

Kibet bought fourth in 2:10:02 (a brand new USA masters report by one second), and C.J. Albertson –who was solely in ninth place at midway– took fifth in 2:10:07.

Two pre-race favorites, Scott Fauble and Sam Chelanga, dropped out.

O’KEEFFE STUNS IN MARATHON DEBUT

O’Keeffe solely certified for these Trials with a half-marathon efficiency (1:09:34), so it will need to have come as a shock to her rivals when she and Lindwurm moved to the lead within the eleventh mile and went by means of midway in a quick 1:11:43.  A really robust group of girls had been behind them together with Sisson, Keira D’Amato, Sara Corridor, Emily Durgin, Makenna Myler, Caroline Rotich, Nell Rojas, Lindsay Flanagan, Betsy Saina and Annie Frisbie.

“I suppose it felt proper,” O’Keeffe defined to reporters later about why she went to the entrance.  “Possibly slightly little bit of not figuring out what I used to be entering into.”

O’Keeffe determined to roll the cube within the seventeenth mile and recorded a 5:16 cut up, the quickest of the race to date.  She ran 5:27 for the 18th mile, then 5:22 for the nineteenth.  That daring transfer launched her into sole possession of the lead.

Fiona O’Keeffe debuts in a win, U.S. Olympic Workforce Marathon Trials
Orlando, Florida
February 3, 2024, photograph by Kevin Morris

“That is going to sound corny, however I simply didn’t need to have any regrets at the moment,” O’Keeffe instructed reporters.  “I wasn’t positive at that stage if it was a mistake or if it was going to repay.  I simply wished to go for it.”

O’Keeffe ran alone from there to the end.  When she broke the tape, her race bib was pink and stained with blood. The bundle of an vitality gel packet she had tucked into her race uniform had chafed her.

Sisson pulled away from the remainder of the ladies and, like O’Keeffe, ran alone to the end in 2:22:42.

Emily Sisson takes second, U.S. Olympic Workforce Marathon Trials
Orlando, Florida
February 3, 2024, images by Kevin Morris

“I attempted to maintain my eyes on her,” Sisson stated of O’Keeffe.  “Fiona ran a terrific race. It was an incredible debut.”

The battle for third was epic.  Lindwurm was solely in sixth place on the 20-mile mark however moved as much as fourth by mile 21 and edged previous Rotich to get into third place within the twenty second mile.  It could not be till the twenty fifth mile that Rotich needed to let go, and Lindwurm clinched the third and last crew spot.

Dakota Lindwurm takes third, U.S. Olympic Workforce Marathon Trials
Orlando, Florida
February 3, 2024, photograph by Kevin Morris

“It feels so good,” Lindwurm instructed reporters.  “If I’ve dreamed of this as soon as, I’ve dreamed of it a thousand occasions.  It virtually doesn’t really feel actual.  I can’t let you know what number of occasions I pictured holding this American flag.  I don’t know if I’m ever going to take it off.

Fourth place went to unheralded Jessica McClain.  McClain was in thirteenth place at midway (1:12:38), and slowly moved up within the second half working her personal race.  She clocked a four-minute private finest of two:25:46 and completed much better than most anticipated.

“I understand how to run within the warmth, so I knew to be affected person,” McClain stated.  “Just about each marathon I’ve run, that’s what I can base my expertise on.  Lots of people have come again to me every time.  I do know I’m a great second half of the race runner, so I simply tried to remain inside myself.”

Corridor, who’s 40, completed fifth in 2:26:06, a nationwide masters report.  These had been her eighth Olympic Trials (combining observe and marathon Trials).  She has but to make an Olympic crew, and a reporter requested her if she would attempt once more in 2028.

“I by no means thought I’d nonetheless be doing this at this level, so I’d by no means say by no means,” Corridor stated.  “I’m simply going to maintain doing this so long as I’m having fun with it and enhancing.  I’m very grateful for that.”

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