Chris Solinsky ended up placing third.
Bernard Lagat appears to be practically unbeatable this year. On Thursday, he defeated a stacked field to win the 5,000m event at the Melbourne Track Classic. Lagat’s winning time was 13:08.43. The rabbits did the heavy lifting up to 3000m mark (13:18 pace). Six runners, including Lagat, Matt Tegenkamp, and Chris Solinsky, had managed to hang on. At that point, Lagat and Solinsky took turns leading.
With 800m remaining, it came down to four runners: Lagat, Solinksy, Tegenkamp, and Australia’s Ben St. Lawrence.
And at the bell lap, it appeared to become a two-man race between Lagat, the American 5,000m record holder and Solinksy, the American 10,000m record holder. However, as the runners cleared the final straight, St. Lawrence put on the jets and nearly caught the two. Lagat sensed the surge and exploded ahead. Solinsky had no counter and St. Lawrence passed him.
Ben St. Lawrence finished second in 13:10.05, while Solinsky had to settle for third in 13:10.22. It was a stunning 15-second PR for St. Lawrence.
“I had so much fun running here today. I knew that I had been training really, really well,” said Lagat after his victory lap.
Solinsky, Lagat, Tegenkamp, and Andy Bumbalough all ran fast enough to earn the Olympic ‘A’ qualifying time (13:20:00).
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