This is the first piece from our Olympic Trials intern, Olivia Miller. Olivia is a junior at Emerson College, and she is an almost native Eugene. For the trials, I promised her experience working in the Olympic Trials. Since 2004, I have tried to offer young journalists a real-life chance to work in our crazy media world. 

I hope you enjoy her first piece for RunBlogRun. 

Fisher, Kincaid, and Young Secure Olympic Berths in Eugene, by Olivia Miller 

The slate is set for the three men who will be representing the U.S. in the 10,000m final. After 25 laps in 86-degree heat at Hayward Field, Grant Fisher, Woody Kincaid, and Nico Young cemented their place as runners in the 2024 Paris Olympics.

The 10,000m featured an early lead from Conner Mantz, who set a blistering pace running the first mile in 4:18. He led until the 17th lap. Sammy Chelanga, Andrew Colley, and Olympian Paul Chelimo each took turns trying to break the field.

With roughly 1,000 meters to go, Fisher decided he was done biding his time and confidently surged ahead. Unable to respond, Kincaid, Young, and Hunter battled for the remaining two qualifying spots. Fisher crossed the line first in 27:49.47, followed closely by Kincaid (27:50.74) and Young (27:52.40). Former high school track star Drew Hunter ultimately finished in fourth (27:53.35).

The 10,000m is unique in its qualifying structure. Unlike many other events, it’s not uncommon for participants to enter without meeting the standard Olympic Trials qualifying time of 27:45.00. Interestingly, the qualifying window is significantly longer than other events. For the 2024 Olympic Trials, it began December 31, 2022. Almost every other event—with the exception of the 20km race walk and combined events—opened on July 1, 2023.

The Men’s 10,000m medalists: Woody Kincaid, silver, Grant Fisher, gold, Nico Young, bronze, photo by Chuck Aragon,

Unsurprisingly, Fisher, Kincaid, and Young have made the Olympic team. They were the only contestants to run a sub-27, the Olympic qualifying time. Third place for Hunter wouldn’t have been enough to get to Paris.

To qualify for the Olympics, anyone other than the aforementioned three would have to run under 27 minutes and place in the top three. Considering that only 8 of the 23 runners even had a qualifying Olympic Trials time of 27:45.00, it was highly unlikely.

After the race in the mixed zone, Fisher expressed that he still raced with caution.

“There’s a lot of anticipation going into the trials. You never know what’s going to happen, and you don’t know who is going to show up.”

Fisher and Kincaid will return for their second Olympic appearance, having competed in the Tokyo Games. In their previous Olympic 10,000m race, Fisher claimed 5th place, while Kincaid secured 15th. Young of Northern Arizona—who earned collegiate titles in the NCAA indoor 3,000m and 5,000m this year—will be heading to his first-ever Olympics.

​ 

 

By