Shalane Flanagan outkicked Kara Goucher on Friday night to win the US Olympic Trials 10,000 meters, 31:34.81 to 31:37.72. Amy Begley finished third in what was perhaps the best race of the evening, however, as she ran a 16 second personal best to earn the Olympic "A" qualifier and finish third in 31:43.60.
The three left the pack mid-race and opened a large gap, with Begley even taking a turn at the lead for some time. In the end, however, it was Flanagan v Goucher until the final 300 meters, when Shalane Flanagan found another gear and sped off to victory. I have to say, I admire Begley for being the only runner willing to take a shot at staying with Goucher and Flanagan. I have no doubt that training with Goucher everyday helped give her the self-efficacy to go for it.
This was the fifth US title on the track for Flanagan, who has also won titles at 3,000 meters indoors (2003, 2007) and 5,000 meters outdoors (2005, 2007). This also marked the third time Goucher has been the runner up at the US Championships. She's still yet to win a title outside of college.
I put together two lenses about Flanagan and Goucher. As always, they are the most comprehensive biographies on the web for each runner, as well as great resources for stats, trivia, and debating where these runners rank all-time. I've included US all-time top 10 lists as well, so you can see how high they rank (hint: it's very high!).
One last comment, and that's about the TV coverage tonight. I joked yesterday in my prediction post (that correctly predicted the top two...booyah) that I was sad the TV coverage would spend more time on the 100 meters than the 10,000 meters. Well, they showed an awful lot of the 10,000 meters tonight. And the 5,000 meter PRELIMS. Awesome. I take back my joke from yesterday. A tip of my hat to NBC.