Rupp claims sixth consecutive U.S. 10,000m title

Fri Jun 27, 2014 2:10am EDT
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(Reuters) - Olympic silver medalist Galen Rupp comfortably won his sixth consecutive national 10,000 meters title at the U.S. championships on Thursday.

America's top distance athlete surged past runner-up Chris Derrick with around 500 meters remaining and finished in a time of 28 minutes, 12.07 seconds - more than a minute off his month-old U.S. record - at Sacramento, California.

"I was just trying to run as easy as possible. I didn't want to make it any harder than it needed to be," Rupp told reporters. "My plan all along was just to sit back and then go hard with a lap to go."

Derrick wound up six seconds adrift with Ryan Vail third.

Olympian Kim Conley pleased the hometown crowd by taking the women's 10,000 in 32:02.07 as she surged past runner-up Jordan Hasay.

"Coming off that final turn, I had so many friends and family here that I had to finish it," Conley said.

Most of the day was devoted to qualifying with world champion LaShawn Merritt easing through his 400m heat in 45.19 seconds, second fastest of the session.

Olympic silver medalist Leo Manzano also went through, pacing 1,500 meters qualifiers in 3:42.01.

But with no world championship or Olympic berth at stake this year, a number of top U.S. athletes are skipping the competition.   Continued...