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Posted: June 29, 2009  :

(RRW) Athletics: Rupp Selects Johnson As Agent

From David Monti

© 2009 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

EUGENE (28-Jun) -- Race Results Weekly has learned that NCAA and USA 10,000m champion Galen Rupp of the University of Oregon has chosen 400 meter world record holder Michael Johnson to be his agent. RRW was informed of Rupp's decision, which came this morning, by a shoe company executive who had spoken to one of the key agents who was trying to secure Rupp as a client. Two other prominent agents, who also did not wish to be identified, confirmed that Rupp had signed with Johnson.

Rupp's decision is surprising, considering that Johnson, who represents Olympic gold medalist Jeremy Wariner, does not have any other distance running clients.

"I'm stunned," said one event promoter who was reached by telephone.

An agent's typical role when an athlete is graduating from college, is to shop the athlete to different shoe companies looking for the best available deal. But with Rupp, it was a certainty that he would go with Nike given that his coach, Alberto Salazar, is Nike's top coach-in-residence at the Nike World Campus in Beaverton, just outside of Portland. Speculation swirled here in the last several days as Rupp interviewed potential agents, including Ray Flynn, Peter Stubbs, Mark Wetmore and Tom Ratcliffe.

Rupp just wrapped up the best distance running season of any NCAA athlete in history, sweeping all five available distance titles in cross country, indoors (3000m and 5000m) and outdoors (5000m and 10,000m). Rupp then rallied last Thursday to win the overall USA title here, becoming the first athlete to ever win the NCAA and USA 10,000m titles in the same year. He ran his final race in the University of Oregon uniform here, much to the delight of the crowd.

"I'll remember it for the rest of my life," Rupp said after the race. "It was just magical."

Galen Rupp on his way to winning the 2009 NCAA 10,000m title (photo by Mike Scott)

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