Matt Tegenkamp's 13:07.97 second place performance at tonight's KBC Night of Athletics meeting in Heusden, Belgium, solidified the American 5000m team for next month's IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Berlin.
Tegenkamp, 27, who won the USA Outdoor Championships last month in Eugene, Ore., now has the IAAF "A" standard (13:20.00) and, as a result, brought his training partner, Evan Jager, 20, onto the team. That's because the IAAF allows a three-person team for each event to have two "A" standard holders and one "B." Since Tegenkamp won the USA title with a "B" standard run, he had already locked-in his place on the team under USATF rules. But, by improving to the "A" today, he brought Jager with him, the third place finish at the national championships, who only has the "B" standard. The second place finisher at the USA Championships, Chris Solinsky, already had the "A" standard and, like Tegenkamp, had locked-in his place on the team.
At the same meeting Jager ran the 1500m "B" race, which he won in a personal best 3:38.33.
All three athletes are coached by Jerry Schumacher, the former University of Wisconsin coach who relocated to Portland, Ore., earlier this year to become, along with Alberto Salazar, one of Nike's two distance running coaches-in-residence. Tegenkamp, Solinsky and Jager all run for the Nike-sponsored elite division of the Oregon Track Club. Schumacher also coaches Shalane Flanagan and Tim Nelson, both of whom will run the 10,000m at the IAAF World Championships.
Earlier this week, the USA women's 5000m team was also effectively finalized. USA Championships 5000m winner Kara Goucher will be competing in the marathon in Berlin, but second place finisher, Jen Rhines, had already claimed her place on the team because she had the "A" standard at the time of the Championships. Third place finisher, NCAA champion Angela Bizzarri of the University of Illinois, had neither the "A" or "B" standard, and abandoned her effort to attain one after running 15:57.23 at the Meeting International d'Athlétisme de la Province de Liège, also in Belgium. At the same meeting, the fourth place finisher from the USA Championships, Julie Culley, ran a "B" standard time of 15:21.87 to claim the second spot on the team. So, the USA women's 5000m squad will only have two women.
At the last IAAF World Championships in Osaka, Japan, the USA did relatively well in the 5000m. Tegenkamp finished fourth, missing a medal by just 3/100ths of a second. On the women's side, Rhines finished 7th and Flanagan finished 8th.