Dathan Ritzenhein decides on event to run at U.S. Olympic Team Trials this week
Provided by Pete Wallner and Mlive
GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Dathan Ritzenhein has pinned his Olympic hopes on the 10,000 meters.
The former Rockford High School runner needs to finish in the top three and run at least 27 minutes, 45 seconds in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials on Friday in Eugene, Ore.
He missed that standard May 27 when he ran 27:50 on a hot day in Hengolo, Holland, but Ritzenhein is encouraged by training with 10,000 standouts Galen Rupp and Mo Farah.
"Watching Mo and Galen run 12:56 and 12:58, respectively, two weeks ago at the Prefontaine Classic gave me so much confidence going into the Olympic Trials 10,000 in one week,” Ritzenhein said in his blog. “It really is inspiring to watch your teammates compete at that level knowing that you’ve been running the same workouts."
Rupp will run and 5,000 and 10,000 at the trials.
Training is going great and, with the exception of Hengelo, my warm-up races have gone well,” Ritzenhein said. “I am confident, but perhaps even more importantly as I get ready for the Olympic trials, I am driven by a desire never to experience the emotional low I felt after I got fourth in the marathon trials.“
On May 18 at the USATF Occidental High Performance Meet in Los Angeles, Ritzenhein finished fourth in the 5,000 in 13:14.72 to reach the A standard of 13:20.
The 29-year-old Ritzenhein, a 2001 Rockford graduate, is trying to make his third Olympics. He finished ninth in the marathon in 2008 and ran in the 10,000 in 2004 but dropped out mid-race with a stress fracture in his leg.