EUGENE, Ore. – James Strang competed in the 5,000-meter prelims for Arkansas track and field on day one of the U.S. Olympic Trials at Oregon’s Hayward Field on Friday.
Strang gave a valiant effort in the prelims of the 5,000 meters. Keeping with the lead pack for most of the race, a long season started to catch up with him and he couldn’t go with group when they made their final move.
He finished ninth in his heat and 20th overall with a time of 14:12.68. He was just five spots short of advancing.
“The pace was too slow for me,” Strang said. “It felt like we were walking out there. It’s hard to come up with any kick when the pace is that slow. I still feel pretty tired from NCAAs but I gave it all I had. This was such a great experience for me. It was such an honor and a blessing to compete at this level and with such a high caliber of athletes. This is the most electric crowd I have ever run in front of.”
“There was a lot of jockeying going on,” Strang said. “That made it really difficult to develop any rhythm. I felt like there was a lead change every 400 meters. There was no consistency.”
“I went with the pack when they made the first big move,” Strang said. “But I couldn’t go with them when they made another big move with 1,200 meters to go. I still have a chance to get in the 10,000 meters and I have a week’s rest before we run that. Anything can happen with that race and it’ll be a quick pace. A lot of guys are going to be tired from running the rounds of the 5,000 meters.”
Former Hog James Hatch finished eighth in his heat and 21st overall in the 800-meter prelims. He clocked a time of 1:49.35 but it wasn’t fast enough to advance.
For complete results, an updated list of entries and a television schedule from the U.S. Olympic Trials, visit www.usatf.org. For information on the Razorbacks at the Olympic Trials, visit www.hogwired.com.