EUGENE, Ore. — Ben True ’08 finished fifth in the men’s 5000 meters at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials Saturday evening at Oregon’s Hayward Field, falling less than half a second shy of qualifying for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in August.
With his wife and Olympic triathlete Sarah in the stands cheering him on to join him in Rio, True closed the final lap in a solid 54 seconds. That allowed him to surpass Galen Rupp, who had already qualified for Rio in the marathon and the 10,000m, the latter of which Rupp won at the trials last week.
But True eventually was narrowly beaten out for a coveted spot in the top three, needed to qualify for the Olympics. The top five runners — including True — were separated by less than one second.
After running the first two-thirds of the race near the middle of the pack, True was in fifth place with three laps to go. One lap later, he was sitting third, where he remained entering the final lap.True, who had advanced to the finals of the 5000m by finishing third in the preliminary round on Wednesday, also competed in the 10,000m at the Olympic Trials last week, finishing shy of qualifying by placing sixth.
Bernard Lagat emerged to win the race at 41 years of age in 13:35.50, with Hassan Mead and Paul Chelimo placing second and third, respectively. True posted a time of 13:36.40, trailing Eric Jenkins (13:35.98) in fourth place.
Dartmouth has one more athlete still competing at the trials in Abbey D’Agostino ’14. On Thursday, she qualified for the finals of the women’s 5000m, which will be televised on NBC, at 7:28 p.m. EDT on Sunday.