Bobby Curtis races in the 10K at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field trials Friday night.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Former St. Xavier state champion Bobby Curtis makes his run for the U.S. Olympic Track and Field team tonight at 9:45 p.m. (EDT) in the 10,000-meter run.
The race from the University of Oregon will be televised on the NBC Sports Channel. The St. X cross-country team has a viewing party to watch the race, coach Chuck Medley said.
The top three finishers will make the team as long as they have met the Olympic qualifying standard of 27 minutes, 45 seconds. Galen Rupp of the University of Oregon is considered a solid favorite.
Curtis, who is 27, ran the second fastest 10K of any American runner last season and is considered one of the top five contenders for the three spots on the U.S. team.
I wrote about Curtis here Thursday. But he also discussed race strategy, and as the start gets closer, this is how he expects the race to unfold.
"The first 5K I just have to make sure that I'm relaxed and getting around the track as effortlessly as possible," he said. "What tends to happen, especially in championship type races, is there will be a little bit of separation in the later half of the race.
"So probably around 6 or 8K, the field will be whittled down to maybe eight people and three of us will make the team.
"The last 2K is where everyone, whatever they have, they show it then. I think I just have to make sure I'm relaxed the first bit and make sure that I stay in contact. Then the last three miles make sure I'm giving it everything I have and stay focused the last three laps when the really big sprint happens.
"If you took the lifetime bests of everybody in the field, you have Galen Rupp, the American record holder at 26:48. Then there is Jason Ritzenheim who ran a 27:22 in 2010. Then you have me (personal best of 27:24).
"I think I'll have to put in an effort in that ballpark, if not much better. It might be a slower time because the pace is a little different. If the pace is really cooking, I wouldn't be surprised if it took under 27:20 to make the team."
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