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Chelanga Falls Shy of U.S. Olympic Trials 5K Final

July 4, 2016  Eugene, Ore.  RSS
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Sam Chelanga's stay at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field came to an end on Monday with a 12th-place finish in his heat of the men's 5K.

Sam Chelanga's stay at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field came to an end on Monday with a 12th-place finish in his heat of the men's 5K.

Sam Chelanga's first career appearance at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field came to an end on Monday. The 2011 Liberty graduate placed 12th in his heat of the men's 5K at Hayward Field, failing to advance to Saturday's final.

Chelanga clocked a time of 13:59.52, finishing 22nd overall between the two preliminary sections. He crossed the finish line 7.36 seconds behind Stanford's Sean McGorty, who grabbed the last time qualifying berth into the final at 13:52.16.

On a warm, breezy evening in Eugene, none of the 12 runners in Chelanga's section broke away until the final lap. Runners No. 1 through 12 were separated by just nine tenths of a second as the bell rang.

Portland's William Kincaid paced a host of fast finishers, requiring just 53.72 seconds for the final 400 meters to win in 13:47.86. Chelanga was not able to keep pace on the final circuit, clocking a 65.19-second split to finish 12th in the heat.

During his first Olympic cycle as a U.S. citizen, Chelanga attempted to qualify for Team USA in three different events. He raced in the marathon on Feb. 13 and took part in Friday's 10K final before competing in the 5K prelims on Monday. Chelanga's best Olympic Trials performance was his sixth-place finish in the 10K.

Chelanga will be back at Hayward Field on July 29 for the first-ever TrackTown Summer Series meet, after being drafted in the third round by Team New York. The meet, to be televised live on ESPN, will feature a four-team scored competition.