Ben True was already assured of a trip to the track and field world championships after his second-place finish Thursday in the 10,000 meters at the U.S. championships in Eugene, Oregon, but he’s made it clear all along his preferred race is the 5,000.
Now, after another runner-up finish Sunday in the 5,000, the North Yarmouth native may soon have to choose which event to run at the world championships later this summer in Beijing.
True took a big step toward making the team in the 5,000 by placing second behind Ryan Hill with a time of 13 minutes, 51.09 seconds. He still needs to achieve the qualifying standard of 13:23 for the world championships, but with a personal best of 13:02, he’s confident he can get that time by the Aug. 9 deadline.
“The focus this whole year has been on the 5K,” True told LetsRun.com after Sunday’s race. “The 10K, I do not like. That was almost a Plan B situation.
“I still have to get the standard for the 5K; that was only my second 5K on the track this year … but hopefully that won’t be an issue.”
True said he has no intention of entering both events at the world championships. If he qualifies in the 5,000, he’ll drop out of the 10,000.
True couldn’t catch Hill on the final lap Sunday, but he did finish ahead of Galen Rupp, who beat True in the 10,000 for his seventh straight U.S. title in that event.
“I was very worried with a hundred (meters) to go that I wasn’t going to have the legs to turn over (after running the 10,000) … . I’m real happy that I was able to go when I needed to.”
Riley Masters of Bangor also was in the 5,000 field and finished ninth in 13:58.23.
Sanford’s Rachel Schneider still has chance to reach the world championships after placing fifth in the 1,500. Among the top five runners, only winner Jenny Simpson and runner-up Shannon Rowbury have met the qualifying standard of 4:06.5. Schneider will have until Aug. 9 to try to reach the standard, which would put her on the team if neither Kerri Gallagher (third place) or Lauren Johnson (fourth) get a qualifying time. Schneider’s personal best is 4:08.46.