Rachel Schneider, of Sanford, shown at the Drake Relays on April 21, placed third in the 5,000 meters Monday at the U.S. Olympic Trails in Eugene, Ore. to earn one of three berths on the U.S. team in the Tokyo Olympics. Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

EUGENE, Ore. — Sanford native Rachel Schneider earned a berth in the Tokyo Olympics, finishing third in the women’s 5,000 meters, while Lewiston native Isaiah Harris fell short, finishing fourth in the men’s 800, at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials on Monday at Hayward Field.

Schneider, 29, finished in 15:29:56 to earn her first Olympic berth. The top three finishers in the race earned a berth in the games. Elise Cranny won the race, finishing in 15:27.81, while Karissa Schweizer was second in 15:28.11.

Abbey Cooper was fourth in 15:31.05.

It was 94 degrees when that race started, and the sunshine heated the surface of the track to well over 100.

“During the warmup, we were in ice baths and I kept my body temperature as cold as possible,” said Schneider. “Outside of that, we just said be tough and don’t worry about it because everyone’s dealing with the same heat.”

Schneider advanced to the finals by running 15:23:45 in the first round on Friday. Her time Friday was second to only Abbey Cooper, who won the heat Schneider raced in with a time of 15:07.08.

Schneider, who qualified for the World Championships in 2019 in the 5,000, is also scheduled to compete in the 10,000 on Saturday.

Harris, 24, finished in 1:44:58, just behind third-place finisher Bryce Hoppel (1:44:14). The top three runners earned a berth on the U.S. team for the Tokyo Olympics.

Clayton Murphy, a bronze medalist in the 800 at the 2016 Olympics, won the race in a time of 1:43.17 and Isaiah Jewett was second in 1:43.85.

Donavan Brasier, the favorite to win the race after winning the 800 at the 2019 World Championships, finished eighth in 1:47.88.

“There are things that champions overcome. I couldn’t overcome them,” said Brazier.

Clayton Murphy celebrates after winning the men’s 800-meter run at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials on Monday in Eugene, Ore. He is followed by Isaiah Jewett, Bryce Hoppel, and Lewiston native Isaiah Harris, who just missed earning an Olympic berth reserved for the top three finishers. Chris Carlson/Associated Press

Harris advanced to the finals with two of the fastest times in the first two rounds. In the first round on Friday, Harris ran 1:45:26. In the semifinals he finished second in his heat, with the second fast time of the round, finishing in 1:46:16. He was beaten in his heat by Hoppel, who finished fourth in the 800 at the 2019 World Championships.

In 2018, Harris won the NCAA Division I title in the 800 as a junior at Penn State.

Earlier Monday, Elle Purrier St. Pierre won the 1,500-meter race in an Olympic trials-record time to earn a spot at the Tokyo Games. Purrier St. Pierre finished in 3 minutes, 58.03 seconds. It broke the old Olympic trials mark of 3:58.92 set by Mary Slaney on July 23, 1988.

Cory McGee was second and Heather MacLean finished third to earn spots to Tokyo.

St. Pierre started on the inside in the 13-woman race and was nearly pushed onto the infield in the early jostling.

“I tried not to let it bother me, and honestly, it gave me a little boost,” she said. “I wanted to go to the front and I thought, ‘I’m going for it.’”

Jenny Simpson wound up 10th. She was the bronze medalist in the 1,500 at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.

“It’s hard to believe,” said Simpson, the 34-year-old who also has a gold and two silvers from world championships. “I really thought I was going to make the team and I just wasn’t ready. I needed to be in 4-flat shape, and that was proven today by the incredible run of the people who made the team.”

Chris Nilsen was a surprise winner in the pole vault, edging two-time world champion Sam Kendricks.

The 23-year-old Nilsen cleared 19 feet, 4¼ to earn a spot at the Tokyo Games. He held off Kendricks and KC Lightfoot, who tied for second after both missed three times at Nilsen’s height.

Kendricks captured the bronze medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. He also won the world title in 2017 and ’19.

In the javelin, Curtis Thompson’s top throw was 271 feet, 7 inches to beat runner-up Michael Shuey, whose top throw was 260. Riley Dolezal finished third with a throw of 252-10.


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