Athletics News

Megan Keith and Patrick Dever enjoy brilliant 10,000m breakthroughs

Megan Keith and Patrick Dever enjoy brilliant 10,000m breakthroughs

Olympic qualifier of 30:36.84 for Keith at The Ten in California as she goes No.4 on UK all-time rankings while Dever runs 27:08.81 to go No.2 on UK men’s lists

If March 16 was a super Saturday for ambitious British distance runners, it did not disappoint. After the stars of the future battled for honours at the English Schools Cross Country Championships in Pontefract, the attention turned to the fast-paced, rain-soaked Podium Festival in Leicester. Then, in San Juan Capistrano, California, Megan Keith and Patrick Dever enjoyed huge breakthrough 10,000m performances in The Ten.

Technically it was in the small hours of Sunday morning in Britain, but their races unfolded late on Saturday evening in the United States. For starters, Keith ran an Olympic qualifying mark of 30:36.84 in her debut at the distance to finish fourth in a race won in dominant fashion by Tsigie Gebreselama of Ethiopia in 29:48.34. Minutes later, Dever ran a big PB of 27:08.81 in the men’s race to go No.2 on the UK all-time rankings.

Only Mo Farah, with the British record of 26:46.57, has now run faster than Dever on the UK lists as the 27-year-old Preston Harrier overtook Marc Scott, Jon Brown and Eamonn Martin. He couldn’t quite keep up with the leaders, though, as the top eight, led by American Grant Fisher with 26:52.04, dipped inside the Olympic qualifier of 27:00.00.

Partick Dever (David Hicks)

There were also PBs all round for Brits in the men’s race as Charlie Hicks clocked 27:33.58 and Jack Rowe 27:54.55.

Gebreselama’s time was the first sub-30min 10,000m by a woman on American soil and put her No.9 on the women’s world all-time rankings as the Ethiopian enjoyed a runaway victory. US hopes that Alicia Monson would challenge soon fell apart as she struggled and later dropped out. She was not the only athlete to endure a tough night as Britain’s Jess Warner-Judd also did not look at her best and did not finish.

As Gebreselama strode away from the field, a battle ensued for the runner-up position although the main goal for many was simply to beat the Olympic qualifier of 30:40.00. Weini Kelati of the United States was the best of the rest behind Gebreselama as she clocked 30:33.82.

Tsigie Gebreselama (David Hicks)

In third, Lauren Ryan ran 30:35.66 to take a couple of seconds off Benita Willis’s long-time Australian record. Then came Keith with an Olympic qualifying performance that justifies her decision to focus on the track this spring and not cross…

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