Monday, June 9, 2008

Solinsky 4th in Pre 2-mile: Updated w/ Solinsky Assessment

Chris Solinsky at the 2008 Prefontaine Classic.Chris Solinsky got a major pre-Olympic Trials confidence boost at yesterday’s Prefontaine Classic, where he placed 4th in a loaded 2-mile field and ran a personal best of 8:15.77. Chris hung with the leaders throughout the race and into the last lap, and in the end was beaten only by three former world champions–Bernard Lagat, Rashid Ramzi and Paul Koech. Among those Chris beat were 5,000m world championship medalist Craig Mottram and steeplechase world champion and world record holder Saif Shaheen. Here’s Chris’s take:

Going into this race I was a little bit hesitant due to the fact that the pace was supposed be 4:00 at the mile which was 4 seconds faster than the race I ran at the Nike campus about ten days prior. Knowing that race was a fluke due to coming off of hard training and also breathing problems, I knew it was not a good litmus of my fitness, so I had to prepare mentally to do what I did for one mile twice.

I got off the line real well and settled in behind Lagat, which led me to decide to just follow him around since he makes pretty good decisions. We went through the mile at 4:05, then began to slow down, which was frustrating, but since I was a little tentative it was probably good. With two laps to go I felt great and started to think what I could do to win. The mistake I made was that I was so pumped to be where I was in the race that I started getting a little tight, which led to my lack of kick at the end. If I could change one thing it would be to have taken the lead with just around 300 to go. I may still have ended up 4th, but I would have given myself a better chance against 3 world champs.

I’m pleased with the race, especially after the Nike Mile, to finish behind two double world champs and the steeple world champ while still feeling that I could have done more. Those next gears will come in the next three weeks. This was a good race to have as my last race prior to the trials.

Many have wondered why Matt did not run the mile on Sunday. It was because he has had a hamstring tightness from training that was bugging him leading into the weekend. He had hoped that it would loosen up, but when it didn’t he made the tough and smart decision to not risk anything going into the trials, as that is the most important race of the spring. We will be ready to roll in three weeks and are looking forward to our first shot at an Olympic berth!!

Here are results, and here is a post-race video interview.

TwitterFacebookGoogle+DeliciousDiggPrintRead It LaterRedditPinterestWebnewsEmailEvernoteShare

One response to “Solinsky 4th in Pre 2-mile: Updated w/ Solinsky Assessment”

  1. smgvb says:

    Greetings Chris,
    It was nice to see the race in it’s entirity on network TV – a rarity – and your really solid effort. I’ve been enjoying your developing career since learning about you in your senior year in HS. You’re a great advertisement for the State of Wisconsin and the great running program at the University. Keep it up!
    I always marvel at Lagat’s finishing kick and wonder if the pace had been maintained in the second mile that it might have slowed him enough for you to have been a little more on top of him? I loved the way you powered away from Mottram on the first turn – he has some work still to do! Stay healthy and be ready for the trials. I want to see you (and Matt and why not Jon as well?) on the team. All of you working hard in Madison make me a proud Wisconsinite!

    smgvb Whitefish Bay High School a short 50 years ago!