Molly Huddle reaffirmed her status as America’s top female distance runner Sunday afternoon by winning the 5,000 at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon, in 15:05.01 to complete the distance double (she won the 10,000 on July 2).

Molly Huddle Completes 10k/5k Double, Rio Olympic Team Includes Shelby Houlihan, Kim Conley

It was Huddle’s fifth U.S. title on the track, and her third at 5,000 meters.

Both Shelby Houlihan who ran a tremendous race to take second in 15:06.14 — and Kim Conley — who bounced back from heartbreak in the 10,000 to take third — will run the 5,000 in Rio.

All of the contenders deferred to American 5K record-holder and 10K Trials champion, Huddle and 10K Trials runner-up Emily Infeld.  The duo brought the field through in 76.7 for 400 meters and would be in lock-step for the next 8 laps.


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Following close behind were Houlihan, as well as Abbey D’Agostino. 

Things continued to dawdle through 1000 as they crossed in 3:11.92.  But the pace soon began to increase as Huddle began to edge ahead a bit; a 73.2 third lap brought them through 1200 in 3:47.8.  

The pace continued to intensify as they crossed 1600 in 5:00.2 off a 72.4 lap, both Huddle and Infeld essentially stride for stride.

But just before 1800, defending USATF 5K champion Nicole Tully fell to the track, apparently while trying to move up.  She would continue for a few laps before dropping out.

Many of the key players from the 10K (and 12 in all) were in contention here as several 72 second laps led to a 3K split of 9:14.30.  But by 3200 it was already down to 8.  The 3200 split was 9:49.5, a 4:49.3 1600.

All the key players were in the hunt with a mile to go:  Huddle and Infeld continued to lead, followed by Houlihan, Hall, Allie Ostrander, Conley, D’Agostino, and Katie Mackey.

With 3 to go, Huddle finally surged to an out-right lead, running the fastest 400 of the race, 71.80.

With 1000 to go, it was Huddle, Infeld, Houlihan, a surging Conley, Hall, Mackey, and D’Agostino.

Huddle closed in an impressive 63.22 to win in 15:05.01, having run her final 3K in 8:53.

Houlihan closed in 63.89 to get second and a berth on Team USA in 15:06.14.  After the heart-break of losing her shoe in the 10K, Conley was able to regain a spot on team USA with a fine third place run, finishing in 15:10.62.

Infeld held on for fourth in 15:13.87 while D’Agostino was fifth in 15:14.18, her 71.10 final 400 a bit better than Infeld but not enough to catch her.  Her spot on the team will be dependent on both Huddle and Infeld electing to only run the 10K.

After the race, Huddle said, “I wasn’t sure how it was going to go… If you told me I was going to be doing that back in 2008 I wouldn’t have believed you.”

PHOTO: EUGENE, OR – JULY 10: Molly Huddle, first place and Shelby Houlihan, second place, compete in the Women’s 5000 Meter Final during the 2016 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials at Hayward Field on July 10, 2016 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

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