U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials results: Five runners clinch their spots in Paris

Conner Mantz, Clayton Young, Fiona O’Keeffe, Emily Sisson and Dakotah Lindwurm are bound for Paris, all finishing in the top three at the 2024 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Orlando on Saturday.

Mantz, 27, won the men’s race with a time of 2 hours, 9 minutes, 5 seconds. 25-year-old O’Keeffe, in her first professional marathon, ran the fastest-ever women’s time at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, setting a stunning record with a time of 2:22:10.

Full results are available here.

In the men’s race, Young, 30, placed second with a 2:09:06. Along with Mantz, his college teammate at BYU and training partner, Young will represent the U.S. in the men’s marathon at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

“This means a ton,” Mantz told NBC’s Lewis Johnson after the race. “The goal has always been to make an Olympic team. I’m so grateful to be out here with my family, coaches and teammates.”

Running through downtown Orlando on a sunny, 70-degree morning, Young and Mantz outran the field of more than 200 men.

Only two men were guaranteed an Olympic spot at Trials, but it’s possible that 37-year-old Leonard Korir, the third-place finisher, could unlock a spot by May 5. More on the nitty-gritty here.

Korir, born in Iten, Kenya, gained U.S. citizenship in 2016. He ran in the 10,000m at the 2016 Rio Olympics, finishing 14th.

It’s fitting that Mantz and Young are headed to Paris. The duo ran the two-fastest U.S. times in the lead-up to Trials: Mantz blazed to a 2:07:47 time at the 2023 Chicago Marathon, while Young finished in 2:08:00 in the same race.

During Friday’s pre-race press conference, Young asserted himself as an underdog, noting that he was left out of many experts’ predictions.

“The underdog mentality did me well,” Young said. “If you had me out of the top three, I forgive you… Also, big shoutout to Zach Panning, who led most of this race and stuck his neck out there.”

Mantz, who suffered a stress fracture in his femur after the Chicago Marathon, was able to work his way back into top form for Orlando. Now, both Young and Mantz are headed to the Olympic Games.

On the women’s side, O’Keeffe (2:22:10), Sisson (2:22:42) and Lindwurm (2:25:31) finished first, second and third, respectively, to seal their spots.

O’Keeffe is a marathon debutant and Stanford University alum who has become the first U.S. woman ever to win the Olympic Trials in her marathon debut.

“It’s so meaningful,” O’Keeffe said after the race. “I was not expecting this performance. I had to pinch myself with eight miles to go.”

Paris will be Sisson’s second Olympics. She appeared in the Tokyo Games in the 10,000m, and the 32-year-old is now set for her Olympic marathon debut.

“I feel so emotional today,” Sisson said. “I’ve made my second Olympic team, and [my friends and family] can come with me this time.”

Like O’Keeffe, Lindwurm wasn’t thought of as a favorite, running the 12th-fastest U.S. women’s marathon time in the lead-up to Trials. She was a walk-on at Division II Northern State University in South Dakota. Now, at 28, she’s bound for her first Olympics.

“I’m such an underdog,” Lindwurm said. “I’m still in awe… I just had this undeniable belief in myself. I knew I could carry this flag on my shoulders and represent this country.”

O’Keeffe’s record is even more shocking considering that the women’s field this year featured the athletes with three of the four fastest marathon times in U.S. history: Sisson (2:18:29, first), Keira D’Amato (2:19:12, second) and Sara Hall (2:20:32, fourth).

With three Olympic spots open for the women, the pace was scorching from the start. By the eight-mile mark, athletes were running under a 5:30 pace, equating to a final time three minutes under the U.S. Olympic Trials record.

By the time the runners reached 10 miles, O’Keeffe had eked ahead and was setting the pace, leading a pack that included D’Amato right behind. At 16 miles, D’Amato dropped back from the pack, falling out of contention.

O’Keeffe, meanwhile, continued to lead with Sisson and Lindwurm trailing her. Known as a happy-go-lucky racer, Lindwurm was pumping up the crowd and smiling as she dashed behind O’Keeffe.

At 17 miles, O’Keeffe made a massive move, breaking away from the pack and leading with nine miles to go. She held on to the gaping lead until she reached the finish line in record time.

Molly Seidel was a notable absence in Orlando. After winning bronze at the Tokyo Olympic marathon, Seidel was forced to drop out due to a knee injury.

In the men’s race, 28-year-old Zach Panning surprisingly held the lead for much of the race, setting the pace for nearly the entire middle portion. In many ways, Panning ran the race of his life, but Young and Mantz proved too quick for him, and he dropped back in the final few miles.

Mantz and Young collectively overtook Panning at 22 miles. While the three still maintained a lead on the pack, Panning ran behind the Utah-based training partners. A mile later, Mantz and Young dropped Panning from the pack, leaving him in the dust.

In the hot Orlando weather, many of the Olympic hopefuls either fell back or were forced to drop out. Shortly after the 20-mile mark, four-time Olympian Galen Rupp began to suffer from cramping and was seen walking on the side of the road. Around 10 miles, fan-favorites Scott Fauble and Abdi Abdirahman, a 47-year-old and five-time Olympian, both dropped out.

First appeared on www.nbcolympics.com

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