Craig Virgin: Rivalries and Teammates pushing to make the Olympic Team

Thu, 28 June 2012 - 1:46 a.m. MT
Credit: Dave Watt - American Running Association

Nike has two distinct mid-distance and long-distance training groups:  one led by former Olympian and World Record Holder Alberto Salazar and the other led by former Wisconsin Coach Jerry Schumacher.  Call it a "friendly yet competitive rivalry", each group has leading American runners vieing for Olympic Team berths.

Just last evening---FRIDAY JUNE 22 --- Galen Rupp and Dathan Ritzenheim who train under Salazar, worked together in the 10K Final to ensure a fast pace and help get Ritzenheim in position to earn a top 3 place and the all-important Olympic "A" Standard.  Rupp pulled away in the last 3 laps and Ritz held on for 3rd and a finishing time under the 27:45 "A" standard to earn berths on the 10K USA team.  The 2nd place finisher, Matt Tegenkamp, trains under Schumacher and he sat just behind Rupp and Ritzenheim to get the top 3 finish and earn a return to the Olympics, athough this was his first 10K Olympic berth.

Here is what Craig Virgin said about what this situation of rivals can do to foster competition and improve chances to make the USA squad



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