If you do call yourself a runner, can you handle the truth?




From the Rage Archives

Truth is found through devotion,
and intensity is the only true measure of devotion.

Pre Classic Mile Gets Even More Interesting in 2004

Alan Webb. Meet Galen Rupp.

You can bet the comparisons will be made at the 2004 Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon.

No. This kid isn’t going to break Webb’s national prep record, previously held by Jim Ryan for about forty years, or so.

But I’ll bet he breaks 4:00 minutes…and maybe even 3:58...not bad for a kid just out of high school. He’s certainly capable.

On May 29, Rupp, a senior from Central Catholic High School, won the Oregon 3000 meter boys prep 4A title in 8:22, which was even more impressive by the fact that he ran the last 1000 meters as if he were saving himself for the 1500 final the next day, which he also won in a state meet record time of 3:49. Rupp also ran a national prep best at 3:45 earlier this year.

For the 3000 final, I was standing about 20 feet from his coach, Alberto Salazar on the north end of the track trying to make out what Salazar was yelling as Rupp looked over at his coach with each lap. What was amazing was how easy he made 8:22 look, and how much time he left on the track over the last two and a half laps, which had some folks wondering what might have been. When Steve Prefontaine holds the record at 8:08 and a 17 year-old phenom is being screamed at by a University of Oregon legend, it doesn’t get much better than that, folks. What more could you ask for?

Some left the track unsatisfied that he didn’t empty the tank chasing Pre’s record. Even Stuart Eagon, the runner up, apologized to fans for not pushing the pace earlier. He ran 8:28. I don’t think either athlete needs to apologize to anyone. I was impressed by both of them. Anyone wonder what it must be like to be mentioned in the same breath as Steve Prefontaine? Especially when you’re 17? Yeah, he looked around too much and could have at least waited until the finish like Pre always did, staring across the track as if disgusted he wasn’t already there by now and looking back over his shoulder only after he had immediately crossed the finish line…only to confirm how far he had beaten his nearest pursuer.

Salazar will teach him killer instincts later. Right now, Rupp is a 17 year-old double state champion by listening to his coach. He said after the 1500 that it was the most rested he had felt all season. My guess is Salazar had a lot to do with putting him in that position. Sounds like he listened to his coach and executed the plan perfectly.

Pre would have wanted one thing above anything else: To win.

And boy, did he ever.

So did Galen Rupp.

And so will Galen Rupp.

And that’s The Truth. - 6/4/04

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   Date and time page last updated: 06/01/2005 5:59 AM