CLOVIS, CA – A former Iowa high school distance runner and current Iowa State Cyclone won the 10,000-meter run at the USATF Junior Championships Friday night at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Clovis, California.
Iowa State’s Thomas Pollard won in a time of 30:46.04. The win means Pollard will represent Team USA in the 10K at the IAAF U-20 World Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland July 19-24.
“It was a great group of guys,” Pollard said after the race. “I had no idea what to expect coming in, but I had a great race. I knew it was a close one, but I knew there was no way I wouldn’t win.”
Pollard sat back as he and the field allowed Levi Thomet to control the pace of the first half of the race. Eventually Thomet slowed and rejoined the pack with Pollard getting on his back shoulder in a pack of 12. The Ames native bided his time between second and fourth before making his move with two laps to go, as he took the lead with two laps to go.
The drama of the race picked up considerably as UCLA’s Colin Burke passed Pollard heading into the final lap, and Thomet fought back into contention on the backstretch of the bell lap. Both were gaining on Burke as they made the turn into the final 100, but would have lapped traffic to contend with. They took their battle out to lane three, where with 50 meters to go, Pollard found a final wind to push past both Burke and Thomet and get the win. Burke will join Pollard in Poland wearing the Red, White and Blue in the 10,000-meter run.