Matt McClintock has an unexpected final opportunity to race on the track this summer at the McKenzie International Meet tonight, June 22nd. Matt, who was in Eugene to watch his girlfriend compete at the Olympic Trials, got invited to race the 5,000m event taking place in Vida, OR, about an hour east of Eugene. Matt didn’t hesitate to jump at the opportunity and will line up against a strong field of mostly international athletes, some of whom are chasing the Olympic standard of 13:13.50.
For Matt it represents a shot at track redemption after suffering an ankle injury the day before his final attempt to qualify for the Olympic Trials 10,000m at the Portland Track Festival. Matt would go on to finish that race, but hobbled by his ankle, finished in 28:55, well outside his best from 2 weeks prior of 28:13 and shy of the 28:00 automatic qualifying standard he was shooting for.
Matt is fully recovered from the ankle injury, and before this track opportunity arose, was targeting a few historic summer road races: the Peachtree Road Race on July 4th, the Bix 7 on July 24th, and the Falmouth Road Race on August 15th.
Matt enters the race tonight with a personal best at 5,000m of 13:47. Despite temperatures forecasted to be nearly 80 degrees at race time, is thrilled to have the opportunity to compete. You can watch the meet live for $5.99 here, and follow the live results here. Matt’s race is scheduled to begin at 8:10pm pst, 11:10pm eastern.