Former University of Wisconsin distance star Matt Tegenkamp is bound for Beijing after earning a spot on the 2008 U.S. Olympic team Monday with his runner-up performance in the mens 5,000 meters at the U.S. Olympic Trials.
Tegenkamp, a seven-time All-American for the Badgers, passed fellow UW alumnus Chris Solinsky for second place with 100 meters to go and never looked back on his way to a second-place finish in 13 minutes, 29.68 seconds.
The finish secured a spot for Tegenkamp on the three-man roster that will compete for the U.S. in the 5,000 in Beijing. He will be joined by Bernard Lagat, who took the win in 13:27.47, and third-place finisher Ian Dobson, who clocked in at 13:29.76. Tegenkamp is no stranger to international success, having finished fourth at the 2007 World Championships.
Solinsky, a five-time NCAA champion for the Badgers between 2004 and 2007, took the race lead with about 1,000 meters left but was passed by Lagat with 150 meters to go and settled for a fifth-place finish in 13:32.17. Jonathon Riley, a training partner of Tegenkamp and Solinsky, was 13th in a time of 13:57.58.
Tegenkamp becomes the first member of the Badger track and field program to earn an Olympic berth since Pascal Dobert qualified for the 2000 Games in Sydney.
Joe Detmer, a 2007 UW graduate, was the class of the field in the final event of mens decathlon, with his performance in the 1,500 meters propelling him to an 11th-place finish in the multi-event competition.
Detmer, who entered the second day of the decathlon in 14th place, capped off his strong showing over the final five events by running away with the top time in the 1,500. He clocked in at 4:07.63 to hit the finish line first, ahead of training partner and event runner-up Mat Clark, who had the second-fastest time at 4:12.60.
The performance added 898 points for Detmer, who racked up a total score of 7,653 to finish just seven points out of 10th place.
Detmer opened the second day of the 10-event competition with a time of 15.08 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles and followed that with a throw of 116 feet, 4 inches in the discus. In the eighth event, Detmer cleared 15-1 in the pole vault and then posted a throw of 184-9 in the javelin to set up his outstanding 1,500 meters performance.
Bryan Clay took home top honors in the decathlon with a score of 8,832 points, with Trey Hardee (8,534) and Tom Pappas (8,511) rounding out the top three who will represent the U.S. in the decathlon in Beijing.
More information on the U.S. Olympic Trials, including complete results, are available at www.usatf.org .