Teare Misses Olympics

Cooper Teare (top) finished fourth in the 5,000-meter meet behind Paul Chelimo (right), Grant Fisher (bottom) and Woody Kincaid (left).

Teare Misses Olympics

Alamedan Cooper Teare missed qualifying for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo by less than a second.

Teare competed in the men’s 5,000-meter (3.1 miles) race at the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials at Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus Sunday, June 27.

Sixteen athletes competed in the race. The top three finishers qualified for the Olympic team. Teare, 21, finished fourth with a time of 13:28.08. The University of Oregon track athlete finished one spot behind Woody Kincaid, 28, who finished with a time of 13:27.13.

Kincaid, of Littleton, Colo., will compete for Team USA in the 5,000- meter race. He will be joined by Paul Chelimo, 30, and Grant Fisher, 24. Chelimo, a Kenyan-born American citizen, finished first with a time of 13:26.82. Fisher, a Canadian-born American citizen, finished second with a time of 13:27.01.

Most of the race was smooth with just minimal bumping between the runners.

Teare made a late push but still finish out of the top three. With two laps to go the St. Joseph Notre Dame alum was in seventh place. A few moments later Teare moved to the outside lane away from the pack and pushed ahead to third place with one lap to go. Kincaid and Teare were even at the final turn, but Kincaid ran past Teare to take the final spot on the team.

Teare was pleased with his performance in the race despite not qualifying for the Olympics.

“Thinking four years ago when I was a high school senior, I would get fourth place in the 5K I would have never thought in a million years,” said Teare in news conference after the race. “I’m happy with my performance. Fourth place is pretty surreal.”

Chelimo won the silver medal in the men’s 5,000-meter race in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro with a time of 13:03.90. Kincaid missed the 2016 Olympics after finishing eighth at the Olympic trials. This was Teare’s first time competing in an Olympic trial.

Teare was one of the youngest competitors in the field. He will have to wait just three years to compete for a spot in the 2024 Summer Olympics.

Weather was a main storyline for all the athletes at the Olympic trials. The Pacific Northwest experienced an unusual heat wave in late June. Temperatures during the weekend were well over 100 degrees. Competition officials moved the 5,000-meter race from late afternoon to early morning on Sunday.

Teare did achieve a major triumph this summer. He won the 5,000-meter race at the National Collegiate Athletic Association Track and Field Championships on June 11 also at Hayward Field. Teare crossed the finish line with time of his time of 13:12.