June 23, 2013

Syracuse's Lennon finishes second in 10,000-meter USA Championships

Dan Lennon isn’t used to running races as long as 10,000 meters, so Friday he thought he was almost done only to realize he still had a ways to go.

“When it really started to suck was with five laps to go,” he said. “I was thinking of indoor (races) and thought I only had 1,000 (meters) to go, but I actually had 2,000 and I thought, ‘This is going to be terrible.’

“It’s just a race you have to grind through.”

The Peru native got through it pretty well, placing second in the men’s junior 10,000 at the 2013 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa. He finished in 31 minutes, 35.89 seconds and qualified for the 2013 Pan Am Junior Championships in Medellin, Colombia.

Lennon recently completed his freshman year at Syracuse, where he ran the 5,000. But he said his coach believes his future is in the 10,000 and decided the national meet would be a good chance to get some experience in the longer race.

Lennon had run 10,000 meters in a road race but never on the track, where it’s 25 laps. But he said he was pretty confident going into Friday’s event.

“My races previously may not have shown how good of shape I’ve been in, but my workouts were showing it,” he said. “So it was good to finally have a race go the way I wanted and show what kind of shape I’m in.”

The junior category is for runners under 20, and Lennon said his competitors were mostly other college freshmen. Purdue’s Matt McClintock won in 31:14.31. Lennon finished about forty seconds ahead of the third-place runner. He said he wanted to try to catch McClintock, but the Purdue runner has more experience in the 10,000 and picked up his pace to separate himself.

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