A Kodiak runner is one step away from the Olympic Games in London this summer. Trevor Dunbar on Monday night took third in his 5K heat at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene, Oregon.
His time of 13-minutes 49.19-seconds was good for third in the first of two qualifying races. He was 11th overall after the his qualifier and will run in the 5,000 meter finals on Thursday night. It will air live on NBC Sports Channel at 6:30 Alaska time.
Dunbar was next to last for much of the race, but moved up to third in the second half before fading to sixth as the pace picked up. But going into the home stretch, Dunbar turned on the afterburners and finished third, just two-seconds off the winning time. The top six runners from each heat, plus the next four fastest times qualified to run in the final.
Until Saturday afternoon, Dunbar wasn’t even assured of a place in the race. He qualified 25th out of 25, and could have been bumped if a faster runner had decided to run in the 5K. Five kilometers is just over 3 miles.
Dunbar is a Kodiak High School alum and three-time All-American sophomore at the University of Oregon.
Two other Alaskans are competing this week in Eugene: Jordan Clarke who is a shot-putter from Anchorage, and Janay DeLoach who is a high-jumper from Fairbanks.
Clarke qualified Saturday for the finals by finishing 8th in the preliminaries. DeLoach, who went to Eielson High School in Fairbanks and jumped for Colorado State, is a favorite to make the U.S. Olympic team. She’s the silver medalist in the World Indoor Championships earlier this year, and has a personal best of 22-feet 11-1/4-inches.