Rivals Battle at Track Championships

Distance running camps vie for U.S. supremacy


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Increasingly, distance running in the United States is dominated by two rival coaches, Alberto Salazar and Jerry Schumacher, and on Thursday night it was their runners who made headlines at the U.S. track championships. Shalane Flanagan (pictured left), who runs for Schumacher, beat Kara Goucher by 16 seconds in the women’s 10,000. Goucher, also a top marathoner, runs for Salazar, a three-time New York City Marathon champion in the 1980s. Salazar originally recruited Schumacher to Portland in 2008 to set up a sister training camps on the Nike campus. But the pair parted ways earlier this year, and there has been no love lost between either the coaches or their athletes. After Flanagan’s dominant 30:59 win over Goucher, Salazar’s group got a measure of revenge: Galen Rupp, wearing a strange black face mask, outkicked Schumacher runner Matt Tegenkamp to win the men’s 10,000 in 28:38. The groups will face off again this evening as Rupp doubles back in the 5,000, taking on Schumacher runner Chris Solinsky (plus American record holder Bernard Lagat.)