Trevor Dunbar’s indoor track and field season ended in disappointment when he failed to become an All-American, finishing 10th in the 3,000-meter run.
The University of Oregon sophomore made up for it during the outdoor season.
On Friday, in Des Moines, Iowa, Dunbar raced to All-American status in the 5,000 meters at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Drake Stadium.
This is Dunbar’s first track and field All-American honor, but third in his college career. He has two in cross country while running for the University of Portland.
“I was a little bitter indoors that I didn’t get top eight. That was my goal,” said Dunbar in a Flotrack.com interview. “I was aiming for top five and almost got it. I was happy with it.”
Dunbar finished sixth with a personal-best time of 13 minutes, 44.16 seconds — only 4.11 seconds behind winner Cameron Levins of Southern Utah.
Dunbar, a 2009 Kodiak High School graduate, was the top American-born finisher.
Dunbar led the first minute of the race, before nestling into a pack of 10 runners. He was never outside of the top 10.
“I just settled into a solid pace,” he said. “I stayed within myself all the way until the last mile and kept feeling like there was going to be a surge, a break. That never happened and it played right into my hands because my kick has been getting better and better.
“I just wanted to gradually squeeze the trigger on the last lap and that is what I did.”
With one lap to go, Dunbar was in a pack of six runners at the front. Levins and Paul Chelimo of UNC-Greensboro made their moves with 200 meters remaining, while Dunbar missed the top five by .40 seconds.
“I really rested for this,” Dunbar said. “I was decreasing the mileage and getting a little bit nervous if I had enough strength to pull it off. I had faith in the coaches, they peaked me for the right time.”
Dunbar accounted for three of Oregon’s 22 team points. The Ducks finished ninth.
Dunbar now switches his focus to bigger things.
“I’ll probably do a tune-up (race) and get ready for the Olympic Trials,” he said. “I’m not sure if I am in, but I am going to prepare for it and if I get an invite, I will run the 5,000 at the trials.”
Bartlett High School graduate Jordan Clarke won his second consecutive men’s outdoor shot put title. He also won this year’s indoor title in March.
The Arizona State University junior won with a personal-best toss of 66 feet, 11.25 inches.
Mirror writer Derek Clarkston can be reached at email@example.com.