Olympian Kim Conley and Nike Oregon Project runner Jordan Hasay will headline the Pacific 10,000-meter Pursuit at Hornet Stadium in Sacramento, Calif. on Dec. 6.
The 10,000-meter distance is not contested as often as shorter distances during the spring track and field season, so NorCal Distance Project coach Drew Wartenburg set up a December race for athletes to athletes to chase the qualifying standard for next summer's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The race is also in partnership with Sacramento State Track & Field and the Strava Track Club.
The Olympic Games qualifying standard for the women's 10,000-meter run is 32:15. Men must run 28:00. Athletes could also hit the 2016 US Olympic Trials qualifying marks for next July's Olympic team selection.
Conley competed at the 2012 Olympics after finishing third in the 5,000-meters at the U.S. Olympic Trials in a personal best of 15:19.79. She lowered that mark to 15:08.61 in 2014 before winning the U.S. national title in the 10,000-meter run at Hornet Stadium just 1.21 seconds ahead of Hasay.
Hasay was a standout at the University of Oregon, where she won 18 All America awards and two NCAA indoor titles. She is a member of the Nike Oregon Project, where she trains under coach Alberto Salazar. She made the U.S. national team for the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow with a runner-up finish in the 10,000-meters at the 2013 U.S. Outdoor Track and Field Championships. She finished 12th at the world championships.
Conley and Hasay did not race at the 2015 U.S. Outdoor Championships in June due to injury. Conley's personal best of 31:48.71 is slightly slower than Hasay's 31:39.67.
Molly Seidel of the University of Notre Dame is coming off a victory at the 2015 NCAA Division I Cross-Country Championships on Nov. 21. The Wisconsin native holds a personal best of 33:18.37 from her victory at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in June.
The women's elite field also includes Chelsea Reilley (Saucony) and marathoner Becky Wade (Asics). Sarah Pagano, Katie Matthews, Emma Bates and Jen Rhines will represent the Boston Athletic Association.
The men's race will feature European Championship medalist Christopher Thompson (PUMA) and U.S. road runner Sean Quigley (Saucony/Boulder Track Club).
No American man has broken 28:30 for 10,000-meters on U.S. soil in December, according to David Monti of Race Results Weekly.