SPASH grad Solinsky heads to World Championship final - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

SPASH grad Solinsky heads to World Championship final

BERLIN, Germany (PRESS RELEASE) - They each took a different approach in Thursday's preliminary round of the men's 5,000 meters, but Matt Tegenkamp and Chris Solinsky are both headed to the same World Championships final.   The former University of Wisconsin All-Americans each advanced on to the 5,000 meters final with strong runs and will compete again at Olympic Stadium in Berlin on Sunday, the final day of the 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics.   Tegenkamp finished second in the first of two preliminary heats contested during a busy afternoon session in Berlin, clocking in at 13 minutes, 19.87 seconds after charging through the field over the final 600 meters of the race.   Solinsky, who, like Tegenkamp, can usually be found in the back of the pack until the late stages of a race, helped pace the field as the third runner in line throughout much of the contest. He faded as the pack surged over the final 300 meters, however, and settled for a sixth-place finish in 13:20.64.   Because only the top five finishers automatically advanced out of each heat, Solinsky was forced to wait for the finish of the second section to see if his time would hold up as one of the next five fastest that also would move on.   It did, as all five of the qualifiers on time came out of the initial heat. Solinsky's time was more than two seconds faster than the winning mark in the second section.   In all, three of the four Americans in the event moved on, with defending world champion Bernard Lagat finishing fourth in the second section to automatically advance. Former UW All-American Evan Jager ran well to finish 11th in the section, but his mark of 13:39.80 was not fast enough to advance on time.   Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia won the first section and was fastest overall, at 13:19.77.   While Solinsky helped set the pace at the front, Tegenkamp ran at the back of the lead group and was 10th at the 3,000-meter mark. He began his charge three laps later and headed for the front with 600 meters to go.   Solinsky remained third as the leaders hit the bell lap, with Tegenkamp just behind in fifth. When the race became a sprint with just 300 meters left, Tegenkamp charged toward the lead and remained in contention all the way to the finish line.   Jesús España of Spain knocked Solinsky out of the final automatic qualifying spot when he made the pass for fifth just 40 meters from the finish.   The 5,000 meters final is set for 9:25 a.m. (Central), and Unviersal Sports will provide a live webcast of the final day of competition beginning at 8:35 a.m. NBC will begin its television coverage at 1 p.m.   - 30 -   -- Brian Mason Athletic Communications Assistant
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