What used to be a trip halfway across the country is now little more than a step out the back door for former UW All-Americans Chris Solinsky and Matt Tegenkamp.
The two are no strangers to the competitive scene in Eugene, Ore., but both likely will feel more at home this time around when they compete in the Prefontaine Classic on Sunday.
Both are slated to run in the 3,000 meters at the elite event, which NBC will televise live from 1-3 p.m. Central time.
Tegenkamp and Solinsky now call the state of Oregon home after spending
years training in Madison. The duo, along with other former Badgers
like Simon Bairu and Tim Nelson, train under former Badger distance and
cross country coach Jerry Schumacher, who now heads up the Nike Oregon
Tegenkamp has a pretty good record at Hayward Field, as he set the American two-mile record of 8:07.07 at the 2007 Pre Classic and finished second in the 5,000 at last year's U.S. Olympic Trials on the same track.
Bernard Lagat, who won that Olympic Trials race and was one of Tegenkamp's teammates on the U.S. squad in Beijing, also is in the loaded field for Sunday's 3,000 meters. Also competing is Olympian Alistair Cragg, who held off Tegenkamp to win the 5,000 at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational on May 2.
The runner-up finish in 13:22 was Tegenkamp's first race of the year after he sat out the indoor season to rehab a leg injury and earned him
Solinsky, fifth in the Olympic Trials 5,000 last year, most recently took third in the 5K at the Mt. SAC Relays in April.
The other former Badger competing Sunday is Evan Jager, who was an All-American for UW in the 1,500 meters last year before joining the professional ranks. He will compete in the Bowerman Mile against a field that includes four-time U.S. champion Alan Webb and 2008 Olympians Lopez Lamong and Leonel Manzano.