By David Fleet
Cooper Teare was less than one second from making the U.S.Olympic Team.
On June 26, Teare, a senior distance runner for the University of Oregon, was edged out by .095 of a second of making the team in the men’s 5,000 meters on the final day of the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials at his home school’s newly renovated Hayward Field.
Paul Chelimo, a 2016 Olympics silver medalist, won the race with a time of 13:26.82, Grant Fisher 13:27.01 and Woody Kincaid at 13:27.13
Teare finished fourth with a time of 13:28.08.
Teare is the son of Dave and Charlene Teare of Alameda, Calif. Dave is a former resident of Ortonville and a 1980 graduate of Brandon High School.
“You can’t be disappointed when you get edged out by three of the best distance runners in the country,” said David Teare, father of Cooper following Sunday’s race. “Especially because professional runners do not like being taken out by a college upstart. He gave it his all, and is not feeling down about the outcome. Of course, we couldn’t be more proud of him, and there are plenty of great opportunities to come. Paris in 2024 is just around the corner.
After a year of shutdowns due to the pandemic, the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials determined the team headed to the Tokyo Games this summer. Teare’s road to the Olympic trials came after he won the 5,000 meter NCAA Track and Field championship on June 11. The time of 13:12.24 was needed to top the Olympic Standard time of 13:13.5 for 5, 000 meters.
Cooper was processed by the Olympic committee for travel as an alternate in the event of an injury, disqualification, said David.
“There have been multiple offers to go pro, but Cooper has decided to take some time to think it over,” said David. “Because of COVID, his scholarship at Oregon has been extended another year, and his love of the school, his coach and teammates makes it a very difficult decision, but one he will have to make in the near future.”
By David Fleet