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8:16.88 Evan Jager
8:18.54 Stanley Kebenei
8:18.83 Hillary Bor
8:18.90 Andy Bayer
The played out perfectly for a kicker's race. Brian Shrader took the lead immediately and brought the pack through the first four laps in about 8:20 pace until Harun Lagat asserted himself up front. Unfortunately just before three laps to go, Shrader tripped over the barrier on the homestretch and fell back.
With three laps remaining, the race up front became a battle between Lagat, Bor, Kebenei, Bayer, and Jager. With two laps remaining, Lagat and Bor injected a slight pace increase while Jager remained patient. On the second-to-last water jump, Jager made his presence known with a surge over the leaders. Within seconds, the race was split into two as Jager, Bor, Kebenei and Bayer took off.
Over the final water jump, Jager powered ahead as the battle for the second and third spots ensued. Ultimately, Kebenei and Bor out-leaned a hard-charging Bayer who finished a devastating fourth-place once again at a national championship.
For Kebenei, the performance marks his first international team after a disappointing Olympic Trials performance last year. Kebenei was in contention for a podium finish until a fall over the final water jump ended his chances.
Bor's run gave him the opportunity to compete on his second international team after finishing seventh at the Olympic Games in Rio.
Jager's victory marks the sixth national championship for the Olympic silver medalist.