Conley falters, finishes 12th in 5,000 meters in Moscow

By MICHAEL COIT
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Having achieved her goal of reaching the final, Kim Conley wanted more than finishing back in the 5,000-meter field Saturday at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow.

Conley led the first laps of the race, but faded to 12th. Her time of 15:36.58 was well off both her qualifying mark and personal best.

“That didn’t go at all the way I hoped,” Conley said in a USATF report.

Meseret Defar, of Ethiopia, won a race that included the best finish ever by an American woman. Molly Huddle led a trio of U.S. women, in sixth place. Teammate Shannon Rowbury was right behind.

Making the Moscow meet was another milestone for Conley, the former Montgomery High School great who ran at UC Davis.

In a breakout 2012 season, Conley made the U.S. team for the London Olympics.

This season Conley, 27, set a personal best in the 5,000 in 15:09.57. She ran well enough at the national championships to make the U.S. team for Moscow.

In qualifying this week, Conley ran 15:27.35 in a fast heat won by Defar. Conley’s time was the best of the three American women.

Reaching the final was one step better than Conley’s result in the Olympics. Yet she wanted more.

“I just totally choked, it was unacceptable,” she said.

Still, the young professional based in Sacramento continues to gain valuable experience racing with the world’s best.

“I’ve built off last year, you know, making it to London but not making it to the final. So the goal coming into this was to make it into the final,” Conley said.

“So I’ll build off of that and see where we go from here.”

 

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