Updike suffers heartbreak at Olympic Trials, fades to fifth

June 26, 2021

Isaac Updike

Ketchikan runner Isaac Updike suffered major heartbreak at the U.S. Olympic Trials.

In the lead on the final lap of the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase, the 29-year-old Alaskan fell off the pace and finished fifth.

Only two spots separated him from anguish and glory as the top three finishers punched their tickets to the Tokyo Summer Games.

Updike finished in 8:24.72, about two seconds behind third place.

He was near the front in the 14-man field for the first six laps before making a move with the lead pack on the seventh lap. He was in the lead by an eyelash when the bell sounded, signifying the final lap.

Hillary Bor and Benard Keter quickly set the pace for the final lap and eventually finished 1-2. Meanwhile, Updike was still up for the third spot but faded after he stumbled over the final water barrier to open the door for Mason Ferlic to snag the final Olympic spot.

Updike entered the final as the top seed after running 8:21.01 in the prelims. He was the race leader for the majority and coasted to victory.

Updike is a professional runner who trains with the Empire Elite Track Club out of New York.