After competing in the New York City Marathon last year, Santa Rosa native Kim Conley has returned to her usual distance and will compete in the USATF Outdoor Championships in Sacramento this week.
The two-time Olympics competitor and 2004 graduate of Montgomery High School will run the 10,000 meters Thursday evening on the first night of the meet that runs through Sunday at Hornet Stadium.
The field lining up for Thursday’s 8:27 p.m. 10,000 final includes the U.S. record holder, Molly Huddle, and the 2008 Olympic silver medalist Shalene Flanagan.
Conley has the third-fastest time (31:35.88) by any American in 2017, though Huddle and Flanagan haven’t competed in the distance this season.
Between two Olympic competitions in the 5,000, Conley won her first national title in the 10,000 at the 2014 USATF Championships, also in Sacramento.
After high school, Conley went on to compete at UC Davis and now trains in the Sacramento area. With the crowd in her corner in 2014, she outkicked Jordan Hasay to win one of the most hotly contested races of the meet.
She may be hoping for a little home fans energy boost again.
Athletes in the Outdoor Championships will compete to qualify for the IAAF World Championships next summer at the same venue.
Local organizers are hoping to “Sell Out Saturday” to strengthen their bid to bring the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials to Sacramento. The state capitol is one of three cities bidding for the next trials, along with Eugene, Oregon, and Walnut, in Southern California.
Conley ran the New York City Marathon in November, as did her high school teammate Sara (Bei) Hall. They finished five minutes apart. Hall finished ninth in 2:36:12, while Conley finished 16th and was the 10th American to cross. Her time was 2:41:38 in her first competitive marathon.
Conley competed in the 5,000 in the 2012 Olympics, finishing 12th in her heat; last year in Rio, she also ended her run with a 12th-place finish in a preliminary round.
This week’s championships feature 16 Olympic gold medal winners: Justin Gatlin (100 meters), Allyson Felix (200), LaShawn Merritt (400), Matt Centrowitz (1,500), Aries Merritt (110 high hurdles), Dawn Harper (100 hurdles), Kerron Clement (400 hurdles), Dalilah Muhammad (400 hurdles), Jeff Henderson (long jump), Brittney Reese (long jump), Tianna Bartoletta (long jump), Christian Taylor (triple jump), Jenn Suhr (pole vault), Ryan Crouser (shot put), Michelle Carter (shot put) and Stephanie Brown Trafton (discus).
The meet begins midday Thursday with a men’s decathlon preliminary event and concludes Sunday afternoon with the men’s 110m hurdles.
You can reach Staff Writer Lori A. Carter at 707-521-5470 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @loriacarter.