Former Gophers runner Hassan Mead fell during the last lap of his heat of the 5,000-meter run Wednesday morning when he got tangled up with a couple of other runners near the front of the pack.
Afterward, Mead's appeal to be placed in Friday's race finals based on his position in the race at the time of the fall was denied, according to a representative from USA Track and Field.
“I felt great," Mead said on the USA Track and Field web site. "I was maybe in the top four with 200 (meters) to go. I was in a good position. It’s just racing.”
Mead, who graduated from South High School, finished 13th in the 25-man heat with a time of 13:34.27, which placed him 29th among the 51 runners in the competition. The top five finishers from each heat,as well as the next five fastest times, qualified for the finals.
The cutoff was 13:26.02 by Bernhard Lagat of the United States.
The heat was won by Hagos Gebrhiwet of Ethiopia in 13:24.65. Mo Farah, the 10,000-meter champ, finished third in 13:25.25. Farah was one of two runners who got tangled up with Mead. He stumbled without falling, then quickly regained his stride and finished third,
Afterward, Mead told USA Track & Field: “I think Mo was in front of me, this is what I think happened, it was all pretty blurry because by the time I realized anything happened I was on the ground. But I think I was outside of Mo, and moved in at the same time he moved in so I didn’t have the full stride and I ran into him. That’s what happened, then I was on the ground and tried to get up as quick as possible to finish."
For more from Mead and quotes from Lagat, go to the USA Track and Field web site.
Farah, who won both the 5,000 and the 10,000 at the London Olympics in 2012, successfully defended his title at the longer distance in a dramatic final last Saturday when he recovered after tumbling to the track.
"I've got such a long stride ... I always get tripped up or tangled up with someone," Farah said. "But I managed to stay on my feet. It's quite nerve wracking."
Farah was among those who consoled Mead after the race.
Come back to startribune.com later for more on this story from columnist Jim Souhan.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.