Eric Jenkins

Jul 9, 2016 3:52 PM

Portsmouth High graduate takes the national stage tonight

PORTSMOUTH - Class of 2010 Portsmouth High School graduate Eric Jenkins, 24, will take his shot at the summer Olympics tonight.

According to Seacoastonline, Jenkins will be running the 5,000-meter final at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore. It will be aired at 8:20 tonight on NBC.

This is the first Olympic Trials for Jenkins, who ran for Portsmouth High School before becoming an elite college runner at Northeastern and the University of Oregon. Jenkins turned professional last year.

Jenkins was entered in the 10,000 meter and the 5,000 meter, but dropped out of the 10K with 2,000 meter to go, after race leaders had built up an unbeatable lead. The 5,000 meters is Jenkins' best event.

During the preliminaries, Jenkins finished in third place, with a time of 13 minutes, 48.63 seconds, good enough for an automatic berth in tonight's final.

Last summer in Belgium, he ran the 5,000-meters in 13:07.33 — the fastest time ever recorded for an American 23-year-old. That time fulfilled his “A” standard for the Olympic Trials, a prerequisite for the Olympic team.

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