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10 to watch in Tokyo: Woody Kincaid

The University of Portland graduate will compete in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters at the 2020 Olympics.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Everyone has a different story about reaching their Olympic dream, and for Woody Kincaid, that story is defined by perseverance. 

Kincaid didn't have a standout college career at the University of Portland and he missed on the Olympics in 2016 with an eighth place finish in the 5,000 meters at the Olympic Trials. 

"When it came to college, I felt like I could do more," said Kincaid. "And as a pro, I had a good opening season and I knew I still had that. I was still motivated to succeed."

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Kincaid grew up in Colorado before attending the University of Portland. He's stayed in the Rose City while competing on the Bowerman Track Club.

Ahead of the Olympic Trials in June, Kincaid was ready to earn his spot on Team USA. His first event was the 10,000 meters and the race didn't the start the way he wanted. 

"My confidence was definitely the lowest when we were 10 minutes in," said Kincaid. "I was feeling very sluggish, I was very far in the back, we were clipping each other."

But with about four laps to go, he started to feel relaxed, and mentally he took over the race. Kincaid's kick at the end propelled him to a first place finish.

"The last lap of any race is always the easiest...It’s all about getting to the last lap for me," he said in a post-race press conference. "Cranking 53 seconds, cranking 57, or cranking 51 - it’s just what you have to do to win. Getting there into position to win is the hard part."

He followed that up by finishing third in the 5,000 meters -- just behind his Bowerman Track Teammate, Grant Fisher.

"I hope it sets the standard for all of Bowerman that we can do this and hopefully we can do it again for teams to come," said Kincaid.