Galen Rupp Signs with Michael Johnson, by Alfons Juck, Note by Larry Eder


The rumors started early on Sunday, after the meet. Galen Rupp had chosen Michael Johnson as his agent. At this time, MJ has Jeremy Wariner, one of the top long sprinters in the world, but no one else. In the Oregonian article on the subject, Galen is quoted as saying that MJ not having a large stable of athletes appealed to him.

As one of the most watched athletes in the US, and an athlete who has been coached by Alberto Salazar for most of his high school and college career, Galen Rupp has been considered one of the most promising American distance runners of his generation.


The consensus was that Galen would choose an agent with some background in distance running, such as Mark Wetmore, Peter Stubbs, Ray Flynn or Tom Radcliffe. On Let', one comment asked if MJ will take Galen to adidas, as he did with Jeremy Wariner. Considering the nearly life long connection with Nike brand, that sounds distant. Most sponsors see it as ludicrous to compete against Nike's deep pockets when they truly want an athlete. Not all, but most....

The real value for Galen Rupp is not now, but in six to eight years, when he moves to the marathon. Continued development, with faster times on the track, over 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters, suggests a strong future at the marathon. Consider this for one moment, it was nearly two years ago when Rupp ran 27:33. In his present condition, one would surmise he could run 27 minutes or nearby.

An agent, manager knows that today, in these tough economic times, an athlete of Galen's character and potential stands out. An athlete with the support of Alberto Salazar's dream, the Oregon project, can find his or her true potential. Galen Rupp has just begun to develop, and his ability to move quickly over the last few laps, is, as 72 bronze medalist Ian Stewart mentioned on Saturday, quite impressive. To medal in these days, you not only have to handle the pace, but be able to drop a four minute mile and kick off a 52 or 53 second last lap. That is the nature of global distance running. And that is required to be in the top six.

One thing is for certain, it will be a fascinating series of negotiations, and Galen Rupp's apparent goal of having someone focus on his best interests, and only on his interests, came into play. This will make this a compelling story.

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EUGENE (USA): Race Results Weekly has learned that NCAA and USA 10,000m champion Galen Rupp of the University of Oregon has chosen 400 meter world record holder Michael Johnson to be his agent. Two other prominent agents, who also did not wish to be identified, confirmed that Rupp had signed with Johnson. Rupp‘s decision is surprising, considering that Johnson, who represents Olympic gold medalist Jeremy Wariner, does not have any other distance running clients.

An agent‘s typical role when an athlete is graduating from college, is to shop the athlete to different shoe companies looking for the best available deal. But with Rupp, it was a certainty that he would go with Nike given that his coach, Alberto Salazar, is Nike‘s top coach-in-residence at the Nike World Campus in Beaverton, just outside of Portland. Speculation swirled here in the last several days as Rupp interviewed potential agents, including Ray Flynn, Peter Stubbs, Mark Wetmore and Tom Ratcliffe.

Special Thanks to Alfons Juck, EME News.

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