It may have not been like Billy Mills in 1964, but Galen Rupp's rush from fourth to second in the closing straight of last Saturday's Olympic 10,000-meter final showed that American distance running has finally caught back up to the best in the world.
Over the past few years there have been increasingly good signs such as Meb Keflezighi's silver medal in the 2004 Olympic marathon, Shalane Flanagan's bronze in the women's 10,000 in Beijing and Jenny Simpson's gold medal in the 1,500 at last year's world championships.
But with the men and women' 5,000 and men's marathon still to go in London, these Olympics has shown that it's not just going to the Kenyans and Ethiopians always leading the way anymore.
Rupp has spent the past few year training with Al Salazar and honing his speed so he could close with the world's best in an Olympic 10,000. On Sunday, his training and tactics worked almost to perfection. Only Rupp's training partner and close friend, Mo Farah of Great Britain, held him off by a half second.
In the men's 1,500, American Leo Manzano took the silver medal while teammate Matt Centrowitz, whose father was a a two-time Olympian, was fourth, just four-hundreds of a second from a bronze medal.
Even in the steeplechase, where Africans again swept the top spots, two American finished in the top 10 with Glastonbury's Donn Cabral finishing eighth and Evan Jager 10th.
In the 800, Duane Solomon finished fourth and Nick Symmonds fifth.
The American women's performance has been disappointing despite high hopes. Flanagan, Kara Goucher and Desiree Davila were expected to contend for medals, but Flanagan was 10th, Goucher 11th and Davila dropped out because of an injury.
Three American women made the 10,000 final but were not close to a medal. In the steeplechase, Emma Coburn and Bridget Franek qualified for the final and were 9th and 14th, respectively, with Coburn running a personal best.
But the best may still be coming.
Rupp, along with teammates Lopez Lamong and Bernard Lagat, all among the world's best, have qualified for Saturday's 5,000-meter final.
Morgan Unceny and Shannon Rowbury, who won the bronze medal at the 2009 world championships, were among the top qualifiers for today's women's 1,500 final. Julie Culley and Molly are also in today's 5,000 final.
In the men's marathon on Sunday morning, the U.S. has a strong veteran team with Keflezighi, four-time Olympian Abdi Abdirahman and Ryan Hall, who has been America's best marathoner in recent years.
You can go to www.nbcolympics.com and get all the results and watch the races live or after they happen.
And while your at it go to YouTube and watch the Mills race from 1964. Along with the Dave Wottle 800 win from 1972, it one of the most exciting races you'll ever watch. And the call of the race is great.
On the schedule
The 17th annual Waterford Week five-mile road race will be held Sunday at 8:30 a.m. at Waterford Beach Park.
The Dirt Road and Trail Romp 5K will be held Sunday, Aug. 19 at 11 a.m. at 100 Whippoorwill Road in Old Lyme.
The annual Battle of Stonington 5K road will be held Tuesday, Aug. 21 at 6:15 p.m. at Wadawanuck Square in Stonington borough. Applications and information for all three races is at www.snerro.com.
Joe Wojtas is The Day's running columnist.