Well Today is going to be star studded. We have prelims in the 1500s and that means our first look at Morgan Uceny, Jenny Simpson, Anna Pierce, and Shannon Rowbury. Christin Wurth Thomas is NOT on the start list. I was so looking forward to her front running style leading this race. That’s a big loss in my opinion – not sure the race will go off as fast without her. In that event the race becomes more tactical and possibly opens it up to someone outside the Big 4 to slip in and get a spot. That takes nothing away from the Big 4, and with Alice Schmidt and Phoebe Wright doubling back from the 8, and Brenda Martinez in tow, this race should still be hot – one of the hottest of the meet.
The men’s 15 also starts Today, and it will be without Lopez Lamong and Bernard Lagat – which makes this race pretty wide open. My gut says Andrew Wheating, Leo Manzano, David Torrence, and Robbie Andrews should lead the way – but you never know how the pacing will go. Matt Centrowitz slipped in for a medal at last year’s World Championships because the pace dawdled. If that becomes the case here – and American milers are notorious for thinking they can kick when they can’t – then look for guys like Centro, Andrew Bayer, and German Fernandez to potentially be in the mix coming down the stretch.
As uncertain as I am about the 1500, I do have a pretty good idea how the triple jump is going to go – can you say Christian Taylor and Will Claye? Also keep an eye on Omar Craddock during qualifying, because of he steps up the team could be composed of Florida Gators – I think that would be a first for one school (current or alumni) to fill all three slots in an event for the Games. But Taylor and Claye are clearly the standouts in this field, and Craddock is certainly capable of competing heads up with Walter Davis, and Aarik Wilson who I think should be the contestants for the third spot.
We get more “names” in the women’s high jump with former Olympian Amy Acuff taking on current event star Chaunte Lowe, and young talent Brigetta Barrett. And World 400 hurdle champion will get her journey started in heat 1 of that event.
The men’s long hurdles gets started as well, and that means Bershawn Jackson, Angelo Taylor and several young men that would love to have their resumes – like Reggie Wyatt and Justin Gaymon. But if you want a good look at their challengers watch heat 4 of the opening round with Johnny Dutch, Jeshua Anderson, and Kerron Clement. That’s as loaded an opener you’ll see this side of the Games, and I’ll bet that at least one is on the flight to London. Surprisingly NCAA champion Amaechi Morton is not among the listed starters, but Morton aside some combination of the aforementioned should make up this team.
And if you thought the women’s 100 was a burner, wait until we get to the final of the deuce. Allison Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh will be back on the track – so will Carmelita Jeter, Tianna Madison, Bianca Knight, AND Sanya Richards Ross. AND they will be joined by the fresh legs of Kimberlyn Duncan! Oh I almost forgot about Shalonda Salomon – she only led the world on teh clock last year and won the National championships. Whew. I hope USATF has gotten a grip on their tie breaking procedures! As the shrunken head said in Harry Potter, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride. This could be one of the hardest fought finishes of the meet.
So there will be a lot of stars/studs on the track trying to work they’re way to London. There will be a few finals today to decide seats on the next flight to London. That would be the men’s pole vault and both 5000s.
The men’s 5k should be a burner with Bernard Lagat, Galen Rupp and Lopez Lamong leading the way. Without Derrick, Tegenkamp or Ritzenhein in the race this trio should pretty much have their way – though I’m not sure that threesome was going to keep them off the plane. In the women’s race Molly Huddle is the favorite going in, but Lisa Uhl could be hungry (read dangerous) after her 4th place finish in the 10,000. She’ll be on the team by virtue of Shalane Flanagan declining to run the 10K in London, but certainly she will want to “earn” her way today.
That men’s pole vault is wide open. And with the weather report saying chance of rain in Eugene today, that makes things even more difficult for the vaulters. We already lost Andrew Irwin to a NH in the qualifying under poor conditions, so we know that the weather could play a roll again today. That said I will stick with Brad Walker as my favorite, after him let’s flip that coin and get it warmed up in case we need it for tie breaking purposes later!
In either case we should get things rolling again in style. This should be a good day – barring the weather.
Tags: olympic trials