Baaa…bum..bum.bummm….bum…bum…bum. ba ba badum ba da bum badabada bum. .
We all know the Olympic theme song, but rarely do you get a chance to actually go to the Olympics. In less than a week now I am going to go to the Olympic Track and Field Trials to watch some of the top athletes in the world push their bodies to achieve dreams they have been picturing for years. In four years, I hope to actually be running IN the Olympic Trials, but I’ll just be watching them this time. July 1-10 I will be in Eugene, Oregon live tweeting about the trials, and hopefully getting a few autographs from some of the top athletes ;). Follow 605 Running Co. or the hashtag #run605 to access those tweets! Below I will highlight a few races that I am specifically looking forward to.
Mens: July 1 8:15pm cst. Galen Rupp will be looking for the marathon, 10k Trials double. He won the marathon trials back in February and is looking at the possibility at running both the 10k and marathon in Rio at the Olympics. In Rio, the 10k is the first day of competition (Aug 5) and the marathon is the last day of competition (Aug 21). Rupp, making winning the marathon look easy, will definitely be a contender for a top three spot in the 10k. Diego Estrada, a 2013 northern Arizona grad, also competed in the marathon Trials back in February but fell short of making the team, so he will be looking for redemption in the 10k. (Currently has the 2nd fastest qualifying time). Eric Jenkins is my pick to round off the top three. Another notable athlete in the field is Bernard Lagat, who is famous for the 1500m in his prime. Now 40 years old he still put down a 27:49 qualifying time for the 10k, and a 13:14 for the 5k. He will be a contender in both of those events.
Womens: July 2, 1:04pm cst. The Women’s race is going to be an AWESOME race to watch as the top 7 qualifying times are only separated by 12 seconds! In the mix of it is veteran Molly Huddle, who I believe will have the advantage because of her experience in a lot of championship races. Another popular name to mention is Jordan Hasay who sits 22 seconds back from the top seed, however she opted out of Indoor Worlds to increase her chance at making the Rio Olympics, so I imagine she is going to be racing with a lot on the line.
Mens: July 4th 7:51 pm cst. Early in the year, it seemed that Nick Symmonds and Boris Berian would be the top two with little argument. However, with Donavan Brazier’s time that he ran to win NCAA’s this year as a freshmen bumped Symmonds back to the third best time only a few tenths in front of 4th and 5th’s time. I predict these three to make the olympic team, but if I was Nick Symmonds I wouldn’t sit back as long as he usually does. Duane Solomon, Mt. Sac Champion, will also be in the field with a time of 1:45.47 which is 1 second slower than third place. FUN FACT: Drew Windle (Ashland Grad) is in the field with a seed time of 1:45.65. My freshman year (2014-2015) as USF I ran against him in a DMR at NCAA DII Indoor Nationals. (He was really fast then too)
Womens: July 4th 7:42 pm cst. It looks as though Ajee’ Wilson from Adidas should run away with the Women’s 800m as she is coming in with a seed time of 1:57.87 which is nearly 1 second ahead of the rest of the field (a huge margin in the 800). Brenda Martinez is signed up for the 800, 1500m double where she is ranked 3rd and 7th respectively. Brenda Martinez I believe is one of our best shots for a medal in Rio. She had an outstanding indoor season, and I don’t think we have seen her best this outdoor season yet. FUN FACT: Laura Roesler, running for Nike and Texas Elite Track Club, is ranked 9th with a 2:00.15 (1.09 seconds out of third). Laura ran at Howard Wood Relays and dominated the special 800m in 2010. I remember watching her in as an 8th grader with my mouth agape with awe.
Mens: July 8th 7:23 pm cst. The Men’s Steeple Chase seems to be a race for second, as Evan Jagger holds the fastest qualifying time by 13 seconds. 2nd place will be fought for by Donald Cabral of Nike, Daniel Huling of Nike BTC, Andrew Bayer of Nike BTC and Bowerman Track Club, Stanley Kegenei Sr. of Nike, and Cory Leslie of Nike. All those men are seperated by only 6 seconds. FUN FACT: Tabor Stevens of Asics is ranked 8th in the event (12 seconds out of third). He was a DII powerhouse my freshman year of college (2014-2015). I ran in the same race as him at DII XC Nationals.
Womens: July 7th 9:48 pm cst. The women’s steeple has been dominated by Emma Coburn lately, but a rising star, Leah O’Connor might give her a run for her money. Leah O’Connor (a 2015 MSU grad) running for adidas now is only 8 seconds behind Coburn’s time of 9:10. The real race will be for the last Olympic team spot with 3 women within 1 second of each other.
Mens: July 9th 7:20 pm cst. This should shape up to be a great one! The top three guys Hassan Mead, Ryan Hill, and Eric Jenkins are only separated by 3 seconds. Then there is a 7 second gap and Bernard Lagat, Garrett Heath, Riley Masters, and Shadrack Kipchirchir who are only separated by 4 seconds per their qualifying times. Since there are prelims in the 5k at the Trials I imagine that the finals will be a heavy sit and kick race. That being said I would bet on Bernard Lagat to make the top 3 as his 1500m speed should carry him through. Also Riley Masters would be one to watch out for down the home stretch as he has 3:36 1500m speed.
Womens: July 10th 6:28 pm cst. Molly Huddle is the face of the women’s 5k. She currently hold the top spot by 12 seconds. Also sitting 4th in the 10k, she has a legitamate shot at making the USA Rio team in two events! Emily Infeld is sitting second with a 15:00 and Abbey D’Agostino rounds out the top 3 with a 15:03. Huddle should take the title pretty easily, however you never know in the sport of track and field. Adding the pressure of the Olympic Trials, you never know.
Mens: July 10th 7:20 pm cst. The men’s 1500m should be another race for second. Matthew Centrowitz has been untouchable this year and comes to the Trials with a qualifying time 4 seconds faster than the rest of the field! I predict that he will sit with the field and own it the last 400-500. The race for second, however, is going to be where the excitement is at! With 15 others that have ran under 3:38 it will be a dogfight just to make it out of the semi’s. Among those 15, are Robby Andrews and Leo Manzano. Both of them and kick with the best in the world. Andrews, almost ran down Centrowitz at Indoor USA’s and Leo Manzano is the king at championship racing, So I would say those two will fill the next two spots for the Olympic tream, but Kyle Merber has ran a 3:34 (1 second faster than either of Andrews or Manzano) this season and seems to be the best he has ever been thus far in his emerging career. Another dark horse in the field is Will Leer. Coming off several injuries, we haven’t seen his best this season. He may be ranked 18th coming in, but he will be a contender in the finals I’m sure. FUN FACT: I ran in the same race (not the same heat though) in Hillsdale Michigan this Spring, Obviously he beat me, but I got a picture with him afterwards. :)
Womens: July 10th 7:00 pm cst. The Women’s 1500m is going to be a Jenny Simpson, Shannon Rowbury show. They have the fastest times in the field by nearly 6 seconds. Rowbury comes into the race with a faster seed time, but it will come down to the last lap for these women. The third may be more entertaining to watch then the lead because there is 8 women within 1 second of eachother fighting for that spot. I think the showdown will come down to Morgan Uceny and Brenda Martinez. Martinez has the 800 speed and Uceny has the experience! It should be fun to watch!
Remember follow along on twitter @Run605!
See you at the trials!
Jase Kraft (AKA Jay Cheese)