This time last week, track and field fans were eagerly awaiting a run-off in the 100 meters. For whatever reasons, the run-off did not happen and the track and field Olympic trials came to a close. The last week of the trials provided some great races and fast times. The women’s 5k will long be remembered with Kim Conley barely getting third and the A-standard. Alyson Felix came back with a vengeance and ran a world leading time in the 200 meters. The U.S. is perhaps sending the best 1500 meter runners to games in recent history. In what events do we have a chance of medaling and which ones do we not? Here are my thoughts (I don’t claim to psychic or right) heading into the games. A complete listing of the US team is here.
100 Meters– The US team all have top 10 performances in the world’s best list for 2012. With Carmelita Jeter as number two in the world currently it is likely will we will see a medal in the 100 meters. It just depends on what metal.
200 meters– Allyson Felix, Sanya Richards-Ross and Carmelita Jeter are 1, 2 & 4 on the world’s best list for 2012. I would be extremely surprised if we don’t medal.
400 meters– Sanya Richards-Ross has been impressive this year. It is really hard to imagine her not medaling. The rest of team are no slouches with Francena McCorory and DeeDee Trotter running well this year.
Marathon-I might be a bit overconfident in our US marathon team. But Shalane Flanagan, Desiree Davila and Kara Goucher have all come in the top three in a major marathon. It is hard for me to imagine that one will not do it again.
100 meter hurdles-The US is sending a strong team that includes Dawn Harper ( gold medalist 2008) and Kellie Wells ( 3rd fastest internationally this year). Lolo Jones is on the comeback trail and could make a run for it.
400 meter hurdles- Lashinda Demus has the fourth fastest time this year in the hurdles and won gold in Daegu. Georgeanne Moline and Ti’erra Brown are also having a strong season.
High Jump-Chaunte Lowe and Brigetta Barrett have the third and fourth highest jumps this year. Lowe won gold earlier this year at World indoors. Amy Acuff is ranked in the top ten.
Long Jump- Brittany Reese claimed the world leader at the Olympic trials. Reese has won gold in the World Championships in Daegu and Berlin. Chelsea Hayes and Janay Deloach also have top ten jumps for this year.
Call me, maybe?
800 meters– Alysia Montano (1:57.37) has currently the 3rd best time internationally behind Pamela Jelimo (1:56.76 & 1:56.94). She will need to get through the rounds to have a shot.
1500 meters– It is difficult to put this in the maybe group. Morgan Uceny, Shannon Rowbury and Jenny Simpson might be the strongest US team we have sent in recent history. There are plenty of Kenya, Ethiopia and Russia runners hat have run faster this year. Uceny was ranked 1 internationally last year and Jenny Simpson has a World Championship medal so it is very hard to count them out.
10,000 meters-Amy Hastings has a shot of being a medal contender. She is inthe top 10 internationally this year. She is a little less than a minute behind world leader Tirunesh Dibaba. Depending on how the race plays out, I would not be surprised to see Hastings in at least the top 5.
Pole Vault-Jenn Suhr has a strong chance of medaling. She has one of the top ten vaults this year so far. In the past few years, Suhr has jumped the 3 highest marks in the World.
Shot-Put-Jill Camarena-Williams is one of the top five throwers so far this year. Most recently, she came in fourth at the World Indoor Championships.
Discus Throw – Stephanie Brown Trafton is ranked in the top six throwers internationally so far this year. Trafton also won gold in 2008 Olympics.
3000 Meter Steeplechase– The US is sending the last 3 NCAA champions and they lack international experience. Emma Coburn will need to run a PR to even be in contention.
5000 meters– I was not quite sure where to place this one. If you look at the World’s best list, there are 24 runners with better times than Julie Culley. Luckily, Kenya and Ethiopia can only send three runners which greatly decreases the list. Yet, it does not look likely the US will medal.
Triple Jump– The US will only be represented by Amanda Smock who only has the B-standard.
Hammer Throw-None of the throwers have place higher than 7th World Championship or Olympic games. Jessica Crosby has the furthest American throw this year but does break the top ten internationally.
Javelin Throw-The team is fairly young and their throws do not break the top 20 best internationally so far this year.
My opinions above will likely prove inaccurate. Athletes tend to rise to the occasion when at the Olympics and have major breakthroughs. I would have never predicted a Jenny Simpson win last year at the World Championships. We are still 18 days out from the opening ceremonies and anything could happen.