USATF Champs Predictions 800m-10000m
Men's 800m - This event is useually a "pick-em's" type of event but the US has one of the bset half milers in the world in Clayton Murphy who has been on fire this year so he's a lock for this squad. Following him, I expect Donavan Brazier to also be a lock as he's looked solid and ran a nice 1:44 earlier this season. The 3rd spot is where it gets interesting. I'm picking Erik Sowinsky to make his second world outdoor team but Isaiah Harris and Drew Windle could make it interesting but Sowinsky is consistent and races well all year long. He had a good indoor season and I expect he will outlast the boys.
Women's 800m - I think there are really only 3 girls in the conversation and I don't think last year's Olympian Kate Grace will make it in the 800 this year. Ajee Wilson is the clear number 1, she crushed indoors and is fit right now, her training partner Charlene Lipsey had a breakthrough indoors this year and I think she makes the team too, it's just a matter of if she is ahead or behind Brenda Martinez who is fit as displayed by her 1:58 and 4:03 season bests this year.
Men's 1500m - Ah, the glory event, and always the most entertaining. Centro is the Olympic Champ for a reason, he's head and shoulders above the rest of the field. Even Clayton Murphy who's a 1:42 800m guy and will be doubling up can't touch Centro over 3 and 3/4 laps of the track. Centro looked super smooth at Oxy going 3:33 really early in the year so he's going to do what he normally does at USA's power away from everyone that last 120 looking like he's not even working. I'll take Murphy for 2ed as it will likely be a race won between 3:34-3:40 if history is any indicator of what we are to see in the final. He can close well off that type of pace as he showed going 3:51 for the mile at Pre. 3rd is up for grabs but I favor Blankenship to sneak into third like last year. (if Jenkins runs the 1500 though, I'd take him over Blankenship as he's looked unreal over 1500 indoors and out.)
Women's 1500m - I haven't been impressed with what little I've seen from Jenny Simpson or Shannon Rowbury but they have such amazing pedigree's and PR's much faster than the rest of the field. They should make it through no problem. 3rd will be between Brenda Martinez and Kate Grace, both of whom in my judgment are better half milers than 1500 runners but are far and away better than all the other girls entered.
Men's 5000m - One of my favorite events. It just won't be the same with no Kip, Bernard Lagat has been such a staple in this event in the US. But this is the era of Paul Chelimo at this distance so look for him to take down the field with Erik Jenkins chasing him down for 2ed. I'm taking Ryan Hill for 3rd over Ben True who seems to have had a couple niggles he's been dealing with this spring. How you beat Hill is make it really hard from the gun, he's not as strong as some of the other guys but he can close HARD. I just don't see any way this race is fast enough to drop him or dull his wheels at the end. We would need a 2010 Chris Solinky type effort and why would guys like Jenkins and Chelimo do that when they have better wheels than the rest. So with that said, Chelimo, Jenkins and Hill.
Women's 5000m - Molly Huddle is entered and has the fastest time this year but I doubt she will take her spot even if she wins. She normally doubles as a safety net to ensure a place on the team if something happens in the 10k. So Huddle will win fairly easily I'd assume, followed by Rowbury and her Emily Sisson. I'll take Marielle Hall for 4th which will be good enough to make the team if Huddle passes on the 5000 for London.
Men's 10000m - So there's only 5 guys with the standard in the 10k. Rupp, Korir, Kipchirchir, Mead and Derrick. (Chelanga has an Auto standard for his World XC performance.). Rupp is going to win this no matter how the race plays out. But the spots behind him could change depending on whether or not the pace is fast or slow. Someone without good closing speed like Derrick has a great chance to make the team if it's a 27:30 race but doesn't have a chance if it's over 28 minutes. I'm betting we see a 27:50-28:10 type race and in that case I'm taking Rupp, Korir and Kipchirchir.
Women's 10000m - This should be interesting for spots 2 and 3. Huddle ran the AR last year in the Olympic Final. She's like Rupp in this event, capable up running away from the field or pushing from 800 out and breaking them late so Huddle FTW with ease. Now, the battle of the Bowerman woman for the other two spots. Amy Craig, Shalane Flanagan and Emily Infelfd. I feel like Flanagan is pretty fit, and won't be afraid to push it to try to drop the other two from a mile or two out. I also believe Craig is aerobically stronger than Infelfd so she's my pick for 3rd. If there's an upset in the top 3 it could be Emily Sisson creating a game plan with Huddle and sneaking her way on. I mean she's run a great 5k and half in the last few months.
Men's 3000m Steeple - Jager is the king in this event. After him, Hillary Bor is the clear number 2. Then for 3rd it's between Don Cabral and Andy Bayer (possible veteran Dan Huling). My money is on Don Cabral who is a fierce racer and has decent closing speed. I know Bayer has better 1500m credentials but he hasn't run 3:35 in a few years so I'm going with Cabral.
Women's 3000m Steeple - On the women's side Emma Coburn is to this field what Jager is to the Men's. After her you have to favor Courtney Frerichs, then it gets pretty wide open but based on what she has done this season over the shorter stuff I'll take Colleen Quigley for the 3rd spot.
So things have gone really well lately which I'm excited about. JJ and I decided to do a 5000m to bust some rust this coming weekend and then I'll target the Mews 8km with the goal of running around 24:30 or there about I'm guessing. I'll have a better gauge after a 5000 to see if I can attack a time any faster than that. Obviously 2 weeks after the Mews I'll run the tely. I always get caught up in "racing" the tely and it always bites me in the ass late in the race, hence why I've got a pedestrian 52 minute PB over the 10 mile course so this year I'm taking the Jared Ward approach and am going to run the fastest pace I can sustain over the course from the gun and forget about place and just try to run every mile between 5:05 and 5:10. That should bring me in between 50:50 and 51:40. a wide range but those are times I wouldn't walk away disappointed with. There's guys who have run low 51's who are a full minute slower than I am over a half marathon so I need to just get a good time under my belt this year and then focus on winning when the time comes and I think I'm fit enough to scare sub 50. If you can't go under 50 you really can't compete for the win at the tely anymore which says a lot about how much it's improved over the years. There were years the winning times were 52-54 minutes which is crazy to think about.
As for my running lately, I've gotten back to basics. I did a session of 10X1k and managed to average a hair under 3 minutes off 1' rest on the track (spiked up) but was fading bad at the end and the last 3 were moving in the wrong direction and over 3'. I had another one of 12X800m off 1' which was around 2:25 average. Another one from late last week was a 5 mile tempo on the roads. I was hoping to go 5:00-5:05 but averaged 5:07.2/mile and ended up going 25:37. I was about 15:53 through 5k feeling pretty decent. So I'm not super fit but it's coming back each week and my confidence is growing with each workout. Today JJ gave me a breakdown session of a 2 mile, 1 mile, 800, 400, 200 off 3', 2', 1', 30". We wanted 9:40, 4:40, 2:20, 65 and 30 but as you guys who live here know the weather was insane today. Windy, 27 degrees with high humidity. I ended up going 9:48, 4:43, 2:17, 65 and 28. The shorter intervals were manageable in the heat but I suffered hard on the two mile and mile. Anyway, let's hope the 5000 goes well and we start rolling into the summer and then build for that large fall I'm hoping for!
Thanks for reading y'all! I truly appreciate it. I'm writing some content for LeanFit about nutrition, so if anyone is interested in that leave a msg below and I'll link to it. I'll leave you guys with a few pics I snapped of the new wheels this afternoon.
Until next time, keep that chin tucked!