US Track and Field Nationals Start Today

The US Track and Field Nationals start today in Eugene Oregon.  Besides crowning national champions it will also serve as the qualification for the US team for the World Championships in Berlin in August.

There is a full slate of events on tap, check out the full schedule to see what you might be interested in, but the highlights for me will be:

  • Can Tyson Gay complete his comeback from injury at Nationals last year and a subsequent poor showing at the Olympics?  He ran a fantastic 200m a few weeks ago in his debut (19.58, third fastest ever) and will be running the 100m only at Nationals as he has a bye into both the 100m and 200m at Worlds due to being the defending champion from 2007.
  • Bernard Lagat will be dropping down to 800m to work on his speed.  He has never gone sub-1:46 even with his outstanding 1500m/mile credentials.  He also has byes to Worlds in the 1500m and 5000m.  It will be tough going against Symmonds, Robinson, and crew.
  • German Fernandez, what will he run?  He is entered in both junior and senior races at distances including 1500m and 5000m.  It would be great to see him go up against Tegenkamp and Solinsky at 5000m or Manzano, Lomong, Webb, etc. at 1500m.
  • Since Lagat isn't running the 1500m, who will step up and perform?  Manzano has looked great at times but not at others.  Lomong has potential.  Webb has only looked ok so far this season.  A long list could steal a spot on the team if it is a kickers race and Fernandez could steal it if he runs and it is a steady/fast pace.
  • Can Galen Rupp win his first national championship?  He has had a terrific year already with numerous championships at the NCAA level and is one of the favorites in the 10000m but Abdi will have something to say about it.
  • Will Sanya Richards redeem herself in the 400m after last years disappointment?  She was coming off illness and had issues with rounds last year but looks better this year.
  • Allyson Felix is doubling in the 100m and 200m so how will she do?  Many would love to see her run the 400m against Richards.
  • What event will Jenny Barringer run?  It will probably be just the Steeple and the American Record could fall there, but I'd like to see her run the 1500m where she is the fastest American this year and only the third American under 4:00 ever.
  • Was Maggie Vessey's 2:00.18 for real and can she step up as our next great 800m runner?
  • Will Shalane Flanagan double at 5000m and 10000m (or just run the latter) and if so, the duel between her and Kara Goucher at 5000m should be fun.

There is much more and the above is just a sampling, so do tune in.  Where you ask?  There will be the normal television coverage on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, but in a new partnership between USATF and Flotrack there will be live and archived streaming video.  So you can tune in this afternoon to begin catching preliminaries in many events and the finals of the 10000m tonight.

Enjoy! 

 

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