US Track and Field Nationals Mid-Point Update

As I wrote about earlier, the US Nationals and qualifiers for this years World Championships in Berlin started Thursday and we are halfway through, so an update seemed appropriate.

First, touching on the items I said to watch for:

  • Tyson Gay did run only 1 round in the 100m but threw down a wind aided 9.75 in winning his heat so he seems in good form.  He was unhappy with his execution in the race so look for better later this summer.  In his absence, Michael Rodgers capitalized and won the final in 9.91w to take the national chamipionship.
  • Bernard Lagat also only ran 1 round in the 800m but unlike Gay did not look that great running 1:48.59 and finishing third in his heat.  He plans on running another 800m in Europe in a week so look for an improvement there.  The favorites, Symmonds, Robinson, and Smith are all through to Sunday's final, but look for Tevan Everett to push all three.
  • German Fernandez ran the senior 5000m and did fantastic finishing 5th and setting a new American Junior Record of 13:25.46.  Just in front of him Tegenkamp and Solinsky threw down 53.x final laps with Teg coming out on top in 13:20.57.  Training partner and 20 year old Evan Jager finished third.  Given the young ages of all, it would seem to bode well for the US in the 5000m in upcoming years.
  • The 1500m has pretty much gone to form with Rob Myers being the key casualty in the heats.  Webb eked in getting second in his heat and Manzano and Lomong also were through easily.  Final is Sunday.
  • Galen Rupp did win the 10,000m in impressive fashion stalking Ritz over the final laps before kicking past with 500m to go.  It will be great to see hi run in Europe where he will be pressed by better runners and could get close to the American Record.
  • Sanya Richards looked very good in her 400's with the final today.
  • On the other hand, Allyson Felix didn't look so good in her 100's having a very poor start and not being able to close to reach the final.  Here's hoping she'll do better in the 200m and sharpen up before Worlds in August.
  • Barringer chose to run the Steeple and had to deal with a water barrier that was 6 inches too high in her heat.  She still won comfortably and the final against Anna Willard is Sunday.
  • Vessey is through to the final of the 800m with Borza'esque tactics of running near the rear but closing hard.
  • Flanagan choose to run just the 10,000m and surprise, her competition was not from Kara Goucher but from her training partner Amy Begley.  And Begley was sharper than Flanagan out-kicking her with 200m to go to take the title.  I'd still look for Flanagan to sharpen by Worlds and be in the running for a medal.

Now, some things I didn't say to look for but were notable.

  • Kara Goucher did run the 5000m and won easily looking good.  She says she will only contest the Marathon at Worlds though.
  • Carmelita Jeter continued her outstanding 2009 winning the 100m but was pressed by Muna Lee having to go to the photo to pick the winner by 0.001.  If Muna is running this well in the 100m, look for her to press and likely beat the current form Felix in the 200m.
  • Kerron Clement, choosing to bypass the 400m hurdles as he has a bye, ran the 400m and led all qualifiers including Olympic Champ LaShawn Merritt going into today's final.  Clement, while a hurdler usually, is the world record holder in the indoor 400m.
With the 200m heats today along with 400m finals and womens 1500m final, should be another entertaining day.

 

 

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