Women's 1,500 Final - Uceny, Simpson, Rowbury or Pierce - Who Goes Home?
After DQ Scare, Cancer Survivor Gabriele Anderson Tries To Upset Form Charts As Well
July 1, 2012
The next to last mid-d or distance event of the Trials is the women's 1,500 final which takes place at 4:23 pm locally on Sunday. This race is certainly going to be very unforgiving as one of the Big 4 is going to be left with the same Olympic experience that you have - watching it on tv.
One of the following women won't make it to London - 2011 world #1 Morgan Uceny, 2011 world champion Jenny Simpson (a 2008 Olympian in the steeple), 2009 bronze medallist Shannon Rowbury (the 2008 Trials champion) and 2009 world #2 at 800 and 3:59 performer Anna Pierce (2008 steeplechase Olympian). And that's without 3:59 performer Christin Wurth Thomas who isn't here as she's been hurt this year.
Of those four, there is one clear favorite in our mind and one clear -second choice.
The big favorite and the one virtual lock for the team, save for a fall, is 2011 world ranked #1 Morgan Uceny. Uceny would likely be the 2011 world champion as well had she not been tripped at world's. This year she's been running faster than she did at the corresponding time of the year last year. She's already run 4:01.59 - and leads the 2012 US list by almost 4 full seconds. The US #2 this year is Uceny's teammate Pierce at 4:05.42 but Pierce only ran that after Uceny rabbitted that race for 1100 meters in 3:00.
We can't see Uceny losing and we definitely can't see her not finishing in the top 3.
After Uceny, our second choice is Rowbury. Simpson beat Rowbury and Pierce at Pre but followed that showing up with an absolutely atrocious 800 at the adidas Grand Prix in NY. Her 2:05.79 was so bad it made us wonder if something was wrong. Now the 800 isn't Simpson's event and Simpson is the reigning world champion and she is great competitor, but we'll take Rowbury as our #2 pick. Watching the ladies kick for home in the semis and 1st round, it was clear to us that Simpson was working way harder than Uceny and Uceny won her heat both times. Of course, Simpson doesn't need to beat Uceny to make the team.
If the third spot comes down to Pierce and Simpson, the logical pick is Simpson. Simpson was the world champion last year whereas Pierce really struggled last year and didn't break 4:10. Additionally, Simpson beat Pierce in the steeple at the last Trials, but Pierce has been improving all season.
In our minds, if Simpson doesn't make the team, she probably won't be nipped at the line by Pierce. Instead, she'll have a truly awful race like she did in the 800 in adidas or at the NCAA cross country championships in 2009 when she dropped out.
The Big 4 mentioned above all have the 'A'. There is one other woman in the field with the 'A' standard of 4:06.00- Alice Schmidt - who already made the 2012 US Olympic team in the 800.
We will say one thing about Schmidt - she 100% doesn't belong in the final and shouldn't be running it. Schmidt finished 6th in her semifinal in a heat where only the top 5 advanced. But Schmidt was moved up to 5th when cancer survivor Gabriele Anderson was initially DQ'd. Inexplicably, when Anderson was re-instated on appeal, USATF didn't remove Schmidt from the final.
Those Without The A
Seven people in the final of the 1,500 don't have the 'A'. Many of them said they will go after it. Are any of them capable of getting the 'A' of 4:06.00 and making the top 3?.
There are three women in the final who have run under 4:07 this year but not under 4:06 - Gabriele Anderson (4:06.46), Katie Mackey (4:06.67), and Brenda Martinez (4:06.96). Martinez was running great indoors but hasn't looked as great outdoors and she just squeaked into the final as the last qualifier. Given that and the fact she already ran the 800 here, we are discounting her chances.
Between Anderson and Mackey, we like Anderson. Anderson was third at Pre whereas Mackey was only 7th and Anderson beat Mackey in the semis here as well. Additionally, Anderson actually beat Uceny at Occidental on May 18th.
And how do you not root for a two-time cancer survivor who was initially cruelly DQ'd after finishing second in her semi?
It'll be a nice Disney movie if Anderson makes it.
Is The 'A' Standard Possible?
In the men's 1,500, we think the guys trying to set the pace to get the 'A' might have a tough time doing well after setting the pace. In the women's race, we think the 'A' is much more likely and less likely to kill the chances of an Olympic hopeful. The women's standard is more modest and if someone takes it out relatively quickly, we think the winner will go under 4:06.00. Uceny won't want it slow as slow races equal traffic and a potential fall. Uceny led wire to wire and ran 4:08.90 in the semis. If someone else gets this started, we bet she'll be happy to take it home at the end. If it's a 4:03 race, we just don't see her losing.
LRC Prediction: 1) Uceny 2) Rowbury 3) Simpson
|Who will win the
|1||Gabriele Anderson||Brooks / Team USA Minnesota|
|2||Nicole Schappert||N Y A C|
|4||Brenda Martinez||New Balance|
|6||Sarah Bowman||New Balance|
|7||Jenny Simpson||New Balance|
|10||Margaret Infeld||N Y A C|