I take your point about Lomong's experience in the 1500 over his experience in the 5k.
However, at the risk of sounding like a Lomong hater, I'm going to venture that Lomong's 1500 experience, deep as it is, hasn't helped him that much in the event over the years. Though he has the gears for the event, he hasn't demonstrated the tactical savvy that the 15 requires--and this after several years of being a miler.
Also, while Lomong's times are top notch, I don't think they set him apart from the U.S. or international 1500 field as much as they might appear to on paper; his PR is phenomenal, but it's not going to carry him ahead of the current crop of milers--a case in point being the 2011's US Championships.
The reason people are congregating around Lomong, of course, is because of that incredible 5k run; but I'm unsure how that 13.11 will translate to 1500 abilities, especially when so much in a championship style race will depend on the kick.
But when you put Lomong in a 5k field, a lot of his 1500 skills, I think, do set him apart, and in some considerable ways. He will be able to kick off a decent pace when the situation calls for it, but his endurance is clearly on the up and up--bringing us back to the problem of experience. With all due respect to Bumbalough, Teg, and Ritz, I think Lomong's chances of making the 5k team, with what he showed as at Stanford, are very, very good; like Lagat and Rupp, he has a low 13 in him, and if things turn tactical, he will have no problem hanging with those two for a sub-4 final mile.
After which point, I think, he goes off to Europe and gets 1 or 2 5k's in him, to get a feel for international racing, so that when London comes around, he knows how to handle the Merga jostling. It won't solve every challenge that comes with international 5k racing, but it will certainly help.
Lomong is the 2009 and 2010 USATF champ at 1500m and made the 2008 Olympic team.
Also placed 8th at WC's in 2009.
I think he has demonstrated the tactical savvy that the 15 requires.
In 2011 he changed coaches and I think there is always an adjustment when that happens.
He was 7th at USATF but less than one second back from first.
He wound up as the second fastest American by the end of the year.
I am not going to hold that one race against him.
The upside of the 5000 is that you figure his speed will be an advantage in a jog and kick race.
We are only judging him from one race where the other guys weren't really aiming to peak for.
Rupp just beat Manzano in a 1500 but that doesn't make me think that Rupp is better than Manzano at 1500 when they are both on.
Teg may give Lomong more than you think when all the preperation is in.
I am just saying that Lomong has a sample size of one race to judge his 5000m abilities.
And he won't be racing that distance again before the Trials.
Seems riskier to me to go for the 5000 but I concede that that may be the course he chooses and we may see something great come from it.
Summed up Lomong's 1500 acheivements well.
However, I'd say the 1500 could be just as risky as the 5000. You've a medalist in Centro, Wheating who has beaten Lomong multiple times over the past 2 years, Manzano who has qualified for every recent WC/Olympics, and then a guy like Robbie Andrews with a crazy kick.
Lomong demonstrated he could crush Teg, Bumbi, etc. off a 13:15-20 paced race. Championship races that go faster than that are rare (like Bekele's sub-13 in 2008).
I mentioned in an earlier post that making the 5000 team for him may be easier, especially with Solinsky out in the 5, then making the 1500 team because the US 1500 depth is greater.
But I think at the Olympic level he would fare better in the 1500 than the 5000.
Mostly because Ethiopia has a stronger preseence in the 5000 then the 1500 while Kenya is deep in both.
Plus you have Farah in the 5000.
Centro's medal in the 1500 along with Nick Willis shows that the 1500 is more wide open.
The 1500 is so up in the air at this point that no one can be considered a lock. In the top group we have (guys with A standard):
Centro - Current WC bronze medallist, hasn't raced recently, might be hurt
Manzano - Beaten at Oxy. Has made every WC/Oly team since 2007 (4 teams).
Lomong - 1:46 and 13:11 (really 13:05), beat Rupp at 3k indoors, hasn't raced a 1500/mile outdoors.
Wheating - 3:44 win and 1:46 bouncing back from injury. Will he pull it together for trials?
Brown - Blew it last year. Is back.
Andrews - Might run despite always running the 800 at the big meets.
Torrence - Ran a good 5k. Just snuck under the standard.
(Lagat, Rupp - will not compete/will not take Oly team spot)
Rounding out the top 10 (best of the rest w/o A standard):
Webb - It's Webb.
Leer - Like Torrence, always on the cusp. First man out at USAs last year despite the fastest last quarter.
Symmonds - Tactically a good racer, will be dangerous if the pace lags too much in the early going.
Of the four biggest names, Centro (bronze), Lomong (2 teams), Wheating (1 team, fastest PR outside of Webb), and Manzano (4 teams) I am most confident that Manzano will be going to the Olympics. I don't think he will win the Trials, but he always shows up when it counts. Most likely the other two will come from this group, but each other guy has a big question mark next to his name.
I think the next most likely guys to steal a spot would be the 800m runners Symmonds and Andrews.
In the next group you have Brown, Leer, and Torrence. I see all three of these guys as interchangable: proven mid-3:3X runners that are on the outside looking in. Unfortunately, I think all these guys will make the finals at Trials and be left off the team.
Then there is Webb.
Realistically I don't think anyone else has a shot. Take a guy like Merber, yeah he ran 3:35-high, but he was also in the perfect race paced for 3 laps by the reigning silver medallist. Of the unlikelys, Brown and co. are just better. They are also better than See, Heath, Acosta, Batty/all collegians, etc.
The real kicker is we don't even know who will run. Lomong I think is a strong candidate for making the team but he might do the 5k. Andrews and Symmonds may or may not run. Torrence might even opt out in favor of the 5k. Who knows, maybe Lagat will try the Oly double (although highly unlikely). Assuming Centro is healthy enough to train, I think he will join Lomong (if he runs) and Manzano on the team. If Lomong opts out, Wheating grabs a spot.
|but you didn't have to cut|
you have got to be kidding me if you think lagat will go for the olympic double and do both the 1500m and the 5000m. lagat doesn't have the 1500m speed he once had anymore and would get smoked at the olympic thus costing him a shot at being fresh and medaling in the 5,000m. he has yet to earn a gold medal at the olympics and his best/last chance is now. he's doing the 5,000m only.
Right. And Lomong, I think, should do the 5k. Lagat, Rupp, Lomong. It was only one race, but really a good one. He may have been in the Beijing team, but I think it is time for him to move up. To be honest, I can't think of him in any 1500/mile race on the circuit in the last years...
Lomong was 4th in Barcelona last year in 3:33.59 and 6th in Monaco in 2010 in 3:32.20 behind Wheating and ahead of Lagat.
OK. So I will make a call on how the race will play out - subject to be revised before the final but will keep with this thread.
In my opening post I said Centro, Manzano and Lomong for the team. I will stick with that for now. Would like to see a race from Centro. He is doing the opposite of last year where he raced a lot and change is often not good.
Making the final will not be easy. I don't know if Webb will make it but I will say that he does.
In that case, he will take the lead at 800m.
First 800 will be 2:00 - 2:04. Faster would be nice.
With 500 to go, Lomong works to the front and he drives to the line over the last 400. This is different than his tactic the last 3 years of waiting for the last 100.
Manzano works through and positions in 3rd or 4th on the back stretch. Wheating and Centro in the mix. They, along with Torrence pass Webb before the 200 to go mark.
Lomong powers to the finish with a clear win.
Manzano sprints to second on the home stretch.
Centro keeps his composure and out duels Wheating for the third spot while Torrence gets 5th. Batty for 6th.
3:37 - 3:42 for the win - all depends on the opening pace which is the most unpredictable thing to me.
Lomong has not run a single mile or 1500 this year.
Indoors he ran 800 and 3000 (1:47 and 7:44)
Outdoors, 5000 and 800 (13:11 and 1:46.2)
Looks like he is working on every phase of the 1500 and is very strong. Remember he just missed making the 800 Olympic team last time out so he is confident in tapping into his speed.
So after Pre, Torrence's stock has gone up.
Manzano seems to be where he wants to be.
Lomong did not look good and has a decision to make on the 5000.
Centro starts with a 3:57 mile where he hung out in the back.
Still have no feeling on hum.
Wheating is not where he would like to be with that 3:56 last place finish.
Webb is still chasing.
This race may push Lomong to the 5000...much to the chagrin of his temmates Teg and Bumbalough who are on the bubble in that event.
Torrence and Brown were the top Americans in each race, both have the A Standard, and neither has made a World/Olympic Team.
Manzano has qualified for 4 WC/Olympics.
Will Webb get the A? Will Centro be ready to go after getting beat by Brown, See, Ulrey?
...and then there's Andrew Wheating.
So, right now, the guys who have made WC/Olympic teams are struggling or just running badly, while the guys who haven't made the teams are doing alright.
May have to see how the 800 turns out.
I was impressed at Khadevis Robinson runnign 1:44.5 in his first race of the year (outside the relay at Penn), just behind Symmonds.
And in his interview he seems highly motivated.
Charles Jock is coming along nicely.
Robby Andrews may very well not make the 800 team.
So he would be very dangerous in the 1500 if the top guys don't sharpen up their kicks.
I get the feeling that Lomong will double the 5000 and 1500 the way he spoke in the interview about not being concerned with the 1500 prelim 2 hours before the 5000 final.
I will say one thing. As deep as the US is this year in the 1500, no one is standing out. No one looks great or ready to compete at the highest level.
I miss the 2004-2007 Alan Webb that would lay it out there in every race.
No one is really racing now. Every event is part of a training plan to build on.
Kiprop is racing.
|Sorry It has to be said|
I also think these fellows will make the team:
I 100% guarantee Webb will not make it. It's doubtful he will even make the FINALS of the Olympic Trials 1500m.
Russell Brown chokes when it comes to championship meets so I don't see him in the top 3.
Ulrey won't get the A standard.
Now that all of tune-up races seem to be done I wanted to re-visit this thread.
Before today, I was getting doubtful about Wheating but he just had a nice 3:35.8 win to help with his confidence.
The final is in exactly three weeks.
There are four top guns. Lets see how they are doing going in:
Centro Jr - missed training time and is playing catch up. Had a 3:57 mile and now a 3:37 fourth place behind Wheating.
Manzano - thought he was running in NY but guess not. Had OK mid-pack races with a 3:35 and a 3:53. Not showing his cards.
Lomong - just the one 3:55 mile at Pre along with a 1:46 800 and that great 5,000. May double back from the 5.
Brown has had some nice races.
Torrence looks really good as the top American at Pre and NY.
Andrews is a player coming back from the 800
That's all the guys with the A standard. The team will probably be 3 out of those 7 unless something crazy happens at the Trials. But that would be pretty cool.
My early pick of Centro, Manzano and Lomong really depends on Lomong's state of mind.
Will he run the 5? will he double? If he doubles and makes the 5 team will he still go for the 15? (probably)
In the Olympics, the 1500 concludes before the 5000 heats begin.
Wheating also has to decide if he is taking a shot at the 800 first.
Torrence, Brown, McNamara, and Wheating seem to be in great form.
Centrowitz and Manzano must be considered because of past seasons.
Lomong should do the 5k but may not.
Torrence, Wheating, and Manzano for the Olympic team. That would be a great team. But I wouldn't be surprised if none of those three make it. Torrence might tie up. He's better off a faster pace.
Batty seems to be rounding into form at the right time. I wouldn't rule him out just yet...raced bad in April then good races at Oxy and NCAA's. I am a fan, I think he has an outside shot here.