salazar has improved big time as a coach over his carear.
however, you don't open with a 3 50 mile. a sebastian coe is hard pressed to run sub 349 without his best shape.
pros and rookies alike - don't try and max out your first race.
sal was probably maybe??? figuring that rupp was in sub 334 shape as compared to last year so 155 at the half should be fine.
the reality is that while rupp can probably run 148 flat in the 800m, without peaking 152 is a bit of a test for him. so 155 half will kill him (as seen) and demoralize him (a bit) - not useful.
you open the guy with a sub 4 mile, and do 1:50ish for the 8, then sharpen for a week, then blow out the 350 mile.
for rupp to get the 148 flat rupp will need to concentrate for a period on 300m to 500m quality repeats (not too many)
you gotta respect that time, 3:50, unless you are in the right race, that time don't come easy, not easy at all.
finally, the 350 from 10th place in a hoover race REALLY is worth 354 in a race with only a couple of competitive guys and good pacing and drafting chances are limited.
that is why guys pop those big times, they peak well and jump into a hoover race, and voila, drop 3 seconds (in the mile) on their PB.
then they think they're ready to medal in the OG.
when the reality is otherwise.