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|Subject: ||List of Athletes Denied Entry into USAs Despite Fields Not Being Full|
A lot of athletes are upset with the arbitrary nature of who gets into USATFs after the "A" qualifiers are let in. In reality the rule is, "All "A" qualifiers are in the meet, after that John Chaplin can let in whoever he wants". I don't see how a "B" qualifier means anything.
In the men's 800 John Chaplin decided to go with a field of 27 (3 heats of 7 and 1 of 6) even though many other athletes had flow out thinking the field would be larger (32 is a perfect number, 4 heats of 8).
I had heard about this happening in other events and have received an email about a discus thrower left out of the meet. He spent a lot of cash to fly out to Eugene and they then went with a field of 17.
If you're connected enough or have done well in the past you have no problem getting in (Abdi Abdirahman ran the men's 10,000 without having run a 10k time in 2 years).
A simple solution to me seems to have designated field sizes. Then fill the field going down the descending order list until the field size is met. I don't see any reason why John Chaplin needs to decide if their should be 27 or 32 guys in the 800. Also, he shouldn't be able to decide on the day of the meet Abdi is in the 10,000m.
It could easily be written in that national champions in the last X years or top 3 finishers in the last Y years get in automatically ahead of any "B" qualifiers if that is what people are concerned about. Also it could be written in that athletes have to have at least a "B" standard to get in the meet if the fields don't want to be diluted too much. Have these rules written down, changed at the USATF meeting and to me the problem is solved.
Maybe I'm missing something but this does not seem that difficult.
However until we change the system, I think we should have a lit of athletes who feel they were screwed over by the current arbitrary system. So feel free to post them there or email me directly.
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