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2008 LetsRun.com US Men's 800, 1,500 Rankings June 11, 2008
The ranking are based on current form and are supposed to reflect how we think they'd end up if you lined them up and had them race right now - it's not a cumulative yearly ranking.
Men's 1500: Lukezic Moves Up - Jennings Shows Up - Myers Disappears
Changes this week: Biggest riser this week was Chris Lukezic and biggest faller was Alan Webb. Gabe Jennings comes into the rankings as Rob Myers and Will Leer drop out.
Previous ranking appears in (). Big movers have arrows.
#1 (1) Bernard Lagat - DOB: 12/12/1974 Personal Best: 3:26:34 2008 Best: 3:35:14 Last Race: 3:35:14 2007 Best: 3:33.85
So far in 2008, he's done pretty well for himself as he currently sits at #1 on the US list at both 5k (13:16.19)and 1,500 (3:35.14).
Lagat is a stud but he's far, far from a sure thing at the Olympics. Given the heat that is expected, we think he's probably a more sure thing for a medal at 5k than he is at 1,500. Given the fact that Bekele isn't going to double, if the Africans don't work together to push the pace in the 5k, it's likely to come down a kick which makes it easy pickings for Lagat.
#2 (3) Leonel Manzano - DOB: 9/12/1984 Personal Best: 3:35:29 2008 Best: 3:56:98 mile or 3:41.80 1,500 at altitude Last Race: 3:41:80 2007 Best: 3:35.29
He's in super form now as he's totally 100% race sharp. We refuse for now to break the tie between him and Lomong however. But if Manzano blow away the field at NCAAs, we may move him ahead of Lomong.
Stat of the week: In researching the stats for this piece, we were surprised to learn that Manzano is only 5 months younger than Chris Lukezic.
#2 (3) Lopez Lomong - DOB: 1/1/1985 Personal Best: 3:36:36 2008 Best: 3:36:36 Last Race: 3:36:36 2007 Best: 3:37.07
After falling at adidas before the restart, he rebounded well with the biggest win of his pro career at Reebok. At Prefontaine, he beat Rankin once again.
#4 (5) Jon Rankin- DOB: 2/9/1982 Personal Best: 3:35.26. 2008 Best: 3:36.61 Last Race: 3:36.61 (6th adidas) 2007 Best: 3:35.72
But Rankin is running well so far this year and was only .25 behind Lomong at the adidas meet. But in that meet, Lomong was up front all along, Rankin moved up late. He finished behind Lomong yet again at adidas but ahead of Webb.
#5 (3) Alan Webb - DOB: 1/13/1983 Personal Best: 3:30.54 2008 Best: 3:30.54 Last Race: DNF Carlsbad 5k 2007 Best: 3:30.54
The problem is Webb's 2008 seasonstarted terribly. A 16th place showing in the US 8k championships and then a DNF in the Carlsbad 5k. The knock on Webb in the past has been that he doesn't know how to peak properly when it counts and that he doesn't know how to not overtrain. The early season results certainly don't assuage those fears.
The good news? Both of Webb's early season disasters came in distance events. Plus he skipped indoors. That can mean only one thing. Webb was focused on building his strength which was what we wanted to see from him after last year's amazing track season. Webb still seems confident and it doesn't seem possible that he could burn himself out with proper distance training. Overtain a little? Yes.
Cook himself entirely? Not likely.
Going into Pre we wrote: "If he bombs in his first 1,500 of the year this week at Pre, we no longer are giving him the benefit of the doubt and move him way, way, way down the list." Well his 3:55 performance at Pre wasn't great and it wasn't a a bomb. It really still leaves big question marks about whether he'll be top 3 at the Trials. If he improves like he did last year from his 1st race to his 2nd (3:57 to 3:51), he'll be fine. If not, he's finished.
#6 (9) Chris Lukezic: DOB: 4/24/1984 ,PB: 3:33.28 (2006), 2008 Best: 3:39.74, Last Race: 3:39.74, 2007 Best: 3:36.95.
Lukezic ran weell last year at USAs. Many seem to forget that he was right with Webb, Manzano and Lagat until the last 200. He didn't have a good indoor season this year (4:05 mile at Reebok Boston). Outdoors didn't start amazingly well as he lost to 5k stud Matt Tegenkamp at Stanford (3:40.04 to 3:40.29) and beat who you'd expect at Reebok and lost to who you'd expect as well. But this last week he won the Boston High Performance Series in 3:37.53 so we're moving him up. We hear he's in excellent shape and hope he gets the A standard on Saturday.
#7 (7) Said Ahmed: DOB: 12/10/1982 PB: 3:35.94 (2006), 2008 Best: 3:38.26, 2007 Best: 3:39.00
He then raced Wednesday in Sweden where he ran 3:41.47 for 4th in a tactical race. Teen 800 sensation Abubaker Kaki smoked everyone the last 100 and Ahmed and 3 others finished within .35 of one another.
At Bislett, Ahmed ran the 1,500. He had the lead at 1200 (2:52.94) but didn't have much left after that as he finished 5th in 3:37.84 in a race that was won in 3:35.33. Certainly not encouraging for someone to make the jump up to the top 3.
#8 (6) Andrew Wheating - DOB: 11/21/1987 PB: 3:38:60 (2008), 2008 Best: 3:38:60, 2007 Best: 3:45:17.
From a no-name to an Olympic contender all in a year. We sure hope he's enjoying the magical ride as much as we are. We really wanted to see him run the 1,500 at NCAAs as we wanted to see him have a showdown between and Manzano, but Wheating opted for the 800 which leads us to believe he'll aim for that event in the Trials. As a result, we're moving him down below Ahmed and Lukezic. We think if Wheating was focused on the 1,500 he might beat them particularly in a 3:38 race, and if we hear he's going to run the 1,500 at the Trials, we'll move him back up up most likely.
#9 (8) Matt Tegenkamp:DOB: 1/19/1982 PB: 3:34.25 (2007), 2008 Best: 3:40.04 Last Race: 3:40.04, 2007 Best: 3:34.25
At 1,500, he appears to be a bit overmatched by the big 1500 studs as exemplified by him losing to Lomong by .62 in Arizona early in the year (3:39.50 to 3:40.12). However, he can more than hold his own against guys that aren't likely to make the Olympic team but are strong candidates for a top 10 showing. For example, he defeated Lukezic at Stanford by .25 on May 4th.
#10 (NR) Gabe Jennings -DOB: 1/25/1979 PB: 3:35:21 (2000), 2008 Best: 3:40.58 Last Race: 3:40.58, 2007 Best: 3:39.59.
Dropped Out: Rob Myers & Will Leer.
Men's 800: Matt Sherer Moves Up - KD Remains #1 - and Harris/Burley Show Up
Changes this week: Matt Scherer moves up after his 2nd straight PR. Kevin Hicks moves down and Sam Burley shows up in the rankings as Ryan Brown drops out.
Previous rankings appear in (). Big movers have arrows.
#1 (1) Khadevis Robinson - DOB: 7/19/1976 Personal Best: 1:43.68 (2006) 2008 Best: 1:45.55 2007 Best: 1:44.27
That was before they raced. At Reebok, Robinson looked good as
#2 (2) Nick Symmonds - DOB: 12/30/1983 Personal Best: 1:44:54 (2007) 2008 Best: 1:46.14 2007 Best: 1:44.54
Symmonds gave the fans in Oregon a thrill as he made a big move towards the lead at Prefontaine between 500 and 600 meters in, but it proved to be too much too soon as he ended up 4th in 1:45.01. If Symmonds wants to learn how to make the next level, he needs to watch a replay of the race and realize the move was way too big and way too soon. He needs to watch how patient Yego was and how it's better ideally to be positioned a little closer to the front. Symmonds run from the back style is the perfect way to go for a bronze (like Rich Kenah at worlds in 2001) but a real hard way to win .
#3 (3) Jacob Hernandez 9/8/1985 Personal Best: 1:45.68 2008 Best: 1:45.68 2007 Best: 1:48.10
That all changed on Saturday. Hernandez dropped a 1:45.68 to destroy the field at the NCAA Midwest Regional. We had talked to UT coach Jason Vigilante earlier in the week about something else and he was raving about Herhandez workouts. The last time we heard him raving about one of his athletes was when Leo Manzano was an unheralded freshman at the University of Texas.
#4 (5) Andrew Wheating - DOB: 11/21/1987 PB: 1:46.83 (2008), 2008 Best: 1:46.83, 2007 Best: 1:50.17
The only question mark regarding Wheating is what is his true event as his coaches at Oregon said they are unsure if he's an 800 or 1,500 man ultimately.Since he entered the 800 at NCAAs, we're moving him back up as clearly this is his focus. Time will tell if we have him ranked too high as looking good in college races is totally different than pro ones.
#5 (6) Alan Webb - DOB: 1/13/1983 Personal Best: 1:43.84 (07) 2008 Best: None. 2007 Best: 1:43.84
Webb doesn't race many 800s so it's hard to say how he'd do if he stepped on the track right now and raced. We imagine it would take a rust-buster or two for him to reach top form. Thus he might be beat by some US guys. We'd like to see Webb run a quality 800 on US soil (maybe the next time there are no world champs) just to see if he could dominate or not. However, it would probably be in his best long-term interest to try a 5k instead (13:10.86).
That's how good Alan Webb is. Fast enough to be the world's #2 at 800 and strong enough to do serious damage in the 5k. Hell his 10k PR is better than Olympic marathoner Dathan Ritzenhein. The total package for sure when he's on.
#6 (NR) Jebreh Harris - DOB: 9/22/1978 Personal Best: 1:45:56 (08) 2008 Best: 1:45.56 2007 Best: 1:45.92
#7 (NR) Sam Burley - DOB: 2/13/1981 Personal Best: 1:45:39 (02) 2008 Best: 1:46.97 2007 Best: 1:47.42
#8 (11) Matt Scherer- DOB: 11/21/1983 Personal Best: 1:46.11 (08) 2008 Best: 1:46.11 2007 Best: 1:47.89
#9 (9) James Hatch - DOB: 9/271982 Personal Best: 1:46.27 (08) 2008 Best: 1:46.27 2007 Best: 1:50.50 The NCAA indoor runner-up from 2005 certainly wouldn't have been on anyone's radar heading into this year as his seasonal best was 1:50.50 last year. But he's at a new level this year. 5th indoors at USAs, Hatch has opened up outdoors with a lifetime best and US leader. Talk about a great time to open in a PR - how about the Olympic year. Not sure why he hasn't raced since early May.
#10 (7) Jonathan Johnson - DOB: 3/5/1982 Personal Best: 1:44:69 (07) 2008 Best: 1:46.90 2007 Best: 1:44.69
Thus people may not have noticed but Johnson actually set his PR in Europe (1:44.69) last year. Earlier in the year, he finished 4th at USAs. We guess it makes more sense that not nearly as many people are noticing because 4th in USAs 3 years after winning it, isn't likely to create a lot of publicity.
Johnson ran poorly in his last outing, finishing 7th at Reebok in 1:47.29
#11 (10) Duane Solomon - DOB: 12/28/1984 Personal Best: 1:45:69 (07) 2008 Best: 1:47.33 2007 Best: 1:45.69
#13 (NR) Christian Smith - DOB: 10/31/1984 Personal Best: 1:44.86 ('06) 2008 Best: 1:47.72 07 2007 Best: 1:48.92
We're sure we made a few errors as this is our first attempt at this. Comments, suggestions? Email us at [email protected]
We rushed to put this up and didn't include photos. If anyone has some photos they'd like us to use, please email us.