A Fan's Guide To The 2012 Pre Classic Track & Field Meet: Day #1 "Hollister Night At Hayward"

By LetsRun.com
May 31, 2012

The Samsung Diamond League's fourth stop will take place on Friday/Saturday in Eugene at the Pre Classic. The main part of the Pre Classic is Saturday and can be seen on NBC at 3 PM ET. But on Friday night, there is a distance night as 8 of the 24 events will take place as as part of "Hollister Night at Hayward" in honor of Geoff Hollister. This is a preview of those events which are free to attend and hopefully will be broadcast on the Internet (Runnerspace maybe?).

We start by previewing the mid-d and distance events in the order that they occur before coming back to the opening field events.

Tomorrow, we'll hopefully get to preview the Saturday portion of the meet. (Update: Saturday preview here)

2012 Hollister Night At Hayward Field Schedule
(All Times Have Been Changed To ET)

01.06.2012 9:00 pm Hammer Throw Women Women Entry list
01.06.2012 10:24
Triple Jump Men Men Entry list Standings
01.06.2012 10:28
Discus Women Women Entry list Standings
01.06.2012 10:30 National 800m Women Women Entry list
01.06.2012 10:37 International Mile Men Entry list
01.06.2012 10:46 National 1,500m Women Women Entry list
01.06.2012 10:56 10,000m Women Women Entry list
01.06.2012 11:45 10,000m Kenyan Olympic Trials Men Entry list

10:30 PM ET: 800 Women: Alysia Montaño Debuts

Athlete DATE OF BIRTH Nation PR SB
04.08.1987
USA
1:59.12
1:59.51
05.08.1988
CAN
2:00.76
2:00.76
20.12.1990
KEN
2:00.88
2:03.80
19.01.1987
USA
2:00.41
2:02.24
21.09.1987
PAN
2:01.63
2:01.63
18.01.1987
USA
1:59.62
2:00.44
23.04.1986
USA
1:57.34
1:57.48
11.10.1989
CAN
2:01.54
2:01.55
17.12.1988
USA
1:59.67
2:01.81
23.12.1981
USA
1:57.84
2:00.19

LRC's Analysis: This race is all about one thing in our minds - the 2012 opener at 800 (she ran a 400 in April) for 2011 US champion Alysia Montaño, who was 4th at Worlds last year. If it seems late for Montaño to be opening up and if you are wondering if something is wrong, the answer is most likely, "No." She opened up at 800 at Pre last year and ended up running 1:57.

Of course, Montaño isn't the only big gun in this race. 2010 Pre Classic winner Maggie Vessey, who was the runner-up at USAs last year and 6th at Worlds, also is running in this race.

It will be interesting to see how they stack up against each other and against a number of other top Americans. Geena Gall, who is undefeated on the year and was 5th at USAs last year, is running as is 2012 US leader Molly Beckwith, who has run 1:59.51 already this year. Based on their past accomplishments, Montaño and Vessey are big favorites for the Olympic team (with Montaño being a much bigger favorite than Vessey in our minds), but this race will really give US fans a good idea what to expect at the Trials.

10:37 PM International Mile: Alan Webb Goes For The "A" / Example 1 Of What Is Wrong With Sport

Athlete DATE OF BIRTH Nation PR SB
01.07.1992
QAT
3:55.50
08.09.1982
CAN
3:52.63
3:54.81
06.03.1985
USA
3:51.45
3:51.45
18.10.1989
USA
3:59.33
02.03.1993
ETH
09.03.1980
KEN
3:50.53
3:53.76
25.11.1983
QAT
15.04.1985
USA
3:56.63
3:58.49
20.07.1990
KEN
07.03.1987
USA
3:54.89
4:02.22
06.06.1986
USA
3:55.24
3:55.24
15.02.1986
KSA
3:52.00
3:52.00
03.12.1992
DJI
---
USA
11.07.1987
USA
13.01.1983
USA
3:46.91
3:58.77
19.05.1991
ETH
18.04.1984
ETH
28.11.1986
KEN
3:55.18
3:55.18

LRC Analysis: If you want to know what is wrong with modern day track and field, this race is the perfect example of what's wrong with the sport. We're all for the "Bring Back The Mile" campaign but in this case, this race should be a 1,500 and not a mile as many of the top American entrants - including US mile record holder Alan Webb - are desperate for the "A" standard of 3:35.50. And he's not the only one. Dorian Ulrey, who ran 3:35.23 in 2009, also needs it as do others.

Now we have heard from Webb's coach himself, Jason Vigilante, that Webb's plan is to kick it in and go for the "A" at 1,500 as there will be a camera set up there, but that's ridiculous. Apparently he still has to finish the race for it to count.

How comical is that going to look? And what a farce for the fans.

And there already is the historic Bowerman Mile race at the actual Pre Classic meet the next day so there is ZERO reason for this race to be a mile and not a 1,500. Don't tell us it's for the fans as the fans are going to see the American record holder in the event kick it in 109 meters too early.

Seriously, we are at loss as to why this would possibly be a mile and not a 1,500. If you know of a good reason, please email us and we'll add a correction.

In our view, this race should be a 1,500 with everyone who needs the "A" in it. Nike, with it's billions, should just pay one of its young stars a few thousand to rabbitt this and then let them come back the next day. A perfect example is Ayanhleh Souleiman of Djibouti ,who for some reason is in this race and now the Bowerman mile. How a 19-year-old who just ran 3:30.31 last week for 1,500 and is in our estimation a future star isn't in the Bowerman mile is beyond us. Let us repeat, pay the guy a few thousand and let him take Webb all the way to 3:35.50 and then let him come back and run with the Big Boys on Saturday.

To us, the fact that the IAAF even insists on everyone from a country like the US having the "A" when clearly the country has more than tgree guys with the "A" is absurd, but we'll save that rant for another day.

Actual Race Analysis: There are seven eight Americans with the "A" in the 1,500. Two of them in Russell Brown and Matt Centrowitz are in this race and five of the other six in Andrew Wheating, Leo Manzano, David Torrence, Lopez Lomong and Bernard Lagat are in the Bowerman mile, so this will be a preview of the Olympic Trials for sure (and we're thinking Lopez Lomong and Bernard Lagat may just do the 5,000 and not do the 1,500 at the Trials). The only one not here - Robby Andrews.

But this race to us is about three things and three things only.

1. How does World Championships bronze medallist Matt Centrowitz look in his outdoor opener? After a good indoor season, his outdoor campaign has been delayed due to a knee injury and there are only a few weeks until the Trials.

2. Can Alan Webb (or another American) get the "A" time of 3:35.50?

3. How good is 19-year-old Ayanhleh Souleiman?

10:46 PM: Women's 1,500: Simpson Vs. Rowbury (And Pierce?) / Where's Wurth-Thomas?

Athlete DATE OF BIRTH Nation PR SB
25.06.1986
USA
4:06.46
4:06.46
13.07.1993
ETH
4:03.94
4:09.29
04.07.1991
ETH
4:04.85
4:38.31
12.11.1987
USA
4:06.67
4:06.67
04.05.1987
USA
4:11.22
4:11.22
08.09.1987
USA
4:06.96
4:06.96
27.10.1981
USA
4:03.32
4:09.35
06.11.1982
SRB
4:08.02
4:09.06
31.03.1984
USA
3:59.38
4:06.11
02.08.1989
CAN
4:11.85
4:14.27
14.09.1984
USA
4:00.33
4:05.92
03.10.1981
USA
4:08.09
4:09.68
23.08.1986
USA
3:59.90
4:12.95
10.02.1984
GBR
4:06.39
4:18.20
30.08.1988
USA
4:08.60
4:08.72

LRC Analysis: This race is about a few things.

1. How does world champion Jenny Simpson look in her first real test at 1,500 outdoors this year and who comes out on top in the clash between her and 2009 World Championships bronze medallist Shannon Rowbury?
2. Does the resurgence of Anna Pierce, who ran 3:59 in 2009 but only 4:10 last year, continue and can she mix it up with Rowbury/Simpson?
3. Can any American who doesn't already have it get the Olympic "A" standard of 4:06.00?

Right now, there is pretty much zero reason to hold the women's 1,500 at the Trials and that's a real shame as the women's 1,500 is the US's best mid-d or distance event. But few people seem to realize that there are only 4 women with the "A." Everyone talks about the Big 4 of Simpson, Wurth Thomas, Rowbury and Uceny, but we are starting to think there is something wrong with Christin Wurth-Thomas, so the Big 4 may be just the Big 3. Wurth-Thomas, a Nike-sponsored athlete, isn't entered in Pre and that's very strange. And her lack of entry comes after an 8th place showing in 2:04 at Stanford and a 2:08 800 in Arkansas on May 4th in her only two races of the year that we are aware of. We'll reach out to Wurth Thomas' people but if you know what's up with her, please email us.

Editor's addition: But since Pierce seems close to regaining her big form, there may be a new Big 4, so we certainly expect there to be a compelling race for the spots in Eugene. Plus several other US women are very close to 4:06.00.

NCAA star Sheila Reid, who didn't look good at the NCAA East regional, is in the field with a little bit to prove in our minds as she skipped out on the Big East to focus on meets like this.

One last thing - it's interesting to see Phoebe Wright in the 1,500 here. She probably really would like to get "A" as the 1,500 is after the 800 at the US Trials, so you might as well try it if you don't get on the team in the 800.

10:56 PM: Women's 10,000: Tirunesh Dibaba Returns To The Outdoor Oval To Face Some Top Marathoners

Athlete DATE OF BIRTH Nation PR SB
29.05.1991
AZE
32:18.05
32:18.05
11.12.1990
ETH
32:05.06
23.02.1987
KEN
31:24.20
31:24.20
01.06.1985
ETH
29:54.66
26.09.1981
USA
01.06.1983
UKR
34:14.00
19.09.1989
ETH
30:48.26
07.01.1981
ETH
30:07.15
31:08.92
27.02.1987
KEN
30:11.53
16.10.1985
ETH
31:06.93
32:08.21
08.06.1992
ETH
31:20.38
01.03.1988
KEN
31:06.29
31:59.5h
---
KEN
34:35.4h
34:35.4h
26.06.1990
ETH
31:17.80
31:17.80
05.05.1985
IND
31:51.44
08.01.1978
UKR
13.03.1982
IND
31:50.47
08.02.1990
ETH
32:06.89
32:06.89
24.03.1984
KEN
30:39.96
35:36.7h
05.02.1982
USA
32:03.07
32:03.07

LRC Analysis: The women's 10,000 marks the first outdoor track race for double Olympic champion Tirunesh Dibaba since August 13, 2010. Dibaba's return has gone well so far, as she won in Boston this winter and won in Carslbad on the roads this spring. When she races, she almost always wins as her last track loss was on September 12, 2009.

In her absence, Kenya's Vivian Cheruiyot has emerged as the new and unbeatable force. If Dibaba returns to her old form, then distance fans could be in a for a real treat - a Paul Tergat/Haile Gebrsleassie type of duel this summer in London. This race should give us a glimps as to what to expect in London.

The other top entrants are all top marathoners who were left off their teams Olympic marathon squads.

Ethiopia's Aberu Kebede ran 2:20:33 in Dubai and 2:24:04 in London this year. Kenya's Florence Kiplagat ran 2:20:57 in London this year and 2:19:44 in Berlin last year. And Lucy Kabuu Wangui of Kenya ran 2:19:34 in Dubai and 2:23:12 in London this year.

The Olympic "A" is 31:45 and will be the goal of most in the field at the very least.

It's worth noting that Lauren Fleshman of the USA is in this field. On the comeback trail from injury, she's only been running 11 miles a week.

This race is serving as the "de facto" Ethiopian Olympic selection race.

11:45 PM: Men's 10,000: The Kenyan Olympic 10,000 Trials

Athlete DATE OF BIRTH Nation PR SB Comments (Most Comments Straight From Meet Website)
12.06.1990
KEN
26:48.99
28:27.6h

3rd in last year's Pre 10K. 5K PR 12:57.43. 5th in the April Nairobi pre-trial race.

30.03.1983
KEN
26:51.95
28:18.93

8th in the April Nairobi pre-trial race.

14.02.1983
KEN
27:30.50
Sally Kipyego's husband has run 13:14 this year. We don't know how he's in the race since they said everyone HAD to compete in the pre-trials race which he didn't do.
21.08.1990
KEN
27:13.67
28:39.8h

21 years old - won 2011 Kenyan 5K - 9th in the April Nairobi pre-trial race.
Killed everyone at Stanford last year.

15.01.1986
KEN
27:30.53
27:30.53

5K PR 12:58.58.

05.11.1984
KEN
26:49.02
28:11.0h

2003 WC 5K gold medalist. 5K PR 12:46.53. 2nd in the April Nairobi pre-trial race.

14.04.1987
KEN
27:26.93
28:46.2h

2010 African Champs gold medalist at 10K and half marathon. 10th in pre-trial race.

21.06.1976
KEN
26:54.64
28:17.4h

5K PR 12:53.46. 4th in the April Nairobi pre-trial race.

16.02.1993
KEN
26:55.73

19 years old.

03.06.1986
KEN
26:35.63
28:31.0h

2008 Olympic bronze medalist. 5K PR 13:00.77. 6th in the April Nairobi pre-trial race.

01.06.1986
KEN
26:49.20
28:10.3h

2009 WC bronze. 4th in 2008 Olympics. 5K PR 12:50.55. 1st in Nairobi pre-trial race.

01.12.1991
KEN
27:32.97
27:32.97

20-years old - 2010 World Junior gold medallist.

28.10.1990
KEN
26:59.81
26:59.81

21 years old - 5K PR 13:00.04.

16.04.1990
KEN
26:43.98
28:12.0h

22 years old - 5K PR 12:55.06. 3rd in the April Nairobi pre-trial race.

22.12.1990
KEN
26:50.63
28:34.2h

21 years old - finalist at last year's Worlds (9th). 7th in Nairobi pre-trial race.

This race is the Kenyan Trials. Top three go to the Olympics.

LRC's Analysis: If you want to know why Galen Rupp has a realistic chance of medalling in London, this race will teach you a lot. Sure, he can run 3:34 and 26:48, which is a prerequisite to consider a medal in this day and age, but also one should consider who isn't in this field.

Many of the top distance talents in Kenya are on the roads or not at this race for some reason. For example, the two Kenyans who beat Rupp at Worlds last year are AWOL.

1) Martin Mathahi - The top finisher at Worlds last yeat for Kenya (5th) has been busy racing for his Japanese corporate team all year. We have no idea why he wouldn't want to be here, but it's possible it was not feasilble for him to get to the pre-trials race.
2) Peter Kirui - Kenya's national champ last year was in great form earlier in the year when he ran 59:39 for the win at the NYC Half. But he wanted to make some money and ran the Rotterdam marathon after that. And Kenya in it's stupidity said everyone had to run the pre-trials race on April 17th, which meant that all of the spring marathoners like Peter Kirui (who ran Rotterdam) had no chance of competing (even though Kevin Chelimo seemingly is in this race without running the pre-trials).

So that gets us to the other guys that aren't here - Kenya's proven marathoners. Admittedly, most of them don't have proven track credentials and some of them might be like a Ryan Hall - made for the marathon - but it's hard to think some of these guys wouldn't be big players if they trained for the track. But many of them are skipping the track entirely and going straight for the roads.

Geoffrey Mutai - You don't think a 2:03:02 marathoner could do some damage? We think he might be the biggest talent out there even if he was 9th 2008 OT.
Patrick Makau - What about the world record holder in the marathon? Yes, we know he was only 14th in the OT in 2008.


Karoki Won In Stanford Last Year

And we haven't even mentioned Kenya's three sub-2:06 guys from this year who didn't make the Olympic team - Jonathan Maiyo (2:04:56), Stanley Biwott (2:05:12), Wilson Loyanai (2:05:37 ).

So what's left?

A TON! Seriously, the belief there is no talent left on the track from Kenya is absurd.

Yes, if everyone avoided the marathon, then it would be A LOT tougher, and we also think it's absurd that this race was put when it is and not 4-5 weeks from now so the spring marathoners could run it, but there still is a lot of talent on the start line. A LOT.

There are proven guys like 2003 world 5,000 champ, Eliud Kipchoge. He also won the silver at the 2008 Olympics and is moving up to the 10,000. He was 2nd in the pre-trials race and seems to be in good form as he was 2nd in the Doha 3,000 in 7:31.40. How does he not make it? The winner of the Kenyan Pre-Trials race last month, Moses Masai, was 4th in the last Olympics and has proven credentials. He hasn't done a whole lot the last few years, but he's only 26.

Then there are a ton of young hungry 20- to 21-year-old guys. Anyone remember the breathtaking move Brendan Karoki made to kill everyone in the Stanford 10,000 last year? Well, he's here as is Moses' 20-year old brother Dennis who won world juniors in 2010.

And there are even a few guys who are better known for their road prowess like 2010 world half-marathon champ Wilson Kiprop.

It should be interesting to say the least. It's a shame Rupp's not in the race with them. How cool would that be?

The real reason Rupp has a good shot at a medal is the following stat - his PR of 26:48.00 is better than everyone would be #3 in the field. Now that's hard to believe.

Field Events

9:00 PM: Women's Hammer
Entry lists aren't up, yet but the meet website says the following about the field:

      The women’s hammer field will be enhanced with Yipsi Moreno of Cuba, a two-time World Championships gold medalist and four-time Olympic or World Championships silver medalist. She joins a stellar field including three other former World Championships gold medalists: world record holder Betty Heidler of Germany,Tatyana Lysenko of Russia, and Anita Wlodarczyk of Poland.

10:24 PM: Men's Triple Jump:

Athlete DATE OF BIRTH Nation PR SB
03.06.1991
USA
17.50
17.12
12.08.1985
CUB
17.68
17.17
14.04.1990
AUS
17.23
17.23
26.08.1984
CUB
17.62
17.17
31.05.1989
CUB
17.49
17.49
30.12.1978
GBR
17.81
17.31
26.06.1984
CHN
17.59
16.84
16.08.1981
BAH
17.59
16.90
21.07.1991
BRA
17.39
17.39
18.06.1990
USA
17.96
16.96

LRC's Take: The three medallists from last year's World Champs will face off in Christian Taylor, Phillips Idowu and Will Claye, but the guy who is #2 in the world this year is Cuba's Osviel Hernandez, who turned 23 on Thursday.

10:28 PM: Women's Discus: Brown-Trafton Faces A Stiff Test

Athlete DATE OF BIRTH Nation PR SB
12.07.1983
CUB
68.03
68.03
01.08.1979
USA
67.74
67.74
13.01.1990
CUB
65.60
65.60
11.03.1983
POL
65.34
65.34
26.12.1985
UKR
64.40
59.00
01.04.1979
USA
63.97
63.97
21.06.1990
CRO
68.24
68.24
19.07.1985
RUS
67.00
67.00
05.05.1982
IND
64.76
64.76
14.08.1976
USA
65.86
63.44

LRC's Take: Cuba's Yarelis Barrios, who three times has won Olympic or World Champs silver and is #3 on the 2012 world list, will face 2012 world #2 Sandra Perkovic, who is just 21, and of course American Olympic champ Stephanie Brown-Trafton. Brown-Trafton has already set the AR this year but is only #5 on the 2012 world list.

LRC Pre Saturday Preview: A Great Track and Field Meet If we listed all the matchups in the headline we'd run out of space. How about Bekele vs Farah vs Rupp at 5000m, Merritt vs James vs Wariner at 400m, Kiplagat vs Kiprop vs Manzano, Wheating, Lagat, and Lomong at the mile, Kaki vs Aman vs Kszczot vs Symmonds at 800m, Jeter vs Felix at 200m and more. That is just on Saturday. For Friday's action, including the Kenyan 10,000m Olympic Trials read below:


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