A Fan's Guide to the 2012 USATF Occidental High Performance Meet
Tegenkamp and Ritz at 5000m; America's #1 and #2 in the women's 5000; Manzano, Webb, Andrews, Batty, Rupp and Farah in the same 1,500; Uceny, Pierce & Rowbury in the women's 1,500; A preview of the men's steeple Olympic Trials; plus Jenny Simpson, Andrew Wheating and more
May 17, 2012
A lot of America's top distance stars will be at Friday's 2012 USATF Occidental High Performance Meet (A lot of America's top runners run this meet because USATF picks up the tab for travel if you meet certain USATF high performance criteria). The good news is in the steeple and 5000s, they'll all be racing each other. The bad news is in the 800s and 1500s they won't.
The 800s and 1500s highlight everything that is wrong with track and field, as instead of having the best runners compete against one another, in the 800 and 1500, the stars will often be racing in different heats on purpose. The emphasis is on creating "equal" heats, so Olympic "A" qualifying standards can be hit, not so that the best can go head to head against one another. And for a meet where the focus is on times, having equal heats does make a lot of sense as instead of screwing over a pretty good runner by putting them in heat 2, everyone gets a chance to run fast. But it's not good for the fans. And one thing that makes a big difference in these type of things is the rabbititng. Finding good rabbits isn't easy. Find multiple good rabbits for multiple heats is next to impossible. Does USATF really have good rabbits set up for all of these heats? We'll find out.
We'll touch on the 800 and 1500 time trials last. First, a discussion of the 5000s and steeples which either have just one section or a faster section and a slower section.
The meet starts at 6:15 pm pacific and will be streamed here on the meet page on Runnerspace. We'll also try and embed it on LetsRun.com.
Men's 5000m: Tegenkamp and Ritzenhein Square Off
The men's 5000m features sub 13 minute runners Matt Tegenkamp and Dathan Ritzenhein. Tegenkamp ran the 5000m at Stanford the last week of April and ran 13:15.00 so he already has the Olympic "A" standard of 13:20. This is all about sharpening up for the Olympic Trials. Dathan Ritzenhein returns to the track for his first 5000m since his 12:56.27 American record in 2009. Ritz stunned just about everyone with that run and has not run a 5000m since. He ran a 28:21 10,000m in early April in his first track race since 2009. He was supposed to run the second Stanford meet but pulled out with injury. This race will tell a lot about his overall fitness and whether he can be a contender at next month's Olympic Trials.
Juan Luis Barrios ran 13:09 last year and should be a factor. Villanova assistant Adrian Blincoe of New Zealand, who went down after making contact with Chris Derrick in the Stanford 10,000, already has the standard. Ian Dobson, Sam Chelanga, and Bolota Asmerom have all hit the standard in the past, but haven't hit it for this Olympics.
Event 8 Men 5000 Meter Run =============================================================================== Friday 5/18/2012 - 9:40 PM Name Year Team =============================================================================== Section 1 Timed Finals 1 106 Bolota Asmerom Unattached 2 109 Chris Barnicle New Balance 3 200 Stephen Pifer Oregon TC 4 139 Ian Dobson Oregon TC 5 116 Brandon Bethke Michigan Elite 6 197 Tony Okello Santa Monica TC 7 167 Jeremy Johnson Brooks 8 113 Scott Bauhs Mammoth TC 9 146 Rory Fraser UK Athletics 10 110 Juan Luis Barrios Nike 11 133 Robert Cheseret U S Army 12 117 Adrian Blincoe New Zealand 13 159 Sean Houseworth Falcon Dst Prjct 14 205 Jacob Riley Unattached 15 154 Elliott Heath Unattached 16 132 Sam Chelanga Nike O T C 17 124 Forest Braden Unattached 18 118 Josphat Boit Mammoth TC 19 206 Dathan Ritzenhein Nike O T C 20 226 Matt Tegenkamp Nike O T C 21 240 Lane Wurthy Unattached
Women's 5000m: Julia Lucas vs Jackie Areson and the Return of Deena Kastor
With Shalane Flanagan and Kara Goucher sticking to the marathon at the Olympics, the US women's track team spots are wide open. The women's 5000m at Occidental features the
top 2 2 of the top (editor's note: Julie Culley has the #2 time in American this year) Americans in 2012 so far, Julia Lucas and Jackie Areson, who will battle for the first time on the year.
Lucas is having a resurgent 2012. Her 15:08.52 second place at the second Stanford meet got the "A" standard out of the way. Cracking the 15:00 barrier would seem to be the objective here. Former NCAA indoor champ Areson's 15:18 win at the first Stanford meet also got the "A" standard out of the way. Olympians Blake Russell and Carrie Tollefson, who is on the comeback trail, plus Sara Slattery, have all hit the standard in the past. That brings us to the biggest name from the past, American record holder in the marathon Deena Kastor. This is Kastor's first 5000m since 2007 as she attempts to make her 4th Olympic team. Former NCAA star Lisa Uhl also needs the "A" standard.
The Olympic Trials picture will be clearer after this race for sure. Is Lucas for real?
Event 7 Women 5000 Meter Run =============================================================================== Friday 5/18/2012 - 9:20 PM Name Year Team =============================================================================== Section 1 Timed Finals 1 305 Annie Bersagel N B Silicon Vlly 2 358 Julia Lucas Nike O T C 3 354 Monica Kinney Unattached 4 387 Kristen Rohde Unattached 5 351 Deena Kastor Asics 6 319 Georgie Clarke Australia 7 324 Liz Costello Tennessee AC 8 323 Lisa Corrigan Australia 9 366 Tarah McKay-Korir Canada 10 390 Blake Russell Reebok 11 303 Jackie Areson Nike 12 397 Sara Slattery Unattached 13 380 Sarah Porter Zap Fitness 14 308 Addie Bracy Italy 15 402 Carrie Tollefson adidas 16 322 Melissa Cook Unattached 17 405 Lisa Uhl Nike O T C 18 338 Kaitlin Gregg N B Silicon Vlly
Men's Steeple is Almost a Preview of the Olympic Trials
The men's steeple has all of the top Americans from last year except for Ben Bruce who was the second fastest American last year. Last year's leader Billy Nelson leads the field and #3, #4, and #5 from last year Kyle Alcorn, Brian Olinger, and and Dan Huling are in the field. So is former World Championship team member Steve Slattery. 2008 Olympian Anthony Famiglietti is absent.
Only two Americans - Nelson and Bruce - have the Olympic 'A' of 8:23.10 so everyone else will certainly be trying to get that.
That brings us to 23 year old Evan Jager. Jager made the World team at 5000m as a 20 year old in 2000. Making the Olympics at 5000m will be very difficult, so he's trying the steeple this year. His debut was a smashing success, an 8:26 win at Mt. Sac. This time he faces stiffer competition.
The only other American guys we could see making the Olympic team that are the collegians and the leading collegiate steepler in our minds in Princeton's Donn Cabral, who was the NCAA runner-up the last two years, and he is in this field. Cabral is in great form as he anchored Princeton to both DMR and 4 x mile glory at Penn. Both times he straight up beat Columbia's Kyle Merber who just ran 3:35. As a result, it's hard to imagine that Cabral isn't ready for a huge PB here. His current pb is 8:32.14.
Analysis: Nelson was the best in the US last year. Olinger is in good shape, having run 13:26 and 27:50 this year and Alcorn was the winner of Stanford in 8:26. Jager is probably the most talented of them all and Cabral seems unbeatable right now. The steeple has gone from a event that was boring us as anyone with the 'A' was going to go to one that is entertaining us as at least the drama to make the team is suddenly exciting.
Section 1 Timed Finals 1 192 Billy Nelson New Balance 2 104 Kyle Alcorn Nike 3 198 Brian Olinger Reebok 4 160 Dan Huling Reebok 5 163 Evan Jager Nike O T C 6 136 Donald Cowart Unattached 7 218 Steve Slattery Unattached 8 103 David Adams Unattached 9 130 Donn Cabral Princeton 10 188 Rob Mullett UK Athletics 11 239 Chris Winter Speed River TC 12 233 Lyle Weese Unattached
Women' Steeple: Can the Americans Beat
Bridget Franek, the US runner-up last year, and the world leader in 2012 so far (9:39) leads the women's steeple field. The field also features US 3rd placer, Delilah DiCrescenzo, Pan Am champion Sara Hall, and former American record holder Lisa Aguilera. Aguilera is the only one who needs the 9:43.00 "A" standard.
Brit Barbara Parker is the most credentialed (Editor's note: As pointed out in this thread, Barbara Parker is also on the Diamond League Shanghai start list so likely she isn't running here), as she made the World final last year, and is coming off a 15:14 5000m pr. We'll see if she can bring down her modest 9:35.17 pr.
American Stephanie Garcia who competed at Worlds isn't in this field, she's in the Diamond League race in Shanghai on Saturday. Props to Stephanie. Preview of that here.
Section 1 Timed Finals 1 374 Barbara Parker New Balance 2 332 Bridget Franek Oregon TC 3 342 Sara Hall Asics 4 328 Delilah DiCrescenzo Puma 5 382 Beverly Ramos Unattached 6 384 Stephanie Reilly Ireland 7 300 Lisa Aguilera Nike 8 301 Lindsay Allen Unattached 9 409 Lennie Waite adidas/Rogue AC 10 401 Kara Thorne adidas/Rogue AC 11 345 Ashley Higginson Saucony 12 347 Shayla Houlihan Brooks 13 339 Chantelle Groenewoud Unattached 14 355 Genevieve Lalonde Speed River TC
Women's 800m: Top Americans in 2 Different Heats as Jenny Simpson and High Schooler Ajee Wilson Join the Fray
Four (Geena Gall, Alice Schmidt, Latavia Thomas and Molly Beckwith) of the 8 US women who went under the "A" standard of 1:59.90 last year are in this race. The problem is they're in different heats. Molly Beckwith went sub 2:00 in the Diamond League meet last week, now she's in section 2 of an 800 here.
Heat 2 is interesting as it does have World 1500m champion Jenny Simpson (2:01.20 best) and high schooler Ajee Wilson. Wilson ran 2:02.64 last year, but has only run 2:05 this year so this will be her first real test. This is Simpson's first race of the year where she should be outmatched.
Heat 3 has former American star Hazel Clark but we think it's considered a "B" heat.
Event 3 Women 800 Meter Run =============================================================================== Friday 5/18/2012 - 7:20 PM Name Year Team =============================================================================== Section 1 Timed Finals 1 386 Christina Rodgers Unattached 2 361 Nachelle Mackie BYU 3 333 Geena Gall* Nike O T C 4 392 Alice Schmidt* Nike 5 367 Erica Moore Nike 6 350 Laura Januszewski Brooks 7 304 Neisha Bernard adidas 8 337 Kate Grace N J- N Y TC Section 2 Timed Finals 1 393 Lindsey Schnell Unattached 2 396 Jenny Simpson New Balance 3 400 LaTavia Thomas* Nike 4 415 Molly Beckwith* Unattached 5 395 Jemma Simpson Nike O T C 6 372 Lemlem Ogbasilassie Canada 7 398 Jessica Smith Valley Royals 8 413 Ajee Wilson Neptune Section 3 Timed Finals 1 365 Kimarra McDonald Tennessee AC 2 326 Diane Cummins Mt. West 3 381 Bethany Praska Unattached 4 314 Stephanie Charnigo N J- N Y TC 5 357 Annie LeBlanc Canada 6 373 Katie Palmer BYU TC 7 343 Lyndsay Harper Unattached 8 362 Leanna Maclean Canada 9 317 Hazel Clark Nike
Men's 800s: Boaz Lalang and Andrew Wheating in Different Heats
2008 Kenyan Olympian Boaz Lalang has run 1:42.95 in the past and is in heat 1.
Andrew Wheating is in heat 2 and it will be interesting to see if his hamstring handles an 800.
Iindoor US champ Duane Solomon who won Mt. Sac and then just ran 45.98 last week is in heat 3 as is 13:1 5000 guy Lopez Lomong, and incdoor world championship finalist Michael Rutt, who recently beat Robby Andrews. The 800 in the US is very deep.
The Olympic "A" standard is 1:45.60. In the 800 in the US that is not very important as tons of guys already have the A and the Trials race likely will go that fast.
Event 4 Men 800 Meter Run =============================================================================== Friday 5/18/2012 - 7:40 PM Name Year Team =============================================================================== Section 1 Timed Finals 1 156 Kevin Hicks S E T A 2 194 Rob Novak New York AC 3 203 Lachlan Renshaw Nike O T C 4 172 Boaz Lalang adidas 5 168 Richard Jones Santa Monica TC 6 235 Mark Wieczorek Unattached 7 143 Tevan Everett N J- N Y TC 8 170 Moise Joseph Haiti Section 2 Timed Finals 1 142 Dustin Emrani N J- N Y TC 2 166 Brandon Johnson Unattached 3 234 Andrew Wheating Nike O T C 4 201 Cory Primm Unattached 5 214 Fred Samoei adidas 6 189 Prince Mumba Santa Monica TC 7 141 Tetlo Emmen adidas Legacy 8 164 Jamaal James Trinidad/Tobago Section 3 Timed Finals 1 219 Kyle Smith Canada 2 190 Julius Mutekanga New Balance 3 222 Duane Solomon Saucony 4 187 Tyler Mulder Nike O T C 5 140 Andrew Ellerton Reebok 6 210 Alex Rowe Melbourne TC 7 212 Michael Rutt N J- N Y TC 8 176 Lopez Lomong Nike O T C Section 4 Timed Finals 1 155 Jacob Hernandez Nike 2 114 Tim Bayley GBTC 3 173 Jackson Langat U S Army 4 199 Jaden Ostapowich Edmonton Thunder 5 157 Brian Hill BAA 6 220 Christian Smith Unattached 7 217 Brandon Shaw E V O TC 8 123 Liam Boylan-Pett N J- N Y TC 9 221 Pablo Solares Nike/Mexico 10 223 Darren St. Clair UK Athletics
World #1 Morgan Uceny is in heat 1 and 2009 bronze medallist Shannon Rowbury is in heat 2.
Really the name of the game is 4:06.00. Besides Uceny and Rowbury, only two Americans have the "A" of 4:06.00 - Christin Wurth-Thomas and Jenny Simpson.
In heat 1, Treniere Moser and Canadian Hilary Stellingwerff have gone sub 4:10 this year. A resurgent Brie Felnagle can't be ignored in heat 1 as well as she's run 15:22 for 5000. Heat 2 has Anna Pierce, Brenda Martinez and NCAA leader Natalija Piliusina who have all run under 4:10 this year. Can they go sub 4:06?
Event 5 Women 1500 Meter Run =============================================================================== Friday 5/18/2012 - 8:05 PM Name Year Team =============================================================================== Section 1 Timed Finals 1 404 Morgan Uceny adidas 2 302 Gabriele Anderson Brooks 3 360 Katie Mackey Brooks 4 369 Treniere Moser Nike 6 399 Hilary Stellingwerff Speed River TC 7 363 Elizabeth Maloy New Balance 8 331 Brie Felnagle adidas 9 410 Lea Wallace Nike 10 370 Marina Muncan New Balance 11 391 Nicole Schappert New York AC Section 2 Timed Finals 1 388 Shannon Rowbury Nike 2 394 Nicole Sifuentes Saucony 3 378 Anna Pierce Nike 4 364 Brenda Martinez New Balance 5 414 Phoebe Wright Nike 6 407 Sara Vaughn Nike 7 379 Natalja Piliusina Oklahoma St 8 349 Maggie Infeld NYAC-Nike 9 358 Julia Lucas Nike O T C 10 341 Lauren Hagans Asics 11 306 Lauren Bonds adidas/Raleigh 12 320 Emma Coburn U of Colorado 13 327 Heidi Dahl New Balance Section 3 Timed Finals 1 313 Lauren Centrowitz New Balance 2 321 Kim Conley SRA Elite 3 406 Kate Van Buskirk Canada 5 403 Renee Tomlin Nike 6 356 Annick Lamar New York AC 7 368 Amy Mortimer-Garman Saucony 8 334 Lindsey Gallo Unattached 9 352 Julia Kawamoto Canada 10 348 Carmen Husser New Balance 11 408 Maggie Vessey New Balance 12 340 Dawn Grunnagle Nike O T C 13 376 Dacia Perkins adidas/Rogue AC 14 346 Ashley Hinther Canada 15 329 Amanda Dunne Unattached 16 307 Sarah Bowman New Balance
Men's 1500: Heat 1 With Manzano, Webb, Andrews, Batty, Rupp and Farah is the Most Interesting
The first 3 heats we believe are meant to be equal. Heat 1 is by far the most interesting. It's got Olympian and in form Leo Manzano plus NCAA star Miles Batty, not to mention the most interesting guy on LetsRun.com, American record holder in the mile, Alan Webb, plus his training partner Robby Andrews. Throw in the mix American record holder at 10,000m Galen Rupp and the most credentialed guy Worlds 5000m champion Mo Farah, plus the unsponsored AJ Acosta.
Webb ran 3:38.86 for 11th last time out and everyone on LetsRun.com was impressed. Can he get the "A" standard of 3:35.50 here?
A lot of guys are after the "A" standard including Canadians Nate Brannen and Taylor Milne in heat 2. David Torrence, in heat 3, already has it in the 5000m and 800m so some of the pressure may be off but the 1,500 is probably his best bet for the Olympics so maybe not. We sure hope the heats are even as Torrence is one of the best guys in the whole field.
Event 6 Men 1500 Meter Run =============================================================================== Friday 5/18/2012 - 8:40 PM Name Year Team =============================================================================== Section 1 Timed Finals 1 179 Leo Manzano Nike 2 112 Miles Batty BYU 3 174 Will Leer Nike 4 231 Peter Van Der Westhuzen South Africa 5 129 Andrew Bumbalough Nike O T C 6 232 Alan Webb Nike 7 147 Brian Gagnon N J- N Y TC 8 144 Mo Farah Nike O T C 9 102 AJ Acosta Unattached 10 242 Riley Masters U/Oklahoma 11 105 Robby Andrews Unattached 12 211 Galen Rupp Nike O T C Section 2 Timed Finals 1 107 Andy Baddeley New Balance 2 125 Nate Brannen Saucony 3 207 Zane Robertson New Zealand 4 186 Taylor Milne Speed River TC 5 182 Jordan McNamara Nike O T C 6 216 Jeff See Saucony 7 230 Dorian Ulrey Nike O T C 8 196 Christian O'Hare Tulsa 9 225 Nick Symmonds Nike O T C 10 152 Garrett Heath Saucony 11 148 Kris Gauson Unattached 12 108 Michael Banks Unattached Section 3 Timed Finals 1 228 David Torrence Nike 2 101 Jamal Aarrass France 3 237 Jordy Williamsza Australia 4 185 Kyle Miller Nike 5 119 Jack Bolas Melbourne TC 6 181 Geoff Martinson Prince George TF 7 131 Hamish Carson New Zealand 8 209 Jeremy Roff NSWIS Sydney 9 120 Kyle Boorsma Speed River TC 10 178 Matt Maldonado Unattached 11 184 John Mickowski Unattached 12 149 Christian Gonzalez N J- N Y TC Section 4 Timed Finals 1 135 Peter Corrigan Running Room AC 2 180 Justin Marpole-Bird Unattached 3 227 Darius Terry Unattached 4 202 Ross Proudfoot Speed River TC 5 183 Ryan McNiff adidas 6 175 Matt Lincoln Unattached 7 150 Chris Gowell adidas/Rogue AC 8 161 Jake Hurysz Unattached 9 191 Rob Myers Unattached 10 238 Connor Winter Unattached 11 134 Michael Coe Bay Area TC 12 241 David Edwards Unattached 13 137 Ian Cronin Unattached 14 165 Carlos Jamieson New Balance 15 127 Sean Brosnan Unattached 16 169 Tony Jordanek Unattached 17 122 Raul Botezan Oklahoma St 18 195 Tiidrek Nurme Estonia
The meet starts at 6:15 pm pacific and will be streamed here on the meet page on Runnerspace. We'll also try and embed it on LetsRun.com.
Women Steeple (2 sections): 6:15pm (slow to fast)
Men Steeple (2 section): 6:50pm (slow to fast)
Women 800 (3 sections): 7:20pm (equal)
Men 800 (4 sections): 7:40pm (equal)
Women 1500 (4 sections): 8:05pm (fast to slow)
Men 1500 (5 sections): 8:40pm (fast to slow)
Women 5k (1 section): 9:20pm
Men 5k (1 section): 9:40pm