SIMPSON CONFIRMS DOUBLE AT USA INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
By David Monti.
(c) 2011 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
February 23, 2012
ALBUQUERQUE -- World 1500m champion Jenny Simpson confirmed that she will double at this weekend's USA Indoor Championships here at the Albuquerque Convention Center. Simpson, 25, is the defending champion in both the 1500m (the distance was actually one mile last year) and the 3000m.
"I have the intention of doubling in both the 3000m and 1500m this weekend," Simpson wrote in an e-mail message to Race Results Weekly. "I think it's a good opportunity to practice both the physical and mental demands of racing back-to-back days, simulating rounds I hope to face at outdoor USA's."
Neither event here will have a preliminary round. Simpson will run the 3000m first on Saturday at 7:50 p.m. local time, then race the 1500m on Sunday at 3:25 p.m. The top-2 finishers from each race will qualify for the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Istanbul next month. However, Simpson said that she does not plan to compete in those championships should she qualify here.
"While I think racing at the World Indoor Championships would be a thrill, I have decided with my coach (Juli Benson) that I do not intend to participate if I do indeed earn a spot on the USA team," she wrote.
Simpson, who lives in Monument, Colo., has raced twice this indoor season. She opened with a 3000m at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in Boston on Feb. 4, where she ran aggressively in the first half, but later faded to finish seventh --and last-- in 8:58.70. She rebounded a week later at the Millrose Games in New York, narrowly defeating Shannon Rowbury in the NYRR Wanamaker Metric Mile in a last lap sprint. She clocked an indoor personal best of 4:07.27, which was briefly a world leader.
Here in Albuquerque, Simpson's main opponents will be Sara Hall in the 3000m, and Brenda Martinez in the 1500m. Hall is in good form, winning the USA Cross Country Championships on Feb. 12, over Molly Huddle. Martinez has also been runnin well, winning the miles at both the New Balance Games in New York City on Jan. 21, and the U.S. Open (also in New York City) on Jan. 28. Martinez has never won an open USA title.