The OP is incorrect. Hocker is 100% going to be on the team due to his world ranking. It will get a huge boost after tonight.
We will pay out $100,000 if his world ranking is not high enough to get him on the team ($10,000 per year for 10 years).
Tonight's race should be worth 1271 ranking points (1171 points for the time + 100 bonus points for the win). That will raise his world ranking by a ton as it will replace his lowest scoring event (1120). So he gains 151 points (divided by 5) so 30 points.
He'll move up to #26 in the world rankings. He'll literally be the first guy into the Olympics on world ranking. 38 guys have the standard. He'll be in at #39 and they take 45. His ranking is higher than everyone in the world who doesn't have the standard which makes sense as he's run 3:35 low twice.
Actually I don’t think this is quite right.
Hocker had actually already made the WR quota overnight - a lot of athletes across the board withdrew in various events and he moved up into the quota. That seemed to go unnoticed today.
Yesterday he was ineligible to be selected, before the race he became eligible.
It will depend on USATF selectors. I think their selection policy is a bit vague and doesn’t say that top three eligible at the trials will be selected. I think that is the intention of the policy but not sure it’s set in stone.
If they go with top three eligible as at the trial it will be Hocker
But “the first guy into the olympics on world ranking” as you say, is behind a bunch of guys with the standard. So that alone means absolutely nothing.
The world ranking list has Craig Engels at 25 and Cole Hocker at 42 - not convinced in your maths above but even with an improvement in quota position - in the world ranking “Road To Tokyo” list Hocker will be at best behind Matthew Ramsden who is the last qualified by entry standard, Sitting around the 40 mark.
Other federations would look at head to head and recent times to select the discretionary third spot . As mentioned, it seems USATF may not be completely constant in their interpretation of the policy here, going by other events.
In straight world rankings Craig is 12th so way ahead of Hocker. And his recently run PB is 2 seconds faster. Hocker has been unable to run the qualifier.
On paper, it could be a difficult decision for selectors if they don’t have an iron clad selection policy to guide them.
Could go either way so really both camps have valid arguments at this stage.
An additional thing that is missed entirely on this forum is that these are WORLD rankings - there’s only a day left but what athletes run in the rest of the world determines Hocker’s ranking. Those that calculated the time he needed to run in the final completely ignored this fact. That’s why a qualifier is so important - you’re not dependant on what others run for your placing.