Cool because they are the future so it gives us something to look forward too. Cool also, because typically the westerners tend to develop later than the East Africans when it comes to distance running. Combine that with a complete lack of proof of age for the East African "juniors" and the junior race is often regarded as a tougher race to place high than the senior race. So the fact that we have some young guys competing for the teens or possibly single digit finish spots is pretty cool.
Pitiful because we don't have enough depth in seniors or enough seniors with the balls to go race the top core of distance runners in the world. I understand for the guys that have a big marathon coming up, but other than that, what the hell are you running for?
Anyway back to the juniors, IMHO I see the race unfolding as follows.
German goes out top ten with the idea in his head that he may be able to just steal the show. He realizes quickly that moving up from 10th to first is not going to happen because 1st will be moving away at the same rate or faster than he is moving forward. He puts the hammer down to get in the top five and around 5-6K is not liking how it feels to run all out and have no shot of winning, panic sets in.
Luke runs aggressively but in comparison to German more measured. Luke moves into the top 10 by 5K and has his sights on German. Derrick has been sticking on Luke like a fly on [email protected] (much like during the past cross season) with Gregson stuck on him.
Over the last 1K German is hurting and is no longer running for 1st in the race, but to be the first non-african and he has 3 contenders not far behind him. Panic sets in harder. Luke makes a hard charge and separates from Derrick (like at NCAA cross) and Gregsons lack of strength finally kicks in as Derrick tries to go with Puskedra.
At least one of the top 3 goes on to run 12:5X this summer and German will go close to 13:10, but the future is bright for these young westerners.
Feel free to predict otherwise. We'll see what happens on the big day.