So perhaps the name that everyone should be talking about is Julia Bleasdale (the Brit). She destroyed the field, including Betsy Saina, at the Carlsbad 5000, and has fantastic personal bests of 30:55.63 from the 2012 olympics where she finished 8th and 15:02.00. Hardcore track fans will recognize her from her breakthrough 10,000m at the Payton Jordan invitational back in 2012, where she beat Kim Conley in 31:29. This was of course the year Betsy Saina won the race in a PR of 31:15.97. You can't discount the defending champion too much.
The americans have several strong contenders. Molly Huddle is the obvious choice as the 5k American record holder in 14:44.76. She comes off of a very impressive win at the Boston 5k race, where she beat Betsy Saina, and a strong group of Eheoptian and Kenyan runners. Kim Conley has made her career upsetting the favorites. She is a huge underdog here, but if history repeats itself, counting her out would be foolish. Jordan Hasay comes off of a disappointing 15:34 finish at Mt. Sac, but this was still an outdoor personal best.
Emily Sisson, Emma Bates, and Julie Bottorff will lead a solid group of American Collegiate runners looking to get NCAA and World Championship A standards. Betsy Saina and Kate Avery lead the international NCAA talent. Speaking of international athletes, Obare Doricah has a solid 31:37 10k PR but looks to be on the decline. I doubt she is a factor here.
Lets talk debuts! Who can forget the debut of Chris Solinsky at Payton Jordan. Often elite runners surprise us in their 10k debuts and there are two people I can see doing so here. Almensh Belete has a personal best of 15:03.63 and ran a 15:10 at the olympics to miss out on the finals (yes the women's 5k heats were ridiculously fast that year). She may be looking to move up in distance and Payton Jordan is the place to do this. Perhaps an even more interesting debut is Karoline Groevdal. She has reasonable 1500m speed and recently ran 31:29 on the roads, which shows some great fitness. Groevdal also ran in the 5000m at the 2012 olympics running a 15:18 in the heats.
1. Julia Bleasdale
2. Molly Huddle
3. Sally Kipyego
4. Betsy Saina
5. Kim Conley
6. Almensh Belete
7. Karoline Groevdal
8. Jordan Hasay