Five days after the qualifying period for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials ended last Sunday, the list of legitimate female contenders for the American team grew by one. Ethiopian-born U.S. citizen Misiker Demissie, who ran 2:25:45 in Ottawa in 2013 and 2:29:03 in Shanghai on October 4, 2014, has been added by USA Track & Field to the womenâ€™s list of trials qualifiers.
Demissie, who was based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and recently moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado, initially had her entry into the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials put on hold while USATF investigated her eligibility. Jill Geer, USATF chief public affairs officer, told Runner's World in an email that the International Association of Athletics Federations had to approve Demissieâ€™s transfer of citizenship before her entry into the marathon could be approved.
With her 2:29:03 from Shanghai, where she placed third, Demissie has the 10th-fastest qualifying time for the Olympic Trials. That time puts her right behind Lauren Kleppin and ahead of Becky Wade and Sara Hall. Demissieâ€™s 2:25:45 as runner-up in Ottawa came just two months before the trials qualifying window opened on August 1, 2013. If it had been eligible, it would have put Demissie third, behind 2012 Olympians Shalane Flanagan and Desiree Linden and ahead of Amy Cragg and Deena Kastor.
If Demissie can regain that Ottawa form, evidence suggests sheâ€™d be worrisome for Cragg, Kastor, and Kara Goucher and even a threat to Flanagan and Linden in a moderately paced race. Most recently, Demissie ran 1:13:38 for third place at last Sundayâ€™s Rock â€™nâ€™ Roll Arizona Half Marathon, behind Janet Bawcom (1:11:49) and Tara Welling (1:13:07).
Article continues here