This was an adjustment year for Watson, next year she should be back to her 2017 form and even more consistent on. top of that. Collier is a massive talent, but there are a few reasons why I don’t think she’ll be beating Watson next year. To begin with, Watson has been a consistent 2:02-2:03 runner since she was a Sophomore in high school, and at her best was a Consistent 2:00-2:01 runner; Collier has only matched that effort a handful of times, and also only run under 2:01 once compared to Watson’s three times. Athough results may not show it, Watson is likely in very similar form to what she was in a year ago, the nature of NCAA races, with more tactics and generally larger fields makes it difficult to perform at your best, especially as a female runner.
Comparing Collier and Watson’s current seasons bests, you’ll be surprised to see, they aren’t that far off from each other, even though Watson’s season may have seemed a bit lackluster.
400 - 54.77
800 - 2:02.2
Mile - 4:42.3 (converted)
400 - 54.14
800 - 2:00.85
1500 - 4:17.93(converted)
Mile - 4:38.48
(Hopefully this works)
Trackbot! PRs Sammy Watson
Trackbot! PRs Caitlin Collier
Trackbot! Compare Sammy Watson vs Caitlin Collier
Obviously Collier is the better athlete right now, but I’m not exactly sure what that will mean in the long run. With Collier going to Stanford and Watson rounding back into form with a new NCAA title, the tides will undoubtedly begin to shift again. One thing I can say with confidence is that the USA has a bright future ahead of it with a talented lineup.
And we’ll be able to see the first glimpse of that future at the World Junior champs this summer, where Watson and Collier could settle this debate for us once and for all.