The Continental Cup has some good match-ups this year and for American distance fans, the steeple may be the highlight.
It's the last legitimate shot of the year for Evan Jager to try and crack 8:00 in the steeple and for Courtney Frerichs to crack sub 9. Usually championship races aren't that fast, but in the women's steeple Beatrice Chepkoech can easily go sub 9 if she wants to without a rabbit which would be perfect for Frerichs.
And for the first time in a long-time she won't be keying off of American rival Emma Coburn as Coburn was not selected for the meet. The selection process calls for the top athlete from the Americas based on season's best to be selected as long as they ran at their national championships in that event. So Frerich's gets rewarded for running faster this year.
On the men's side, it's the big 3 squaring off again as Conseslus Kipruto, who won the Diamond League final with one shoe, takes on his two main rivals Soufiane El Bakkali and Jager .
My premise is what if Jager just went for it really early? On the men's side, I'm not sure a sub 8 is really possible without a rabbit, but what does Jager have to lose if he just at least tries to win the race by grinding it out from much farther than usual.
The steeple also is going to eliminate the last place athlete starting with a mile to go. There are only 8 runners in an event. So with 4 laps to go, last place will be pulled from track. Then last place with 3 laps to go will be pulled, etc. The final lap will only have 4 runners. It shouldn't make much difference in steeple where top 3 are way better but in flat 3000 it might.