June 25, 2013
This week’s weekly recap will be done a bit differently. It was done in two parts.
Today, we are taking a look back at the women’s meet at USAs.
Everything else? It gets ignored as the US Trials are a big deal for most of our visitors.
The Cream Rises To The Top
As we explained in our look back at the men’s 2013 USA Outdoor Track and Field championships, shocking results in track and field generally are few and far between. The cream generally rises to the top at USAs. Take a look at winners of the five mid-d/distance events. They all are pretty accomplished as one would expect.
800- Alsyia Montano (five straight titles)
1500 – Treniere Moser (fourth USA 1500 title)
Steeple – Nicole Bush (1st World/Olympic Team, 2010 USA runner-up)
5000 – Jenny Simpson (2011 world 1500 champ)
10,000 – Shalane Flanagan (2008 Olympic bronze medallist)
In all sports, Cinderella can make things interesting but rarely do they end up as a national champion. That’s not to say there weren’t some surprises.
Biggest Positive Surprise (Jordan Hasay (Short Term)/Treniere Moser (Long Term)
Jordan Hasay over came her NCAA disappointment where she didn’t even make the 10,000 final in Eugene to get top three in her first race as a pro. We certainly didn’t see that one coming, particularly since it was supposedly the heat that did her in the prelims of NCAAs in Austin and it was HOT in Des Moines.
Now if she can get the ‘B’ standard of 32:05.00, she’ll be going to Moscow. It’s certainly a good story as Hasay has really handled the teen prodigy maturation process incredibly well.
It certainly could have turned out a lot worse – Jennifer Capriati, anyone?
In the women’s 1500, there also was a surprise but just a different type of one. 3-time US champ Treniere Moser came in as the favorite and left as a 4-time champ. If you’d told someone at the beginning of the year, “In the women’s 1500 this year, I really think Moser is going to be the US champ. I know she hasn’t’ run faster than 4:05 in seven years (4:03 in 2006) and hasn’t been top 4 at USAs in six years (1st in 2007) but she’s going to PR and win USAs at age 31,” people would have thought you were crazy.
So kudos to both Hasay and Moser for defying expectations.
Stat Of The Week I: How Does Jordan Hasay Stack Up To Shalane Flanagan/Kara Goucher At Age 21?
On the messageboard somewhere last week, someone was trying to compare Jordan Hasay to Shalane Flanagan and Kara Goucher when they both were 21 and finihsed college.
We did the research. Here are their PRs.
PRs at Age 21 When Finishing Up Collegiate Competition
Goucher: 4:12.15/ 15:28.78
Hasay is certainly close to some very good company. Her 1500 PB is better than Flanagan and Goucher at the same age. That’s some very good news.
The bad news is Hasay is trying to make it as a long distance runner so her 5000 pb is more important in our eyes and there she trails Flanagan/Goucher. Hasay hasn’t had a time trial effort at 5000 so far this year – her last in college – as she was going for 10,000 standard so maybe her 5000 pb would be more in line with Flanagan/Goucher if she had run it for time this year.
Regardless, we do know one thing, Hasay like virtually all collegiates has to get A LOT better to truly be competitive on the world stage. Nowadays, you need to be sub 14:40/31:00 before you even dream of a medal in the 5,000 or 10,000.
Even if one improves a lot, international success isn’t guaranteed. For every Flanagan or Goucher, there is a Lauren Fleshman. Fleshman was a 3-time NCAA champ at 5000 in college who ran 15:12 the summer she finished up Stanford (2003). She improved a great deal after college as she went from 4:14 to 4:05 in the 1500 and from 15:12 to 14:58 in 5000, but neither of those is truly world-class medal competitive.
Hasay potentially making the team in 2013 is a great story but comparing her to Goucher/Flanagan isn’t fair at this point.
Biggest Negative Surprise (Bridget Franek and Kara Goucher)
The surprises of the women’s distance competition at USAs for us was Bridget Franek failing to make the team in the steeplechase and Kara Goucher failing to make the team in the 10,000.
Franek, the 2012 Olympian came in 8-seconds ahead of the fourth seed in the women’s steeple, easily won her prelim and then totally bombed the last lap in Des Moines.
Kara Goucher hadn’t raced since Boston, so we weren’t sure what to 100% expect from her but assuming she showed some sign of fitness, we considered her a near-lock to make the team. When she built up a huge lead on third early, we assumed everything was going according to plan, but she totally misjudged the effect of the heat of Des Moines and faded to fifth.
What’s Wrong With Lisa Uhl?
The 2012 Olympian has PBs of 14:55 and 31:12. This year, since returning home to Iowa, she’s run 15:29 and 32:41. That’s not even in the same ball park. In the heat of Iowa, she ran 33:35 and was just ninth.
Teen Power: Mary Cain and Ajee’ Wilson
There certainly was a lot of hype surrounding Ajee’ Wilson and Mary Cain coming into the year and they both have more than lived up to it.
Wilson, the 2011 World Youth and 2012 World Junior 800 champ, rebounded from a poor Prefontaine race (where she was just third in the ‘B’ heat while Mary Cain stole the limelight in the ‘A’ heat) and PRd when it mattered most to grab the third spot in the women’s 800 at 1:59.55. Coming into the year, the idea of Wilson running 1:59.55 was not out of the question, as she’d run 2:00.91 last year. But thinking it’s possible and doing it are two completely different things so kudos to her as coming into USAs, her odds of making it to Moscow didn’t seem to be all that great.
Cain, on the other hand, is sort of the opposite of Wilson in terms of expectations. Coming into USAs, most pundits expected her to make it to Moscow, but if you’d told us she’d make the US team at 1500 at the beginning of the year, we’d have laughed in your face.
We are certain of one thing. We hope everyone is appreciating their performances now. It’s easy to think the future is always going to be way better but it doesn’t always work out that way. Anyone remember when Andrew Wheating was on fire in 2010? Imagine, what he’s going to do as a pro, right? What about German Fernandez as a senior in HS and freshman at Oklahoma State? We were so excited we flew to Amman, Jordan to watch him race.
The future isn’t always better (not too imply Wheating and Fernandez can’t turn things around if healthy).
Best Performance (Period): Brianna Rollins
The Brianna Rollins show keeps getting better and better.
Rollins went into NCAAs with a 12.70 wind legal pb in the 100 hurdles. Twice in Eugene, she broke the collegiate record of 12.48, as she ran a 12.47 in the prelims and then a 12.39 in the finals.
Clearly, since she’d already PRd by .31, she couldn’t keep improving, right?
Wrong. Rollins made a mockery of her NCAA times all three times she ran in Des Moines.
12.33 (windy) in the 1st round.
12.30 (windy) in the semis.
12.26 American record (wind-legal) in the finals.
Truly incredible. You know when your PR is better than 2012 Olympic champ Sally Pearson‘s and near a bunch of late 1980s Eastern Europeans you are doing something right.
Might Rollins already at just 21 be the fastest clean hurdler in history?
Top 5 All-Time At 100 Hurdles
1 12.21 +0.7 Yordanka Donkova BUL 20.08.1988 2 12.25 +1.4 Ginka Zagorcheva BUL 08.08.1987 3 12.26 +1.2 Brianna Rollins USA 22.06.2013 3 12.26 +1.7 Ludmila Engquist RUS 06.06.1992 5 12.28 +1.1 Sally Pearson AUS 03.09.2011
Who Has A Shot At A Distance Medal In Moscow?
Making it to Moscow is one thing, getting a medal another. Who could we see medaling in a mid-d/distance event in Moscow? We break it down for you.
800: Alysia Montano and maybe Brenda Martinez.
The women’s 800 has been down so far this year, so that helps the Americans who are running well. Regardless, Martinez faces an uphill battle unless she gets down to at least 1:57 as world and Olympic champ Mariya Savinova is now competing (1:58.75 on June 2nd) and Ethiopian national record holder Fantu Magiso (2:00.25 on June 13th) is on her way back as well.
The positive for Martinez (who has run the 2nd fastest time in the World this year) is it looks like she could run faster, as she negative split the final. Montano has shown in the past at her best she can run with just about anyone in the World. She just needs to figure out how to run her best in Moscow.
1500: Jenny Simpson.
Sorry Mary Cain and Trenier Moser fans, they are currently US good, not world good with the likes of Aregawi and Dibaba in the 1500m. For those of you who think we shouldn’t rule Cain out as she seems to get improve each and every time she races, realize if she improves between now and Moscow as much as she did all year (6.39 seconds in the 1500), her PB would of 3:58.23 would still make her only the fourth fastest in the world.
10,000: Shalane Flanagan.
We wrote in our women’s 10,000 preview, this is a nice year for Flanagan to go for a medal as it’s not a very deep event this year. No Kenyan female has run faster than 31:37 this year and only three broke 31:00 last year. Of those three, two of them are out this year. 2011 double world champ Vivian Cheruiyot is out due to pregnancy. 2012 Olympic silver medallist Sally Kipyego is injured.
After Tirunesh Dibaba wins another gold, someone has to win the silver and bronze. We doubt 5000 star Meseret Defar would be interested in trying so it looks like medals are up for the taking.
Post-race Kara Goucher said she thought Shalane was currently in 30:30 shape. Assuming Shalane improves of that, that is medal territory.
All told, we definitely think the US women will win at least one medal. Two would be a strong showing and three would be about a perfect meet for. If we odds maker’s, we’d put the over/under at 1.5.
One last thought about America’s #1 potential medallist, Jenny Simpson. Here’s a great thought that showed up on the messageboard that shows you how well she is running: Could Jenny Simpson have qualified for 2013 Moscow WChamps in 5 events?
Stat Of The Week II: How Often Do The US Women Medal At Worlds?
Below you will see, the US historically hasn’t medalled very often in the mid-d/distance events at Worlds.
In total, there have been 13 world championships and the US has medalled a total of seven times total in the five women’s mid and distance events.
Percentage of Times US Wins A Mid/Distance Medal At Worlds
1500: 38.5%* (5/13) – Mary Slaney (gold 1983), Regina Jacobs (silver 1997/1999), Shannon Rowbury (bronze 2009), Jenny Simpson (gold 2011). *Many of them drug induced no doubt.
3000/5000: 7.7% (1/13) – Mary Slaney (gold 1983)
10,000: 0.0% (1/13) Kara Goucher (bronze 2007)
800: 0 % (0/13)
Steeple: 0.0 % (0/4)
Overall: 12.5% (7/56)
So that’s about one medal every other World Champs. The fact that we’re confident the US will one this year is a good sign. The US women won zero at the Olympics last year.
Quote of the Week (that wasn’t quote of the day)
“(Yelena) Isinbayeva is like Michael Jordan in Russia. She’s the most popular athlete in Moscow. Without question, Isinbayeva is the favorite at the worlds. If the meet was in Churchville, I’d say we are, but I don’t think the championships are going to be there.
“Jenn will be going in there with 100,000 people rooting against her. I think it’s going to be the most difficult environment she’s ever jumped and competed in her career.”
– Rick Suhr, coach and husband of 2012 Olymic pole vault gold medallist Jenn Suhr, talking to the democratandcronicle.com about the obstables his wife will face in Moscow this summer.
Quotes Of The Day & The Last Week’s Homepages:
Note: To see a particular day’s homepage, click on the hyperlink of the date. The hyperlink below the date on the quotes will take you to that particular article – not that day’s homepage.
“I knew, in order to make the team, I needed to be on my ‘A’ game. If I came with anything less, if I brought my ‘B’ game, I probably wouldn’t make the team. I came with my ‘A’ game and did what Coach (American record holder Johnny Gray) told me to do today and it worked out.
The guys on the team, I think we have a really good chance of medaling in Moscow.”
– Duane Solomon after leading wire-to-wire and running a world-leading 1:43.27 to stop Nick Symmonds‘ USATF winning streak at 5. Symmonds was 2nd in 1:43.70.
“I’m on cloud nine. I’m 31 years old and I’m keeping up with a 17-year-old (Cain). I never thought I would have the energy go do that. I’m just so happy with where I’m at and what the future holds for me. I was kind of taking it year to year but now I’m starting to look long term and maybe to Rio now. It’s just such a great feeling. At this point all I can say is, never give up.”
– Treniere Moser, who managed to just defeat 17-year-old training partner Mary Cain to win her 4th USATF 1,500m title and first since 2007. Moser was going to quit the sport until she bumped into coach Alberto Salazar last year on the Nike campus.
“I always liked watching Tiger Woods play golf because they said he has more tricks in his bag with his clubs than anybody else does. He can hit a 3 iron ten different ways. And I’ve always wanted to be the kind of runner, in an 800 especially, that can win any way you throw it. If we go out in 24, if we go out in 28, if it’s fast, if it’s slow, if I’m buried, if I’m boxed or if I’m free I want to be able to win any different way. I think my Division III background gave me a lot of chance to practice those skills. I think that’s one of the reasons I’ve been able to pull off these wins the last 5 years..”
– Nick Symmonds who will try and win his 6th straight USATF 800m title on Sunday. Nick is the “Tiger of the US 800m” but “without the affairs”.Discuss
I just think it’s a fun challenge. I just look at all the names and it’s just, I’d like to see what I can do. I don’t have an ego, if I were to be top three that’d be phenomenal, I just want to see what I can do.”
– Shalane Flanagan announcing after her 10,000m win on Thursday night that she wants to run the 5,000m in the heat of the day on Saturday versus World 1,500m Champion Jenny Simpson and American record holder Molly Huddle.
“Matt’s looking pretty good, Andy [Wheating] is looking okay, and Leo [Manzano] is looking bad. Under normal circumstances, I’d say Matt’s got a really good shot, Andy’s got a pretty good shot, and Leo has no shot. But if I had to pick someone right now to win, I’d still pick Leo Manzano, because’s he’s just so good at showing up at USAs.”
– Russell Brown, talking about how he thinks last year’s Olympians might fare in this weekend’s USA Champs. Neither Brown nor Matt Centrowitz are worried about not having the “A” as Brown says, “The ‘A’ standard really never crossed my mind this year. I think I or whoever else gets top three this year, they’re going to have no problem whatsoever.”. Read our 1500 preview here.
“I’m not thinking about anything but winning. Winning is my No. 1 goal. That has to be the only thing to shoot for. From there, it’s making the world team. This is my coming out year. It’s time for me to step up.”
– Tyler Mulder, the guy who has been 4th, 4th and 5th the last three years at USAs, talking to Oregonlive.com about his goals for this weekend’s USA Champs. Read our 800 preview here.
– Lolo Jones in a video she made to point out the very low pay ($741.84 for 7 months) US bobsledders earn. Her video justifiably upset some of her fellow bobsledders – volunatirly swoon in, hog the publicity, raise your profile and then complain about it.
More: LRC Look Back at Men’s 2013 USATF Championships