Shannon Rowbury Has Some Strong Words for USATF For Being Left Off 1500m Team for Worlds

August 14, 2013

Editor’s note: We had this information in our women’s 5000m recap but our pulling it out into its own story. 

Shannon Rowbury the 2009 World Championship bronze medalist at 1500m wanted to run the 1500m here. Instead she ran the 5000m semi-final today qualifying for the final.

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This year at USATFs Rowbury was only the fourth place finisher at 1500m, so that would make her an alternate for the 1500m team if she could run the “A” qualifying standard before July 20th. On July 19th, Rowbury ran a quick 4:01.28  at the Diamond League Meet in Monaco, becoming the 8th fastest in the world this year. Mission accomplished, so she thought.

When US champion Treniere Moser pulled out of Worlds last week with injury, Rowbury thought that meant she was on the US team at 1500. It should have meant that, but technically according to Rowbury, Rowbury herself, her agent, or coach was supposed to tell USATF Director of International Teams & Championships Sandy Snow she had run the “A” qualifying standard, regardless of the fact she ran her mark in one of the biggest meets of the World. USATF did not realize Rowbury had hit the “A” standard so it entered Sarah Brown, who had the standard, as the alternate at 1500 for Worlds. When Treniere Moser pulled out,  the official alternate Sarah Brown, who finished behind Rowbury at USATFs, took Moser’s spot on the 1500m team at Worlds.

Rowbury when asked about the situation after the 5000m here, accepted some of the blame, but had strong words for USATF saying, “I find it pretty unfathomable that USATF did not know I had run 4:01 in Monaco… More than anything I was just really disappointed that I wasn’t given the option and I had to find out via twitter that my spot was forfeited without me knowing it… The way it was handled was pretty disappointing.”

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She then added, “My interaction (with USATF) was basically, ‘We would have preferred to have you in the 1500, but it’s your fault, but just go rest up,'(USATF was telling me that) in the middle of the lobby (of the hotel) as I’m pulling out tears. It could have been handled so much better. It was just really disappointing.”

Our take: Ultimately, Rowbury and her agent Ricky Simms are responsible for not emailing USATF. However, USATF has people whose full-time job is to put forward the best team possible at Worlds. Their JOB is to be aware of all world-class performances out there. If an athlete forgets to notify USATF, then USATF should contact the athlete to make sure there they are not aware of some bureaucratic rule being missed.

The 1500m semifinals yesterday were not that impressive. It’s a shame Shannon Rowbury, a bronze medallist in the event, is not in the final. USATF must accept the blame for not putting its best team forward.

Shannon Rowbury Talks About USATF Leaving Her Off of 1500m Team
Audio Interview With Rowbury and Huddle below. We have it set to start where Rowbury Talks about USATF.

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