Team USA Announced For Inaugural World Relays In Bahamas: US Women’s 4 X 800 Looks Great – US Stars Simpson, Symmonds, Centro And Cain Not Running

Mary 13, 2014

MB: World Relays USA Team Announced: US 4×800 W Looking Great. Simpson, Symmonds, Centro, Cain NOT Running

The US Teams for the inaugural World Relay Championships (4×100, 4×200, 4×400, 4×800, 4×1500) in the Bahamas in two weeks were announced today by USATF. We have the full list of athletes and break down the US 4 x 800 and 4 x 1500 teams’ chances for you below.

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While the US has some very strong teams and some distance teams that should take home medals and smash American, if not World records, the surprising and disappointing news for US distance fans is that quite a few of America’s mid-d stars aren’t going – Moscow silver medallists Jenny Simpson, Nick Symmonds and Matthew Centrowitz all aren’t on the Team USA roster. They aren’t the only big name absences as none of Centrowitz’s Nike Oregon Project teammates are going. Coach Alberto Salazar isn’t sending anyone. With Simpson and Shannon Rowbury, Treniere Moser, and Mary Cain not on the Team USA 4 x 1500 team, suddenly Team USA’s 4 x 1500 women’s team has gone from big-time gold medal contender (the US had four of the top 10 times in the world in 2013, plus Mary Cain who made the Worlds final) to an outside medal hope.

Ray Flynn, Jenny Simpson’s agent told LRC that Jenny made the decision this year to focus on the Diamond League this year. She is running in Shanghai this Sunday, Prefontaine the weekend after the World Relays, and then the adidas Grand Prix in New York City. He said the decision to skip World Relays was “a decision she made on her own” after we asked him if whether the top 1500m women decided not to run once they realized some of their stronger teammates weren’t going to run.

Brenda Martinez Will Be Going for a Medal

Brenda Martinez Will Be Going for a Medal

Ricky Simms, agent for Cain, Centrowitz and Rowbury wrote that Centro and Rowbury will be running at the Occidental High Performance meet (this Thursday) and then the Diamond League Prefontaine meet and then further Diamond League meets. Mary Cain is “in the middle of high school exams” and will open her season in Eugene.

Outside of the women’s 4×1500, the other USA distance teams are just missing one or two names. The top sprinter not participating on the men’s side is Justin Gatlin.

The US women’s 4×800 team is a very good one on paper with two worlds finalists in Brenda Martinez and Ajee Wilson plus World Indoor Champ Chanelle Price.

Quick Thought #1: We’re Looking Forward to World Relays, We Wish All of America’s Stars Were There : We’re very excited about the World Relays. US and World records are going to crumble. We just wish all the US athletes were as excited as us.

We get it, the athletes are pros and have their careers to look after. Today’s list of Team USA Members shows that patriotism clearly only goes so far. Most US track and field stars say representing the Stars and Stripes is the highlight of their career. At the end of their careers we think most athletes would remember much more a medal at the World Relays than running the obscure Oxy High Performance meet.

Quick Thought #2: Should It Be at the End of the Year? We think an event like this could ultimately end up being very popular. We think in the future moving it a week after the last DL final might make more sense. What stars wouldn’t want to go to the Bahamas and run for their country at the end of the season? The NFL rewards its top stars with a trip to the Pro Bowl in Hawaii each year. Maybe the IAAF should consider moving this meet to later in the year.

Quick Thought #3: The US Can Deliver in the Distances: We present the US Teams for you in the order of their awesomeness (medal prospects). Note, the selection criteria stated that World and Olympic team members from 2012 and 2013 and then top 2 finishers at 2014 USA Indoors were to be given priority. So you can assume people meeting those criteria (assuming they are fit) were offered spots.

Women’s 4 x 800

World Record – 7:50.17 – USSR 2005 (1:57.54 per woman)
US Record – 8:04.31 – USA Red 2013 (2:01.07 per woman)

Team USA:

First Last Comment PB
Geena Gall-Lara London Olympics, 2:01.1 at Mt. Sac 1:59.24 pb
Charlene Lipsey 2:01.09 PR this year 2:01.09 pb
Brenda Martinez World Champs Bronze 1:57.91 pb
Chanelle Price World indoor champ, Doha DL 2nd place 1:59.75 pb
Ajee’ Wilson American Junior Record holder 1:58.21 pb

Who’s Else Might Have Been on Team:
Alysia Montano – Pregnant
Mary Cain – High School
Kate Grace – Running 4×1500
Molly Beckwith Ludlow – #3 USA Indoors, 2:00.55 in Doha.

Medal Prospects: Incredible.

Quick Thought #1: The US record is definitely history. If Montano wasn’t pregnant, this team would probably be favored for gold. With Eunice Sum on the anchor, Kenya probably deserves that label, but isn’t Team USA a lock for silver?

Men’s 4 x 800

World Record – 7:02.43 – Kenya 2006 (1:45.60 per man)
US Record – 7:02.82 – Santa Monica TC 2006 (1:45.70 per man)

Team USA:

First Last How qualified? PB
Robby Andrews Top 2 USA Indoors 1:44.71
Brandon Johnson World Champs 1:43.84
Michael Rutt #2 6th USA Indoors 1:45.08
Duane Solomon World Champs/Olympics, #2 US ever 1:42.82
Mark Wieczorek 5th USA Indoors 1:45.36

Who’s Else Might Have Been on Team:
Nick Symmonds – #3 USA ever
Erik Sowinski – US Indoor Champ/ 1:44.58 @ MT. Sac
Tyler Mulder – 4th USA Indoors, 1:44.34 last year

Medal Prospects: Very good. Gold should go to Kenya but after that Team USA has got a real good shot for silver.

Quick Thought #1: A US record is a real possibility here even without Symmonds and Sowinski.

Men’s 4 x 1500

World Record – 14:36.23 – Kenya 2009 (3:39.05 per man)
US Record – 14:46.30 – USA 2009 (3:41.57 per man)
Team USA:

First Last How qualified? PB
Pat Casey 3rd at Drake, 2nd in Road Mile 3:40.04
Garrett Heath 3:34.12 last year 5th in US, 3rd US indoors 3:34.12
Will Leer Top 2 US indoors – 3:35.27 last year 3:35.29
Leo Manzano Olympics/WC 3:32.38
David Torrence 2nd fastest guy in US in 2013 (3:33.23). 3:33.23

Who’s Else Might Have Been Considered: Olympians Matthew Centrowitz and Andrew Wheating (hasn’t raced this year) aren’t in the field nor are the following guys who all ran 3:34 last year: Jordan McNamara, Andy Bayer, Lopez Lomong, and Cory Leslie.

Medal Prospects: Decent. Kenya has gold wrapped up but after that there are two medals and the only candidates would be Ethiopia, Morocco and the US.

Quick Thought #1: The US record is history.

Women’s 4 x 1500

World Record – 17:08.17 – Kenya 2014 – (4:17.04 per woman)
US Record – 17:08.34 – Univ. Tennessee 2009 (4:17.08 per woman)
Team USA:

First Last How qualified? PB
Kate Grace #3 in US in 2014, 4:07.35 pb. 4:07.35
Heather Kampf Made world 1500 team, 4:07.15 pb. 4:07.15
Katie Mackey 4:04.60 last year. 4:04.60
Morgan Uceny Former world #1, 2012 US Olympian. 4:08.68 this year. 4:00.06
Sara Vaughn Mt. Sac champ has pb of just 4:08.34. 4:08.34

Who’s Missing: See below.

Medal Prospects: Not great. This team went from a lock for at least silver to a ‘pray for bronze’ team with all of the absences. Ethiopian, Morocco, GBR, likely wouldn’t touch this team at full strength.

Quick Thought #1: Here’s a breakdown of how the US went from having 4 in the top 10 last year in the world and 5 of top 14 to this team:

2013 Time/Runner/Status
4:00.48 Jenny Simpson (NBal) – Declined
4:00.94 Brenda Martinez (NBal) – On 800 team
4:01.28 Shannon Rowbury (Nik) – Declined
4:01.48 Gabriele Anderson (Brk) – Not invited (only 4:17 at Drake)
4:02.85 Treniere Moser (Nik) – Declined

Discuss: MB: World Relays USA Team Announced: US 4×800 W Looking Great. Simpson, Symmonds, Centro, Cain NOT Running

Full USA team is listed below with USATF press release below that.

Full USA Team for The Inaugural World Relays Team

First Last Event Current Residence Hometown College/University Twitter Handle
Marvin Bracy Men’s 4x100m Clermont, Florida Orlando, Florida Florida State University @BraceYaself
Trell Kimmons Men’s 4x100m Jackson, Mississippi Coldwater, Mississippi Hinds CC @TrellKimmons988
Calesio Newman Men’s 4x100m Greensboro, North Carolina Green Sea, South Carolina North Carolina A&T @Mr_Sprinta
Mike Rodgers Men’s 4x100m Round Rock, Texas St. Louis, Missouri Oklahoma Baptist University @Mr_Rodgers_DAT
R. Mookie Salaam Men’s 4x100m Tuscaloosa, Alabama Edmond, Oklahoma University Of Oklahoma @RakieemSalaam
Charles Silmon Men’s 4x100m Fort Worth, Texas Waco, Texas Texas Christian University @charlessilmon
Walter Dix Men’s 4x200m Los Angeles, California Coral Springs, Florida Florida State University @RealWalterDix
Curtis Mitchell Men’s 4x200m Clermont, Florida Daytona Beach, Florida Texas A&M University @mrmitchell200m
Maurice Mitchell Men’s 4x200m Overland Park, Kansas Kansas City, Missouri Florida State University @swift_reece
Wallace Spearmon Men’s 4x200m Fayetteville, Arkansas Fayetteville, Arkansas University of Arkansas @PrinceSpearmon
Isiah Young Men’s 4x200m Oxford, Mississippi Junction City, Kansas University of Mississippi @ALLORN0THIN
Torrin Lawrence Men’s 4x400m Gainesville, Florida Jacksonville, Florida University of Georgia @TLawrence400
Tony McQuay Men’s 4x400m Gainesville, Florida Riviera Beach, Florida University of Florida @McQuay_Runs
LaShawn Merritt Men’s 4x400m Portsmouth, Virginia Portsmouth, Virginia East Carolina University @lashawnmerritt
Clayton Parros Men’s 4x400m Clermont, Florida Bloomfield, New Jersey University of North Carolina @Cparros
Christian Taylor Men’s 4x400m Loughborough, UK Fayetteville, Georgia University of Florida @taylored2jump
David Verburg Men’s 4x400m Gainesville, Florida Lynchburg, Virginia George Mason University @AdiVerb
Robby Andrews Men’s 4x800m Princeton, New Jersey Englishtown, New Jersey University of Virginia @RA_Andrews
Brandon Johnson Men’s 4x800m Big Bear, California Orange, Texas UCLA @gobrandonj
Michael Rutt Men’s 4x800m Plainsboro, New Jersey Sinking Springs, Pennsylvania University of Connecticut @Mike_Rutt
Duane Solomon Men’s 4x800m Los Angeles, California Lompoc, California University of Southern California @DuaneBang800
Mark Wieczorek Men’s 4x800m Seattle, Washington Ponca City, Oklahoma Mid America Nazarene University @wizzo800
Pat Casey Men’s 4x1500m Eugene, Oregon Laurel, Montana University Of Oklahoma @patkc13
Garrett Heath Men’s 4x1500m Seattle, Washington Winona, Minnesota Stanford University @_garrettheath
Will Leer Men’s 4x1500m Los Angeles, California Minnetonka, Minnesota Pomona College @william_leer
Leo Manzano Men’s 4x1500m Austin, Texas Marble Falls, Texas University of Texas @leomanzano
David Torrence Men’s 4x1500m Oakland, California Tarzana, California University of California-Berkeley @David_Torrence
Alex Anderson Women’s 4x100m Clermont, Florida Chicago, Illinois University of Texas @mzalex_a
Tianna Bartoletta Women’s 4x100m Tampa, Florida Elyria, Ohio University of Tennessee @teamtianna
Lakeisha Lawson Women’s 4x100m West Covina, California Victorville, California University of Nevada-Las Vegas n/a
Tawanna Meadows Women’s 4x100m Dallas, Texas Panama City, Florida Troy University @Its_Speechless
Barbara Pierre Women’s 4x100m Knightdale, North Carolina Winter Haven, Florida Saint Augustine’s University @Barbie_gitt1
Stacey-Ann Smith Women’s 4x100m Round Rock, Texas Bloomfield, Connecticut University of Texas @Sas_Dash
Tori Bowie Women’s 4x200m Chula Vista, California Sandhill, Mississippi Southern Mississippi n/a
Paris Daniels Women’s 4x200m St. Louis, Missouri St. Louis, Missouri University of Kansas n/a
Kimberlyn Duncan Women’s 4x200m Baton Rouge, Louisiana Katy, Texas LSU @KiMBEAUX__
Bianca Knight Women’s 4x200m Austin, Texas Ridgeland, Mississippi University of Texas @MidKnightDreams
Shalonda Solomon Women’s 4x200m Winter Garden, Florida Inglewood, California University of South Carolina @Shalonda200m
Jeneba Tarmoh Women’s 4x200m Los Angeles, California San Jose, California Texas A&M University @JenebaSylvia
Joanna Atkins Women’s 4x400m Clermont, Florida Stone Mountain, Georgia Auburn University n/a
Jessica Beard Women’s 4x400m College Station, Texas Euclid, Ohio Texas A&M University @Run2reign
Monica Hargrove Women’s 4x400m Marietta, Georgia New Haven, Connecticut Georgetown University @Monica_Hargrove
Natasha Hastings Women’s 4x400m Round Rock, Texas Brooklyn, New York University of South Carolina @natashahastings
Sanya Richards-Ross Women’s 4x400m Austin, Texas Kingston, Jamaica University of Texas @SanyaRichiRoss
Dee Dee Trotter Women’s 4x400m Los Angeles, California Decatur, Georgia University of Tennessee @dtrott400m
Geena Gall-Lara Women’s 4x800m Corvallis, Oregon Flint, Michigan University of Michigan @GeenaGall
Charlene Lipsey Women’s 4x800m Baton Rouge, Louisiana Hempstead, New York LSU n/a
Brenda Martinez Women’s 4x800m Rancho Cucamonga, California Rancho Cucamonga, California University of California-Riverside @bmartrun
Chanelle Price Women’s 4x800m Knoxville, Tennessee Easton, Pennsylvania University of Tennessee @ChanellePrice
Ajee’ Wilson Women’s 4x800m Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Neptune, New Jersey Temple University @AjeeW
Kate Grace Women’s 4x1500m Bend, Oregon Santa Monica, California Yale University @fastk8
Heather Kampf Women’s 4x1500m Minneapolis, Minnesota Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota University of Minnesota @HeatherRaeKampf
Katie Mackey Women’s 4x1500m Seattle, Washington Fort Collins, Colorado University of Washington @KatiefMackey
Morgan Uceny Women’s 4x1500m Brighton, Massachusetts Plymouth, Indiana Cornell University @MUceny
Sara Vaughn Women’s 4x1500m Boulder, Colorado Gering, Nebraska University of Colorado @MomVaughn

USATF release:

INDIANAPOLIS — Team USA’s roster is set for the inaugural IAAF World Relays Championships, contested Saturday and Sunday, May 24-25 at Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium in Nassau, Bahamas.

A total of 55 athletes comprise the relay pools that will represent the red, white and blue at the event, which airs live on Universal Sports from 6:30-9:00 p.m. ET on both days of competition.

The first competition of its kind, the IAAF World Relays Championships consist of the 4×100, 4×200, 4×400, 4×800 and 4×1500 relays on both the men’s and women’s sides. Scheduled for primetime, the World Relays provide the only major world championship for the 2014 outdoor season.

The men’s and women’s 4×400-meter relay pools are especially impressive, with 2013 World Champions Tony McQuay, LaShawn Merritt, and David Verburg in the pool, as well as Olympic gold medalist triple jumper Christian Taylor, an accomplished quartermiler at the University of Florida,NCAA Champion Torrin Lawrence and Clayton Parros, who was a member of the 4×4 pool at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland.

On the women’s side, Olympic gold medalists Natasha Hastings, Sanya Richards-Ross and Dee Dee Trotter are in the relay pool, as well as two-time World medalists Joanna Atkins, Jessica Beard andMonica Hargrove.

Nearly 50 nations are sending teams to Nassau for the World Relays, which is expected to qualify some teams for the 15th IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil.

A full schedule can be found on and tickets are available for purchase now.

The official hashtag for the event is #WorldRelays. Be sure to follow along in Nassau with USATF onTwitter, Facebook and Instagram.

MB: World Relays USA Team Announced: US 4×800 W Looking Great. Simpson, Symmonds, Centro, Cain NOT Running