LetsRun.com Previews the Sprints and Hurdle Races at the 2016 US Olympic Track and Field Trials

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by LetsRun.com
July 1, 2016

Sure, we’re a distance-oriented website but during the Olympic Trials we make sure to preview all of the events. Below, for every sprint and hurdle event, we give you the number of Americans with the Olympic standard, the top 10 Americans this year in the event, and a few predictions and comments.

Justin Gatlin at the Pre Presser last year

Justin Gatlin at the Pre Presser last year

Men’s 100: Can an American beat Justin Gatlin for the first time since 2013?

A staggering 39 Americans on the USATF entries page have the 10.16 Olympic standard.

US Top 10 For 2016 Via Tilastopaja.org  (Number in parenthesis is their world rank)
1 (5) 9.93 1.0 Justin Gatlin USA 10 Feb 82 185/79 1 GGala Roma 2 Jun
2 (7) 9.94 1.0 Ameer Webb USA 19 Mar 91 175/75 2 GGala Roma 2 Jun
2 (7) 9.94 1.8 Marvin Bracy USA 15 Dec 93 175/74 1 Montverde FL 11 Jun
4 (14) 9.97 -0.1 Mike Rodgers USA 24 Apr 85 178/73 2 World Chall Beijing 18 May
4 (14) 9.97 2.0 Tyson Gay USA 9 Aug 82 180/73 2h1 Montverde FL 11 Jun
6 (26) 10.02 1.8 Clayton Vaughn USA 15 May 92 173/77 3 Montverde FL 11 Jun
7 (27) 10.03 0.6 Isiah Young USA 5 Jan 90 183/75 2 Jones Gainesville FL 22 Apr
7 (27) 10.03 2.0 Walter Dix USA 31 Jan 86 178/84 1 Classic Tampa FL 27 May
7 (27) 10.03 1.6 Christian Coleman USA 6 Mar 96 175/73 2s3 NCAA Eugene OR 8 Jun
10 (34) 10.04 -0.1 Trayvon Bromell USA 10 Jul 95 175/71 1 Johnson Waco TX 23 Apr

Track and field News Top 3 picks:
1. Justin Gatlin (Nike)¶
2. Tyson Gay (unattached)¶
3. Mike Rodgers (Nike)¶

LRC Comment: This event is interesting from a negative PR standpoint. With all of the doping talk of late, might the US send two former dopers and mid-30-year-olds to Rio in Justin Gatlin (34) and Tyson Gay (33)? (Three if you count Mike Rodgers’ 9-month stimulant ban.)

The question we are most interested in is, ‘Can Travyon Bromell, who won a bronze at Worlds last year, run well when it counts?’ Bromell was running great indoors as he won the World indoor 60m title but outdoors has been less than spectacular as he’s been hurt for the last month.

As casual fans of the sprints, we sure hope Bromell makes it.

Women’s 100: Gardner & Bowie are close to locks, but who gets the third spot?

A staggering 35 Americans on the USATF entries page have the 11.32 Olympic standard.

US Top 10 For 2016 Via Tilastopaja.org  (Number in parenthesis is their world rank)
1 (2) 10.80 0.7 Tori Bowie USA 27 Aug 90 175/61 1 Diamond Doha 6 May
2 (3) 10.81 1.5 English Gardner USA 22 Apr 92 162/50 1 Pre Eugene OR 28 May
3 (7) 10.94 1.5 Tianna Bartoletta USA 30 Aug 85 168/60 2 Pre Eugene OR 28 May
4 (9) 10.95 1.7 Jenna Prandini USA 20 Nov 92 172/59 1 MSR Norwalk CA 16 Apr
5 (10) 10.99 1.7 Hannah Cunliffe USA 9 Jan 96 2 MSR Norwalk CA 16 Apr
6 (15) 11.07 1.9 Morolake Akinosun USA 17 May 94 165/54 1 TexasR Austin TX 2 Apr
6 (15) 11.07 1.5 Lekeisha Lawson USA 3 Jun 87 168/57 1 Chula Vista CA 18 Jun
8 (21) 11.09 1.6 Joanna Atkins USA 31 Jan 89 3 Montverde FL 11 Jun
8 (21) 11.09 1.9 Candace Hill USA 11 Feb 99 175/59 1h2-19 NC-j Clovis CA 24 Jun
10 (26) 11.10 1.7 Mikele Barber USA 4 Oct 80 160/50 3 MSR Norwalk CA 16 Apr

Track and field News Top 3 Picks:
1. Tori Bowie (adidas)¶
2. English Gardner (Nike)¶
3. Tianna Bartoletta (Nike)¶

LRC Comment: Last year, Bowie and Garnder went 1-2 as Oregon’s Jasmine Todd edged Jeneba Tarmoh for third by .01. We expect the same top 2 this year with another close battle, but with different people in the mix for third. We know one thing – It’s way harder to make the team in 2016 than 2012 as Tarmoh and Felix only ran 11.07 in 2012.

Tarmoh is used to missing out on teams by the slimmest of margins. Remember, four years ago, she tied Allyson Felix for third and then conceded the spot after a lot of controversy? Tarmoh seems unlikely to make it again as she hasn’t raced since May when she ran 11.41 in Doha.

It’s worth pointing out that 2012 Olympic silver medallist Carmelita Jeter is a scratch and won’t be competing at 36.

Don’t discount NCAA 100-200 champion Ariana Washington of Oregon as the crowd loves Oregon runners and the 19-year-old freshman is a budding superstar. She won NCAAs in a windy 10.95 and wind-legal 22.21. 17-year-old Candace Hill likely won’t make the team but keep an eye on her as she turned pro after her sophomore year of HS.

MB: Were We Wrong About Carmelita Jeter?

Men’s 200: Meritt likely won’t run but Gatlin vs Merritt would be a great one.

A staggering 39 Americans – the same as in the 100 – on the USATF entries page have the 20.50 Olympic standard.

US Top 10 For 2016 Via Tilastapaja.org (Number in parenthesis is their world rank)
1 (1) 19.78 0.9 LaShawn Merritt USA 27 Jun 86 188/82 1 Brown Nassau 16 Apr
2 (2) 19.85 1.9 Ameer Webb USA 19 Mar 91 175/75 1 Diamond Doha 6 May
3 (12) 20.12 1.5 Jamiel Trimble USA 25 Jun 95 188/82 1h1 West Lawrence KS 28 May
4 (13) 20.13 0.9 Tevin Hester USA 10 Jan 94 170/66 1 ACC Tallahassee FL 15 May
5 (14) 20.14 1.9 Walter Dix USA 31 Jan 86 178/84 4 Diamond Doha 6 May
6 (15) 20.15 0.4 Renard Howell USA 3 Mar 95 188/82 2 SEC Tuscaloosa AL 14 May
6 (15) 20.15 1.2 Michael Norman USA 3 Dec 97 183/73 1-19 NC-j Clovis CA 26 Jun
8 (19) 20.17 1.5 Jarrion Lawson USA 6 May 94 188/75 2h1 West Lawrence KS 28 May
9 (23) 20.20 1.5 Cravon Gillespie USA 31 Jul 96 1 SoCal Ch Lancaster CA 14 May
10 (24) 20.21 1.6 Tyson Gay USA 9 Aug 82 180/73 1 Montverde FL 11 Jun

Track and field News Top 3 picks (click on link for their top 10 picks)
1. Justin Gatlin (Nike)¶
2. Ameer Webb (Nike)¶
3. Tyson Gay (unattached)¶

LRC Comment: Justin Gatlin, who won World silver last year, is obviously the favorite, but could LaShawn Merritt have found a second event at age 30? Might fellow 30-year-old Walter Dix be a player once again?

Women’s 200: Reigning Olympic champ Allyson Felix hasn’t raced a 200 all year; Tori Bowie is undefeated in ’16

A staggering 43 Americans on the USATF entries page have the 23.20 Olympic standard.

US Top 10 For 2016 Via Tilastapaja.org  (Number in parenthesis is their world rank)
1 (2) 21.99 1.9 Tori Bowie USA 27 Aug 90 175/61 1 Pre Eugene OR 28 May
2 (5) 22.21 1.9 Ariana Washington USA 4 Sep 96 175/59 1 NCAA Eugene OR 11 Jun
3 (6) 22.25 1.9 Deajah Stevens USA 19 May 95 2 NCAA Eugene OR 11 Jun
4 (7) 22.26 -1.3 Felicia Brown USA 27 Oct 93 168/57 1 SEC Tuscaloosa AL 14 May
5 (10) 22.39 0.8 Jenna Prandini USA 20 Nov 92 172/59 2 Kingston 11 Jun
6 (11) 22.40 1.4 Joanna Atkins USA 31 Jan 89 1 Clermont FL 14 May
7 (12) 22.47 1.9 Gabrielle Thomas USA 7 Dec 96 3 NCAA Eugene OR 11 Jun
8 (13) 22.48 -1.3 Taylor Ellis-Watson USA 6 May 93 175/64 2 SEC Tuscaloosa AL 14 May
9 (14) 22.49 -1.1 Hannah Cunliffe USA 9 Jan 96 1 Pac 12 Seattle WA 15 May
10 (16) 22.54 1.9 Morolake Akinosun USA 17 May 94 165/54 4 NCAA Eugene OR 11 Jun

Track and field News Top 3 Picks:
1. Allyson Felix (Nike)¶
2. Tori Bowie (adidas)¶
3. Ariana Washington (Oregon)¶

LRC Comment: Bowie and Felix are locks for the team. NCAA 100-200 champion Ariana Washington of Oregon (more info on her in the 100 section) has a great shot for the third spot.

Felix’s quest for history and Olympic 200-400 gold is going to be one of the bigger track and field stories for NBC. That being said, we don’t think she’s going to do it as we don’t see how she wins the 200 in Rio. We’ll get a good preview of whether that’s going to happen here as Tori Bowie beat reigning world 200 champ Dafne Schippers at the Pre Classic earlier this year.

Men’s 400: Last year David Verburg showed LaShawn Merritt is not unbeatable in the US ranks

21 Americans on the USATF entries page have the 45.40 Olympic standard.

US Top 10 For 2016 Via Tilastapaja.org (Number in parenthesis is their world rank)
1 (3) 44.22 LaShawn Merritt USA 27 Jun 86 188/82 2 DrakeR Des Moines IA 29 Apr
2 (13) 44.82 Arman Hall USA 12 Feb 94 188/77 1 NCAA Eugene OR 10 Jun
3 (15) 44.88 Gil Roberts USA 15 Mar 89 183/75 1 Oxy Inv Eagle Rock CA 7 May
4 (17) 44.98 David Verburg USA 14 May 91 168/64 3 BostonG Somerville MA 17 Jun
5 (18) 45.00 Vernon Norwood USA 10 Apr 92 187/77 2 Kingston 7 May
6 (20) 45.07 Nathan Strother USA 6 Sep 95 183/70 1s3 NCAA Eugene OR 8 Jun
7 (21) 45.10 Fred Kerley USA 7 May 95 2 Classic Tempe AZ 9 Apr
8 (22) 45.11 Michael Cherry USA 23 Mar 95 186/75 3 NCAA Eugene OR 10 Jun
9 (23) 45.12 Dontavious Wright USA 3 Jan 94 1 SIAC Rock Hill SC 16 Apr
10 (25) 45.13 Kahmari Montgomery USA 16 Aug 97 1 SEC Tuscaloosa AL 14 May

Track and field News Top 3 picks (click on link for their top 10 picks)
1. LaShawn Merritt (Nike)¶
2. Gil Roberts (Nike)¶
3. David Verburg (adidas)¶

LRC Comment: 2008 Olympic champ and 2012 Olympic silver medallist LaShawn Merritt lost last year, but we don’t think it will happen again this year.

Odds and Ends: NCAA champion Arman Hall of Florida was only 4th at the SEC meet. 2004 Olympic champ Jeremy Wariner did make the field as he ran 45.55 in April. Since the start of May, he hasn’t broken 46. This may be the last time you see him at a USA meet.

Women’s 400: If Felix wants to do the Olympic double, she needs to show she can beat Okolo here first.

29 Americans on the USATF entries page have the 52.20 Olympic standard.

US Top 10 For 2016 Via Tilastapaja.org  (Number in parenthesis is their world rank)
1 (2) 49.71 Courtney Okolo USA 15 Mar 94 168/54 1 Alumni Gold Baton Rouge LA 23 Apr
2 (3) 49.91 Quanera Hayes USA 7 Mar 92 172/59 2 Brown Nassau 16 Apr
3 (4) 50.23 Francena McCorory USA 20 Oct 88 170/60 2 Pre Eugene OR 28 May
4 (6) 50.71 Phyllis Francis USA 4 May 92 178/61 1 Cayman Inv George Town 14 May
5 (9) 50.78 Taylor Ellis-Watson USA 6 May 93 175/64 1 LSU Inv Baton Rouge LA 30 Apr
6 (11) 50.86 Natasha Hastings USA 23 Jul 86 173/63 3 Pre Eugene OR 28 May
7 (13) 50.90 Shakima Wimbley USA 23 Apr 95 178/61 1 ACC Tallahassee FL 15 May
8 (14) 50.91 Jaide Stepter USA 25 Apr 94 173/64 1 Los Angeles CA 26 Mar
9 (21) 51.17 Carly Muscaro USA 18 May 95 164/54 1 NEICAAA New Haven CT 14 May
10 (23) 51.23 Allyson Felix USA 18 Nov 85 168/57 1 San Diego CA 11 Jun

Track and field News Top 3 Picks:
1. Courtney Okolo (Texas)¶
2. Allyson Felix (Nike)¶
3. Francena McCorory (adidas)¶

LRC Comment: Some very talented runners are going to be left off of this team as the US has four of the six fastest women in the world this year and reigning world champion Allyson Felix hasn’t run fast this year (she’s #23 in the world currently). A loss by Felix here doesn’t mean she can’t win double Olympic individual gold. She’s on the comeback from an ankle injury and obviously wants to peak in August. The key is for her to make sure she’s top 3.

The reigning Olympic 400 champ, 31-year-old Sanya Richards-Ross, has said she is going to retire after the Olympics. She very likely will only be in Rio as a spectator or commentator as she’s only run 52.21 this year. We guess it’s possible she gets on the 4 x 400 relay squad which one would think is guaranteed to win gold, but then again, the US somehow managed to not win gold last year in Beijing despite an incredible 47.72 split from Felix.

Men’s 110H: The US used to dominate this event on the World stage but now, like Aries Merritt, is trying to comeback.

14 Americans on the USATF entries page have the 13.47 Olympic standard.

US Top 10 For 2016 Via Tilastapaja.org (Number in parenthesis is their world rank)
1 (2) 13.09 0.2 David Oliver USA 24 Apr 82 188/93 1 Kingston 11 Jun
2 (5) 13.18 1.4 Ronnie Ash USA 2 Jul 88 188/86 1h1 Montverde FL 11 Jun
3 (8) 13.24 0.2 Aries Merritt USA 24 Jul 85 182/70 1 World Chall Beijing 18 May
4 (10) 13.25 0.0 Jarret Eaton USA 24 Jun 89 183/82 1 GSpike Ostrava 20 May
5 (15) 13.32 -0.8 Devon Allen USA 12 Dec 94 1h1 Pac 12 Seattle WA 14 May
6 (16) 13.33 1.0 Jason Richardson USA 4 Apr 86 186/73 1 Jones Gainesville FL 22 Apr
7 (27) 13.40 1.1 Adarius Washington USA 19 Oct 92 183/73 1 DrakeR Des Moines IA 30 Apr
8 (29) 13.41 1.1 Will Barnes USA 17 Mar 94 188/77 2 DrakeR Des Moines IA 30 Apr
9 (31) 13.42 0.0 Jeff Porter USA 27 Nov 85 183/84 2 GSpike Ostrava 20 May
10 (34) 13.43 1.9 Isaac Williams USA 30 Nov 93 188/80 3 MSR Norwalk CA 16 Apr
10 (34) 13.43 0.1 Aleec Harris USA 31 Oct 90 185/77 2 Baie Mahault 14 May

Track and field News Top 3 picks (click on link for their top 10 picks)
1. David Oliver (Nike)¶ 1
2. Ronnie Ash (adidas)¶ 4
3. Aries Merritt (Nike)¶ 2¶

LRC Comment: This event will certainly be one of the most talked about events of the Trials because Aries Merritt will be one of the higher profile Olympians if he makes it. Remember, he won World Championship bronze last year and then had a kidney transplant days later. The locals will be paying attention as NCAA champion Devon Allen, who won the USA title in 2014, certainly has a shot at Rio. The Oregon football coaches may hope he doesn’t make it as if Allen does, he very well may go pro instead of playing wide receiver for the Ducks.

Women’s 100H: The Top 5 in world are all Americans, only 3 will go to Rio

30 Americans on the USATF entries page have the 13.00 Olympic standard.

US Top 10 For 2016 Via Tilastapaja.org  (Number in parenthesis is their world rank)
1 (1) 12.24 0.7 AR Keni Harrison USA 18 Sep 92 163/52 1 Pre Eugene OR 28 May
2 (2) 12.53 0.7 Brianna Rollins USA 18 Aug 91 164/55 2 Pre Eugene OR 28 May
3 (3) 12.55 0.7 Jasmin Stowers USA 23 Sep 91 175/64 3 Pre Eugene OR 28 May
4 (4) 12.61 0.3 Sharika Nelvis USA 10 May 90 178/64 1 Kingston 11 Jun
5 (5) 12.62 1.5 Kristi Castlin USA 7 Jul 88 170/75 2 DrakeR Des Moines IA 30 Apr
6 (9) 12.72 0.7 Nia Ali USA 23 Oct 88 4 Pre Eugene OR 28 May
6 (9) 12.72 0.7 Queen Harrison USA 10 Sep 88 170/60 1 Atlanta GA 4 Jun
8 (13) 12.75 -0.4 Dawn Harper Nelson USA 13 May 84 168/61 2 Bislett Oslo 9 Jun
8 (13) 12.75 1.4 Candice Price USA 26 Oct 85 1 Montverde FL 11 Jun
10 (15) 12.76 1.3 Ebony Morrison USA 28 Dec 94 1q2 East Jacksonville FL 28 May

Track and field News Top 3 Picks:
1. Keni Harrison (adidas)¶ 6
2. Brianna Rollins (Nike)¶ 4
3. Jasmin Stowers (Nike)¶ 3

LRC Comment: How crazy is it that the top 5 women in the world are all Americans? Before you hand the US the gold, silver and bronze in Rio, please realize that the US had the top 6 fastest women in the world (top 5 fastest and then there was a tie for #6) last year and managed to win zero medals.

Men’s 400H: Good luck picking this one, which changes race by race

14 Americans on the USATF entries page have the 49.40 Olympic standard.

US Top 10 For 2016 Via Tilastapaja.org (Number in parenthesis is their world rank)
1 (1) 48.10 Johnny Dutch USA 20 Jan 89 180/82 1 Kingston 11 Jun
2 (4) 48.74 Michael Tinsley USA 21 Apr 84 185/74 1 Pre Eugene OR 28 May
3 (6) 48.87 Kerron Clement USA 31 Oct 85 188/84 2 Pre Eugene OR 28 May
4 (7) 48.88 Jeshua Anderson USA 22 Jun 89 187/84 1 Atlanta GA 4 Jun
5 (8) 48.91 Eric Futch USA 25 Apr 93 175/70 1 NCAA Eugene OR 10 Jun
6 (20) 49.04 Khallifah Rosser USA 13 Jul 95 188/73 1 NCAA-II Bradenton FL 28 May
6 (20) 49.04 Bershawn Jackson USA 8 May 83 173/69 3 Pre Eugene OR 28 May
8 (25) 49.10 Byron Robinson USA 16 Feb 95 175/73 1 Alumni Gold Baton Rouge LA 23 Apr
9 (36) 49.31 Kenny Selmon USA 27 Aug 96 188/82 2s1 NCAA Eugene OR 8 Jun
9 (36) 49.31 T.J. Holmes USA 2 Jul 95 2 NCAA Eugene OR 10 Jun

Track and field News Top 3 picks (click on link for their top 10 picks)
1. Bershawn Jackson (Nike)¶
2. Johnny Dutch (unattached)¶
3. Michael Tinsley (adidas)¶

LRC Comment: The Americans didn’t medal in this event at Worlds last year, which was the first global championship where the U.S. didn’t medal in the event since 2004. Maybe that’s a good omen for this year as in the next Olympics in 2008, America went 1-2-3.

Three Americans in the field have medalled at both the Olympics and Worlds before – Clement (gold in 2007 and 2009, silver 2008), Jackson (gold 2005, bronze 2008 and 2009) and Tinsley (silver 2012, 2013).

The top 2 guys from last year’s Worlds aren’t likely to medal this year as Kenya’s Nicholas Bett has been struggling (although to be fair he wasn’t running well this early last year either) and Russia’s Denis Kudryavtsev most likely won’t be in Rio.

Women’s 400H: Can the HSer make it in an event where 5 of top 6 in world are Americans?

18 Americans on the USATF entries page have the 56.20 Olympic standard.

US Top 10 For 2016 Via Tilastapaja.org  (Number in parenthesis is their world rank)
1 (1) 53.51 Shamier Little USA 20 Mar 95 163/52 1 NCAA Eugene OR 11 Jun
2 (3) 53.97 Georganne Moline USA 6 Mar 90 178/59 1 Classic Tucson AZ 21 May
3 (4) 54.37 Dalilah Muhammad USA 7 Feb 90 170/62 1 Montreuil 7 Jun
4 (5) 54.46 =WYR Sydney McLaughlin USA 7 Aug 99 174/61 1-HS New Balance Greensboro NC 19 Jun
5 (6) 54.51 Ashley Spencer USA 8 Jun 93 168/54 1 Atlanta GA 4 Jun
6 (8) 54.57 Cassandra Tate USA 11 Sep 90 174/64 1 Diamond Birmingham 5 Jun
7 (10) 54.67 Kiah Seymour USA 11 Jan 94 2 NCAA Eugene OR 11 Jun
8 (13) 54.91 Autumne Franklin USA 20 Jul 94 162/54 4 NCAA Eugene OR 11 Jun
9 (16) 54.98 Nnenya Hailey USA 23 Feb 94 165/54 2 Alumni Gold Baton Rouge LA 23 Apr
10 (21) 55.22 Jaide Stepter USA 25 Apr 94 173/64 1 Pac 12 Seattle WA 15 May

Track and field News Top 3 Picks:
1. Shamier Little (Texas A&M)¶
2. Georganne Moline (Nike)¶
3. Dalilah Muhammad (unat)¶

LRC Comment: Another super strong event for the US. Texas A&M’s Shamier Little, the three-time NCAA champ, won silver at Worlds last year and has a great shot at gold this year as she’s the world leader.

However, our attention will be split between Little and 16-year-old Sydney McLaughlin, who is #5 in the world at 54.46, a time she ran at the New Balance HS Nationals where she also split 50.93 on a 4 x 400 relay. That time was far from a fluke as she ran 54.54 last week at US junior nationals. As a 14-year-old, McLaughlin ran 55.63 at Hayward Field and was only .20 behind Little, who was already an NCAA champ at that point. So McLaughlin clearly won’t be intimidated by Little or having to compete at Hayward.


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