May 17, 2017
Believe it or not, USAs are only five weeks away. Many of the U.S.’s top distance talents have barely raced outdoors in 2017, but with the USATF Distance Classic (you know this meet better as “Oxy”) on Thursday and the Prefontaine Classic next week, by the end of the month we’ll have a pretty good idea of what to expect in Sacramento in June.
The marquee event figures to be the men’s 1500, with the Nike Oregon Project entering Olympic champs Matthew Centrowitz and Mo Farah plus rising star Eric Jenkins. On the women’s side, the 800 could be interesting as Jenny Simpson, Brenda Martinez and British Olympic finalist Lynsey Sharp are all entered. NCAA record holder Donavan Brazier leads the way in the men’s 800 against the Brooks Beasts’ Brannon Kidder, while Shannon Rowbury will run her first 1500 since winning last year’s Diamond League final in Zurich.
Meet details are below, followed by a preview of each event.
What: 2017 USATF Distance Classic
Where: Jack Kemp Stadium, Los Angeles, Calif.
When: Thursday, May 18. First event starts at 6:15 p.m. PT (9:15 p.m. ET).
Update: Heat sheets are now out. They appear in the preview below. Note that the schedule has also been updated.
How to watch in the US: We’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is our favorite American play-by-play man, Bill Spaulding, who has been doing the Ivy League championships with LetsRun.com co-founder Robert Johnson the last two years (and did the Rio Olympics on NBC’s experimental 4k broadcast), is doing the broadcast. The bad news is it will cost you $69.99 to watch. Yes, $69.99. The only way to watch it live is via the NBC Sports Gold Track & Field Pass. This requires a subscription ($69.99 for one year), which can be purchased here but somehow in the year 2017 there is no way to purchase just one meet or even get a monthly pass to make sure you like an untested product. Next Friday’s Prefontaine Distance action (Genzebe Dibaba world record attempt at 5,000m) will also only be on the Gold Pass. Many of the meets that are on Gold (Diamond League) are also on TV for free (if you get NBCSN and Universal HD). The pass also gets you more coverage of the World Championships in London.
How to watch for non-U.S. viewers: If you live outside the U.S., you can watch the meet through AthleticsCanada.TV, or USATF+, though it requires signing up for a RunnerSpace +PLUS subscription. Those with foreign IP addresses are in luck as it only requires a $12.99 subscription.
If you don’t want to pay, you can follow it live on our live discussion thread: Official 2017 Oxy Live Discussion Thread.
For each of the events, we put the athlete in green if they have the 2017 World Championship standard. We put athletes in the blue if they have hit the 2017 USA standard this year, but for USAs they are taking times starting on July 1, 2016, and we didn’t look back at last year’s times to see who has the USA standard from last year. For Worlds, you have to have run the time after October 1, 2016, which means this year for all practical purposes.
Blue = Has Hit USA Standard This Year
Green = Has World Standard
Women’s 800 (9:05 p.m. ET)
World Championship standard: 2:01.00; USATF Championship standard: 2:02.00
Event 1 Women 800 Meter Run =============================================================================== Thursday 5/18/2017 - 6:05 PM Meet: 1:59.48 2011 Alice Schmidt, USOC Stadium: 1:59.21 2017 Brenda Martinez, New Balance Worlds: 2:01.00 Name Year Team =============================================================================== Section 1 Timed Finals 1 Landen, Shanie Slo middle d 2 Malasarte, Megan Atlanta Trac 3 Leinert, Shannon Brooks ID 4 Whelan, Elizabeth University o 5 Wiebe, Devan Brooks 6 Billings, Sarah Sydney Runni 7 Hermansson, Hanna CalCoast Tra 8 Brown, Alisha Oiselle Section 2 Timed Finals 1 Crofts, Helen Unattached 2 Iyevbele, Kenyetta Hoka One One 3 Kajan, Selma Melbourne Tr 4 Jackson, Dominique Oiselle / SR 5 Smith, Jessica NIKE 6 Murphy, Samantha Unattached 7 Saunders, Claudia Brooks 8 Westaway, Jenna Brooks Canad 9 Annear, Grace Vic City Eli Section 3 Timed Finals 1 Mires, Baylee Brooks 2 Brown, Ce'Aira Hoka Njnytc 3 Storey, Lora Sydney Runni 4 Fields, Hannah Brooks 5 Griffith, Georgia Sydney Runni 6 Butterworth, Lindsey Coastal Trac 7 Silvander, Anna New Balance 8 Rubie, Anneliese Puma / Wolfp Section 4 Timed Finals 1 Price, Chanelle NIKE 2 Simpson, Jennifer New Balance 3 Martinez, Brenda New Balance 4 Chambers, Kendra Texas Elite 5 Petty, Angela New Zealand 6 Sharp, Lynsey Great Britai 7 Tracey, Adelle NIKE 8 Barowski, Cecilia Hoka Njnytc
The battle for the win here should come down to 2013 World Championship medallist Brenda Martinez and 2016 Olympic finalist Lynsey Sharp of Great Britain. Sharp has a marginally faster PR (1:57.69 vs. 1:57.91) and was definitely the better runner in 2016 (she was 6th in Rio and we ranked her 7th in our world rankings). However, this will be her outdoor opener as she hasn’t raced since running 2:01.14 at Millrose on February 11. Meanwhile, Martinez has looked great so far in 2017. She opened up by taking second in the Drake Relays 1500 in 4:16.40, and though the time was slow due to horrible conditions, she beat a who’s who of U.S. middle distance running Kate Grace (2016 U.S. 800 champ), Shelby Houlihan (2017 U.S. mile/2-mile champ) and Charlene Lipsey (2017 U.S. 1k champ). The only woman Martinez couldn’t beat was Jenny Simpson, but considering Simpson may be the 1500 runner in U.S. history, we’ll let that one slide. Then on May 6, Martinez soloed a 1:59.21 at Oxy, her fastest 800 in almost two years. She starts as the favorite in this race.
2014 World Indoor champ Chanelle Price, who helped the U.S. win 4×800 gold at the World Relays and ran 2:00.38 at Mt. SAC should also be a factor here. Plus we’ll get a look at Simpson in her annual crack in the 800 (she’s run it at this meet in six of her eight years as a pro). At her best, we know Simpson is capable of running under 2:00 — she closed the Olympic final in 1:59.0 last year — but her open PR remains 2:00.45 from 2013, largely because she rarely runs the 800 and never when she’s in peak shape.
Men’s 800 (9:30 p.m. ET)
World Championship standard: 1:45.90; USATF Championship standard: 1:47.50
Event 2 Men 800 Meter Run =============================================================================== Thursday 5/18/2017 - 6:30 PM Meet: 1:44.71 2011 Cory Primm, UCLA Stadium: 1:44.64 1996 Johnny Grey, SMTC Worlds: 1:45.90 Name Year Team =============================================================================== Section 1 Timed Finals 1 Cohen, Mason Australia 2 Low, Christopher Brooks 3 Giesting, Chris Hoka Njnytc 4 Yorks, Izaic Brooks Beast 5 Barber, Lachlan Melbourne Tr 6 Martinez, Bryan Mx Internati 7 Gilreath, James Team Green R 8 Kitur, Felix Santa Monica Section 2 Timed Finals 1 Rimmer, Michael Puma 2 Kidder, Brannon Brooks 3 Mathews, Luke Melbourne Tr 4 Brazier, Donavan NIKE 5 Jock, Charles Nike / Nike 6 Abda, Harun Nike / Nike 7 Torrence, David Hoka One One 8 Osagie, Andrew Nike Oregon 9 Langford, Kyle NIKE
20-year-old Donavan Brazier is the headliner here, and he’s looked better and better as the 2017 outdoor season has worn on. After losing his opener at the Texas Relays on March 30 (he still ran 1:46.11), he clocked 1:44.63 in Tempe on April 8 before heading to the Penn Relays and destroying Cas Loxsom on the anchor leg of the sprint medley relay, splitting 1:44.14 with most of the second-and-a-half gap to Loxsom coming in the final 200. Brazier clearly has the fitness to make the U.S. World Champs team next month, but his tactics are still a work in progress. Obviously, it’s a good thing if he can blast a 1:43 from the front on Thursday, but this could also be an opportunity for him to work on positioning in a race where the stakes aren’t as high as USAs.
Former Penn State star Brannon Kidder is among Brazier’s top competition here — he beat Brazier when the raced each other in the 1k at Millrose back in February and Kidder went on to take 2nd in the 1k at USAs behind Clayton Murphy. Luke Mathews, winner of the last two Aussie titles, is the top non-American and should factor here as well.
The Oregon Track Club has Charles Jock and Andrew Osagie going in this one, both of whom are talented but enter with question marks. Jock ran an incredibly clutch race to make the Olympic team last year but outside of that, he hasn’t broken 1:47 since May 2015. He only ran 1:49.98 in his 2017 opener on April 29, losing to UC Irvine sophomore Isaiah Jewett by 1.76 seconds. Osagie is a 1:43 guy, an Olympic finalist in 2012 and two-time World Indoor medallist, but he missed almost all of the 2015 and 2016 seasons due to injury. Can the 29-year-old return to top form under coach Mark Rowland after joining OTC in the offseason?
Women’s 3000 steeplechase (9:45 p.m. ET)
World Championship standard: 9:42.00; USATF Championship standard: 9:50.00
Event 5 Women 3000 Meter Steeplechase =============================================================================== Thursday 5/18/2017 - 6:45 PM Meet: 9:37.12 2016 Jaime Cheever, UNA Stadium: 9:37.12 2016 Jaime Cheever, UNA Worlds: 9:42.00 Name Year Team =============================================================================== Section 1 Timed Finals 1 Garry, Kira Unattached 2 Sango, Misaki Unattached 3 Teschuk, Erin Asics Furman 4 Rolland, Megan Oiselle 5 Waite, Lennie Great Britai 6 Nelson, Alicia Boulder Trac 7 Lawrence, Mel Oiselle 8 Talbert, Madelin Team Run Eug 9 Bernard, Maria Saucony Hurr 10 Landwehr, Katie Unattached 11 Wilson, Alexina Oiselle 12 Butterworth, Alycia Unattached 13 Barr, Erika Sra Elite 14 Johnson, Rachel Asics 15 Cheever, Jamie Unattached 16 Howard, Marisa Oiselle
The United States is flush with steeple talent right now, and to make a U.S. team, you need to be able to run in the low 9:20s. That’s something that no one in this field has been able to do so far in their careers (Jamie Cheever, at 9:29 has the top PR). Canadian Olympian Erin Teschuk has the top season’s best in this field, running 9:49 at Payton Jordan two weeks ago. Knocking out the Worlds standard will be on several athletes’ minds, particularly Teschuk and Brit Lennie Waite, who won’t have to deal with women like Emma Coburn or Colleen Quigley to make their national team.
Men’s 3000 steeplechase (10:00 p.m. ET)
World Championship standard: 8:32.00; USATF Championship standard: 8:40.00
Event 6 Men 3000 Meter Steeplechase =============================================================================== Thursday 5/18/2017 - 7:00 PM Meet: 8:15.26 2016 Evan Jager, Nike BTC Stadium: 8:15.26 2016 Evan Jager, Nike BTC Worlds: 8:32.00 Name Year Team =============================================================================== Section 1 Timed Finals 1 Lagat, Haron U.S. Army 2 Goodman, David Unattached 3 Hardy, Mike Unattached 4 Thibeault, Antoine Math Sport Z 5 Cotter, Tomas Asics Furman 6 Nelson, Aaron Reebok Zap F 7 Miller, Bryce Unattached 8 Hesselbjerg, Ole Sparta 9 Updike, Isaac Team Run Eug 10 Mullett, Rob Atlanta Trac 11 Edwards, Jacob Columbus Run 12 Van Halen, Aric Unattached 13 Bor, Hillary Unattached 14 Gay, John British Colu 15 Mahoney, Travis Hoka One One 16 Mann, Jordan Providence 17 Shrader, Brian Saucony 18 Blomberg, Emil Hasselby
2016 Olympian Hillary Bor of the U.S. is clearly the top guy in this field. Despite frequent training interruptions since graduating from Iowa State in 2012 (Bor took a year off from running and later joined the Army), he dropped almost 20 seconds off his PR last year (8:32 to 8:13) and finished 7th in Rio, where he told us his goals would be much bigger in 2017. Bor was a solid 4th at USA Indoors in the 2-mile (just behind Ryan Hill and two spots ahead of Ben Blankenship), but this will be his first steeple of the year. He opened up in 8:30 last year at Stanford on April 1; given the proximity to USAs, he’ll probably be looking for faster than that on Thursday.
One other guy worth watching is Brian Shrader, who finished just behind Bor in the 2-mile indoors. More of a distance type in college — he won the US 12K champs during his senior year at Northern Arizona — he’s taken up the steeple in 2017 and is so far 2-for-2, with a pair of low-key wins in Phoenix (8:58) and Princeton (8:50). This will be his first serious test of how fast the 25-year-old Shrader can go — and how he navigates traffic at high speed.
Women’s 1500 (10:15 p.m. ET)
World Championship standard: 4:07.50; USATF Championship standard: 4:09.50
Event 3 Women 1500 Meter Run =============================================================================== Thursday 5/18/2017 - 7:15 PM Meet: 4:04.60 2013 Katie Mackey, Brooks Stadium: 4:04.60 2013 Katie Mackey, Brooks Worlds: 4:07.50 Name Year Team =============================================================================== Section 1 Timed Finals 1 Findley, Kristen Big Bear Tra 2 Cote, Laurence Caul 3 Granados, Ayla Strava TC / 4 van der Wyk, Tracee Unattached 5 Pomfret, Kendra Vancouver Th 6 Takahashi, Hina Nike Tokyo T 7 Stafford, Lucia University o 8 Tsolis, Tori Strava TC / Section 2 Timed Finals 1 Kelly, Mariah New Balance 2 Farber, Lianne New Balance 3 Fulton, Eleanor Skechers Per 4 Roesler, Laura Nike / Texas 5 Lipari, Emily Boston Athle 6 Stafford, Gabriela Brooks/Unive 7 Yee, Regan Langley Must 8 Grunewald, Gabriele Brooks 9 Macpherson, Sarah Vic City Eli 10 Piliusina, Natalja Brooks Beast 11 Vaughn, Sara Brooks Section 3 Timed Finals 1 Lagat, Violah Adidas 2 Conley, Kim New Balance 3 Gollish, Sasha Oiselle/Skec 4 McGee, Cory New Balance 5 Mecke, Dana Brooks/Texas Eli 6 Reid, Sheila Nike Oregon 7 Rowbury, Shannon Nike Oregon 8 Schappert, Stephanie Hoka Njnytc 9 Efraimson, Alexa NIKE 10 Schneider, Rachel Under Armour 11 Sutherland, Sara Saucony 12 Pen Freitas, Marta Portugal 13 Seccafien, Andrea University o
Former NCAA runner-up Cory McGee has the top SB in the field thanks to her 4:09 in Shanghai, but former Villanova super star Sheila Reid, who is finally healthy after battling a stress reaction and calf injury last year, could also contend after running 4:10 in Eugene on May 5. Lagat ran 4:11 at Payton Jordan but at her best, she’s closer to Rowbury than anyone in this field; after all, she was an Olympic semifinalist last year for Kenya.
20-year-old Alexa Efraimson was 6th in the Drake Relays 1500, running 4:17. She gets a pass on that one because of the foul weather, but she’ll be looking to improve on her 4:03 PR after failing to PR last year. Two-time Olympican at 5000 Kim Conley will be joining the PR hunt after stepping down from the 10,000 (she ran 31:35 at Payton Jordan; her best 1500 is 4:07), as will Laura Roesler (4:17 pb), stepping up from the 800, where she’s already run 1:59.54 this year.
UPDATE: Brenda Martinez was initially entered in both the 800 and 1500 but will only be running the 800.
Men’s 1500 (10:40 p.m. ET)
World Championship standard: 3:36.00; USATF Championship standard: 3:39.00
Event 4 Men 1500 Meter Run =============================================================================== Thursday 5/18/2017 - 7:40 PM Meet: 3:34.66 2012 Mo Farah, Nike OPJ Stadium: 3:34.66 2012 Mo Farah, Nike OPJ Worlds: 3:36.00 Name Year Team =============================================================================== Section 1 Timed Finals 1 Ramsden, Matthew Melbourne Tr 2 Hunter, Charles Melbourne Tr 3 Robinson, Paul Melbourne Tr 4 Snow, Scott Forest Fire 5 Shaw, Reilly Deakin AC 6 Godwin, Adam Team Green R 7 Estrada, Daniel Mx Internati 8 Verdugo, Alexis Mx Internati 9 Phillips, Andy Roots Runnin 10 Martinez, Jose Mx Internati 11 Abdi Sr., Bashir Mudane Group Section 2 Timed Finals 1 Masters, Riley NIKE 2 Manzano, Leonel Hoka One One 3 Lancashire, Tom New Balance 4 Soratos, Cristian Adidas 5 Jenkins, Eric Nike Oregon 6 Denault, Robert Newmarket Hu 7 Casey, Patrick Nike / Nike 8 Fleet, Mac NIKE 9 Hunter, Drew Adidas 10 Herrera, Daniel High Perform 11 Vining, Edward Sydney Runni 12 Plummer, Adrian Sydney Runni Section 3 Timed Finals 1 Burkstrand, Travis Brooks ID 2 Crocker, Will District Tra 3 O'Hare, Christopher Boston Athle 4 Mead, Hassan Nike / Nike 5 Centrowitz, Matthew Nike / Nike 6 Winn, Daniel Boston Athle 7 Wheating, Andrew NIKE 8 Penzenstadler, Sam District Tra 9 Castle, Daniel Unattached 10 Farah, Mo Nike / Nike 11 Everard, Eoin Ireland 12 Noelle, Chad Asics Furman
This will be Matthew Centrowitz‘s first 1500 since winning Olympic gold and doubles as the first outdoor track race for his NOP teammate Mo Farah since he won Olympic 5,000 gold. Considering Centrowitz and Farah are two of the biggest distance stars on the planet, that automatically makes this one worth watching. But we expect that this race will serve as more of a tuneup for Centro than as a means in and of itself considering he’s running the Bowerman Mile nine days later against the likes of Asbel Kiprop, Elijah Manangoi, Nick Willis and Clayton Murphy.
Centrowitz has had a rocky start to his 2017 campaign, shutting down his indoor season early, battling a hamstring issue this spring and getting outkicked by little-known Aussie Jack Rayner in the 5,000 at Payton Jordan (Centro ran 13:48). But remember: Centro didn’t debut outdoors last year until June 12 due to a stress reaction. The World Championship final isn’t until August 13. He’s got plenty of time to peak, and we expect him to win here on Thursday.
Farah’s personal best is 3:28.81, significantly faster than anyone else in this field has ever run. Even though Farah is 34 years old and hasn’t raced since February, he remains the world’s top 5k/10k man. He almost never has a bad race, so we expect him to battle Centro for the win in this one. The third NOP guy in the field, Eric Jenkins, has been running great in the 1500/mile in 2017 (most recently winning Payton Jordan after doubling back from the 800) and if Centro isn’t 100%, he could steal the victory. A 1-2-3 finish for Alberto Salazar‘s charges is not out of the question.
For the rest of the field, save Hassan Mead, who. like Farah. is stepping down in distance, the goal is the Worlds standard of 3:36.00. (Side note: We’re not saying Mead, who won the fast section of this meet last year, is a bad 1500 runner; we’re saying there’s no way he runs the 1500 at USAs). Right now, Kyle Merber, Johnny Gregorek and Jenkins are the only Americans who have it, and while that’s likely to change, most of the guys running at Oxy will want as many cracks at 3:36.00 as possible. In particular, we’ll be looking to see if Cristian Soratos can keep rolling after a stellar indoor season and what 2012 Olympians Leo Manzano and Andrew Wheating have left in the tank. Manzano, 32, has been awful so far this year — he ran 3:52 for 1500 in his last race at Drake. Wheating, 29, who left the Oregon Track Club earlier this year, ran 1:49.37 for 800 last week in his outdoor opener at the Oregon Twilight meet. Both men will be looking for something significantly better at Oxy.
Brit Chris O’Hare, an Olympic semifinalist who was 2nd at Payton Jordan behind Jenkins, is another man to watch.
Who finishes first in tonight's 1500? https://t.co/Qag63UieQA
— LetsRun.com (@letsrundotcom) May 18, 2017
Women’s 5000 (11:05 p.m. ET)
World Championship standard: 15:22.00; USATF Championship standard: 15:25.00
Event 7 Women 5000 Meter Run =============================================================================== Thursday 5/18/2017 - 8:05 PM Meet: 15:05.56 2013 Molly Huddle, Saucony Stadium: 15:05.56 2013 Molly Huddle, Saucony Worlds: 15:22.00 Name Year Team =============================================================================== Section 1 Timed Finals 1 Cridebring, Alycia rabbit / Sra 2 Eccleston, Amanda Brooks 3 Macumber, Cally Hansons-Broo 4 Weightman, Laura Nike Uk 5 Spencer, Kate Sydney Runni 6 Pagano, Sarah Boston Athle 7 Cliff, Rachel Unattached 8 Flores, Brenda Corre Ac 9 O'Connell, Jessica Canada 10 Lopez, Sandra Mx Internati 11 Bates, Emma Boston Athle 12 Rogers, Natosha New Balance 13 O'Connor, Leah Adidas 14 Silva, Samantha Btc/Nike 15 Balouris, Elaina Unattached 16 Digby, Erica Vancouver Th 17 Paquette, Lauren Brooks 18 Flanagan, Rosa New Zealand 19 LaBeaud, Natasha Skechers/rab 20 Sachtleben, Bethany Saucony Hurr 21 Larsson, Maria Melbourne Tr
The biggest names here are all stepping up from other events: Amanda Eccleston (4th Olympic Trials) and Brit Laura Weightman (11th Olympics) from the 1500, Leah O’Connor from the steeplechase. Weightman, who hasn’t raced at all in 2017, and O’Connor, who hasn’t raced since February, will be making their outdoor openers and it will be interesting to see how they do from both a fitness perspective and a new event perspective. Weightman, who owns a 1500 pb of 4:00, has never run a 5,000 before. O’Connor has only run one outside of conference meets in college (where she was only running for team points, not time): last year in Charlottesville, she clocked 15:38. Eccelston (15:44 pb) has raced a bunch already this year, most recently taking 9th at Drake, but unless she does something incredible on Thursday, the 1500 should remain her focus.
The standard is important in this race as in recent years the women’s 5,000 has been the weakest event for American distance runners. Consider Eccleston’s situation. She came agonizingly close to making the Olympic team last year in the 1500. But say she runs 15:20 on Thursday. She’d have to think about at least entering the 5,000 at USAs (the 5,000 final takes place the day between the 1500 prelims and final). First, it’s an insurance policy in case she bombs out of the 1500. Second, if only a few women get the standard and/or the top women opt for the 10,000 only, it could be a way to make it onto the Worlds team. That’s a lot of hypotheticals, and we wouldn’t advise Eccleston to switch from the 1500 anytime soon after her tremendous 2016 season. But it’s something to think about.
Right now Lauren Paquette (15:20 at Payton Jordan), Molly Huddle, Emily Sisson and collegian Karissa Schweizer are the only Americans with the World Champs standard. Among that group, only Paquette is racing at Oxy, and she should contend for the win in the 5,000 if she runs it (she’s also entered in the 1500). We’ll also be looking out for Natosha Rogers, who has had a resurgent year with a 23rd place finish at World XC and a win at the US Half Marathon Champs. 10,000 is her stronger event, but it’s also going to be the more competitive event at USAs, so things could get interesting if she runs fast here.
Men’s 5000 (11:25 p.m. ET)
World Championship standard: 13:22.60; USATF Championship standard: 13:32.00
Event 8 Men 5000 Meter Run =============================================================================== Thursday 5/18/2017 - 8:25 PM Meet: 13:12.87 2012 Mo Farah, Nike OPJ Stadium: 13:12.87 2012 Mo Farah, Nike OPJ Worlds: 13:22.60 Name Year Team =============================================================================== Section 1 Timed Finals 1 Tessema, Josef American dis 2 Buchanan, Reid Mammoth Trac 3 Legesse, Frezer Under Armour 4 Stilin, Joe Reebok Zap F 5 Kipchirchir, Shadrack U.S. Army 6 Erassa, Kirubel Atlanta Trac 7 Ziensellassie, Futsum Hoka One One 8 Fernandez, German NIKE 9 Hehir, Martin Hoka One One 10 Lutz, Craig Hoka One One 11 Bruchet, Luc Asics/Canada 12 Simbassa, Abbabiya American dis 13 Asaoka, Mitsunori Hitachi Tran 14 Muta, Yuki Hitachi Tran 15 Yanagi, Toshiyuki Hitachi Tran 16 Trouard, Andrew The Rebel Al 17 Ichikawa, Takanori Hitachi Tran
Shadrack Kipchirchir, who just ran a 10,000 PR of 27:32 at Payton Jordan, is clearly in monster shape right now; the only worry with him is that 13 days may not be enough to fully recover from 25 hard laps on the track. His American Distance Project teammate Abbabiya Simbassa was also in that race and ran 27:45. It’s been a breakout season for Simbassa, whose PRs at the start of 2017 were 14:07 and 28:42. Like Kipchirchir, we don’t know how recovered he is to run fast, but we can bet he’ll run a lot faster than 14:07 on Thursday. Futsum Zienasellassie, who ran 27:52 last year at Northern Arizona, is also entered, as is his NAZ Elite teammate Martin Hehir (formerly of Syracuse), who ran 28:08 at the Stanford Invite. There is another runner on the list who is very familiar to LetsRun fans with the initials of GF, but he hasn’t broken 14:00 on the track since 2014, and it’s our new unofficial official policy not to mention him by name any more.
Talk about the meet on our fan forum / messageboard. MB: Official 2017 Oxy Live Discussion Thread.