Olympic Trials Day 8 Predictions

Men’s 3000m Steeplechase

The semi-final heats of the men’s steeple were tightly packed races, with the top 5 in each heat finishing within a second of one another, and the winning time for both heats was around 8:29/8:30. Expect the final to be a little bit quicker, as none of these guys is going to want to hedge an Olympic berth on their kick. Here’s some of our experts’ picks:

GJ: Jager, had he not been stymied by the last steeple at the Occidental meet, he would have the fastest time in the nation thus far. He’s looking good right now with regard to American competition. Cabral, who won the race at Oxy (after Jager fell)and took the NCAA crown this year, has registered a sub-8:20. Consider him good for second. Torn between Kyle Alcorn and Dan Huling for third place, I’m going to bet my money on Dan Huling for experience’s sake alone.

  1. Evan Jager
  2. Donn Cabral
  3. Dan Huling

RT: It could go either way between Jager and Cabral. I’ve been at a few meets this year where I saw Cabral race and dominate. I know the competition here will be better but this guy is a monster so I’m giving him the edge. One of my teammates was high school rivals with Forys and for that reason he is third on my list.

  1. Donn Cabral
  2. Evan Jager
  3. Craig Forys

RM: While I would love to root for Craig Forys because he’s from Colts Neck NJ, I think Cabral and Jager are too good right now, and despite my apprehensions, Huling has a lot of championship experience.

  1. Evan Jager
  2. Donn Cabral
  3. Dan Huling

Women’s 5000m

The semi-final rounds showed who was comfortable at the pedestrian pace, and who had to work to finish in the top 6. Most of the main contenders passed safely through, although Amy Hastings became a casualty as she showed signs of having raced the 10,000m on Friday night. Tonight’s final should be a similar race, although the women who are not as confident in their kicks may want to push the pace a little early.

RT: They are all fast and, by the looks of it, have the most potential in the field right now. Huddle has a mark of 15:10, Lucas a 15:08 and Culley a 15:13. These are three of the fastest marks and each placed at least top three in their respective heat in the prelims.

  1. Molly Huddle
  2. Julia Lucas
  3. Julie Culley

RM: How could you NOT root for quasi-local Julie Culley? Culley, a former Loyola University XC/Track coach, has blossomed over the last season and a half, and she looked good in her 2nd place finish in the semi on Monday night. Molly Huddle, the American Record holder, shouldn’t have much of a problem, and Julia Lucas looked good as well. I think it’s the end of the road for the NCAA girls D’Agostino and Infeld, it’s been a long season and they’ll make teams down the road.

  1. Molly Huddle
  2. Julie Culley
  3. Julia Lucas

GJ: Molly Huddle. American Record Holder. Enough said. Some say this season hasn’t been as successful as last year, but now that many Olympic hopefuls are in the midst of (at least) a mini-peak in their training, I think we will see the Molly Huddle of 2011. As my buddy Ryan has predicted, I’m pulling for D.C. local Julie Culley. With a 15:13 to her name–the second fastest 5k in the country this year–I foresee her carrying a miniature American flag after the race. Pulling up in third as a bit of a surprise to some is 5000m NCAA Champion Abbey D’Agostino. Much like how Natosha Rogers of Texas A&M showed her mettle in the 10,000m Trials final by finishing in the top 3(despite not attaining the “A” standard), I believe a collegian will do the same in the 5k.

  1. Molly Huddle
  2. Julie Culley
  3. Abbey D’Agostino

Men’s 5000m

The men’s 5000m, initially considered to be a lock for Bernard Lagat, Galen Rupp, and Lopez Lomong, could turn out to be anything but. In his semi-final heat, Galen Rupp cruised for most of the race, but was out-leaned at the line by Andy Bumbalough. Rupp was clearly irritated by the move, heading straight off the track without acknowledging anybody. In the other heat, Bernard Lagat and Lopez Lomong showed their finishing speed is strong. But, there are a host of other would-be Olympians chomping at the bit, and in the finals, you never know what can happen. This should make a very exciting race tonight!

RM: Watching the races the other night, I feel like Lomong and Lagat have a huge advantage because they’ve only run one 5k as opposed to Rupp who has now run a fairly quick 10k in terrible conditions and a 5k. Rupp may not want to let the race go to the very end because while he may be confident in his kick, I think the other guys are as well – and a little fresher.

  1. Bernard Lagat
  2. Galen Rupp
  3. Lopez Lomong

GJ: Lagat has the best kick of the three and, when we talked to him at the adidas Grand Prix, he said that he needs to prove to himself that the last 150m burst is still the move to use. With the 13:11 miscounted-laps-mishap at Stanford, Lopez Lomong proved that he is still a force to be reckoned with. Galen Rupp has the fastest time of the year of this trio (12:58 at Pre Classic), but after the 10k final last week and the 5k prelims a few days ago, there is no need for him to make a statement. He’ll grab a spot on the Olympic team just as well in third place.

  1. Bernard Lagat
  2. Lopez Lomong
  3. Galen Rupp

RT: From what I can tell, Lagat is in great shape right now, and if it happens to be a kickers race he should have no problem handling it.  I have Lomong in next. I mean, he has his own visa commercial narrated by Morgan Freeman.  Finally, I’m sure after the 10k and 5k prelim Rupp isn’t necessarily worried about winning this one, only placing.

  1. Bernard Lagat
  2. Lopez Lomong
  3. Galen Rupp

 

Well, not a whole lot of variation between our choices, but who knows – maybe we’ll all be surprised and have completely unexpected Olympians! Only time will tell, and be sure to check back in following the races for results and recaps. In the meantime, feel free to post YOUR predictions in the comments section below!

Last Night’s Unplanned, Extended Preview of The Olympic Trials

If there’s one bad thing about doing a live show on the radio, it’s this:

Sometimes, things don’t exactly go to plan.

With last night’s show chock-full of content, we began to wonder how we were going to cover it all. Between our monthly segment of “Around The Clock” with Running Times Magazine and our live interview with 2011 Triple Jump World Champion Christian Taylor, it going to be a bit of a pinch.

But, we had to re-route, and sometimes, when it rains, it pours.

Our friend and Running Times Senior Editor Scott Douglas, who rounds out the Runaround panel for “Around the Clock” along with Greg, Brad, and Ryan, wasn’t going to be able to join us live. Eh, it wasn’t the end of the world. The three Runaround co-hosts could still cast their predictions and dark horses for the Olympic Trials. In fact, Scott will be calling us live from Eugene, OR, giving us updates on the Trials for “Around the Clock” next week. It never hurts to have a correspondent at a big (actually, epic) meet like the U.S. Olympic Trials.

But here is where it pours.

Christian Taylor, who turned 22 yesterday, had an unforeseen birthday present in the form of flat tire on his coach’s car. Naturally, he was there to help. And these things happen. What can you do?

In six months of being on air, we’ve never lost an interview at the last minute. Suffice it to say, it’s pretty uncanny to lose two on the same show. Fortunately for the hosts, they are quick to establish Plan B. Implementors of the impromptu.

So, if you were expecting a live interview with Christian Taylor–who currently holds the world-leading mark in the triple jump, or if you were looking forward to our discussion with Scott Douglas on “Around the Clock,” we apologize.

We do have two things for you though:

1) A promise that Scott will be joining us next week live from Eugene.

2) The link below that will take you to our “Post-Run” interview with Christian. He gives us an inside look on how he feels about the successes of this season, his hopes for the Olympic Trials, and some commentary on his training and the technical aspects of jumping.

Most importantly, is he looking to make statement at the Trials and beyond? After all, his PB is only one foot and a hair away from the Jonathan Edwards’ world record.

Listen here at “The Post-Run.”

Videos Galore: Athletes’ Thoughts Before The Olympic Trials

Click on the name of the athletes below to check out video interviews with them as they discuss their thoughts after the adidas Grand Prix and their hopes for the Olympic Trials. Not to mention we have a few goodies mixed in there. Hint hint…Jim Ryun interview…hint hint.

Or maybe you want to learn why Bernard has the smoothest stride of all time? Check out the exclusive press conference interview below.

DURING THE PRESS CONFERENCE:

Oscar Pistorius    Part 2     Part 3

Aries Merritt         Part 2     Part 3

David Oliver

Jeremy Wariner

Bernard Lagat      Part 2    Part 3 

AFTER THE GRAND PRIX:

Yohan Blake

Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce

Sanya Richards-Ross

David Rudisha

Robby Andrews

Jesse Williams

Michael Rodgers

Alfred Yego

Jenny Simpson

Molly Beckwith

Craig Mottram

Jim Ryun

Cleo Borel