Let’s see if anyone is interested in discussing this. Eugene, Oregon, is hosting the Olympic track and field trials this year. They actually started yesterday in Beaverton at the Nike complex with the men’s and women’s hammer throw. I’m not a big hammer fan, so I don’t have anything to say about that.
Already today, Ashton Eaton has set records for the best decathlon marks for both the 100 meters and the long jump. He may possibly be on pace for a world record. Tonight has three high school girls in the 800 heats, and the finals for the men’s and women’s 10,000 meters.
I’ll mostly follow this on more track-centric sites, but will check in to see how this is going. If it doesn’t get traction, so be it.
A runner can place as low as sixth place in either the 100 or 400 meter races and still make the team; occasionally a hurdler will be chosen for the 4x4, but for the most part, the top six make up the 4 relay legs plus 2 alternates.
I haven’t had a chance to watch any of the events, but am definitely paying attention. I don’t think that the US men will have very much luck in the short sprints - perhaps Justin Gatling can eke out a bronze. Nice 400 win for LeShawn Merritt, hope to see him get down to 43.6 or so in London; happy to see Josh Mance make the team for the relay (been aware of him since he was running 46’s as a hs soph for Chino, outside of LA). Curious about Robby Andrews - didn’t see his name at all in the 800 lineups, don’t know if he’s entered in the 1500.
Only the top four finishers in the 100 and 400 “have to” be chosen for four of the six spots in the appropriate relay; the coaches choose the other two at their discretion. Also note that the decision as to which four run in the preliminary, and which four run in the final (assuming the men’s 4x100 team doesn’t drop the baton or pass out of the zone again), is made in London, and the coaches have the option to include anybody who is there, and not just those who did well in the 100/400. (In 1988, Florence Griffith-Joyner was put on the women’s 4x400 relay team, presumably in an attempt to get her a fourth gold medal.)
For those of you wondering what Dwight Stones means when he keeps saying “the ‘A’ standard,” there are two standards for each event, an “A” standard and a “B” standard. In order for a country to send two or three athletes to London in an event, all of them must meet the “A” standard within a pre-specified date range. Under the USATF qualifying rules, if two or more athletes in the final of an event meet the “A” standard (even if they do it for the first time in that final), then the top three finishers among those with an “A” standard advance; if fewer than two have an “A” standard, the best finisher that meets the “B” standard goes (and, in that case, USA sends only one athlete). I want to say that there was an event in 2008 where USA had nobody even meet the “B” standard, so USA sent nobody to Beijing in that event, but I can’t confirm it.
Suzy Powell-Roos, Shelbi Vaughan, and Elizabeth Podominick finished third, fourth, and fifth in the women’s discus, but none of them had met the “A” standard (62m / 203’5") in the qualifying period (I think one of them did have a 62m+ throw something like three weeks before the qualifying period began), and Gia Lewis-Smallwood, who finished sixth, did, so she goes to London while the other three don’t.
What’s up with Andrew Wheating? Is he in the 15?
The women’s 100 may certainly end up being the defining moment of the trials. First tie I’ve seen since Pat Laverty run down Bill Kolb in 85 at the Penn Relays hs DMR.
The men’s and women’s 5000m races were amazing. The women’s was a supreme tragedy/triumph depending on who you were cheering for. It’s a complicated story, but the fourth place finisher basically gave her locked up spot in the Olympics to the third place finisher. A huge tactical error.