Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Prediction Time: 2011 USATF Men's and Women's 10,000 picks

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Tomorrow marks the start of the 2011 USATF Track and Field Championships and the first finals run will be the women's 10,000 at 7:15 pacific, followed by the men's. Below are the official writing about running picks for the event. Feel free to agree, disagree or make a case for someone else! Runnerspace will be broadcasting the event live.

Men's 10,000
1. Galen Rupp
Although it was a pretty big disappointment not getting to see Rupp run in front of his alma mater at Distance Night in Eugene (during the Prefontaine Classic), by all accounts, Rupp is ready to roll and I believe roll he will. With Chris Solinsky battling back from hamstring injury, I think Rupp will pounce.

2. Chris Solinsky
Solinsky's American Record in the 10,000 last year at Stanford was even more exciting than Dathan Ritzenhein's American Record in the 5,000 the year before. It was one of the best executed races I have ever seen and set him up for an excellent season where he broke 13 in the 5,000 three times and competed with the best in the world doing it. That in mind, he didn't look quite right at Distance Night in Eugene, pulling up after 3000 meters or so with a troublesome hamstring. I've got Solinsky at second here... if he runs. Still not sure if he's playing a game of chicken with Rupp, but at this point, Rupp's coach, Alberto Salazar has stated that Rupp will run the 10,000 and may pull out of the 5,000 if he qualifies here. Keep an eye on the status of entries here. (Solinsky didn't run)

3. Matt Tegenkamp
Teg's only run the 10k once, but turned in an excellent time of 27:28. Although his teammate Tim Nelson has more experience in the 10k and Bobby Curtis has run faster this year in 27:24, I believe Teg will run a smart race and push the last 800 for a spot on the Daegu team. Still, Teg could end up scratching and saving up for the 5000. If that happens, I'll give the nod to Curtis for the third spot.

Darkhorse: Bobby Mack
How can I not pick Raleigh's Bobby Mack here? Mack has been running excellent of late, running a huge PR at Payton Jordan of 28:11, then going on to run 4 flat in the mile and then taking home the road 8k championship over the always consistent Aaron Braun.

Women's 10,000
1. Shalane Flanagan
Shalane's the runaway favorite here after her incredible year so far. A 5 second miss at the American Record at Distance Night in Eugene should propel her to a big win. Expect her to run with the pack and go when she needs to as she'll probably double back in the 5000.

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2. Kara Goucher
Goucher is looking better and better lately after giving birth to her first child earlier this year. This will be a big test, as she has yet to run the event on the track this year in which she took the bronze at the 2007 World Championships in Osaka. Don't expect a blazing time, but expect her to finish second.

3. Desi Davila
Although Jen Rhines has run 20+ seconds faster here than Davila, it's hard not to pick her after seeing her fight back and fight back and fight back to finish a strong second at the 2011 Boston Marathon.

Darkhorse: Jen Rhines
While not really a darkhorse, the always consistent Jen Rhines will podium if any of the above three slip up; you can count on that! With Amy Yoder-Begley coming back from injury, there aren't really any others that will challenge, with Lisa Koll out due to injury as well. Don't be surprised if Rhines makes her umpteenth USA team!

Stay tuned for more picks as we'll do the 5000 next!

Want to see how I fared? Check out the Nationals Recap

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