Saturday, June 25, 2011

Prediction Time: 2011 USATF Men's and Women's Steeplechase picks

Photo courtesy TrackAndFieldPhoto
The Men's 3000 Steeplechase goes off tomorrow at 3:01 pacific and the usual suspects should be competing for the top three spots. Missing from the field will be fan favorite, Anthony Famiglietti, aka Fam, and Steve Slattery, who has run a few good races this year, but DNF'd the prelims.

The Women's Steeple goes off at 1:45 pacific on Sunday and is also lacking two of it's biggest stars, Anna Pierce and Jenny "B" Simpson. They'll both be in the 1500 final, which I'll post predictions for next. 

Men's 3000 Steeplechase
1. Dan Huling
Huling's been the class of the American field in the steeplechase for the past few years, boasting a nice 8:13.29 PR last summer in Europe. Huling should run away from the field in the last 600 without much trouble. 

2. Ben Bruce
A jack of all trades, Bruce has competed at an All American level from the roads to cross country to the steeple. He looked great in the prelims and should be right on Huling's heels, as he can handle the rounds.

3. Kyle Alcorn
I want to pick Billy Nelson here after his great performance, obtaining the A-standard at Stanford (and gained Nelson sponsorship with New Balance), but Alcorn has looked better lately. Expect he and Nelson to duke it out over the last few laps though, as they always seem to do!

Darkhorse: Josh McAdams
McAdams seems to peak at the right time and although not really a darkhorse, he's been overshadowed lately. Like Jen Rhines, he'll sneak on the podium if anyone falters. Not sure where Donn Cabral is, but he'll be the darkhorse at the trials next year.

Women's 3000 Steeplechase
1. Bridget Franek
Franek looked great the other night in the prelims and should be ready for her first US championship after winning NCAA's last year and struggling through the US championships (after the long college season). She looks to be peaking at the right time and will likely take it out and dare anyone to hang with her.

Photo courtesy TrackAndFieldPhoto
2. Lisa Aguilera
Aguilera has been at it for a while and looks to be fit and ready to don another Team USA singlet. She'll run with Franek (and possibly lead some) as long as possible and will finish on the podium.

3. Emma Coburn
The collegiate champion looked a little tired in the prelims, and with good reason. The college season is arduous and no one would blame Coburn for being a little zapped for energy. I still think she sneaks on the podium, as she just glides over the barriers and should be able to hang with the leaders long enough to separate from the pack.

Darkhorse: Sara Hall
Hall has found a new event this year in the steeple, already turning in an A-standard. The question will be, can she handle coming back from the prelim? She didn't have the energy to muster a kick in the prelims to get an auto qualifier, but may surprise in the final as I know she wants to get to Daegu!

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

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