Sunday, June 26, 2011

Prediction Time: 2011 USATF Men's and Women's 800 picks

Schmidt & Vessey (Courtesy TrackAndFieldPhoto)
With all the madness at the finish of both the men's and women's 1500's yesterday, you have to think there will be more of the same today in the 8's. With at least five guys on the men's side with a legitimate chance of making the team and five sub 2:00 women's competitors, expect elbows, pushing and shoving and possibly some terse words post-finish.

Men's 800
1. Robby Andrews
Is Robby Andrews the new Nick Symmonds? It sure seems so as his lay back early and kick hard late style has won him multiple championships, including the 2011 NCAA title in a PR of 1:44.71. He has proved he can kick off a hard open (Charles Jock went out in 49.8 at NCAA's), and should be able to power past the nation's finest this afternoon.

2. Khadevis Robinson
KD is back! After a win in Rome and a great showing at the Prefontaine Classic, KD looks primed and ready for a podium finish. He had been employing the new sit and kick from 300 out tactic of late, and it's been working. Hopefully he'll stick with this and earn another Team USA singlet.

3. Nick Symmonds
Picking Symmonds third on what is essentially his home track seems a little treasonous, but Symmonds hasn't looked quite the same lately. Would it surprise me if he won? Absolutely not. But would it surprise me if he finished sixth? Not really. We'll see which Symmonds shows up at 2:27 pacific!

Darkhorse: Charles Jock
The newest American 800 star is Charles Jock. After nearly winning the NCAA title after going out in 49.8 and PR-ing in 1:44.75, Jock will be ready for the pros today. Expect him to take it out hard and force the kickers to come and get him.

Women's 800
1. Alysia Montano (nee Johnson)
Montano is the class of the American 800 women's field. She should take it out hard and then kick when necessary to secure another national championship.

2. Phoebe Wright
Wright hasn't kicked into full gear yet this year, but she'll be ready today. She's always on her game in championship finals and should finish on the podium with a standard effort.

3. Maggie Vessey
Vessey is unpredictable, but usually performs well in Eugene and will likely want to join her boyfriend in Daegu (if all goes to plan on that end). Her kick is top notch and she has shown of late that she doesn't have to hang way back like she used to. 

Darkhorse: Alice Schmidt
Here we go again, another Tar Heel! Schmidt has had quite the resurgence this year and has looked effortless in her return to the top. Running unattached, but still in Nike gear, hopefully a strong finish will get Schmidt full sponsorship through the London Olympics.

Watch the action unfold from 5-6pm eastern on NBC. Live results are here.

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

Follow writing about running on Twitter and Facebook

No comments:

Post a Comment