It’s Day 2 at Olympic Trials, and although I was caught up watching Sam Querrey and the Mets, I managed to write a semi-coherent recap.
Unsurprisingly, Molly Huddle won the 10K and has punched her ticket to Rio. It was a dominant and controlled performance from the presumptive 10K favorite, as Huddle paced out with Emily Infeld until pulling away on the final lap, ensuring that she would comfortably make the Olympic team. For once in my writing career, I refrain from making any cheap jokes with this situation. Huddle is having a very good season and looks to be heading into Rio in top form. Today’s win is the just the beginning.
The interest was really on who would finish second and third, with Kim Conley, Emily Infeld and Marielle Hall battling it out for just two spots. Infeld finished second, which would hardly be surprise had she not missed the entire outdoor season with an injury. What a way to make your 2016 debut! Conley was in with a shot at third but lost a shoe during the race and dropped out, leaving Marielle Hall in command to finish in third (as I predictedas I predicted). Conley will have a very good chance at making the team for the 5K, her premier event, so don’t worry too much.
As for Marielle Hall, she seems poised to make a big step forward on an international level. She still has the best American 10K time this year and probably backed off slightly once Conley dropped out and third place was in hand. Infeld will also be making her Olympic debut following three very solid years on the pro circuit, so that’s fun. I really hope she can stay healthy.
Kellyn Taylor came up just short to finish fourth. Laura Thweatt finished an impressive fifth. In the other names you may have heard of department, Jordan Hasay finished well off the pace in ninth and Emily Sisson was 10th. Sisson will have another chance in the 5000m. As for Hasay…well…there’s no way to sugarcoat the disappointment of this result (for the uninitiated, Hasay finished 2nd in the 10K as the USA outdoor championships just two years ago). I mean, there was nothing to suggest that she would be in contention leading up to the race, but it’s still rough. Well, she still has time to make it to the next Olympic cycle and regain her earlier form. I’m trying to stay optimistic here. Injuries suck.
Men’s and Women’s 100m
No huge shocks in the first round. Bromell looks legit. Gay and Gatlin are hanging around, as always. The curse of the 30+ from yesterday has subsided, for now. The main women in the event also qualified. Shoutout to Jenna Prandini for PRing in the first round of qualifying and topping the timesheets though! You probably should read a recap of the Jamaican 100m qualifying instead though.
Men’s and Women’s 400m
Everyone you’d expect to make it advanced, including Allyson Felix and Lashawn Merritt. The over-30 curse did not escape this event, however, as Jeremy Wariner dropped out. Honestly, he broke out a while before I started following track so this doesn’t mean that much to me. I need to study my recent short distance track history.
Men’s and Women’s 800m
Again, no alarms and no surprises, but there was a dramatic fall! Engels and Shaq Walker collided on the final stretch and both qualified, setting up a nine-man final.
I haven’t given much love to field events, but congrats to Brittney Reese and Whitney Ashley for winning the long jump and discus, respectively. Ashton Eaton is winning the decathlon right now. Huge shocker, I know. World champ Trey Hardee is not going to make the team, and he complained about the entire Olympic Trials system to Flotrack. He has a point, but unless he suggests a better way to determine who makes the team, I can’t take him 100% seriously.
Also, Noah Affolder ran a 4:07 and he only finished 5th. Haha, yet another reminder that I’ve accomplished nothing in my life. Fun fact (if my math is correct): if Noah Affolder were able to run at a 4:07 pace from Warwick, NY to Carthage, NY and I could run my PR pace, he would beat me by over three hours.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say David Verburg does not make the Olympic team in the 400m. Just a hunch. I have no idea what the order of the 100m final is going to look like (and neither do you, tbh), but there’s a decent chance the 2016 curse of the over 30s continues. One of Gay and Gatlin to not make it? That would be very bold, but this is the Forget the Protocol preview, so we’re making bold choices.