Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Women's Predictions! Only 3 Days Away!

In my mind, the Women's race will be very much similar to the Men's.  There are two clear favorites to make the team and another who would be a favorite but has had a few bumps along the way.  Another similarity is that on any given day, most athletes in the top 10 have at least a small chance to qualify if everything goes their way.  That is the beauty of an Olympic Trials Race!

   1.       Desi Davila, Brooks-Hansons- I just can’t say no to that 2:22 and near win at Boston!
Davila after 2nd place at Boston

   2.     Shalane Flanagan, Nike/OTC- Her prowess at the shorter distances and overall versatility are going to provide a big challenge to Desi.  Shalane ran 30:39 for 10k and took bronze at the World XC Championships in 2011.
   3.       Kara Goucher, Nike/OTC, (Wheeler, native of Duluth, MN)- Despite pregnancy, a few injuries and a coaching change, I think Kara will bring the heat on Saturday.  She has the talent and is at the right point in her career for the trials this year.  Kara Goucher will be the third qualifier for London.

   4.       Amy Hastings, Brooks/Mammoth Track Club- I wanted to put Amy in the top 3.  Her only marathon was a 2:27 at a soggy Los Angeles.  I expect her to be in the mix long into the race.

   5.       Magda Lewy Boulet, Saucony- Magda is old (for an elite runner) at 38 years of age.  With age comes experience and Magda is probably the second most experienced in the field.  Magda will have a good day on Saturday as she always does but will it be good enough to make the team?

   6.       Deena Kastor, Mammoth Track Club- Another ‘old’ woman in the race is Deena (again 38).  The American record holder and Bronze medalist from Athens will bring the experience on Saturday.  She also had a recent pregnancy like Kara.

Deena on her way to Bronze at Athens '04

   7.       Jen Rhines, Mammoth Track Club- Rhines is a year younger than Magda and Deena but no less experienced.  She has made 3 Olympic teams including one marathon.  Jen was also the 2011 US Half Marathon Champion.

Rhines Winning 2011 US Half Championshps
   8.       Katie McGregor, Team USA MN (another MN!)- McGregor, of team USA MN fame, is another experienced runner who has a shot on a good day.  She brings a 2:31 and 1:11 to the table.
McGregor at the Rock and Roll Philadelphia Half                                 

   9.       Stephanie Rothstein, McMillan Elite/Adidas- Stephanie ran 2:29 at Houston last year.  That is a solid time and maybe her experience in the city will be what she needs to qualify.
Stephanie Running her PR at Houston
   10.   Dot McMahan, Brooks-Hansons- Another Hansons-Brooks athlete who probably won’t qualify but is consistent and will place well.  Dot ran 2:31 while returning from maternity leave- seems to be a common trend among trials favorites this year. 
Dot Running her PR at Grandma's this past June
          As the event won't be televised live this year be sure to tune in to NBC for their coverage in the afternoon!

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