Based On Principle, Goucher Should Not Get Free Pass to USA Champs


**UPDATE: According to the USATF rule book (Rule 8(1)(a)), Goucher is allowed entry to the national championships given her medal at the 2007 World Championships.  The entire stipulation says, “During the current or four previous calendar years, earned an individualvmedal in track and field in an Olympic Games or in an IAAF World Indoor or Outdoor Championship.”  We apologize for the error.

Despite public statements about running the 10,000 meters at the USA Championships in late June, Kara Goucher has yet to run the time standard needed to qualify for the race, according to Running Times.  The author goes on to speculate whether Goucher will apply to an exemption that will allow her to participate, similar to what her husband Adam did to run the 10k at the 2008 Olympic Trials.

Thus far, no one has questioned Goucher’s qualifications for the race.  After all, she is the 2007 World bronze medalist for 10k and has run a 2:24 marathon in Boston just two months ago coming off the birth of her son Colt.  Goucher’s presence in the race along with the likes of Shalane Flanagan, Jen Rhines and Lisa Koll will certainly spice things up and make the World team even harder to make.

However, the principles of fairness and transparency are why Goucher should not receive a free pass to nationals.

What makes Goucher so much more special any the aspiring elite runner seeking to qualify for the USA Championships?  Running is a sport that prides itself on transparency since performances can be judged objectively by looking at times.  Basketball fans can argue all day long about whether Kobe or LeBron is the better player, but track athletes can be easily compared by who ran the better time on a particular day.  The use of something as simple as a descending order list gives championship meets more legitimacy than invitational competitions that invite a subjective group of runners.

The use of such an exemption for yet another Alberto Salazar-trained runner is questionable as well.  It is clear that USA Track & Field is in the pocket of Nike, which provides the non-profit organization with millions of dollars of funding on an annual basis.  Allowing Kara to run above those who have actually earned qualifying marks will prove the corruption and favoritism by John Chaplin and the USATF elite athlete coordinators.

Read more here about prior transgressions by Chaplin regarding entry sizes to U.S. championship competitions.

What are your thoughts?  Leave us a comment below or send us a tweet @SpikedUpPsyched.

Tags: Alberto Salazar Kara Goucher Usa Outdoor 2011

  • niarun

    USATF Rulebook:

    RULE 8
    Automatic qualification, as listed in this section, shall not abrogate any entry requirements
    other than the qualifying requirements for a championship. Any athlete who
    attains any of the following shall be afforded automatic qualification into a USA
    Indoor, Outdoor, Race Walking or Marathon Championship or USA Olympic Team
    Selection in the same event in which the performance was attained:
    1. Track and Field.
    (a) During the current or four previous calendar years, earned an individual
    medal in track and field in an Olympic Games or in an IAAF World Indoor
    or Outdoor Championship.

  • Mike

    Niarun beat me to it.

    Looks like Goucher qualifies for the meet based Rule 8(1)(a). Here is a link to the rule book:

  • niarun

    We’re all standing by for your retraction of this story and apology for your comments on the integrity of John Chaplin and the USATF, Kevin.

  • Jake

    The problem with Kevin Liao and Scott Douglus (running times) is that you chose not to look at the simple facts. Rather they both jumped the gun without doing proper research or even a simple interview with Kara to attain her side of the story, (what a novel idea that could have been). Instead you choose to make issue out of a non issue and trash a woman who has done nothing but follow the rules set forth by USATF. You both should be ashamed, you’ve made a joke out of yourselves and your pathetic ill informed and unreasearched journalism!

  • Kevin Liao

    Thanks for the info. Looks like I was wrong.

    The past questionable actions of Chaplin and previous actions like allowing Adam Goucher to run the Trials stand.

  • David

    Goucher had finished top 3 at USAs in 2007 in the 5000 granting him entry into any event he wanted in 2008. Stop ranting out him, Liao.