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Des Moines 2013 Power Rankings #1

With the indoor season officially wrapped up, it’s time to start gazing at the horizon to bigger and better things – Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow in particular, the home of this summer’s IAAF World Championships. Before we get to that meet, athletes must qualify at the U.S. championships, hosted this year in Des Moines, Iowa on the campus of Drake University. As we did last year, we’ll provide power rankings at landmark points throughout the season to evaluate who the favorites are for those coveted top three spots at nationals. This set of rankings provides a preliminary analysis of each middle and long distance track event based primarily off 2012 performances but with this winter’s indoor showing lending some credence as well.

Think we’re totally wrong with some of our selections? Leave a comment or tweet and tell us!

Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium

Men’s 800 meters

1. Nick Symmonds
2. Duane Solomon
3. Khadevis Robinson
4. Charles Jock
5. Ryan Martin
Darkhorse: Erik Sowinski
Others: Robby Andrews, Tyler Mulder, Elijah Greer, Cas Loxsom
Notes: Solomon was solid indoors with a few strong 600 meter efforts with little speed work (although nobody admits they do speed work for indoors); Sowinski was super impressive with a U.S. indoor title and American 600 meter record, but we’ve yet to see him race 800 meters against the likes of Symmonds and Solomon; Greer and Loxsom have emerged at the dynamic duo of the NCAA.

Women’s 800 meters

1. Alysia Montano
2. Molly Beckwith
3. Geena Gall
4. Alice Schmidt
5. Maggie Vessey
Darkhorse: Ajee Wilson
Others: Brenda Martinez, Phoebe Wright, Erica Moore, Nachelle Mackie, Charlene Lipsey
Notes: The unsponsored Montano crushed a 1:23.59 600 meters at Millrose and there’s no reason to think she’s not the top American heading into 2013 outdoors; Beckwith has been on a progressive upswing since turning pro, the next step is making a U.S. team; Vessey had a disappointing 2012 but has now started working with Johnny Gray; the youngster Wilson could surprise after her indoor national title.

Men’s 1500 meters

1. Matt Centrowitz
2. Leo Manzano
3. Lopez Lomong
4. Robby Andrews
5. Andrew Wheating
Darkhorse: Ryan Hill
Others: Dave Torrence, Russell Brown, Andy Bayer, Will Leer
Notes: Centrowitz had a solid indoor season, bringing his mile PR to 3:51; will Manzano have a post-Olympic medal hangover?; Lomong opted for the 5000 last year but he’s certainly 1500 meter contender if he wants it (FYI: the 1500/5k double isn’t possible at worlds); Hill enters the outdoor season as the #2 NCAA indoor miler of all-time and has a kick lethal enough to contend on the national stage.

Women’s 1500 meters

1. Morgan Uceny
2. Shannon Rowbury
3. Jenny Simpson
4. Gabe Anderson
5. Anna Pierce
Darkhorse: Mary Cain
Others: Brenda Martinez, Sarah Brown
Notes: The top three seems to be locked in pretty well, it’ll be tough for others to break through; Cain can certainly make the U.S. champs final, but how high can she finish come June?

Men’s 3000 meter steeplechase

1. Evan Jager
2. Donn Cabral
3. Dan Huling
4. Kyle Alcorn
5. Billy Nelson
Darkhorse: Donnie Cowart
Others: Brian Olinger, David Adams, Cory Leslie
Notes: Jager and Cabral both had pretty solid indoor seasons; Huling should benefit greatly from training with Jager in Portland.

Women’s 3000 meter steeplechase

1. Emma Coburn
2. Bridget Franek
3. Shalaya Kipp
4. Ashley Higginson
5. Stephanie Garcia
Darkhorse: Aisha Praught
Other: Sara Hall, Delilah DiCrescenzo
Notes: Coburn added to her steeple credentials with an NCAA mile title; most other top contenders had quiet indoor seasons.

Men’s 5000 meters

1. Bernard Lagat
2. Galen Rupp
3. Lopez Lomong
4. Chris Derrick
5. Andrew Bumbalough
Darkhorse: David Torrence
Others: Ben True
Notes: Amazing top three who all have medal potential in Moscow; it’ll be tough for anyone else to break thought the top trio; it’s uncertain what event Torrence will focus on, but he has untapped potential in the 5k.

Women’s 5000 meters

1. Julie Culley
2. Molly Huddle
3. Kim Conley
4. Abbey D’Agostino
5. Emily Infeld
Darkhorse: Chelsea Reilly
Others: Julia Lucas, Jackie Areson, Jessica Tebo, Liz Maloy, Brie Felnagle
Notes: D’Agostino (double NCAA indoor champ) and Infeld (4th at USA Cross Country) are the future of the event; Reilly has shown pretty good range from the mile to 10k, so 5k might just be her sweet spot; Lucas and Areson have the tough task of bouncing back from disappointing Olympic Trials.

Men’s 10,000 meters

1. Galen Rupp
2. Matt Tegenkamp
3. Chris Derrick
4. Dathan Ritzenhein
5. Aaron Braun
Darkhorse: Luke Puskedra
Others: Ben True, Bobby Curtis, Ryan Vail, Brent Vaughn
Notes: With his USA Cross County victory, Derrick gets the nod for the third spot ahead of Ritz though the mix beyond Rupp is fairly wide open; Puskedra has joined the Oregon Project, can Alberto’s magic wear off on him?

Women’s 10,000 meters

1. Shalane Flanagan
2. Lisa Uhl
3. Amy Hastings
4. Neely Spence
5. Tara Erdmann
Darkhorse: Jordan Hasay
Others: Alisha Williams, Deborah Maier
Notes: Flanagan stated her intention to run at USA’s after the Boston Marathon; Uhl showed a strong kick at USA Indoors and might be back to her form of 2010 after moving back to Iowa; Spence and Erdmann are newcomers to the professional scene with lots of upside; Hasay is the ultimate darkhorse – can she carry her shorter distance success to the 10k?

Tags: Des Moines 2013 Power Rankings

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