May 17, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Will Leer defeats Lopez Lomong and Andrew Wheating and Galen Rupp to win a 1,500m heat in 3:36.67 in the 2013 USATF High Performance meet at Occidental College. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Des Moines 2013 Power Rankings #3: Getting To Crunch Time

(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

It’s crunch time. With all the early and mid season races complete, we now have a good sense of who’s fit and who’s not. For those who don’t have qualifying standards out of the way yet, there are still Diamond League meets in New York and Eugene as well as lower key competitions like the Portland Track Festival remaining to chase fast times. But before we know it, we’ll be in Des Moines for the U.S. championships June 20-23 with trips to Moscow later in the summer on the line.

Here we go with the rankings:

Men’s 800 meters

1. Nick Symmonds
2. Duane Solomon
3. Erik Sowinski
4. Charles Jock
5. Brandon Johnson
Darkhorse: Khadevis Robinson
Others: Elijah Greer, Ryan Martin, Tyler Mulder, Cas Loxsom, Mark Wieczorek, Mike Rutt
Notes: After hovering in the 1:46 range for the last two years, Johnson broke through with a 1:44 run at Oxy and is certainly a favorite to make the U.S. final. Making the World team, however, is a different story. Running 1:44 in a one-off race is one thing, doing it on the biggest stage in Des Moines is another.

Symmonds took the 1500 win at Oxy, continuing to show he has potential in the metric mile; Jock and Rutt both got the ‘A’ standard at Oxy; Sowinski gets his first Diamond League test on Saturday as he’s set to race Rudisha, Robby Andrews and others in The Big Apple; Robinson is racing this season but likely not until the U.S. Championships.

Women’s 800 meters

1. Alysia Montano
2. Phoebe Wright
3. Geena Gall
4. Ajee Wilson
5. Chanelle Price
Darkhorse: Laura Roesler
Others: Lea Wallace, Kate Grace, Alice Schmidt, Latavia Thomas
Notes: This was a tough one to rank. The field appears to be completely wide open after Montano. There are a bunch of women who have run in the 2:00/2:01 range but none other than 1500 specialist Brenda Martinez who have dipped under two minutes.  Those who can run either the 800 or 1500 like Wallace are wise to choose the half-mile given it’s unpredictability this far in 2013.

Men’s 1500 meters

1. Matt Centrowitz
2. Andrew Wheating
3. Leo Manzano
4. Will Leer
5. Garrett Heath
Darkhorse: Andy Bayer
Others: Dave Torrence, Russell Brown, Jordan McNamara
Notes: I have a hard time seeing anyone but the top three, who also happen to be the same trio from last year’s Olympic squad, making the team for Moscow. Centro, Wheating and Manzano are the three who’ve proven time after time that they step up in the big races. Leer has shown some good performances in 2013 but he’s also never put it together to finish top three at an Olympic or World qualifying meet.

Women’s 1500 meters

1. Jenny Simpson
2. Brenda Martinez
3. Mary Cain
4. Katie Mackey
5. Gabe Anderson
Darkhorse: Shannon Rowbury
Others: Treniere Moser, Sarah Brown, Kate Grace
Notes: It seems that everything has been said about Mary Cain, so I’ll provide some thoughts on Simpson. After her 2:00 800 meter win at Oxy, Simpson is not only back to her old self, she looks to be in better 1500 shape than she’s ever been in. She’ll get to test herself against a top caliber 1500 meter field in Rome on June 6. Simpson is a definite medal contender for Moscow, even if three women ran sub-3:58 in Doha. Remember that Aregawi and Genzebe Dibaba both ran fast early last year but didn’t have any juice left by the Olympic Games. Until they prove they can periodize their training correctly, I’ll give the “big meet racers” like Simpson the benefit of the doubt.

Men’s 3000 meter steeplechase

1. Evan Jager
2. Dan Huling
3. Donn Cabral
4. Cory Leslie
5. Billy Nelson
Darkhorse: DeSean Turner
Others: Donnie Cowart, David Adams, Travis Mahoney
Notes: Leslie had a huge breakthrough, running 8:20 at the Tokyo World Challenge; Jager and Huling both open up in the steeple at Pre Classic; Cabral didn’t look so great finishing seventh at Oxy in 8:34.

Women’s 3000 meter steeplechase

1. Emma Coburn
2. Bridget Franek
3. Jamie Cheever
4. Ashley Higginson
5. Shalaya Kipp
Darkhorse: Nicole Bush
Other: Stephanie Garcia, Amber Henry, Alexi Pappas
Notes: There were no ‘A’ standards in this event from Oxy, but Nicole Bush did continue her rise from the ashes running the ‘A’ standard at the Ponce Grand Prix in Puerto Rico; took for some fast times to come out of the New York Diamond League race with Franek, Garcia, Higginson and Sara Hall entered.

Men’s 5000 meters

1. Bernard Lagat
2. Galen Rupp
3. Lopez Lomong
4. Ben True
5. Chris Derrick
Darkhorse: Eric Jenkins
Others: Andrew Bumbalough, Chris Solinsky, Hassan Mead
Notes: Not much movement here as no one got the ‘A’ standard at Oxy. I did find it odd that the Salazar crew didn’t go after the ‘A’ mark of 13:15 more aggressively until you think a little more about it. Mo Farah and Dathan Ritzenhein, the only two Oregon Project athletes in contention for the ‘A’ standard, both didn’t really need a fast time as Farah has a bye to Worlds as the defending champion and Ritz won’t be running the 5k at nationals anyways. Could letting the pace go slowly been a ploy to prevent other Americans like Solinsky or Aaron Braun from getting the standard? We know Salazar leaves no stone unturned, so it’s certainly a possibility.

Women’s 5000 meters

1. Molly Huddle
2. Kim Conley
3. Abbey D’Agostino
4. Julia Lucas
5. Treniere Moser
Darkhorse: Brie Felnagle
Others: Amy Hastings, Alisha Williams, Chelsea Reilly, Julie Culley, Emily Infeld
Notes: This should be one of the more intriguing races come the U.S. championships. Huddle looked awesome at Oxy and has to be considered the favorite. After that, it’s wide open. Weather will be a huge factor at USA’s with the race being contested at 3pm on what’s sure to be a hot and humid summer day in Des Moines. Conley, who she doesn’t yet have the ‘A’ standard, trains in Davis, Calif. where summer weather conditions are very similar. Others like Lucas, Moser and Felnagle who spend their time in the cool temperatures of the Pacific Northwest might find the balmy weather difficult to deal with.

Men’s 10,000 meters

1. Galen Rupp
2. Dathan Ritzenhein
3. Chris Derrick
4. Ben True
5. Matt Tegenkamp
Darkhorse: Sean Quigley
Others: Aaron Braun, Ryan Vail, Bobby Curtis, Luke Puskedra
Notes: Rupp is a lock in the #1 spot, but the battle for the next two spots will come down to True, Derrick and Ritzenhein. We’ll almost certainly see Rupp and Ritz utilize some sort of team tactics to help each other out.

Women’s 10,000 meters

1. Shalane Flanagan
2. Kara Goucher
3. Lisa Uhl
4. Amy Hastings
5. Neely Spence
Darkhorse: Jordan Hasay
Others: Alisha Williams, Tara Erdmann
Notes: No real changes here; Uhl and Spence are both in the Pre Classic 5k.

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Tags: Des Moines 2013 Power Rankings

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