Jun 25, 2012; Eugene, OR, USA; Nick Symmonds defeats Khadevis Robinson (left) and Duane Solomon to win the 800m in 1:43.92 in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials at Hayward Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Des Moines 2013 Power Rankings #4: Time To Rock & Roll

June 22, 2012; Eugene, OR, USA; Amy Hastings wins the women

All the training has been completed. All the races have been run. All the excitement has built up to this. It’s time to rock and roll.

Here we go with the rankings:

Men’s 800 meters

1. Nick Symmonds
2. Duane Solomon
3. Erik Sowinski
4. Tyler Mulder
5. Elijah Greer
Darkhorse: Brandon Johnson
Others: Charles Jock, Ryan Martin, Cas Loxsom, Mark Wieczorek, Mike Rutt
Notes: Symmonds looked solid finishing third at Prefontaine and looks ready to go for a sixth consecutive outdoor national title. Solomon faded badly over the last straightaway in Rome but bounced back with a strong 1:44.91 effort in Rabat. Outside of the top two, things are wide open. Sowinski is my pick due to his ability to close with the best. Mulder has looked good as well, breaking 1:45 for the second time in his career, but doing so much earlier than before.

Women’s 800 meters

1. Brenda Martinez
2. Alysia Montano
3. Phoebe Wright
4. Ajee Wilson
5. Geena Gall
Darkhorse: Maggie Vessey
Others: Laura Roesler, Lea Wallace, Chanelle Price, Kate Grace, Latavia Thomas
Notes: Martinez surprised many (or maybe just myself) when she opted for the 800 instead of 1500 at nationals. Running the 800 at nationals may present an easier path to Moscow, but she just isn’t ready to medal in that event on the international level. Women like Francine Niyonsaba and Mariya Savinova are simply faster than Martinez in an event that rarely goes tactical in championship races. The 1500 meters, on the other hand, has favorites who have not proven themselves at major competitions and is much more likely to be tactical as we’ve seen in previous years.

Men’s 1500 meters

1. Matt Centrowitz
2. Andrew Wheating
3. Leo Manzano
4. Will Leer
5. Garrett Heath
Darkhorse: Mac Fleet
Others: Dave Torrence, Russell Brown, Jordan McNamara, Andy Bayer, Jack Bolas
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. Despite their ups and downs this season, 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. Unfortunately for the mustached Leer, I don’t see that trend changing.

Women’s 1500 meters

1. Treniere Moser
2. Mary Cain
3. Shannon Rowbury
4. Gabe Anderson
5. Katie Mackey
Darkhorse: Morgan Uceny
Others:Sarah Brown
Notes: With Simpson opting to race the 5000 meters with her bye to Worlds, this race is wide open. If things go slow as often does at championship meets, I like Cain for the win.

Men’s 3000 meter steeplechase

1. Evan Jager
2. Dan Huling
3. Cory Leslie
4. Billy Nelson
5. DeSean Turner
Darkhorse: Donn Cabral
Others: Donnie Cowart, Travis Mahoney, Matt Cleaver
Notes: Jager looked awesome at Prefontaine, finishing just two seconds off his American record time in his steeple season debut. Cabral has gone through self-admitted struggles in his first pro season but will look to rebound in time to make a bid for Moscow.

Women’s 3000 meter steeplechase

1. Bridget Franek
2. Jamie Cheever
3. Ashley Higginson
4. Nicole Bush
5. Colleen Quigley
Darkhorse: Sara Vaughn
Other: Stephanie Garcia, Amber Henry
Notes: Two-time defending U.S. champion Emma Coburn withdrawing due to injury really opens the field up. Franek has played second fiddle to Coburn in recent years and looks ready to claim her first national steeple title. The rest of the field looks to be pretty wide open. Cheever had a huge run back at Payton Jordan but hasn’t done anything spectacular since. Quigley had a huge breakthrough running the ‘A’ standard at NCAA’s and might be the most race-sharp athlete out there.

Men’s 5000 meters

1. Bernard Lagat
2. Galen Rupp
3. Lopez Lomong
4. Ben True
5. Chris Derrick
Darkhorse: Chris Solinsky
Others: Andrew Bumbalough, Hassan Mead, Eric Jenkins
Notes: No matter how the race plays out, there is nearly no scenario I can foresee in which the top three of Lagat, Rupp and Lomong don’t qualify for Worlds. They are not only head and shoulders above the competition domestically but are contenders in any international field they race against.

Women’s 5000 meters

1. Molly Huddle
2. Kim Conley
3. Abbey D’Agostino
4. Julia Lucas
5. Brie Felnagle
Darkhorse: Amy Hastings
Others: Chelsea Reilly, Julie Culley
Notes: This should be a fun one. So fun that I have a column coming in the next few days just to preview it. In the meantime, Huddle, Conley and D’Agostino look to be the top three but when a race is run at 3:22 on a hot and humid Des Moines afternoon, anything can happen.

Men’s 10,000 meters

1. Galen Rupp
2. Dathan Ritzenhein
3. Chris Derrick
4. Ben True
5. Aaron Braun
Darkhorse: Sean Quigley
Others: Ryan Vail, Bobby Curtis
Notes: If all pans out according to plan, this race should be between three men (Ritz, Derrick and True) contending for two spots as Rupp is the overwhelming favorite. Ritzenhein has the weakest kick of the three and would benefit most from a fast pace. I give Derrick the nod over True for being the more aerobically strong athlete in a contest that is sure to be a grind-it-out style race. The weather could play a factor for someone like Ritzenhein, who nearly didn’t qualify for the 2007 World team racing USA’s in the heat of Indianapolis.

Women’s 10,000 meters

1. Shalane Flanagan
2. Amy Hastings
3. Kara Goucher
4. Lisa Uhl
5. Jordan Hasay
Darkhorse: Tara Erdmann
Notes: Probably the scarcest event out there; Flanagan is pretty much as lock, as is Hastings after her recent 15:09 5k PR; the race for third will likely come down to Goucher, the marathoner coming off Boston, and Uhl, the trackster who has struggled much of this spring.

Tags: Abbey D'agostino Alysia Montano Amy Hastings Andrew Wheating Ben True Bernard Lagat Brenda Martinez Chris Derrick Colleen Quigley Dathan Ritzenhein Des Moines 2013 Des Moines 2013 Power Rankings Duane Solomon Emma Coburn Evan Jager Galen Rupp Jordan Hasay Kara Goucher Kim Conley Leo Manzano Lopez Lomong Maggie Vessey Mary Cain Matt Centrowitz Molly Huddle Moscow 2013 Nick Symmonds Shalane Flanagan Shannon Rowbury Usa Outdoors 2013 Usa Track & Field

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