U.S. track and field Olympic trials day by day
The U.S. track and field trials begin today. USA Network and NBC share the television coverage this year, beginning Saturday. But don’t look for it Tuesday and Wednesday, because that’s when the trials take a break. Here are the key events, and athletes to watch.
Women’s 100-meter qualifying and quarterfinals: A remarkably deep field led by Allyson Felix, Marshevet Hooker, Torri Edwards, Carmelita Jeter and Muna Lee.
Women’s 10,000-meter finals: Shalane Flanagan last month set an American record of 30 minutes 34.49 seconds, the fastest time in the world in 2008. Kara Goucher (31:26.48 qualifying time) might challenge her.
Men’s 100-meter qualifying and quarterfinals: Athens gold medalist Justin Gatlin, serving a drug ban, had been trying every legal avenue to be allowed to run but was thwarted. Could have turned into a circus.
Women’s 100 meters semifinals and final: Should be some fast times. Athens silver medalist Lauryn Williams looks to move up a step on the medal stand in Beijing.
Women’s heptathlon final events: Little hope of an Olympic medalist emerging here.
Men’s shotput final: Adam Nelson, Christian Cantwell and Reese Hoffa are 1-2-3 in the world this year. One or more could get medal in Beijing.
Men’s and women’s 400-meter hurdles finals: Kerron Clement (47.79) and Bershawn Jackson (48.15) have recorded the four fastest times in the world this year. Lashinda Demus has a world-leading 53.99.
Men’s 100-meter final: Who’s the fastest American -- and can he beat Jamaican Usain Bolt’s world-record 9.72?
Men’s pole vault final: Brad Walker set an American record of 19 feet 9 3/4 inches at Hayward Field on June 8. He might have home-pole advantage.
Men’s and women’s 800-meter finals: Khadevis Robinson of Santa Monica (1:44.27 qualifying mark) is the one to watch among the men. Hazel Clark (1:59.82) is the only U.S. woman to run under two minutes this year.
Men’s 5,000 final: Bernard Lagat and Matt Tegenkamp were ranked in the world’s top 10 for 2007 by Track & Field News, rare for two U.S. men.
Men’s decathlon final events: Bryan Clay of Glendora was the Athens silver medalist.
Men’s and women’s 400 meter finals: Athens champ Jeremy Wariner and LaShawn Merritt have six of the world’s top seven times this year. They were 1-2 at the 2007 World Championships. For the women, Sanya Richards (49.27 qualifying time) is favored.
Women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase finals: Prelude to this event’s Olympic debut in Beijing. Lisa Galaviz’s top qualifying mark, 9:28.75, is 17 seconds off the world-leading time this year.
Friday, July 4
Men’s and women’s 200 qualifying: Men’s field is superb with Gay, Walter Dix, Shawn Crawford and Wallace Spearmon. Women should be great too. World leader Porscha Lucas (22.29) is only 20. Bianca Knight, 19, has run 22.43 this season.
Women’s 5,000 final: Jennifer Rhines’ 14:54.29, tops in the U.S. this year, ranks 13th in the world.
Men’s 10,000 final: Athens marathon silver medalist Meb Keflezighi of San Diego didn’t make the marathon team this time around. This is Plan B.
Saturday, July 5
Women’s 100-meter hurdles qualifying and quarterfinals: Like a UCLA-USC dual meet, with Bruins alumnae Michelle Perry, Athens champ Joanna Hayes and Dawn Harper facing Trojans alumnae Ginnie Powell (winner of the last two U.S. outdoor titles) and Candice Davis.
Men’s 110-meter hurdles qualifying and finals: David Oliver has the world’s second-, third-, and fourth-fastest times this season.
Men’s and women’s 200 quarterfinals and semifinals: Some world-class sprinters will be eliminated here.
Sunday, July 6
Women’s pole vault final: There’s Jenn Stuczynski and there’s everyone else. Stuczynski this year became the first American woman to clear 16 feet. The world record is next.
Men’s and women’s 200 finals: Tyson Gay goes for the 100-200 sweep. Felix should do better in the 200 than the 100.
Men’s 110 hurdles final, women’s 100 hurdles final: Two-time hurdles silver medalist Terrence Trammell, 29, could still be a factor in this event. On the women’s side, Damu Cherry, who served a two-year drug ban from 2003 to ’05, has the world’s best time this year, 12.47.
Men’s 1,500 final: Bernard Lagat, twice a 1,500-meter medalist for Kenya, has a chance to medal for the U.S. now.