Friday, August 13, 2010

2012 US Olympic Trials Marathon Predictions

I was thinking about the Olympics the other day and realized that we are almost exactly two years away from London 2012! The Olympic Trials Marathon is always months in advance so that the athletes that qualify can adequatly recover and prepare for the Olympics. The US Men's and Women's Olympic Trials Marathon is in Houston on January 14, 2012! That is nearly a year away! So then I started thinking about who will make the team. Here are my predictions (in finishing order):

Men's Team:
1. Dathan Ritzenhein (Nike)
2. Ryan Hall (Asics)
3. Brett Gotcher (Adidas)

Women's Team
1. Kara Goucher (Nike)
2. Shalane Flanagan (Nike)
3. Desiree Davilla (Brooks)

The men's team has one open spot since Brian Sell will most likely not be competing. As long as Dathan and Ryan stay healthy they are a lock. Brett is my pick to fill the last spot after running 2:10:36 at his debut in Houston last year. Here is a comparison of their PRs.

Ritz 5k 12:56, 10k 27:22, Half 60:00, Marathon 2:10:00
Hall 5k 13:16, 10K 28:07, Half 59:43, Marathon 2:06:17
Gotcher 5k 13:56?, 10k 28:09, Half 62:09, Marathon 2:10:36

Yes, that's right Meb and Abdi are both off my lists. The US men's field is young and competitive and I don't think they will be there in another year. And yes, I picked Dathan over Ryan due to recent 5k and half marathon PRs!

There are many other guys on the bubble. There are 5 other guys that ran 2:13 or better in the last year. There were also two races recently that added more possible names. The Houston Half Marathon in January had 6 US men under 63 minutes. Then there was Peyton Jordan Invite 10k at Stanford, where 37 guys over two heats were under 29 minutes (mostly American)! At least 4 athletes were in both races.

The 3 women that went to Beijing were at least 32 years old. In 2012 Deena will be nearly 39, Magdalena will be 38 and Blake Russell will be 36. Magdalena has the best shot at squeeking in with a recent PR of 2:26:22 in the Marathon. I am predicting a completely new team for London.

Here is the PR comparison for my predictions.

Kara 5k 14:55, 10k 30:55, Half 1:08:05, Marathon 2:25:53
Shalane 5k 14:44, 10k 30:22, Half 1:09:39, no marathon yet!
Desiree 5k 16:02?, 10k 32:25, Half 1:12:10, Marathon 2:27:53

There is not nearly as much competition for the women. I don't think anyone else has run under 2:30 recently besides Deena, Magdalena, Kara, and Desiree. I predicted Kara over Shalane because of previous marathon experience, even though Kara will be coming off a pregnancy.

There are some key races coming up for these men and women.
Chicago, New York (US Women's Championships), and Twin Cities (US Men's Championships)this fall. USA Half Marathon Championships in Houston next January, which I believe is on the Olympic Trials course. Then Boston and London next April. US and World track and field championships next summer for anyone intersted in dropping down to the 5k or 10k again. Then the Olympic Trials on January 14th, 2012!

We'll see how close my predictions are in 17 months.

Write in your predictions in the comments!


Daniel said...

I like Meb. He has a pretty big win under his belt from this past year, which shows he can really bring it on a national/world level. I don't know who he would replace from your three, but Meb has the big win that Ryan doesn't have at the marathon level.

Chuck said...

Enjoyed the post! My men's picks are (1) Ryan Hall (2) Dathan Ritzenhein (3) Jason Lehmkuhle.

I picked Ryan over Dathan because he has more marathon experience and he should be confident on the course (his 59:43 was in Houston in 2007). I picked Jason Lehmkuhle based on his 5th place finish at the trials in 2007 and his 2:12:24 in this years Boston Marathon. Knowing that this will most likely be his last shot at making the Olympic team (he will be 34 years old at the trials) and training with Team USA Minnesota should keep him very motivated. I am really looking forward to this years important fall marathons.

My women's picks are (1) Kara Goucher (2) Shalane Flanagan (3) Desiree Davilla. I hated to make the same picks as you but the women's field looks weak! I agree with you. I am not sure that Magdalena can beat out a much younger Desiree. I am looking forward to watching Shalane's debut at this fall's New York City Marathon.

I am interested in seeing some of your other readers picks.

Karl Stutelberg said...

Dan, Meb will be 36 at the Trials, if he is healthy he will certainly be a force. He also has a great training partner!

Chuck, I like Jason too. He is one of those 5 I talked about that ran 2:13 or better in the past year. Don't forget Dathan will have run NY and probably a spring marathon for more experience before the trials.

Chuck said...

Dan, there is no American male with a bigger win then Meb. His NYC victory was huge! He beat some of the worlds best (Ryan included) on the biggest stage. After Sergio Reyes, Meb is my sentimental favorite. I would love to see him in the Olympics again. Hopefully he does well at Falmouth tomorrow.

Karl, the thing that concerns me the most about Dathan is his body holding up under the stress of marathon training.

Karl Stutelberg said...

Chuck, I think NY will be the test. If he does well there and is injury free then he will keep going with the marathon. If it doesn't go well, then he could decide to drop down to the 5k or 10k. He could go under 27 min with Solinsky, he is that versatile.