Friday, June 22, 2012

Olympic Trials - 10,000m preview

Just a quick follow up to yesterday’s post regarding the 800m.  There will be 4 heats and the top-3 in each heat will advance to the semi-finals, along with the next 4 fastest times.  The women will run first, starting at 7:00 PM Central Daylight Time (5:00 PM Pacific).  Heather Kampf will be in heat 3 and Laura Januszewski will be in heat 4.  The men are scheduled to run at 7:20 PM CDT with David Pachuta in heat 1 and Harun Abda in heat 4.  To learn more about the favorites, you can read letsrun.coms preview of the men and women.
Unlike the 800m, which has three rounds, the 10,000m is “one and done”.  The men’s finals will be run tonight at 8:45 PM CDT, followed by the women’s finals at 9:20 PM CDT.  Golden Gopher Hassan Mead qualified with the 17th fastest time (28:12.74).  In addition to finishing in the top-3, he’ll need to run better than 27:45 to achieve the Olympic Games A-standard, if he hopes to make the team.  Down the Backstretch recently posted this article on Mead. Team USA Minnesota’s Jon Grey qualified for the meet provisionally, however, his 28:26.44 missed making the finals by just over 6 seconds.’s preview can be found HERE.
Looking at the women’s 10,000m, I figured that everyone must know Katie McGregor's story.  But her Olympic Trials story spans more than 8 years, so it’s possible that people aren’t aware of her two previous attempts.  In both 2004 and 2008, McGregor placed 4th at the Trials, thus narrowly missing trips to Athens and Beijing.  In 2008 she was one of three runners with the A-standard for the Games.  Assuming no one else achieved the A-standard during the race, McGregor would make the team.  However, on a hot, humid night in Eugene, Amy Yoder-Begley used a vicious kick, running the last 400m in 67.6 seconds to get under the A-standard by just 1.4 seconds.
Flash forward four years and McGregor finds herself in Yoder-Begley’s shoes.  Only three runners in the field have the A-standard (Amy Hastings, Janet Cherobon-Bawcom and Lisa Uhl).  Technically, four runners have the A-standard if you include Shalane Flanagan, but she's already stated that she’s running the 10,000m as part of her training for the marathon in London.  Therefore, she’ll give up her spot if she makes the team.  That means the McGregor (or anyone else in the field) must be in the top-3 and break 31:45 tonight.  She ran 32:37.83 for the 16th fastest qualifying time, so she has her work cut out for her.
Like Grey, mentioned above, three women with Minnesota ties (Meghan Peyton, Dani Stack, and Anne Bersagel) qualified provisionally for the meet, but did not meet the cutoff needed for the finals.
McGregor recently had articles written about her on and  And you can find’s preview HERE as well.

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