Monday Olympic Trials Recap

Holy cow! What a night!

I tuned in around the 2nd lap of the 2nd heat of the men’s steeplechase and heard pretty quickly that Sean McGorty (a favorite from heat 1) didn’t get an automatic qualifier and would have to wait to see if he got one of the 4 time qualifiers. This was an unexpected shot of stress/adrenaline to my watching experience that got me even more amped up before the finals started! And McGorty got the final time qualifier to make the final, too.

Women’s 1500

My prediction:

  1. Elle Purrier St. Pierre
  2. Jenny Simpson
  3. Nikki Hiltz
  4. Cory McGee
  5. Shannon Osika

Sub-4 to win and sub-4:03 to make the team.

Results:

  1. Elle Purrier St. Pierre (3:58.03)
  2. Cory McGee (4:00.67)
  3. Heather MacLean (4:02.09)
  4. Shannon Osika (4:02.18)
  5. Helen Schlachtenhaufen (4:04.41)

What a race! The start was extremely aggressive, and Purrier St. Pierre even got knocked off the inside rail for a couple of steps before recovering. Then she took the lead and never looked back.

Cory McGee stayed near the front for the whole race, running off Purrier St. Pierre’s shoulder, and the biggest surprise of the night was Purrier St. Pierre’s training partner Heather MacLean (who had to protest to get into the final) winning the final spot on the team with a third place finish. Shannon Osika put in a valiant effort to catch MacLean but didn’t quite get there.

If you want to learn more about Elle Purrier St. Pierre, I recommend this article.

If you want to learn more about Heather MacLean, I recommend this podcast.

Men’s 800

My prediction:

  1. Donovan Brazier
  2. Clayton Murphy
  3. Bryce Hoppel

Results:

  1. Clayton Murphy (1:43.17)
  2. Isaiah Jewett (1:43.85)
  3. Bryce Hoppel (1:44.14)

I had to pick my jaw up off the floor after this final. Donovan Brazier got…last. No one was expecting that!

Isaiah Jewett took the race out hard and then instead of slowing down at the bell lap ran a 25-second 200 for the 400 to 600. Then Clayton Murphy closed HARD (without his arm sleeve!) to negative split the race and take the win. He was quite sassy to those who counted him out on Twitter afterwards as well.

I highly recommend watching the post-race interview clips from Isaiah Jewett here and here.

I feel bad for Donovan Brazier, but he’ll be back.

Women’s 5000

My predictions:

  1. Karissa Schweizer
  2. Josette Norris
  3. Rachel Schneider
  4. Allie Buchalski
  5. Elise Cranny
  6. Abbey Cooper

Not a fast race, and the pace starts picking up 4 laps out.

Results:

  1. Elise Cranny (15:27.81)
  2. Karissa Schweizer (15:28.11)
  3. Rachel Schneider (15:29.56)
  4. Abbey Cooper (15:31.05)
  5. Allie Buchalski (15:47.52
  6. Elly Henes (15:47.73)

This race was the closest to my expectations. They had a big group go through the first mile in about 5 minutes, and then the pace really slowed down. They got super bunched up during the second mile, running about 5:20 pace.

Then with 4 laps to go, Karissa dropped the pace from 79 to 71, and the pack started to string out a bit. The Bowerman teammates Karissa and Cranny traded laps as the pace dropped further, and Rachel Schneider had a bit of a gap on the rest of the chasers.

At the bell lap, Karissa took over again but was unable to hold off Cranny’s monster kick, and the teammates went 1-2, closing in 63-64.

Abbey Cooper who soloed a 15:07 to get the Olympic Standard in her prelim, will have to wait to see if any of the top three also make the 10,000 meter team to see if she’s going back to the Olympics or not.

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