The Morning Run is a daily compilation of links, news and commentary.
After a brief hiatus, the Morning Run is back! In my time away, it appears Lolo Jones took over television and the entire internet. The latest today involves another write up and an article in the new edition of Rolling Stone. Clearly, she, and her marketing team, deserves enormous amounts of credit for being open, personable and remaining relevant in a sport that has a large amount of turnover, especially within four-year Olympic cycles. She is the perfect mix of inspiration, glamour with a twist of polarization that plays perfectly in the current sports media landscape.
The only problem is she is far from a lock to make the team. The story of “Will Lolo Win Gold,” really should be amended to, “Can Lolo Make the Team?” This is no slight to her as the US women’s 100 meter hurdle team is at the top of the list of most difficult teams to make in the world (If you’re looking at past performances, you could put it ahead of the Kenyan men’s marathon squad).
Nonetheless, Lolo represents an incongruity that track faces between who is the best and who is marketed to be the best. Dwain Chambers, who is currently not on anyone’s list of the top ten sprinters in the world, frequently gets put in the same conversation as Usain Bolt. Granted, this occurs in other sports but in track there exist very objective measures for determining performance that are far easier to blur in other sports. Even the American selection process for the Olympics itself, first three across the line, leaves little to be debated.
If Jones succeeds, the transition from Olympic hopeful to Olympian will be seamless and the general public will have a track star other than Bolt that they are familiar with in London. And if she doesn’t finish in the top three in Eugene? Track will still have benefited from having one of their own on ESPN and HBO, but some confusion will exist over why the woman they were told was an Olympian in May, isn’t on the team come August. The chances of grabbing new fans comes few and far between for track and field, and the sport is now in a position to bet heavy Lolo.
The rest of the Morning Run:
Joe Battaglia previews Friday’s meet in Ostrava, featuring none other than Lolo herself.
An update on the racing plans of prep sprint star Marvin Bracy.
The NCAA Championships sort of kick off today with regional meets in Austin, Texas and Jacksonville, Florida. Here are the entries, in bracket format.
Usain Bolt makes a bunch of money.
Ngoni Makusha, last season’s NCAA champion in the long jump and 100, is hurt and will not represent Zimbabwe in the Olympics.
Tom Jordan, meet director of the Prefontaine Classic, is running out of adjectives to describe his meet.
Ken Goe’s Thursday links.