The Morning Run- May 29th SPEED Rankings

With the Prefontaine Classic on the horizon, it is time to dust off the SPEED Rankings for the 2012 season.  As was the case last year, the rankings are unscientific and more than likely, inaccurate.

Men

100

1)   Usain Bolt

2)   Yohan Blake

3)   Walter Dix

4)   Justin Gatlin

5)   Asafa Powell

Don’t count me among those who believe Bolt’s “slow” 10.04 means the sky is falling.  He did get a horrible start, but he still won by a comfortable margin on a track that produced no fast times.  Unless he was concealing an injury, I am going to chalk it up to an off-race in slow conditions.  It was just a few weeks ago he ran the fastest time in the world (9.82) in Kingston.  Blake ran 9.84 in the Cayman Islands and Walter Dix posted a windy 9.85 at Mt. SAC.

200

1)   Usain Bolt

2)   Yohan Blake

3)   Wallace Spearmon

4)   Walter Dix

5)   Christophe Lemaitre

Bolt appears more unbeatable in this race than in the 100, but if Blake focuses more on the 200, he could provide a push.  Dix withdrew from Ostrava and in the process, missed a head-to-head match-up with Wallace Spearmon.

400

1)   Lashawn Merritt

2)   Kirani James

3)   Luguelin Santos

4)   Mike Berry

5)   Martyn Rooney

Merritt is off to a hot start in his first full season since 2009.  He ran a great anchor leg at the Penn Relays and won in Doha in 44.19.  James was beaten indoors, but looks to be back on track.  Santos has been the biggest revelation of the outdoor season.  He has broken 45 seconds twice and is only 18.  Remember when Kirani James used to be the young guy in the 400?  Mike Berry, running in an Oregon jersey, at Hayward Field in the Olympic Trials will be a must watch.

800

1)   David Rudisha

2)   Abubaker Kaki

3)   Adam Kszcot

4)   Mohammed Aman

5)   Leonard Kosencha

Rudisha pulled out of a scheduled race last week, but still holds the fastest time of the year.  Aman, who is even younger than Luguelin Santos, has won twice this season.  Kaki is racing at Prefontaine this weekend and Rudisha will run in New York the following weekend.

1500

1)   Silas Kiplagat

2)   Asbel Kiprop

3)   Nixon Chepseba

4)   Ayanleh Souleiman

5)   Abdalaati Iguider

The top three have all broken 3:30 and are the favorites to represent Kenya in the Olympics.  Iguider won gold indoors, and ran a 3:34 in Rabat on Sunday.

5000

1)   Mo Farah

2)   Bernard Lagat

3)   Augustine Choge

4)   Isiah Koech

5)   Vincent Chepkok

I probably should have held these rankings until after the Pre Classic because there will certainly be shake-ups in the 5,000.  Farah, Koech, Choge, along with Kenenisa Bekele, are all on the start list for Saturday.  Chepkok has the fastest time in the year thus far.

10000

1)   Mo Farah

2)   Kenenisa Bekele

3)   Tariku Bekele

4)   Lelisa Desisa

5)   Geoffrey Mutai

Ditto from above.  The Kenyan Olympic Trials race on Friday night at Hayward Field will give a glimpse as to who is in good form from Kenya.  Athletics Kenya will pick the top two from Friday’s race, and then choose a wild card to fill out the team.  I think that third selection could be Mutai, who drew the short stick in the marathon selection process and just won a 10k road race in Ottawa.  Then again, predicting what Athletics Kenya will do is a lot like looking into the mind of Metta World Peace.  Ethiopia had their “trials” last week and Tariku Bekele and Desisa finished 1-2.

110 Hurdles

1)   Liu Xiang

2)   Dayron Robles

3)   Jason Richardson

4)   Aries Merritt

5)   David Oliver

Xiang is the only one under 13 seconds this year and will face Robles, Richardson, Merritt and Oliver at Pre in what some (me) are calling…….The Olympics.

400 Hurdles

1)   Javier Culson

2)   Angelo Taylor

3)   Bershawn Jackson

4)   Dai Greene

5)   Jeshua Anderson

No clear favorite in this event yet.  Culson has the fastest time, Taylor has the Diamond League win and Jackson has been the most consistent.  I included Greene directly below Jackson just to stoke the flames.

 3000 Steeplechase

1)   Ezekiel Kemboi

2)   Paul Koech

3)   Richard Mateelong

4)   Roba Gari

5)   Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad

These rankings are premature, as the steeplechase season doesn’t begin until Kemboi dances.  Stay tuned.

Women

100

1)   Carmelita Jeter

2)   Veronica Campbell-Brown

3)   Kelly-Ann Baptiste

4)   Allyson Felix

5)   Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce

Felix’s 10.92 and defeat of Campbell-Brown provided a big surprise in Doha and complicated Felix’s racing plans.  Jeter ran 10.81 from Kingston, which is the fastest time in the world this year.

200

1)   Veronica Campbell-Brown

2)   Allyson Felix

3)   Carmelita Jeter

4)   Kimberlyn Duncan

5)   Bianca Knight

Duncan shot to the top of the world list with her 22.22 at the NCAA regional on Saturday.  Other than that, not much has happened in the 200 in 2012.

400

1)   Novelene Williams-Mills

2)   Amantle Montsho

3)   Allyson Felix

4)   Sanya Richards-Ross

5)   Russian to be named later

Williams-Mills is two-for-two with wins over Montsho and Richards-Ross.  Felix has not run an open 400 this season, but looked good on her relay leg at Penn.  We will find out the name of the Russian to be named later in July.

800

1)   Pamela Jelimo

2)   Janeth Jepkosgei

3)   Fantu Magiso

4)   Caster Semenya

5)   Yuneisy Santiusty

Jelimo is on fire, but the entire event has been pretty quick this year.  Jelimo ran 1:56 in Doha and then a 1:58 in Hengelo.  Semenya will hover between two and five for the duration of the SPEED Rankings.

1500

1)   Genzebe Dibaba

2)   Abeba Arigawa

3)   Btissam Lakhouad

4)   Morgan Uceny

5)   Hellen Obiri

As Jason and I mentioned on the podcast, Dibaba has “Rudisha” potential in this event.  Thus far she has made tactics wholly irrelevant and could make this entire event uninteresting in 2012.  Uceny is off to a modest start and Obiri won gold in the 3,000 indoors.

5000

1)   Vivian Cheruiyot

2)   Tirunesh Dibaba

3)   Meseret Defar

4)   Sally Kipyego

5)   Sylvia Kibet

Not many major 5,000s this year, but Cheruiyot won the 3,000 in Doha and appears to not have missed a beat.  Kipyego has been crushing the competition in America for the past couple months.

10000

1)   Vivian Cheruiyot

2)   Tirunesh Dibaba

3)   Meseret Defar

4)   Sally Kipyego

5)   Linet Masai

Even fewer results for this event.  Dibaba, and many other Ethiopians, will race on Friday at the Prefontaine Classic.

100 Hurdles

1)   Sally Pearson

2)   Brigitte Foster-Hylton

3)   Kellie Wells

4)   Tiffany Porter

5)   Dawn Harper

I was tempted to list 2-5 as “everybody else” because Pearson has been dominating this event for the past two years.  Foster-Hylton has two wins and Wells will be race ready for the U.S. Olympic Trials.

 400 Hurdles

1)   Melaine Walker

2)   Vania Stambolova

3)   Kaliese Spencer

4)   Muizat Odumosu

5)   Lashinda Demus

The only major surprise thus far was Demus’s sixth place finish in Ostrava, but it is far too early to read anything into her opener.  Don’t worry, I don’t know who Muizat Odumosu is either.

 3000 Steeplechase

1)   Milcah Chemos

2)   Yuliya Zaripova

3)   Habiba Ghribi

4)   Hiwot Ayalew

5)   Sofia Assefa

Chemos won in Shanghai ahead of Assefa.  Zaripova was under the radar last year until she won gold in Daegu.

-Kevin

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