The Non-Track Fan’s Guide to the Olympic Trials: Part 2

Yesterday, we covered the men’s events for the Non-Track Fan’s Guide to the Olympic Trials.  Today, we go through the women’s races and look at the names to know and story lines to follow.  We will also go into some things that you can say before, during and after the race to make yourself sound like a more informed track fan.  In reality as long as you don’t say any of the following during your viewing, you should probably be in the clear:

-How many laps is this one?

-When is the relay?

-Why aren’t they drinking any water? 

-Has Bolt raced yet?

100Saturday June 23, 5:52 p.m. NBC

Names to know: Carmelita Jeter, Allyson Felix, Tianna Bartoletta (formerly Madison), English Gardner,

Why you should watch: Jeter won the gold in this event last year at the world championship, but she has been beaten this season a couple times.  Felix is now confirmed in this race as part of a 100/200 double, but making the team is far from a sure thing.  Gardner will throw a local story in the mix and has a legitimate chance of qualifying.

Some smart things to say:

Before:  “Yeah, you’re seeing that right, a sprinter…….from Oregon.”

During:  “Look at Jeter’s drive phase! Look at Jeter’s drive phase!”

After:  “Was the wind legal?” (This is good time to explain to your fellow viewers that any tailwind above 2.0 meters per second nullifies a performance for record keeping purposes).

200Saturday, June 30th, 6:50 p.m. NBC

Names to know: Allyson Felix, Sanya Richards-Ross, Carmelita Jeter, Kimberlyn Duncan

Why you should watch:  If all goes as planned, the three favorites in this race will be trying to cap off sprint doubles.  Felix should prevail and she may even wear a bodysuit.

Some smart things to say:

Before:  “Duncan is solid, but I don’t know, she has had a long season college season.”

During: “Wow, (person in first) flew off that curve!”

After: “Fast time, but with a pretty strong tailwind and you know what they say about this Hayward Field track.”

400Sunday June 24, 4:35 p.m. NBC

Names to know: Sanya Richards-Ross,Francena McCorory, Diamond Dixon, Natasha Hastings

Why you should watch:  With the absence of Felix, Richards-Ross will get almost all of the attention.  And for good reason.  She has four of the five best America times ever run and is married to NFL football player Aaron Ross.

Some smart things to say:

Before: “Name me a more athletic husband and wife combination than Sanya and Aaron.  Come on, try.”

During: “Wait for it (when they are on the backstretch)… wait for it (when they are on the last curve)…… here she goes!! (last 75 or so meters).”

After:  “You would be that out of breath too if you just ran a 50 second quarter.” (calling the 400 the “quarter” is imperative to show credibility).

800Monday June 25, 6:50 p.m. NBCSN

Names to know: Alysia Montano, Maggie Vessey, Erica Moore, Alice Schmidt, Molly Beckwith

Why you should watch:  On paper, Montano is a big favorite and may blow away the field like she did at the Prefontaine Classic a few weeks ago.  She also runs with a flower in her hair.  Behind her however, is a logjam of at least 6 women who can claim a legitimate shot at a top three placing.

Some smart things to say:

Before:  “Montano will take this out hard, but will anyone go with her?”

During:  “They let her gap them by too much, that’s all she wrote.”

After:  “Good first 3 for the Americans, but I’m not sure we have enough to contend with the Kenyans and Ethiopians this year.”

1500Sunday July 1, 4:23 p.m. NBC

Names to know: Morgan Uceny, Jenny Simpson, Shannon Rowbury, Anna Pierce

Why you should watch:  Simpson was a surprise world champion last year in a race that easily could have gone to Uceny if she did not fall with just over a lap left.  Their medal hopes don’t look as bright this year, but the 1500 is always wild.     At least as wild as track can be.

Some smart things to say:

Before:  “17-18 seconds.  Yeah, that is how much you add to make it a mile.”

During:  “(name of a runner that is running in lane 2 or 3) is spending an awful lot of energy running wide.”

After:  “I don’t have any idea what that is around Uceny’s neck either.”

5,000Thursday June 28, 7:15 p.m. NBCSN

Names to know: Molly Huddle, Jackie Areson, Lisa Uhl, Julia Lucas, Lauren Fleshman

Why you should watch:  This race could be heavily influenced by the outcome of the 10,000 with many women scrambling to find a spot on the team.  Huddle is the American record holder and darkhorse Lauren Fleshman has only been able to train 10 miles a week and makes her own energy bars.

Some smart things to say:

Before:  “Nope, they don’t get water in this one.”

During:  More than likely there will be another field event cut-in during this race.  For the triple jump if you can work in a “really solid in all three phases” or a “oh, way too vertical on the step” you will be money.

After:  “Call me crazy but I hardly think Vivian Cheruiyot and Tirunesh Dibaba are worried.”

10,000Friday June 22, 7:20 p.m. NBCSN

Names to know: Shalane Flanagan, Amy Hastings, Janet Cherobon-Bawcom, Lisa Uhl.

Why you should watch:  Olympic Marathon Trials champion Flanagan will make an appearance and probably win.  However, she will focus on the marathon in London and thus forego her spot.  She is running primarily as a training run and to help out her teammate, Uhl.  Or, she is doing it to confuse the fans.  Hastings finished in the unenviable fourth position at Olympic Trials marathon.

Some smart things to say:

Before:  “Just so you guys know, Shalane Flanagan will not be racing in this event in the Olympics, so really, 4th place is as good as 3rd.”

During: “Keep your eye on 4th.”

After:  “Tonight, redemption is spelled A-M-Y.”

110 High HurdlesSaturday June 23, 5:45 p.m. NBC

Names to know: Dawn Harper, Kellie Wells, Danielle Carruthers, Kristi Castlin, Lolo Jones

Why you should watch: Due to the Lolo effect, this may be the most watched race of the entire meet.  She probably has less than a 50/50 shot of making it, but if she can make the final, stranger things have happened.  Harper won gold in Beijing and Carruthers has a silver medal from Daegu, but did you hear about Lolo and Tebow?

Some smart things to say:

Before:  Lolo is pretty mainstream at this point so there will be much talk amongst those you are watching with. When you hear someone say how horrible it was when she fell on the last hurdle in Beijing immediately jump in with, “actually, it was hurdle number 9.”

During:  “She’s clean through 6 hurdles!” (could be made in reference to anyone in the race).

After:  “Lolo, what a story!” (if she makes it). “Lolo, another heartbreak” (if she doesn’t make it).

400 HurdlesSunday July 1, 4:02 p.m. NBC

Names to know: Lashinda Demus, T’erea Brown, Queen Harrison, Georganne Moline

Why you should watch: Demus holds all the cards in this race.  She should win easily, but after that it will be hotly contested.  Moline is a collegiate who had a bad finish to her season and Brown appears to be peaking at the right time.

Some smart things to say:

Before:  “World championships, American record, the only thing left for Demus is Olympic gold.”

During:  “______________ is switching her lead leg ef-fort-less-ly.”

After:  “If (fourth place) didn’t break her stride off that last hurdle, she would be on he way to London.

3,000 SteeplechaseFriday June 29, 4:45 p.m. NBCSN

Names to know: Emma Coburn, Bridget Franek, Shalaya Kipp, Sara Hall, Delilah DiCrescenzo

Why you should watch:  DiCrescenzo of “Hey There Delilah” fame is in this race, which will give you a reason to remember that it has been five years since that song was a hit.  Coburn and Kipp are college teammates at the steeplechase factory known as Colorado.

Some smart things to say:

Before: “The shoes they wear can help drain the water, but their feet still get wet.”

During:  “The good ones look beyond the water barrier. ”

After:  “More like, ‘Hey There, Milcah,’ am I right?”  (a reference to Kenyan steeplechase star Milcah Chemos)

That’s it you are now ready for the Olympic Trials.  Of course, I also recommend listening to our upcoming podcasts where we further preview the meet.  Enjoy the Trials!

One response to “The Non-Track Fan’s Guide to the Olympic Trials: Part 2

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