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Olympic Trials Day 6 Preview

Olympic Trials Day 6 Preview

Day 6 of competition (Day 8 in Eugene) at the Olympic Trials has just two finals, the women's shot put and steeplechase.

For more on the Olympic Trials and track and field, be sure to visit my website at TrackSuperfan.com.

Live results
TV coverage is from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM ET on NBC Sports Network

Today's Schedule

4:45 PM ET Men's 200 meters Prelim
5:30 PM ET Women's Javelin Throw Prelim
5:35 PM ET Girl's Elite HS Mile Final
5:45 PM ET Boy's Elite HS Mile Final
  TV Coverage Begins  
6:00 PM ET Women's 200 meters Semi-Final
6:20 PM ET Women's 400m Hurdles Semi-Final
6:30 PM ET Women's Shot Put Final
6:30 PM ET Women's Long Jump Prelim
6:35 PM ET Men's 400m Hurdles Semi-Final
6:45 PM ET Women's 1500 meters Semi-Final
7:05 PM ET Men's 110m Hurdles Prelim
7:25 PM ET Men's 1500 meters Semi-Final
7:45 PM ET   Women's Steeplechase   Final

Women's Shot Put

Start lists | All-time Olympic Trials stats

The Favorites:
Jill Camarena-Williams (New York AC / Tucson, AZ)
Michelle Carter (Nike / Ovilla, TX)
Last year, the USA won its first women's shot put medal at an Olympics or Worlds since 1960. It was only the sixth time in the last 25 championship meets that the USA even had someone in the top eight. Jillian Camarena-Williams off that bronze medal, and she's not even the defending national champion. That title goes to Michelle Carter, who won bronze at this year's World Indoor Championships. Provided these two make the team -- and it's virtually unthinkable that either one wouldn't -- the USA will walk in with not one but two legitimate medal threats.

The NCAA champ: Tia Brooks (Oklahoma / Grand Rapids, MI)
Brooks won the indoor and outdoor titles for the Sooners, and her best indoor mark of 19.00 meters (62' 4") puts her just outside the all-time US top ten. Should she make the Olympic team, she won't be the only one from her neck of the woods; her hometown of Kentwood is just 15 miles from Dathan Ritzenhein's hometown of Rockford.

Others with the Olympic 'A' standard:
Sarah Walker (Shore AC / Chandler, AZ)
Alyssa Hasslen (Arizona / McMinnville, OR)
Walker has international experience, as she was on the US team for the Worlds in 2007 and 2011, and will probably be locked in a tight battle with Brooks for the third Olympic spot. Hasslen had some big throws early in the season but really tailed off in May and June.

The Other Collegians:
Brittany Smith (Illinois State / Oak Park, IL)
Jeneva McCall (Sn Illinois / Dolton, IL)
Kearsten Peoples (Missouri / Ottawa, KS)
Baillie Gibson (Arizona / Casper, WY)
That half of the final qualifiers are collegians is actually not a good thing. It's the weakness of the American system being shown. It's difficult to stay in the sport for any length of time once college years are over, as there's very little money to be made. At the NCAA Championships, Smith and McCall were second and third behind Brooks. The Olympic 'A' standard, 18.30 meters, is a good foot further than the best of these athletes' marks this year.

Women's Steeplechase

Start list | All-time Olympic Trials stats

The Favorites:
Emma Coburn (Colorado / Crested Butte, CO)
Bridget Franek (Oregon TC / Eugene, OR)
Sara Hall (Asics / Flagstaff, AZ)
Coburn is the defending USATF champion and was the only American to advance to the final at last year's World Championships. Her best time this season is nearly 15 seconds faster than anyone else's. Franek is consistent, running between 9:32 and 9:39 in each of the last four years, but her improvement has stalled. The only runner she beat at the Prefontaine Classic was Hall, who is a relative newcomer to this event and may have found her niche.

Needs an 'A' Standard: Shalaya Kipp (Colorado / Salt Lake City, UT)
Kipp is this year's NCAA champion and ran just 0.09 over the Olympic 'A' standard at Stanford in April. Teammate Coburn, who redshirted this year, probably has no fear of a fast race and may be willing to do for her as Galen Rupp did for Dathan Ritzenhein -- namely, help push the pace in order to assure a qualifying time.

The Rock Star: Delilah DiCrescenzo (New Jersey-New York TC / New York, NY)
I'm pretty sure that DiCrescenzo is the only runner in the field who has been a special guest at the Grammy Awards, when the Plain White T's song Hey There Delilah, written about her, was up for Best Song. With an Olympic 'A' qualifier in her back pocket, she has a shot to go to the Olympics as well.

The New Professional: Stephanie Garcia (unattached / Charlottesville, VA)
Garcia was the NCAA runner-up last year behind Coburn. This is her first year as a pro, and she does not yet have a sponsor despite being on the US team to the Worlds last year. She has raced sparingly this season, with her seasonal best coming in a tiny meet in Indianapolis just two weeks ago. She's a huge question mark.
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