U.S. Championships Men's 1500m preview
Heading into the U.S. Championships this weekend, there are several story lines that will make the Men's 1,500-meters one of the most interesting races of the championship.
With a new sponsor and a new breath of life, Leo Manzano is a new man in 2014. His season's best of 3:33.14 is at the top of the group and that should scare the daylights out of every other individual running this race. Everyone knows that Manzano can finish with the best of them, but many will tell you that he can't hang out a fast pace. Well, 3:33 is a quality mark and with his fitness at this level, he will be hard to beat.
For those of you who had a chance to witness what he did in the Bahamas on that leg, Torrence was big time. He ran with guts and he ran a solid 3:36 split that kept Team USA in contention. I'm all about "what have you done for me lately?" and David Torrence has been great lately and is one to watch out for.
Editor's Note: He got some much needed rest after the Prefontaine Classic, so he should be fresh and primed come USAs.
These guys are always qualifying for USAs and are always, at some point, mentioned as someone either leading the group through the first 1k or closing well and running down the more well-known athletes. Still, the three have yet to breakthrough to the top tier of 1,500-meter runners in America.
I hereby nominate Jordan McNamara as the first of this group to do that. He has looked solid as of late. I wouldn't be surprised to see a big race from one of these individuals.
The two Ducks will be fresh off NCAAs. Fleet was once again the class of the field in the 1,500-meters and Dunbar was excellent in the 5,000-meters. Dunbar has shown signs of his 1,500-meter wheels during the year as he has outkicked guys who I thought had the best finishing speed in the field.
With the strength base he has from focusing on the 5,000-meters, Lomong will be dangerous in any race situation. If the race is tactical or if it goes from the gun, he will be a factor.
If Wheating is finding his way back to top form from 2009 - 2010, watch out, because he is a big time racer. I would not be shocked to see him outkick the field, which includes Manzano, to win the USA title this year. All it takes is one good race to get your confidence back and maybe the Portland Track Festival win was just what the doctor ordered.
|Leonel Manzano||Hoka One One||3:33.14||qualified||declared|
|Craig Miller||New Balance||3:35.48||qualified||declared|
|Jack Bolas||New Balance||3:35.54||qualified||declared|
|Pat Casey||Oregon TC Elite||3:35.95||qualified||declared|
|Liam Boylan-Pett||New Jersey New York Track Club||3:37.31||qualified||declared|
|Michael Hammond||Furman Elite||3:37.88||qualified||declared|
|Lopez Lomong||Nike / Bowerman Track Club||3:38.47||qualified||declared|
|Rob Finnerty||Furman Elite||3:38.49||qualified||declared|
|Ford Palmer||New Jersey New York Track Club||3:38.58||qualified||declared|
|Tommy Schmitz||Speed Factory Athletics||3:56.45||qualified||declared|
|Chad Noelle||Oklahoma St.||3:40.06||accepted||declared|
|Tony Jordanek||Team Ohio||3:40.40||accepted||declared|
|Kyle Merber||New Jersey New York Track Club||3:40.40||accepted||declared|
|Eric Avila||Southern Oregon State College||3:56.89||accepted||declared|