And now, the countdown begins.

We knew going into the 2013 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championship that standards were going to be an issue. The genuine excitement for the sport, such as watching athletes finish in those coveted top three spots, was instead substituted with frantic page turning through the USATF Rulebook and hypothetical situations.

Still, there are high fives and applause for those who get to take a lap around the track with those little American flags. They’re the medal winners at the U.S. National Championship.

But for those looking at the next step, things start to get murky. Who’s going to Moscow?

There are a few athletes who have to chase those IAAF standards. Athletes have until July 20th to achieve either the “A” or “B” in their respective events. Even with that caveat, things still aren’t simple.

We’ve broken down the scenarios for five events in which the clock is ticking for some athletes. Literally.



A few rules.

The following criteria will be used to select athletes for the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Athletics (“World Championships”) in individual events:
- The athlete’s rank order of place finish in an event at the 2013 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships (the “Trials”).
- Whether athletes have achieved the applicable IAAF standard per the entry criteria

A couple notes (summarized from USATF criteria).
Changes in green (from Ryan Fenton)

- Only athletes in the top 4 at the National Championship may "chase" the standard until the July 20th date.
- If after July 20th, there are spots not filled from the top four, USATF may designate athletes as alternates based achieving the IAAF Standard at or prior to the National Championships, 
in rank order of finish at USAs.
- If after July 20th, there are not enough athletes with "A" and "B" standards to fill the team, the USATF may designate two "B" standard athlete in the event based on order of finish at USAs. The first athlete will represent the team, the second athlete will act as an alternate. (right now, applicable in men's 1500 as there is no one with the "A" standard).

The criteria is listed HERE. My question is why does USATF list July 20th as the final date to achieve any standard while the IAAF lists July 29th? If you know, please email me.



Women’s 10k
“A” standard - 31:45.00
“B” standard - 32:05.00

1) Shalane Flanagan - “A”
2) Jordan Hasay - N/A
3) Tara Erdmann - N/A
4) Amy Hastings - “A”
5) Kara Goucher - "B"

Right Now: Flanagan and Hastings are on the team based on top four finish. Goucher potentially on team due to no one else having any standard in top four.

- If Hasay runs the “B” and Erdmann does not, then Hasay is on the team
- If Erdmann runs the “B” and Hasay does not, then Erdmann is on the team
- If both Hasay and Erdmann get the “B,” then Hasay is on the team (due to a higher finish at the U.S. Championships)
- If Hasay gets the “A” and Erdmann gets the “B,” then Hastings does not go
- If Erdmann gets the “A” and Hasay gets the “B,” then Hastings does not go
- If Hasay and Erdmann get the “A,” then Hastings does not go
- If neither Hasay or Erdmann run either the "A" or "B", Goucher is on the team.

When the 10k happened on the first night, a few late night media members were discussing the scenarios. Before we could even start to draft an article, Kevin Liao of Spiked Up, Psyched Up emailed us with an already complete list. Great minds.

Hasay's season best:
32:06.64
Erdmann's season best: 32:24.16



Women’s 3000m ST
“A” standard - 9:43.00
“B” standard - 9:48.00

1) Nicole Bush - “A”
2) Ashley Higginson - “B”
3) Shalaya Kipp - 
“B”
4) Jamie Cheever - “A”

Right Now: Bush, Higginson, and Cheever are on the team.


- If Kipp runs the “A,” then she is on the team
- If Higginson runs the “A,” Kipp is on the team

Kipp's seasonal best: 9:46.93
Higginson's seasonal best: 9:45.83



Women’s 1500m
“A” standard - 4:05.00
“B” standard - 4:09.00

Right Now: Moser, Cain, and Rowbury are on the team. Rowbury said in her 5k post-race interview that she will focus on the 5k, but if the 1500 opportunity arouse that it would be a "good problem to have."

1) Treniere Moser - “A”
2) Mary Cain - “A”
3) Cory McGee - N/A
4) Shannon Rowbury - “B”
6) Sarah Brown - "A"

- If McGee runs the “A” or “B,” then she is on the team
- If McGee does not a standard and Rowbury declines her spot, then the USATF goes to next person with a standard from USAs, which would be Sarah Brown (finished 6th).

McGee's season best: 4:10.55
Brown's "A" standard mark: 4:05.27 (5/17/13)



Women’s 5k
“A” standard - 15:18.00
“B” standard - 15:24.00

Right Now: Huddle, Rowbury, and Conley are on the team. Simpson, the reigning 1500m World Champ, has an auto bid to the 1500 and said she will not look to get the standard, therefore will not double the 5k and 1500 in her post-race interview. 

1) Jenny Simpson - N/A
2) Molly Huddle - “A”
3) Shannon Rowbury - "B"
4) Kim Conley - “A”
5) Chelsea Reilly - "A"

- If Rowbury qualifies in the 1500 and was to pull out of the 5k (see senarios above), Reilly will be on the team.

Reilly's "A" standard mark: 15:13.34 (3/29/13)



Men’s 5k
“A” standard - 13:15.00
“B” standard - 13:20.00

Right Now: Lagat, Rupp, and True are on the team

1) Bernard Lagat - “A”
2) Galen Rupp - “A”
3) Ryan Hill - N/A
4) Ben True - “A”

- If Hill runs the “A” or “B,” then Hill is on the team
- If Hill does not run any standard, then True is on the team

Hill's personal best: 13:26.34 ('12)



Men’s 1500m
“A” standard - 3:35.00
“B” standard - 3:37.00

Right Now: Centrowitz is on the team.

1) Matthew Centrowitz - “B”
2) Leo Manzano - N/A
3) Lopez Lomong - “B”
4) Matt Elliott - N/A

- If Centrowitz runs the "A," then Centrowitz and Lomong are on the team
- If Manzano runs the “A,” then Centrowitz and Manzano are on the team
- If Lomong runs the “A,” then Centrowitz and Lomong are on the team
- If Elliott runs the “A,” then Centrowitz and Elliot are on the team

- If Centrowitz runs the "A," and 
--- Manzano runs the "A," 
then Centrowitz, Manzano and Lomong are on the team
--- Manzano runs the "B," then Centrowitz and Manzano are on the team
--- Lomong runs the “B,” then only Centrowitz is on the team
--- Lomong runs the “A,” then Centrowitz and Lomong are on the team
--- Elliott runs the “B,”  then only Centrowitz is on the team
--- Elliott runs the “A,” then Centrowitz and Elliott are on the team


- If Manzano runs the “B” and
--- Centrowitz runs the "A," both Centrowitz and Manzano are on the team
--- Centrowitz runs the "B", only Centrowitz is on the team
--- Lomong runs the “B,” then Centrowitz is on the team
--- Lomong runs the “A,” then Centrowitz and Lomong are on the team
--- Elliott runs the “B,”  then Centrowitz is on the team
--- Elliott runs the “A,” then Centrowitz and Elliott are on the team

- If Lomong runs the “A” and
--- Centrowitz runs the "A," then Centrowitz, Manzano and Lomong are on the team
--- Manzano runs the “B,” then Centrowitz and Lomong are on the team
--- Elliott runs the “B,”  then Centrowitz and Lomong are on the team
--- Elliott runs the “A,” then Centrowitz, Lomong and Elliott are on the team


- If Elliott runs the “A” and
---
Manzano and Lomong run the “B,” then Centrowitz and Eliiott are on the team. 
--- Manzano does not run a standard and Lomong runs the “B,” then Centrowitz and Elliott are on the team.

Manzano's season best:
3:37.04
Lomong's season best:
3:36.74
Elliott's season best:
3:41.62

None of the four know where they’ll race next. We’ll assume that at least one two of the three will run a Diamond League 1500m and get the “A” standard. If that’s the case, then they’ll go. If not, it’ll be just Centro.

Centrowitz is in the driver seat, because he won at USAs. He does not need to chase. If Manzano runs the “A,” then he forces Lomong to run the “A” as well because Centro could go with the “B.”

The clock is ticking.