Editor's Note: This article was written before Wheating, McNamara, and Fleet scratched

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. 
 
1. Leo Manzano is lethal

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. 
 
2. David Torrence looked good at World Relays

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.

3. Then there are the enigmas of the group: Jordan McNamara, Craig Miller, Jack Bolas, and Liam Boylan-Pett.

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.

Editor's Note: Don't sleep on Patrick Casey, either.
 
4. The Men of Oregon: Mac Fleet and Trevor Dunbar

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. 
 
Fleet has some serious momentum after his back-to-back 1,500-meter titles at NCAAs, but one has to wonder if he will have anything left in the tank to roll at USAs. If he is still in his "peak," then he will be factor. The great thing about Fleet is that once he is in the lead, it's very hard to get around him. His race tactics might be the most interesting to watch for this weekend. 
 
5. Lopez Lomong has one of the fastest 1,500-meter personal best of anyone declared

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. 
 
6. Andrew Wheating is running well and that's scary for everyone else

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.
 
 
Below is the full field, courtesy of USATF.
 
Name Affiliation Mark Status Declaration
Leonel Manzano Hoka One One 3:33.14 qualified declared
David Torrence Nike 3:33.23 qualified declared
Garrett Heath Brooks 3:34.12 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
Matthew Elliott Brooks 3:36.61 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
Jeff See Saucony 3:37.99 qualified declared
Trevor Dunbar Oregon 3:38.38 qualified declared
Riley Masters Brooks 3:38.42 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
Dorian Ulrey Nike 3:38.73 qualified declared
Duncan Phillips   3:56.10 qualified declared
Tommy Schmitz Speed Factory Athletics 3:56.45 qualified declared
William Leer Nike 3:35.27 accepted declared
Chad Noelle Oklahoma St. 3:40.06 accepted declared
Austin Mudd Wisconsin 3:40.16 accepted declared
Tony Jordanek Team Ohio 3:40.40 accepted declared
Kyle Merber New Jersey New York Track Club 3:40.40 accepted declared
Reed Connor Wisconsin 3:40.43 accepted declared
John Simons Minnesota 3:40.56 accepted declared
Matt Miner   3:40.62 accepted declared
Michael Atchoo Stanford 3:40.66 accepted declared
Eric Avila Southern Oregon State College 3:56.89 accepted declared
Matthew Hillenbrand Kentucky 3:57.00 accepted declared
AJ Acosta   3:57.05 accepted declared