U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials 2024

These Two What-If Scenarios Would Shake Up The U.S. Olympic Trials

These Two What-If Scenarios Would Shake Up The U.S. Olympic Trials

At the 2024 US Olympic Trials, Christian Miller, Parker Valby and Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone could all shake up the American teams with potentials upsets.

Jun 19, 2024 by Maxx Bradley
These Two What-If Scenarios Would Shake Up The U.S. Olympic Trials

We're just days away from the start of the 2024 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials, a meet that will span nine days starting on Friday. 

There are plenty of fan-favorites and Olympic hopefuls to talk about, but we had another scenario worth pondering. 

What if something far afield takes place? 

Here are two What-If scenarios that would shake up a handful of American teams across the distance and sprints.

If Christian Miller Makes The 100m team, Does That Leave Kerley, Lyles Or Coleman Off?

Just under two months ago, Creekside (FL) phenom sprinter Christian Miller, broke the American under 20 100m record, clocking a wind-legal 9.93. 

Over the next several weeks, Miller also clocked a wind-aided 20.15 for 200m, strengthening his arsenal. This season alone, only 15 other men have gone sub-10 over 100m, and Miller sits No. 5 in the world, ahead of notable American sprinters Christian Coleman and Fred Kerley.

The real question is whether or not Miller will be able to keep his composure in an unfamiliar atmosphere. Not only will Miller be competing against seasoned pros. He'll be up against the fastest men in the world. 

This won't be anything close to easy for Miller, as he has to face a few juggernauts head-to-head if he wants to make history.

First and foremost, Noah Lyles.

The six-time World champion, American record-holder and defending world champion in both the 100m and 200m, Lyles has made it clear he's chasing the Olympic double. His lone 200m performance this year was a brisk 19.77, which was the No. 4 time in the world. 

His 9.85 performance in the 100m slots him at No. 3 heading into the Trials. 

Coleman and Kerley have each won a world title of their own, Kerley in 2022 and Coleman in 2019. Not to mention Kenny Bednarek, Ronnie Baker and Kendal Williams have all ran quick, sitting towards the top in the world leaderboard.

But if Miller makes the team alongside Lyles, there aren't enough spots for those men. 

If he makes it through the rounds unfazed, Miller would be in the mix to knock at least one of the three defending world champions off of the Olympic podium.

What If Parker Valby's Hot Streak Continues, She Runs Both Olympic Standards And Makes Both The 10,000m and 5,000m Teams?

Over the course of her final collegiate season with the Florida Gators, Parker Valby won an unprecedented five national titles across both the grass and on the track. She also posted three NCAA records, the indoor and outdoor 5,000m and the 10,000m. 

She's proven she's the best runner in the NCAA and arguably the best ever, but how does she stack up against the United States women's distance contingent. 

Unfortunately, Alicia Monson, the American record-holder in both the 10K and 5K is missing the remainder of the season following her surgery on her meniscus. 

Even without Monson, though, the crowd of women fighting for six spots is loaded with talent. Elise Cranny is the defending champion in both and recently ran 14:46.49 at the Portland Track Festival, which was her fastest time since 2022. She's yet to run a 10,000m, but her ability to dictate the race could see her maneuver her way to another U.S. title. 

Throw in the return of Elle St. Pierre (14:34.12) and a group of tested veterans including Weini Kelati (14:35.43), Josette Andrews (14:46.51) and Karissa Schweizer (14:48.60), and you've got yourself a world-class field. 

The worst part of it all is that the 10,000m will be equally as challenging. Kelati is the fastest woman in the U.S. this season, running 30:33.82 at The TEN in March. However, Valby is the only other American under 31:00 this season. Elly Henes and Natosha Rogers have qualifying times of 30:48.26 and 30:48.69. 

Honestly, with how consistent and elite Valby has been running over the last year, it's a very possible outcome, but it would take Valby's best for all 37.5 laps to come out on top of two talented fields. She is the sixth-fastest American over 5,000m, and her PB is just a few seconds out of a spot in the top three. Also, for convenience sake, she would want to run the Olympic standard in both events, eclipsing 14:52 and 30:40 over the 5K and 10K. 

That being said, she could get in through world rankings when it's all said and done ...if she finishes within the top three placements. 

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