This year’s edition of the Men’s 800 should turn out to be an exciting one. With a mix of collegiates, professionals and even some unattached athletes, there are bound to be some upsets. Here are 5 runners to keep an eye on during this year’s 800m.
New Kid on the Block
Boris Berian (PB: 1:43.84, SB: 1:43.84)
Nobody in the field has a better story than Boris Berian (Big Bear Track Club). Boris came out of nowhere at this year’s Payton Jordan Invitational, where he ran a 1:45.3 to take the win and the fastest time in the nation. More recently, Berian took to New York, where he ran another U.S. #1 (and U.S. #10 all-time) with a time of 1:43.81 at the adidas Grand Prix. The only runner that finished in front of him was David Rudisha. Prior to joining Big Bear TC in October 2014, Boris was working at McDonalds as a means of supporting himself for race travel. Pending on his ability to race multiple rounds, the unsponsored Berian might just be the race favorite.
UPDATE: Boris Berian signed with Nike as of Thursday morning.
The Seasoned Vets
Nick Symmonds: (PB: 1:42.95, SB: 1:46.37)
Symmonds has been making U.S. Teams since he was 23 years old. He’s competed at the World Championships in 2007, ’09, ’11, ’13, as well as the Olympics in ’08 and 2012. While his outdoor opener at Payton Jordan might not have produced the time people expected from the silver medalist, the 31-year-old has improved on each performance since then. After running a 3:59 mile at the Nike Festival of Miles, and a 1:15 in the 600m at the Portland Track Festival, the seasoned veteran said he is confident in both his strength and his speed heading into the U.S. Championships. Despite his SB of 1:46.37, Symmonds' championship experience and ability to run rounds makes him a prime candidate to race in Bejing.
Duane Solomon (PB: 1:42.82, SB 1:46 relay split)
The term “seasoned vets” can’t be thrown around without mentioning Saucony’s Duane Solomon. “Duane Bang” has won the last two editions of the U.S. Championships, and will be looking to make his second consecutive world team this weekend. Similar to his counterpart Symmonds, Solomon hasn’t had a stellar season like those of his recent past either. He ran a 1:15 600m early on in the season and a 1:46/1:47 relay split in the IAAF World Relays 4x800. More recently, Solomon DNF’d in the 800m at the adidas Grand Prix.
Casimir Loxsom (PB: 1:45.28, SB: 1:46.23)
While Symmonds is looking to make his fifth worlds squad, his teammate Casimir Loxsom will be looking to make his first. Loxsom came away with a PR in his most recent performance at the Portland track Festival, running a 3:45.23 in the 1500m. His SB in the 800m was back in May, where the 24-year-old ran 1:46.23 at the HOKA ONE ONE Distance Classic. He also ran the third leg of the gold medal 4x800 during this year’s world relays.
Charles Jock (PB 1:44.67 SB: 1:45.40)
Besides Berian, Charles Jock brings the next fastest SB to the field with a time of 1:45.58, which he ran at Ponce Grand Prix. Jock came away victorious in the deep 600m at the Portland Track Festival with a world leading time of 1:14.33. The 25-year-old made it through the rounds at last year’s outdoor championship, but DNF’d in the final.