Young Guns Vying For First U.S. Team at U.S. Indoor Champs

Some athletes will bypass the indoor season (Jenny Simpson, Emma Coburn) and others will thrive (Matt Centrowitz, Ajee Wilson), but the USATF Indoor Championships will decide the next Team USA for the 2016 World Indoor Championships. 

Only two athletes per event will get to don the red, white and blue at World Indoors in Portland on March 17 (except for the men's 60m, women's 60m hurdles and men's triple jump, thanks to the wild card victories by U.S. athletes) and for some contenders, this could be their first World Championship team.

Here are the young guns who have a chance to make Team USA.

Boris Berian, 800m

Boris Berian ran under 1:44 twice in 2015. It’s incredible when you consider his best time before last year was 1:48.89. After failing to make the U.S. Outdoor final in the event, Berian now has a year of professional experience under his belt and is one of two Americans (Berian and Donavan Brazier) with the IAAF standard.

He has two races to his name in 2016. An 800m victory of 1:46.00 at the Portland 'House of Track', and a 1:15.51 600m win at the New Balance Grand Prix. He made 1:46.00 look soo smooth, and because he is the only one entered with the standard (Brazier is running NCAAs), he will go on to represent the U.S. at the World Indoor Championships. 

Berian after his 600m victory in February, where he talks about being unsponsored (Someone sponsor this man!!)

Vashti Cunningham, High Jump

Vashti Cunningham may still be in high school, but the road to Portland 2016 is looking pretty darn good. The 18-year-old senior has cleared 1.95m four times in 2016 in the high jump. Yes, she’s made a U.S. Junior squad before, but in this exciting Olympic year, Cunningham will look to be the youngest member of Team USA.

Cunningham owns both high school national records indoor and outdoor (1.96m) and shared the 1.95m indoor clearance with three-time Olympian Chaunte Lowe in Albuquerque on February 6. Cunningham beat Lowe, the American record-holder, on a countback. She isn’t just a favorite to make the team, she’s the favorite to win her first U.S. senior title. But you should really do more reading on the superstar high school senior HERE.

Laura Roesler, 800m

2016 has been good to Laura Roesler. The former Oregon NCAA Champion has bounced back from a season-ending injury that sidelined her throughout 2015. Her progression this season, 2:05.25, 2:04.04, 2:03.27, 2:02.18 and 2:00.49, proves that she is back to competing with the best in the country. Good news for Roesler is World bronze medalist Brenda Martinez, who finished directly in front of her at the Millrose Games, is opting for the 1500m in Portland.

Roesler speaks after running 2:00 for third place at the Millrose Games after a year of injury

Eric Jenkins, 3000m

This is by far one of the most difficult teams to make with Olympians, U.S. champions and Team USA members entered. Nike Oregon Project member Eric Jenkins, however, is looking to make a splash in his second U.S. Championship as a pro. Jenkins comes in with the third-best seed time, 7:39.43, behind U.S. champion Ryan Hill and World Champs 10k qualifier Hassan Mead. Of course he’ll have nearly the entire Bowerman Track Club after him (Hill, Evan Jager, Andy Bayer, Lopez Lomong) but Jenkins has proved to close with the best, only finishing less than a second behind Hill and Mead at the Millrose Games.

Jenkins' only loss of 2016 (besides his third place at Millrose) came to U.S. Army team member Paul Chelimo, who could be a dark horse to make Team USA. The 25-year-old Portland resident ran 7:44 and 3:42 at the House of Track and showed off his kick by beating Jenkins on January 22.

Watch Jenkins and Chelimo battle it out over 3000m

Amanda Eccleston, 1500m

Amanda Eccleston has been flying under the radar since graduating from the University of Michigan in 2013 (where she anchored the NCAA winning distance medley relay and finished fifth in the outdoor 1500m) but has chosen 2016 as her big breakout season. She lowered her 3000m (8:59) and mile (4:26) personal bests, and finished third in the prestigious Wanamaker Mile. Yes, she didn't make the U.S. final during 2015, but this indoor season has been about big racing for Eccleston. Just take a look at her mile win at this February's BU Valentine Invite.

Eccleston grabbed a huge personal best and victory in the mile at the BU Valentine Invitational

WATCH LIVE: 2019 Foot Locker Nationals

Watch the 2019 Foot Locker National XC Championships.

How Foot Locker All-Americans Fare In The NCAA

The top 15 finishers in Saturday’s Foot Locker National Cross Country Championships will have the title of high school “All-American” bestowed upon them. Despite Nike Cross Nationals' growth weakening the San Diego race in recent years, Foot Locker All-Americans still represent the elite of the elite high school prospects. Every NCAA coach in the country wants a runner who thrives at the most prestigious prep cross country race in the world.

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The Road Trip That Brought Vaporflys To A Cross Country Meet

The phone rang before Luc Larson even had a chance to turn on the lights. Larson, the general manager of the Heartbreak Hill Running Company store in Chicago, has a rule against answering calls before the store is open. But a few minutes before 11 A.M. on November 14th, he picked up. 

Who Draws The Best Runners? Foot Locker or NXN?

The Foot Locker National XC Championships have been around since 1979 (41 years) whereas the Nike Cross Nationals have only been around since 2004 (16 years). With two high school national cross country championships, the question remains which championship is more prestigious? Foot Locker has the legacy factor, however NXN has been able to draw not just the top teams in the nation, but top individuals on both the girls and boys side in recent years.

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Debuting LIVE At 7PM CT: 'NAU: Running With The Boys,' Ep. 2



Hundreds Of Nike Employees Protest Against Alberto Salazar

Hundreds of Nike employees on Monday demonstrated on the company’s campus in Beaverton, Oregon, against a rededication of the Alberto Salazar Building, according to a report by Willamette Week.

Athing Mu Commits To Texas A&M

Article courtesy of MileSplit. Check out their full recruiting coverage.

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How NCAA Athletes Fared At The 2019 European XC Championships

The NCAA was well-represented on Sunday at the 2019 SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Lisbon, Portugal. Here is where every U.S.-based collegiate athlete finished in their respective races:

WADA Bans Russia For Four Years

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Edward Cheserek Three-Peats At Kalakaua Merrie Mile

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