2018 USATF Outdoor Championships

Forecasting The 2019 US Championships: Women's Distance

Forecasting The 2019 US Championships: Women's Distance

The 2018 U.S. Championships just wrapped in Des Moines, but let's make some predictions about who prevails in next year's edition of the meet.

Jun 28, 2018 by Kevin Sully
Forecasting The 2019 US Championships: Women's Distance

This is the fourth installment of our very early predictions for next year’s U.S. Championships. As we mentioned in the men's and women’s sprints and men's distance forecasts, the lists take into account byes for reigning world champions and the 2019 Diamond League champions. 

The Diamond League champion won’t be crowned until next summer, but that didn’t stop us from making our best guesses at who we thought would grab the free pass to Doha. 

Now, on to the selections for the women’s distance races.

Women’s 800m

1) Ajee Wilson

2) Raevyn Rogers

3) Charlene Lipsey

Slotting in Ajee Wilson for a spot is about as solid a pick as you can make. She has the American record, never makes tactical mistakes, and is only 24 years old. Her training partners Raevyn Rogers and Charlene Lipsey are poised to make it a sweep for the Juventus Track Club. Rogers just ran a personal best in Des Moines and is still just one year out of college, and Lipsey has run 1:57. 

There are a few ways this gets complicated, though. Ce’Aira Brown stormed onto the scene this year and took third on Sunday. Also, there’s a chance that Lipsey moves up to the 1500m. 

Women’s 1500m

1) Shelby Houlihan

2) Jenny Simpson

3) Brenda Martinez

4) Kate Grace

I have the United States getting four entrants in this event, with Houlihan winning the Diamond League and opening up an extra spot. There’s a possibility that she won’t win, but either way she is safe because there’s little chance she falls out of the top three. 

Taking the Diamond League title though would be a major assist to Brenda Martinez, Kate Grace, or whoever else finishes fourth at USAs.

Women’s 5,000m

1) Shelby Houlihan 

2) Emily Infeld

3) Shannon Rowbury

Houlihan’s best chance for a medal is in the 1500m, but I still think she runs the 5000m as well. It's after the 1500m on the schedule and there’s very little downside to competing in both events. 

Neither of the two women behind her in this projection competed in this year’s championships. Infeld is hurt and Rowbury, the American record holder, is due to give birth this year. But both women have championship medals and should be back next summer.   

Women’s 10,000m

1) Molly Huddle

2) Marielle Hall

3) Emily Sisson

The only thing keeping Huddle from another team in the 10,000m is if she decides to focus on the marathon. Since she’s not going to do that yet, you can already pencil in a spot for her. Her training partner Emily Sisson placed fourth last Thursday and has run 31:25. Hall finished runner-up to Huddle at USAs and made the team in the 2015 and 2016. New pro Karissa Schweizer could also factor in here or in the 5000m. 

Women’s Steeplechase

1) Emma Coburn (Bye - 2017 World Champion)

2) Courtney Frerichs 

3) Colleen Quigley 

4) Leah O’Connor

This is the only women’s distance event where four bids are assured. Emma Coburn’s gold medal in 2017 means she won’t have to worry about qualifying in Des Moines next summer. It also opens up an extra spot. Frerichs is firmly in the top three. Quigley didn’t race last week with an injury, but it’s hard to see her not being able to place in the top four (including Coburn). 

The final spot is where it gets interesting. O’Connor and Stephanie Garcia have personal bests that are one second apart. Neither woman raced this year in Des Moines so we will have to wait to see if one has an edge.