Jason Lehmkuhle, 2011 Virgin London, photo by PhotoRun.net
Their two top athletes, Magdelena Lewy Boulet and Jason Lehmkuhle, look to be in the real fight to make the Olympic team. My take on the trials right now is that the top two women is pretty well, done, unless Ms. Davila or Ms. Flanagan oversleep. The third position on the women's team is a total battle with fifteen or so athletes in the fight. On the men's side, Mr. Hall can either run to make the top three, or run with his coach, and set an American record. But second and third are totally open there.
Magdelena Lewy Boulet has been fun to watch racing all year, and she has the tools to get on the team. Jason Lemkuhle has the history, and the patience to stay out of trouble and grab a lot real estate over the last three or four miles. The athletes who make this team, either men or womens, will be the runners who make the least mistakes. Marathon racing in an Olympic Trials environment is a blistering chess game. For the past four, some for eight, some for the past twelve years, have dreamed of the upcoming moments, on Saturday, January 14, 2012.
The other thing that Saucony did was a small line for the Trials, here is a picture that they sent me, just for shoe geeks.
Good luck to all 300 participants in this weekends' Trials.
2008 OLYMPIAN MAGDALENA LEWY BOULET LEADS SAUCONY TEAM OF HOMETOWN HEROES AT 2012 U.S. OLYMPIC MARATHON TRIALS
Brand's deepest pool of Olympic hopefuls includes world-class contenders and regional standouts
LEXINGTON, MA (January 10, 2012) - Global performance running footwear and apparel brand Saucony®, Inc. today announced that 2008 U.S. Olympian Magdalena Lewy Boulet will be leading a team of Saucony athletes on January 14th in Houston at the 2012 men's and women's Olympic Trials Marathon hosted by USA Track & Field and the Houston Marathon Committee. Lewy Boulet, the third fastest qualifier for the women's Marathon Trials, heads up the brand's roster of sixteen potential 2012 Olympians that includes world-ranked contenders, as well as Saucony's regional Hometown Heroes.
"The whole Saucony family congratulates our team of athletes for qualifying for the Trials," said Mark Bossardet, vice president of sports marketing for Saucony and a 1980 Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier. "Just getting to the Trials is an accomplishment in itself and marks these men and women as among the best in the country. We commend them for their commitment and perseverance and we're extremely proud and inspired by each one of them."
For the first time ever, USA Track & Field and the Houston Marathon Committee will host the men's and women's Olympic Trials Marathon on the same day, at the same site in Houston. This historic event will determine the three men and three women who will represent the United States in the marathon at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Leading the Saucony team on the women's side is 2008 U.S. Olympian Magda Lewy Boulet. She ran her marathon PR of 2:26:22 at Rotterdam in 2010; the time makes her the third fastest qualifier for the Marathon Trials. This past summer, she set personal records in the 5000 and 10,000 meters and won the Falmouth Road Race (a 7-miler) in Massachusetts. Earlier in 2011 she was part of the U.S. team that won the bronze medal at the World Cross Country Championships, and she ran 2:31:22 at the London Marathon. Lewy Boulet used an early surge to break away from the 2008 Marathon Trials field, eventually finishing 2nd to win a spot on the 2008 U.S. team. In 2010 she was ranked the top U.S. marathoner by Track and Field News. A native of Poland, Lewy Boulet became a U.S. citizen on September 11th, 2001.
The Saucony men's roster is led by Jason Lehmkuhle who lives and trains with Team USA Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN. A 5th place 2008 Olympic Trials finisher, Lehmkuhle has been one of the most consistent US road racers of the last five years, finishing in the top five at 13 different national championship events.
In addition to Lewy Boulet and Lehmkuhle, the following men and women will be representing the Saucony brand at the 2012 Olympic Trials Marathon on January 14th:
Matt Gabrielson, 33, Minneapolis, MN
Following a stellar track career at Drake University, Gabrielson joined team USA Minnesota and has become one of the top US performers on the roads, finishing 2nd at the 2008 USA championships. His time of 2:13:28, makes him one of the top contenders in Houston.
Jason Ordway, 24, Bellbrook, OH
Ordway, 24, is from Bellbrook, OH. Jason qualified for his first Olympic Trials at the Columbus Marathon in 2010 in his debut marathon win.
Ricky Flynn, 24, Damascus, MD
Currently living in Lynchburg, VA, the Olympic Trials will be his debut at the marathon distance.
Michelle Frey, 29, Minneapolis, MN
This will be the second Olympic Trials appearance for Frey, a former star at the University of Wisconsin. Frey has a personal best of 2:35:51, good for 4th place at the 2006 U.S. Marathon Championships.
Paige Higgins, 29, Littleton, CO
A graduate of Kansas State University, Higgins was the top American finisher at the 2010 Boston Marathon. Her marathon best came in Chicago in 2008 where she ran 2:33:06.
Kelly Chin, 31, Brooklyn, NY
Chin qualified for the Trials with a 2:44:44 at the 2010 Chevron Houston Marathon.
Dana Kelly, 25, West Des Moines, Iowa
Kelly's accomplishments include All-American status in cross country and steeplechase and earning the Olympic Trials B Standard (2:43:54) at Grandma's Marathon (2011).
Michele Suszek, 29, Lyons, CO
Suszek qualified for the Olympic Trials twice and has competed at the World Championships in mountain trail running.
Kate DeProsperis, 32, Downers Grove, IL
DeProsperis is coached by 1996 Olympic marathoner Jenny Spangler.
Becky Angeles, 34, Murphy, TX
Qualified at the 2011 California International Marathon.
Ann Alyanak, 33, Bellbrook, Ohio
Alyanak placed 7th at the 2008 Marathon Trials in Boston.
Melissa Rittenhouse, 35, Harrisonburg, VA
This is the third time Rittenhouse has qualified for the Marathon Trials.
Katie Blackett, 34, Boulder, CO
This is the third time Blackett has qualified for the Marathon Trials. This year, she won the Eugene Marathon in her quest to qualify.
Jodie Conway, 35, Framingham, MA
In 2011, Conway finished 5th and 3rd at the Vermont City Marathon and the Philadelphia Marathon.
"I had the honor to compete in the first Women's Olympic Marathon Trials in 1984 and realize the commitment these athletes have made," said Sharon Barbano, vice president of public relations for Saucony. "At Saucony our athletes are our heroes. They inspire all of us to be better, to find our strong by elevating their own. We're excited for each one of them and will be with them every step of the way on Marathon Trials day."
Saucony, Inc.: Saucony, Inc., a subsidiary of Collective Brands, Inc., is a leading global running lifestyle brand that fuses performance, innovation and style to create compelling footwear and apparel with its widely recognized brands Saucony and Saucony Originals. Founded in 1898, Saucony continues to inspire runners everywhere with its award winning innovations, including ProGrid™, PowerGrid™ and ViZiPRO™ apparel. For more information, go to www.saucony.com.
Collective Brands, Inc. (NYSE: PSS) is a leader in bringing compelling lifestyle, fashion and performance brands for footwear and related accessories to consumers worldwide. The company operates three strategic units covering a powerful brand portfolio, as well as multiple price points and selling channels including retail, wholesale, ecommerce and licensing. Collective Brands, Inc. includes Payless ShoeSource, focused on democratizing fashion and design in footwear and accessories through its nearly 4,500-store retail chain, with its brands Airwalk®, Dexter® and Champion® and designer collections by fashion designers Christian Siriano, Lela Rose, Isabel Toledo and Silvia Tcherassi; Collective Brands Performance + Lifestyle Group, focused on lifestyle and performance branded footwear and high-quality children's footwear sold primarily through wholesaling, with its brands including Stride Rite®, Keds®, Sperry Top-Sider® Robeez®, and Saucony®, among others; and Collective Licensing International, the brand development, management and global licensing unit, with such youth lifestyle brands as Airwalk®, Above The Rim®, Vision Street Wear®, STRIKEFORCE™, Clinch Gear™, Sims®, Lamar® and LTD®, World Snowboarding Championships™ and Hind®. Information about, and links for shopping on, each of the Collective Brand's units can be found at www.collectivebrands.com