Yes, dear and gentle readers, it is that time every quadrennial since 1996 that makes you absolutely cringe-it is the Official Larry Eder Oly Trials Predictions. These predictions are well received because of the following crucial methodology: a) first, sacrificing of a medium size barnyard creature, preferably a goat, or lamb, b) baste said barnyard creature in full bodied but modest French red table wine, c) wear sack cloth, cover self with ashes, d) watch an episode of Dexter.
In truth the thoughtful process has been developed over years and years of earnest work on treating the whole prediction process with respect. So, without further adieu, my predictions for 2008 Women’s Olympic Trials ( first five):
First place: Deena Kastor–let’s face it, Deena is the queen of American marathoners. She does it the only way that racing elite marathoning can be done-she has earned her accolades. First, under the watchful eye of Joe Vigil, Deena developed into a fine 5,000 meter and 10,000 meter runner.
Her adventures in the world of marathoning were good, but not increadible. It was not, for me until she was beat in St. Louis at the Olympic Trials that Deena gave it her all. I remember sitting behind her on the bus back from the Trials as she silently cried. She was tired, and she knew she could run better. Her defeat in St. Louis was directly responsible for her incredible performance in Athens. Having been on the course that day, I can honestly say that I have neve experienced a day that hot that I could have run at such a level. Kastor’s last ten kilometers, done in under 32:30 took her to another level. Her sub 2:20 in London in 2006 was spectacular. Kastor’s rough time at Boston in 2007 probably taught her something about the course. Her good runs on the track last year also show her leg speed. So, my pick for number 1 is Deena Kastor.
My pick for number two, is Blake Russell. Blake is one of our top women marathoners, a fine 10,000 meter runner and she is trained by Bob Sevene, one of our best coaches. Blake ran a heroic race at the 2004 Olympic Trials, and she should improve on her fourth place. Blake has already run a fine 10,000 meter race this year, at Stanford on the first week of April.
My pick for third is Kate O’Neil. Kate showed her stuff in last years Chicago, where she ran a 2:36 for her debut. Again a fine 10,000 meter runner, she has done her homework. Trains with Deena Kastor, and like Kastor is coached by Terrance Mahon.
My pick for fourth and spoiler number one, Mary Akor. Mary has 11 qualifying marks for the marathon Trials and she is a very tough competitor. She could be in the hunt for third place.
My pick for fifth is Elva Dryer. Elva has run well at 5,000 meters, 10,000 meters and the marathon. Dryer making the team would mean she has made three Olympic teams at different distances.
And here is my other pick. There are about ten runners, who, on a given day , could take third, so watch for the big surprise, it has happened each and every trials since 1984, and 2008 will be no different.
So, there are my picks for the Olympic Trials, which starts on Sunday morning, April 20, 2008 at 8 am. See you there!