Women’s track & field in America is amazingly healthy. From the 100 meter hurdles, to the 10,000 meters, from the long jump, to the pole vault, we have global medal contenders. Anyone who does not get just how competitive American track & field is, needs to watch one of the five events I have covered below.
Tori Bowie, photo by PhotoRun.net
Molly Huddle, photo by PhotoRun.net
1. The long jump battle between Tianna Bartoletta and Brittney Reese will be epic. We have two of the four finest Long Jumpers in the world. Brittney Reese juste leaped 7.13 meters last weekend and Tianna Bartoletta won the Stockholm DL with a 6.79m jump. Watching these two push each other is as exciting as sport gets. Bartoletta has a magic fifth jump and Reese has a magic sixth jump.
2. Sandi Morris and Jenn Suhr, who will lead the American pole vault? Jenn Suhr is the most combatative pole vaulter that I have witnessed in many years. She has supreme focus and she is an all round athlete. Jenn Suhr is the 2008 Olympic silver medalist and 2012 Olympic gold medalist. Sandi Morris is the 2016 World Indoor silver medalist, behind Jenn Suhr, and the 2016 Olympic silver medalsit, where Jenn Suhr finished seventh, after getting very ill in Rio. These two athletes are highly competitive and highly skilled at the chess game that is the high end pole vault wars. Do not miss this competition.
3. Tori Bowie versus English Gardner and the rest of the fine American women sprinters? American women sprinters are a highly competitive bunch. Allyson Felix has been proving her metal for a decade. Making it as an American sprinter is tougher than making the NBA. Tori Bowie has shown her real talent, with the fine 200 meters at the Nike Pre Classic and an exciting 150 meter straight at the adidas Boost Boston Games. For Tori to succeed at the 100 meters and 200 meters, she will have to be at the top of her game, dealing with English Gardner, Allyson Felix, Candice Hill and Jenni Prandini. While the 100 meters looks tough, the women’s 200 meter field may be the finest ever assembled.
4. The toughest event on the women’s side is the 100 meter hurdles. The 100 meter hurdles is all about controlling your sprinting and pace over the hurdles. It is a beautiful event to behold, but is also an event of precision at nearly inhumanly fast pace. Kenni Harrison is recovering from a broken bone in the arm. Nia Ali, Sharika Nelvis, Dawn Harper, Kristi Castlin, Christina Manning and Jasmin Stowers are all in Sacramento. They could make several countries’ teams, but they are running for three spots in Sacramento. Miss a round at your peril. This event will be fast, and full of surprises. The top three from Sacramento in the 100 meter hurdles will be among the very best in the world, period.
5. Molly Huddle and the double. In the women’s 10,000 meters, you have the current (Molly Huddle) and former (Shalane Flanagan) American record holders in the 25 lapper. Molly and Shalane are two of the finest distance runners, women or men, in our sport. They are also two of the fiercest and most competitive. In Emily Sisson, we see the future of American distance running. Emily is training with Molly Huddle, under the watchful and thoughtful eye of Ray Treacy, a man who continues to instill pride and considerable training know how into generations of young women and men in Providence. With Shalane Flanagan and Emily Infeld, the bronze medalist from Beijing, we see the approach of Coach Jerry Schumacher, a man who lives and breathes the sport, and who has developed those two fine athletes, among many others.
Who will win the 10,000m in what will be still a hot evening? Who will come back in the 5000 meters, after the long and arduous 25 lapper? We will have to wait and see, but mark this, kind readers, the doe eyed avenger, aka Molly Huddle, will make both fields hurt bad, very bad, to challenge her in Sacramento.
Entry Lists, courtesy of USATF: 4b8cbe3b-02ce-4cd7-b3c8-d01689418f8f-3.pdf
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