>My picks for this weekend’s USATF Championships men’s events. Women’s picks coming tomorrow.
Men’s 60 meters
This is a two-man race between Ivory Williams and Mike Rodgers. Rodgers has sharpened up a little bit over the last week or two, but he’s still nowhere near what he was in either of the last two indoor seasons. I think Williams will win.
Men’s 400 meters
This is hard to pick because there’s been so little action among the contenders. Kerron Clement is probably the best athlete of those entered, but we don’t really know what kind of shape he’s in. Bershawn Jackson has been racing consistently and well. If he doesn’t win, he’ll be in the top three, and when faced with great uncertainty in fantasy leagues you want to go with safety.
Men’s 800 meters
Nick Symmonds hasn’t raced a whole lot, but there are two big reasons I think he’s ready to run very well. He led off the OTC’s record-setting distance medley in about 2:51, which indicates he’s ready for 1:46 or so. Secondly, the meet is in Albuquerque, at some 5300 feet of altitude, and he’s been training there for a month. I think he’s going to dominate.
Men’s 1500 meters
This is a bit enigmatic, but I’m going to take Leonel Manzano. He’s among the three or four best milers in the country, is a good tactician, and has done some altitude training.
Men’s 3000 meters
Unrabbited. Championship. Indoors. 3000 meters. At altitude. Every single factor which is an advantage to Bernard Lagat is present in this race. I can’t imagine him being beaten.
Men’s 60m Hurdles
It’s a two-man race between Terrence Trammell and David Oliver. The former is far more consistent than the latter. Pick Trammell.
Men’s 5k Race Walk.
Men’s High Jump
This should be a three-way battle between Jesse Williams, Andra Manson and Dusty Jonas. I rate it as a toss-up. I’ll take Williams but I’m far from confident.
Men’s Pole Vault
Ugh. This has not been a good year so far for US men’s pole vaulters. Jason Colwick and Scott Roth are the only guys with decent clearances to their name, and they’re both collegians and not entered. Jeremy Scott has shown the best consistency.
Men’s Long Jump
Brian Johnson is the current world leader.
Men’s Triple Jump
Brandon Roulhac is the defending champ but hasn’t shown the same kind of form he had last year. Walter Davis is the man to take.
Men’s Shot Put
Christian Cantwell is everyone’s undisputed #1.
Men’s Weight Throw
This will probably come down to AG Kruger and Cory Martin. I like Kruger.