Thursday, January 3, 2013

Go Get An A Standard

  Track and field athletes around the world, particularly men in distance events, are entering the 2013 campaign knowing the entry standards for the Moscow World Championships are tougher than ever before.

The Go Get An A Standard has made significant changes in two areas.  First, the window to lock up an A or B standard is smaller.  The window to achieve standards for the 10k, marathon, walks, relays, and multi events is January 1, 2012-July 29, 2013.  This is similar to previous years. However, all other events have a window of October 1, 2012-July 29, 2013.  Essentially all marks needs to be achieved in 2013.

Standards in the men's 1500, 5k, and 10k improved to 3:35.00, 13:15.00, and 27:40.00, respectively.  

The USATF Championships/World Championships Trials is scheduled for June 19-23 in Des Moines.  Similar to 2011, it is assumed that standard chasing will be allowed between USA's and WC's.

Planning and coordination, and possibly cooperation, will be critical in 2013.  Post-USA's standard chasing is stressful, exhausting, and leaves athletes drained when they arrive at the championship event.  Just ask Amy Hastings and Angela Bizzarri about 2011.

The US team needs to be cemented at USAs.  While standard chasing was not allowed after the 2012 US Trials, American distance success at the Olympic Games serve as proof of the need to set the team as early as possible.  Rarely is success found in frantic standard chasing throughout Europe in a desparate effort to get in a USA jersey.

One suggestion is to set up quality distance races at reliable meets.  Invest in meet with good conditions and hire the best pacers to get the job done.  I cannot tell you where the resources will come from, but it needs to happen.  The US distance team is better than ever.  These athletes need support and planning so they will be ready when it counts the most.

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