Predictions for the USA Championships

Coach Trofimuk and I finally had a chance to sit down and ponder on this day before the USA Championships begin. Day One features several throwing events. Let’s get at it.

Men’s Javelin (“A” standard = 82 meters)

The contenders:

Tim Glover (the dude on the left)


He has the best throw by an American this year: 84.09m.

He and Sean Furey…


…are the only two throwers who have hit the standard. Sean has thrown 82.59m.

However, Riley Dolezal (the dude on the right)



…may be the most consistent American jav thrower at the moment. At the New York Diamond League meet, he threw 80 meters on four of six throws in a stadium with a less than ideal javelin wind.

Oregon’s Sam Crouser…



sam 2


…just won the NCAA title in his home stadium (where the USA Championships will be contested) with a respectable toss of 79.19m.

Who is going to Beijing?

Glover: He already has the A standard.

Furey: He also has the A standard.

Dolezal: He has the hot hand. We predict that he will win and achieve the A standard in the process.


Men’s Hammer (“A” standard = 76 meters)

The contenders:

Michael Lihrman…


…who is coming off a heart-breaking performance at the NCAA meet in which he fouled his first two throws and then did not make the final. Lihrman has yet to reach the A standard.

Kibwe Johnson…


…who is currently two centimeters under the A standard.

AG Kruger…


…who has been national champion about a billion times and has the A standard.

Conor McCullough…


…who has thrown in excess of 75 meters two meets in a row and has the A standard. He threw 76.91m at the NCAA championships and has recently transitioned from Irish to American.

Who is going to Beijing?

McCullough: He has the standard and is on fi-yah! Plus, he has the natural awesomeness of the Irish on his side.

Kruger: He is very, very old, but he has the standard, and in this competition that will mean a lot.  Plus, the hammer will be held early enough in the day that he won’t have to DVR that night’s Matlock rerun. This eliminates a major potential distraction.

Men’s Discus (“A” standard = 65 meters)

Three throwers currently have the standard.

Jared Schuurmans…


…who is currently the US leader (66.10m) but that throw came at Claremont College in California, a notoriously friendly place to throw.

Chase Madison…


…who hit 65.42m in a meet at Augustana College which featured an epic discus wind. His next best throw was 61.58m May 2nd at the University of Iowa.

And Rodney Brown…



…who was my pick to win the NCAA title and made me look really, really bad by finishing 9th.

Who is going to Beijing?

Honest answer? ZZzzzzzzz.

It is quite possible that Schuurmans, Madison, and Brown will all make the team because no one else will hit the standard. But what does that say about the status of the men’s discus in this country right now?

Women’s Shot (“A” standard = 17.75m)

This will be a war. There are currently thirteen American women over the standard, so if you want to make the team you will have to strap it up and  finish in the top three.

Here are the contenders:

Michelle Carter…


…the American record holder who has tons of big meet experience. Also, she is a large, powerful glider and if you don’t recognize what an advantage that is in a tough shot put competition, you have not been paying attention.

Tia Brooks…


…another veteran powerhouse glider.


Felisha Johnson…


…also powerful, also a glider…

Jill Camarena-Williams…

jill cam

…a former World Championship medalist making a comeback from time off to have a child…

Brittany Smith…


…who threw 19.01m indoors and has been accruing valuable international experience during the outdoor season…

And Raven Saunders…



…the precocious NCAA champion and Junior Record holder.

And don’t forget about Jeneva Stevens, Tori Bliss, Dani Winters and  Dani Bunch.

Enough equivocating, here are our picks:

Carter (a consistent dominator, and we saw her throw the American record in Des Moines so we love her)

Smith ( has been throwing well on the DL circuit, and was Trof’s college teammate so we love her)

(We could not agree on the third spot, and since I would likely lose any sort of fist fight, tickle fight or wrestling match, we have made separate choices)


Camarena-Williams (she is a veteran and Trof loves the spin)


Saunders (I know, I know. She’s very young, but if you had John Smith–the Dark Master of Peaking–on your side I’d pick you too)



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