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U.S. Olympic marathon team outlook heading toward trials

U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Marathon

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 13: (L-R) Desiree Linden, Shalene Flanagan and Amy Cragg celebrate after qualifing for the Women’s Olympic Team in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials Marathon on February 13, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images)

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A look at the U.S. men’s and women’s marathon rankings at the end of the spring majors with 10 months until the Olympic trials in Atlanta (NAMES IN BOLD HAVE MET IAAF STANDARD TO BE GUARANTEED ELIGIBLE FOR OLYMPICS) ...

Men (since 1/1/2018)
1. Galen Rupp -- 2:06:07 (Prague 2018)
2. Galen Rupp -- 2:06:21 (Chicago 2018)
3. Scott Fauble -- 2:09:09 (Boston 2019)
4. Jared Ward -- 2:09:25 (Boston 2019)
5. Elkanah Kibet -- 2:11:51 (Boston 2019)
6. Jared Ward -- 2:12:24 (New York City 2018)
7. Scott Fauble -- 2:12:28 (New York City 2018)
8. Elkanah Kibet -- 2:12:35 (Chicago 2018)
9. Augustus Maiyo -- 2:12:40 (Boston 2019)
10. Shadrack Biwott -- 2:12:52 (New York City 2018)

Rupp easily beat the IAAF Olympic standard time of 2:11:30 in both of his 2018 marathons, but that was before the IAAF window began on Jan. 1. The 2016 Olympic bronze medalist missed the spring marathon season after foot surgery, but if it turns out the Olympic standard is a requirement to make the Tokyo Games, he would be expected to hit it in a fall marathon or possibly at trials, though that course is hilly and could be hot. ... Fauble, a former University of Portland runner who made his marathon debut in 2017, and Ward, sixth in Rio, are the only U.S. men with the IAAF standard and clearly the early favorites to join Rupp in the top three at trials. ... Keep an eye on five-time Olympic track runner Bernard Lagat‘s second career marathon on July 7 in Gold Coast, Australia. Lagat, already the oldest U.S. Olympic runner in history, debuted with a 2:17:20 in New York City on Nov. 4.

Women (since 1/1/2018)
1. Amy Cragg -- 2:21:42 (Tokyo 2018)
2. Emily Sisson -- 2:23:08 (London 2019)
3. Kellyn Johnson -- 2:24:29 (Duluth 2018)
4. Jordan Hasay -- 2:25:20 (Boston 2019)
5. Sara Hall -- 2:26:20 (Ottawa 2018)
6. Shalane Flanagan -- 2:26:22 (New York City 2018)
7. Molly Huddle -- 2:26:33 (London 2019)
8. Molly Huddle -- 2:26:44 (New York City 2018)
9. Aliphine Tuliamuk -- 2:26:50 (Rotterdam 2019)
10. Des Linden -- 2:27:00 (Boston 2019)

The U.S. women are much deeper and stronger internationally than the men. Consider that the IAAF women’s Olympic standard time is 2:29:30, which 14 Americans have hit since the start of 2018, including six since the IAAF window began on Jan. 1. ... Hasay, the top-finishing American in all three of her marathon starts (all majors), and Sisson, who just ran the second-fastest U.S. debut marathon ever, have the most momentum after the spring season. ... Cragg, Flanagan, Huddle and Linden are the veteran Olympians at different stages: Cragg, 35 and the 2016 Olympic Trials winner, tops the rankings but looks like she will go more than 18 months between her last marathon and her next one. ... Flanagan, 37 and the 2017 New York City Marathon winner, is undecided on whether she will resume her career after knee surgery last week. ... Huddle, 34 and the greatest American distance runner ever between the 5km and half marathon, was disappointed to only PR by 11 seconds in London. ... Linden, 35 and the 2018 Boston champ, hasn’t announced her plans after placing fifth in her defense, but she hasn’t been beaten by three Americans in a marathon since the 2008 Olympic Trials.

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