The 2012 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials begin this Thursday at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., and with them comes the promise of dreams fulfilled and hopes dashed.
To get you ready for the week ahead, we've compiled a quick primer on the American athletes with the most to prove heading into this much-anticipated competition.
In some cases, the performers must prove they're worthy of an Olympic spot. For others, qualification is all but assured, but the onus to perform well remains.
The one common baseline is pressure, and the track world will have a keen eye on these five as the drive toward London hits high gear.