The trials for the US Olympic track and field team get under way in earnest today with a full day of events, including two finals. It's make-or-break time for American athletes, who have spent the past four years preparing for this moment.
An opening ceremony will also take place today at 7 p.m. EST to officially kick off the 10-day trial period. By the time it's over, the London Olympics will be just 26 days away. The dream of reaching the marquee sporting event is becoming very real for many athletes right now.
Let's take a look at the complete schedule for Day 1 followed by a deeper look at the pair of finals.
Day 1 Schedule
|4:50 p.m.||Men||Long jump||Decathlon|
|6:05 p.m.||Men||Shot put||Decathlon|
|6:10 p.m.||Men||400 meters||First Round|
|6:35 p.m.||Women||400 meters||First Round|
|7 p.m.||n/a||Opening Ceremony||n/a|
|7:30 p.m.||Men||High jump||Decathlon|
|8 p.m.||Women||800 meters||First Round|
|8:20 p.m.||Men||800 meters||First Round|
|8:30 p.m.||Women||Pole vault||Qualifying|
|8:40 p.m.||Women||100-meter hurdles||First Round|
|8:45 p.m.||Men||Long jump||Qualifying|
|9 p.m.||Women||100 meters||Qualifying|
|9:30 p.m.||Men||400 meters||Decathlon|
|9:45 p.m.||Men||10,000 meters||Finals|
|10:20 p.m.||Women||10,000 meters||Finals|
What to Watch
Men's 10,000 meter Final
Galen Rupp set the American record in this event last fall and headlines a group of 24 runners hoping to earn a trip to London. Rupp's record time, which checked in at 26 minutes and 48 seconds, was still 30 seconds off the world-record pace.
Other contenders include Joseph Chirlee and Tim Nelson. The biggest name on the bubble would be Dathan Ritzenhein, who hasn't yet reached the Olympic standard. He needs a strong showing in today's race to make the team.
Women's 10,000 meter Final
Marathon runner Shalane Flanagan won't be running the 10,000 meters at the Olympics, but is using the event as part of her preparations for London and should set a pretty good pace for the other runners, who are hoping to reach the top standard.
Amy Hastings, Janet Cherobon-Bawcom and Lisa Uhl are the three favorites to make the team. They will be attempting to have a strong showing tonight with hopes of reaching their peak in a couple weeks when it matters most.