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Andrew Wheating looks to be the favorite with Bernard Lagat's status up in the air.
The metric mile is much more wide open, especially with the uncertainty surrounding Bernard Lagat's status in the event. Although he will not race the 1500 in South Korea, Lagat is entered in the race at USAs. Lagat has proven time and again that no one in the United States can kick with him when it comes to championship racing, but Lagat has never faced the wonder boy Andrew Wheating in such a race. Wheating burst onto the world scene last summer, running 3:30.90 for 1500 meters.
While Lagat may just be using this race to sharpen his speed for the 5000 meters, there is a chance he may not stay in it, choosing to focus solely on the 5000. Without Lagat, this is Wheating's race to lose. If Lagat does choose to race the 1500, it is hard to pick against the wily veteran. Look for Lagat to try and take the kick out of Wheating, starting a long drive to the finish from farther out than the speedier Wheating would like.
Other runners who should be in the mix include Russell Brown, who is largely untested in championship racing; David Torrence, a fan favorite; and local stud Matt Centrowitz, Jr., the NCAA champ.
Leo Manzano and Lopez Lomong have both made US teams in the past but have been wildly inconsistent. Nevertheless, both could pull out a big-time performance and make the team.
The 1500 looks to be one of the most wide open races on the track and will provide plenty of excitement for the Track Town faithful.