It’s been a rough summer for Team USA. Since the end of the USA Championships in Eugene eight weeks ago on June 26 no less than thirteen athletes who were originally planning to compete at the World Championships will not be in Daegu wearing the red, white, and blue.
Five athletes have suffered injuries:
Jeremy Wariner, men’s 400 meters. Wariner tore a ligament in his second toe. Jamaal Torrence, who was fourth at the USA Champs, will replace Wariner in the open 400. Miles Smith, who was sixth at the USA Champs, was added to the 4X400 relay pool to replace Wariner (Torrence was already in the relay pool).
Debbie Dunn, women’s 400 meters. Dunn has a stress fracture in her left foot. Jessica Beard, who was fourth at the USA Champs replaces Dunn in the open 400. Keshia Baker, who was seventh at the USA Champs, was added to the 4X400 relay pool to replace Dunn (Beard was already in the relay pool).
Delilah DiCrescenzo, women’s steeplechase. DiCrescenzo has an unspecified injury. Stephanie Garcia, who at the USA Champs was leading DiCrescenzo in the battle for third place up until the final water jump, replaces DiCrescenzo.
Chris Solinsky, men’s 5000 meters. Solinsky tweeted that he injured his hamstring during a speed workout. Solinsky’s Oregon Track Club Elite teammate, Andy Bumbalough, fourth at the USA Champs, will replace Solinsky.
Brian Clay, men’s decathlon. Clay has a knee injury. No replacement was named for Clay.
Seven athletes failed to achieve the necessary World Championship standard and were thus replaced:
Kyle Alcorn, men’s steeplechase. Alcorn missed the World Championship A standard by 0.17 seconds (standard: 8:23.10; Alcorn ran: 8:23.27). Since Daniel Huling, who placed ahead of Alcorn at the USA Champs was going to the World Championships with a B standard only, Alcorn was not elgible. Ben Bruce, who was fifth at the 2011 USA Champs but has the World Championship A standard with his 8:19.10 from a meet in Barcelona in late July, replaces Alcorn.
Angela Bizzarri, women’s 5000 meters. Bizzarri did not achieve the World Championship A standard (15:14.00) and since Amy Hastings, who placed ahead of her is already going to the World Champs with a B standard, Bizzarri was not eligible. Bizzarri missed by 2.31 seconds, running 15:16.31 at the USA Champs. Lauren Fleshman, who was eighth at the USA Champs but ran a World Championship A standard of 15:00.57 at Crystal Palace in London will replace Bizzarri. In 2009 Bizzarri also placed in the top three at the USA Champs but did not compete at the World Championships because she did not get a qualifying time.
Nick Mossberg, men’s pole vault. Mossberg’s best of 5.55 meters was not good enough for the World Championship B standard (5.60 meters). Mark Hollis, who was fourth at the 2011 USA Champs but has a 5.70 meter clearance from a meet in July, replaces Mossberg.
Jeremy Hicks, men’s long jump. Hicks needed to achieve the A standard (8.20 meters) because Marquise Goodwin (8.17 meters), the USA Champion, qualified for the World Championships with a B standard only (8.10 meters). Hick’s best mark ended up being 7.97 meters. Trevell Quinley, who was fifth at the 2011 USA Champs but jumped 8.21 meters this season (one centimeter over the A standard), replaced Hicks.
Keelin Godsey, women’s hammer. Godsey’s throw of 68.90 did not meet the World Championship B standard (69.50). Jeneva McCall, who was fourth at the 2011 USA Champs but has the World Championship B mark with her 69.55 meter throw, replaces Godsey.
Ryann Krais and Chantae McMillan, women’s heptathlon. Krais and McMillan needed to achieve the A standard (6150 points) because Sharon Day (6058 points), the USA Champion, qualified for the World Championships with a B standard only (5950 points). The window for qualifying in the heptathlon was January 1, 2010 through August 15, 2011 but during that period Krais’ best was 6030 points and McMillan’s best was 6003 points. Hyleas Fountain, who was sixth at the 2011 USA Champs, but has a World Championship A standard of 6735 points (from 2010), joins Day on the USA team in the heptathlon.
Two athletes have legal issues:
Michael Rodgers, men’s 100 meters. Rodgers voluntarily withdrew from the World Championships and accepted a provisional suspension from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) after he tested positive for the stimulant methylhexamine. The use of this stimulant is against the rules but Rodgers has been quick to point out that he was not taking steroids. Trell Kimmons, fourth at the USA Champs, will replace Rodgers in the open 100. A replacement for Rodgers in the 4X100 relay pool was not named.
Jeremy Dodson, men’s 200 meters. Dodson finds himself embroiled in a legal issue one week before the start of the World Championships. He was arrested on suspicion of identity theft. He is free on $10,000 bail and has a hearing scheduled for Friday, August 26. His passport has been confiscated by the authorities and it’s unclear if he will be able to compete. Maurice Mitchell is the alternate for Dodson in the 200 meters.
There are still a few more days before the start of the 2011 World Championships. Hopefully there will be no more drama with the Team USA roster and the focus can shift from injuries, standards, and the law to good old track & field competition.