2012 USA Olympic Team Trials Marathon - Women's Contenders
by Sharon Ekstrom and MarathonGuide.com Staff
See Also: Women's Preview | Women's Favorites
Amy Hastings |
Janet Cherobon-Bawcom |
Stephanie Rothstein |
Blake Russell |
Victah Sailer / PhotoRun
DOB: March 21, 1981
Home: Mammoth Lakes, CA
Coach: Terence Mahon
PB: 2:27:03, 2011 Los Angeles Marathon
Trials Qualifications: Honda LA Marathon (Marathon - 3/20/2011 - 2:27:03); 2010 USA Half Marathon Championships (Half Marathon - 1/17/2010 - 1:11:19); Zappos.com Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon (Half Marathon - 12/04/2011 - 1:11:22); 2011 USA Half Marathon Championships (Half Marathon - 1/29/2011 - 1:14:07); Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational (10000m - 5/01/2010 - 32:28.8); USA Outdoor Championships 10,000 meters (10000m - 6/24/2010 - 32:49.1)
It is certain that we have seen very little of Amy Hastings on the marathon circuit; but seeing that her qualifier for the 2012 US Olympics Trials was at her debut marathon from March at the 2011 Los Angeles Marathon, she will be one to watch.
Hastings has a strong background in the 5000m and has competed at World Cross Country events in 2003, 2008 and 2010. She had a solid 2010 3rd at the USA Half Marathon Championships in 1:11:19, 3rd at USA Cross Country 8.0km Championships, and 5th at the USA 10000m Championships incidentally behind marathon favorite and former college (ASU) training parter Desiree Davila and 2008 US Olympian Blake Russell. and just how did she stumble into the marathon distance at 27 years of age one year before the 2012 Olympics Games...Coached by Terrence Mahon, she felt that she had to mentally and physically prepare for the distance before jumping in. Sidelined by an achilles injury in January, she opted out of the 2011 Houston Marathon and raced her debut in Los Angeles and the rest is history.
For the remainder of 2011 she became even stronger on the track, Hastings placed 2nd at the USA 5000m Championships in a personal best time. She finished 2nd at the Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Half in 71:22, a mere three seconds off her personal best from the 2010 USA Half Marathon Championships in Houston last year. Not too shabby since she only began racing the distance in 2009.
WHY? It could be that Hastings has taken to the marathon as quickly as Ryan Hall did prior to the 2008 US Olympic Trials or it could have been beginners luck. Nonetheless, we remain encouraged by this new crop of marathoners.
Victah Sailer / PhotoRun
DOB: August 22, 1978 - Kenya
Home: Rome, GA
Coach: Jack Daniels
PB: 2:37:27, 2008 Snickers Marathon Energy Bar Marathon
Trials Qualifications: OBX Half Marathon (Half Marathon - 11/14/2010 - 1:11:21); NYC Half-Marathon (Half Marathon - 3/20/2011 - 1:11:38); OneAmerica Festival Mini Marathon (Half Marathon - 5/07/2011 - 1:11:42); B.A.A. Half Marathon (Half Marathon - 10/09/2011 - 1:11:58); Mercedes Half Marathon (Half Marathon - 2/13/2011 - 1:14:44)
Janet Cherobon-Bawcom may be one of the best runners in America, but she's not yet a household name. Janet was born in Kenya, but not really a runner before she came to the USA to run for Division II Harding College. After a poor Freshman year and redshirting due to injury; Cherobon-Bawcom won three Div. II National Championship titles in her senior year.
Cherobon-Bawcom began the process of gaining citizenship in 2006 and began running marathons in the same year. Cherobon-Bawcom has won ten of the eleven marathons that she has finished - most without serious competition and almost all in a time of around 2:37. While Cherobon's marathon past marathon times (albeit wins) do not place her in the same strata as other top American marathoners, her 1:10:54 Half Marathon personal best and competitive nature suggest that Cherobon-Bawcom's marathon potential has not yet been tested or realized.
Finally gaining her American citizenship, Cherobon-Bawcom began competing in the USATF National Championships series as soon as she was eligible and in quick succession was crowned the 20K, 10Mile and 10K champion - all within a span of five weeks. During that period she also won and set a new record at the Cow Harbor 10K and won the BAA Half Marathon the day befor taking the 10K championship.
Why? Cherobon-Bawcom is on fire having won 5 of her 5 last races including big victories over Deena Kastor and Magdalena Lewy Boulet. Cherobon-Bawcom has been training at altitude and recently switched to being coached by Jack Daniels. It is a tough field in which to finish top three, but don't be surprised if Cherobon-Bawcom is right there.
Victah Sailer / PhotoRun
DOB: January 14, 1984
Home: Flagstaff, AZ
Coach: Greg McMillan
PB: 2:29:35, 2011 Houston Marathon
Trials Qualifications: Chevron Houston Marathon (Marathon - 1/30/2011 - 2:29:35); IAAF World Half Marathon Championships (Half Marathon - 10/16/2010 - 1:13:37)
2012 can potentially be Stephanie Rothstein's big year. A member of Team USA Arizona led by Coach Greg McMillan, Rothstein has only two marathons under her belt; but her potential in the distance keeps marathon fans hopeful, especially following her HUGE personal best marathon finish at the 2011 Houston Marathon.
Up until then Rothstein had a decent collegiate career earning accolades in track and cross country; but it was an early career that did see a number of setbacks from injury. Following graduation she was coached by Brad Hudson and ran an impressive time of 73:20 at the 2008 USA Half Marathon Championships. Her main focus at the time was on the 10000m US Olympic Trials; but this 10000m specialist did not see improvements and finished well off securing a berth of the Olympic Team.
It was soon after the trials that she began to focus on the marathon distance with her training becoming more intensive. This resulted in various nagging injuries which she ignored as she ran her debut marathon at the 2008 Twin Cities Marathon. She finished 2:40:07 in 5th place; but the injuries became constant and Rothstein looked for ways to improve her health and fitness. She discovered that she had celiac disease, an auto-immune disease, that made her gluten-intolerant.
Rothstein began to train under Greg McMillan and with renewed health, she began to see results. By 2010, she saw top podium finishes and personal bests at road races of varying distances and finished 2nd at the 2010 USA 20K Championships. This race qualified her to represent the USA at the 2010 World Half Marathon Championships where she finished 73:37.
The personal bests continued through 2011, beginning with her 2:29:35 finish at the Houston Marathon where she finished 3rd and shaved an incredible ten minutes off her previous marathon time.
Why? Rothstein is on a roll. Her potential is just being realized.
Victah Sailer / PhotoRun
DOB: July 24, 1975 - Winston-Salem, NC
Home: Pacific Grove, CA
Coach: Robert Sevene
PB: 2:29:10, 2005 Chicago Marathon
Trials Qualifications: Rock 'n' Roll San Jose Half Marathon (Half Marathon - 10/03/2010 - 1:11:55); USA Outdoor Championships 10,000 meters (10000m - 6/24/2010 - 32:47); Stanford Invitational 10,000 meters (10000m - 3/26/2010 - 32:57)
Blake Russell kept a relatively low profile since the 2008 Olympic Games. While she was the 3rd to qualify at the 2008 USA Olympic Team Trials Women's Marathon in Boston, Russell struggled along with the rest of the USA team at the Beijing Olympics Women's Marathon.
Russell began her racing career on the track like most marathoners. She began in the 26.2 distance at the 2003 Twin Cities Marathon which she won in 2:30:41. While there was a dearth of American women prior to the 2004 Athens Olympics, Russell was a promising upstart. She was 4th at the 2004 USA National Championships in Twin Cities the following year in a slight personal best of 2:30:32. She ran Chicago Marathon consecutively in 2004 and 2005 - achieving her standing personal best in 2:29:10, a 6th place finish.
Despite a DNF at the 2007 London Marathon, Russell was well prepared for the 2008 US Olympic Team Women's Marathon Trials in Boston. Off-the-radar, she secured the 3rd Olympic berth in 2:32:40. At the 2008 Beijing Olympic Marathon ran a 2:33:13 (27th place) - while she clocked a time consistent to her marathon history, the heat and humidity of Beijing has to be factored in. Also, of note was that the other Americans in the field Deena Kastor and Magdalena Lewy Boulet dropped out of the race.
Russell took 2009 and 2010 away from the running to have her first child. At 36 she returned to Boston to run her first marathon since the Olympics. But Russell dropped out of that race. If her preparations and training leading into the 2012 Trials have been successful, they will play out in Houston.
Why? when Russell made the 2008 Team she was an unknown who had a great day, perhaps she could repeat her performance?