Chart #3 (switch to women's chart)

compiled by Dave Johnson (as of May 27)

The picture has become a little bit clearer since our last stab at handicapping the 2013 national championships several weeks ago. Here’s our best guesses as to what might happen in Des Moines in late June, with World Championships berths on the line for the first 3 eligibles (not all events will end up full, of course).

You will note that some athletes are differentiated by color. If they are in red, that means that they have achieved the A-standard required to compete in Moscow. If they are in blue, that means they have the B-standard. Go here for the official list of A&B standards and what the two categories mean.

You will also find 6 men who are listed in capital letters. That means they are in possession of a “wild card”: the U.S. can enter 3 others in addition to them because they are either the reigning world champ or Diamond League champ.

As wild cards, USATF requires that they compete in the national championships, but not necessarily in their qualifying event, and they don’t need to make the final, just compete.

The by-event picks:

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Gay’s Kingston run has moved him back atop the heap, along with veteran internationalists Gatlin and Dix. Rodgers and Bailey are the relative up-and-comers, Patton the old-timer who’s getting better with age. All can challenge the three favorites, as might the collegians, with Young breaking the 10-second barrier at Regionals.
1. Tyson Gay (adidas) 2
2. Justin Gatlin (Xtep) 1
3. Walter Dix (Nike) 8
4. Mike Rodgers (Nike) 4
5. Ryan Bailey (Nike) 3
6. Doc Patton (Nike) 5
7. Isiah Young (Mississippi) nr
8. Charles Silmon (TCU) nr
9. Diondre Batson (Alabama) nr
10. Trell Kimmons (Nike) 6


Who will run will depend on who makes the century team and who gets nicked up while trying. Gay hasn’t run a 200 in multi-round meets since ’08, but after New York hinted that he might go for a double. Pre-season talk had Spearmon moving up to the 400, but he says that won’t be this year.
1. Wallace Spearmon (Saucony) 1
2. Walter Dix (Nike) 5
3. Isiah Young (Mississippi) 4
4. Tyson Gay (adidas) 10
5. Jeremy Dodson (Boulder TC) 9
6. Ameer Webb (Texas A&M) 7
7. Maurice Mitchell (Nike) 2
8. Calesio Newman (unattached) nr
9. Doc Patton (Nike) 6
10. Charles Silmon (TCU) nr


Merritt should be back to form after last season’s injury, but can he and veteran Wariner hold off the pack of youngsters? Among those youngsters, which collegians will best hold form and run well at the selection meet? Last year it was Nellum, who has managed the best season so far this year.
1. LaShawn Merritt (Nike) 1
2. Tony McQuay (adidas) 3
3. Bryshon Nellum (USC) 6
4. Jeremy Wariner (adidas) 4
5. Mike Berry (Oregon) 10
6. Josh Mance (unattached) 7
7. Torrin Lawrence (unattached) nr
8. Calvin Smith (adidas) 5
9. Kyle Clemons (Kansas) nr
10. Manteo Mitchell (Nike) 8


Solomon dethroned Symmonds as top American last year, but was that a 1-year thing? And was Sowinski’s indoor breakthrough as much a revelation of things to come as we see here? The outdoor revelation has been former long hurdler Johnson, running at the front in several races this year. Wheating could move up, but where is Robinson, who has yet to run an 800 this year?
1. Duane Solomon (Saucony) 1
2. Nick Symmonds (Nike) 2
3. Erik Sowinski (unattached) 10
4. Brandon Johnson (Nike) nr
5. Charles Jock (Nike) 8
6. Andrew Wheating (Oregon TC) nr
7. Khadevis Robinson (Nike) 3
8. Mike Rutt (New Jersey/New York TC) 9
9. Robby Andrews (adidas) (7)
10. Elijah Greer (Oregon) 6


Wheating and Andrews might be in the 800 only. Decisions might be made only during the four days in Des Moines. Galen Rupp is the fastest American so far this year but obviously won’t run here. Former national champs Bernard Lagat and Lopez Lomong are expected to run the 5000 only. If the current lack of A qualifiers holds up, the Des Moines race could be most interesting
1. Matthew Centrowitz (Nike) 1
2. Leo Manzano (Nike) 2
3. Will Leer (Nike) (7)
4. Andrew Wheating (Oregon TC) 4
5. Russell Brown (Nike) (9)
6. Andy Bayer (Indiana) 6
7. Garrett Heath (Saucony) nr
8. Ryan Hill (NC State) nr
9. Ben Blankenship (Oregon TC) nr
10. Craig Miller (New Balance) nr


Jager burst on the scene last year with Cabral being the rare collegian to make an international championship distance team. They would seem to have locks on two spots. Leslie has provided year’s breakthrough performance, and veterans Huling and Nelson are back in the hunt for team spots.
1. Evan Jager (Nike) 1
2. Cory Leslie (unattached) 9
3. Donn Cabral (Nike) 2
4. Dan Huling (Nike) 6
5. Billy Nelson (New Balance) 9
6. DeSean Turner (Team Indiana) nr
7. Craig Forys (New York AC) nr
8. Donnie Cowart (W Ex) 4
9. Ben Bruce (adidas) 5
10. Travis Mahoney (New Jersey/New York TC) nr


With two days rest between the 10 and 5 there may be a good many people who run both, and perhaps without drastic effects if the 10 is not particularly difficult. Lagat and Rupp should be locks, but strange things can always happen.
1. Bernard Lagat (Nike) 1
2. Galen Rupp (Nike Oregon) 2
3. Lopez Lomong (Nike) 3
4. Andrew Bumbalough (Nike) 6
5. Ben True (Saucony) 7
6. Chris Derrick (Nike) 10
7. Hassan Mead (Oregon TC) nr
8. Eric Jenkins (Northeastern) nr
9. Aaron Braun (adidas) (1)
10. Chris Solinsky (Nike) (3)


10,000 METERS
True and Derrick broke through during the cross country season and could be ready to make a Worlds 10K team. Ritzenhein is always a danger, able to turn in a strong performance when needed even when not at the top of his game.
1. Galen Rupp (Nike Oregon) 1
2. Ben True (Saucony) 10
3. Chris Derrick (Nike) 4
4. Dathan Ritzenhein (Nike Oregon) 2
5. Ryan Vail (unattached) 7
6. Bobby Curtis (Hansons) (4)
7. Aaron Braun (adidas) 5
8. Chris Solinsky (Nike) nr
9. Matt Tegenkamp (Nike) 3
10. Sean Quigley (Boulder TC) nr


WR holder Merritt had one of the great hurdle seasons ever; reigning world champ Richardson is solid. Then it’s a crapshoot. Can Oliver come back or will there be another Jeff Porter with a race of a lifetime? Any way you cut it, probably the toughest U.S. squad to make.
1. Aries Merritt (Nike) 1
3. David Oliver (Nike) 3
4. Ryan Wilson (Saucony) 5
5. Antwon Hicks (TruFit) 7
6. David Payne (unattached) 10
7. Jeff Porter (Nike) 4
8. Kevin Craddock (unattached) nr
9. Omo Osaghae (adidas) nr
10. Eddie Lovett (Florida) nr


Tinsley proved to be the best of the Americans in London, but this year will show his level of consistency. Behind him are world-leader Dutch and an aging trio, any of whom could still be #1 or fall off the cliff.
1. Michael Tinsley (adidas) 1
2. Johnny Dutch (Nike) 7
3. Bershawn Jackson (Nike) 3
4. Angelo Taylor (Nike) 2
5. Kerron Clement (Nike) 4
6. Jeshua Anderson (Nike) (3)
7. Justin Gaymon (unattached) 5
8. Reggie Wyatt (USC) 6
9. Michael Stigler (Kansas) 8
10. Reuben McCoy (unattached) nr


A rare youth movement has taken hold, with 6 likely top-10 finishers under age 25. At 20, Barron won the last three times as a teenager. (walk predictions by Steve Vaitones)
1. Trevor Barron (New York AC) 1
2. Patrick Stroupe (unattached) 3
3. Tim Seaman (New York AC) 2
4. Nick Christie (Missouri Baptist) 4
5. Jonathan Hallman (World Class RW) nr
6. Alex Chavez (unattached) nr
7. John Nunn (unattached) 7
8. Michael Mannozzi (Shore AC) 6
9. Dan Serianni (World Class RW) 5
10. Cody Risch (Cornerstone) nr


The first three make a very solid trio and could finish in any order. But any mistakes on their part opens the door to a number of collegians who could get hot on the day. Injuries to Williams and Nieto could keep two of last year’s Olympians off this year’s team.
2. Erik Kynard (Kansas State) 2
3. Dusty Jonas (Nike) (2)
4. Keith Moffatt (Nike) (7)
5. Marcus Jackson (Mississippi State) 8
6. Ronnie Black (Virginia Tech) nr
7. Geoff Davis (Purdue) (10)
8. Montz Blair (Cornell) nr
9. Marcus Jackson (Mississippi State) 8
10. Edward Dudley (Lake Erie JC) nr


Retirements have thinned the pool of veterans as 6 collegians are listed among the top 10. American Record holder Walker has been having a good season so far
1. Brad Walker (Nike) 1
2. Jordan Scott (PowerBar) 8
3. Andrew Irwin (Arkansas) nr
4. Jack Whitt (Oral Roberts) 6
5. Sam Kendricks (Mississippi) nr
6. Jeremy Scott (Nike) 3
7. Mark Hollis (unattached) 5
8. Jake Blankenship (Tennessee) nr
9. Cale Simmons (Air Force) nr
10. Victor Weirich (BYU) nr


Phillips has the wildcard, so will he do anything more than just put in an appearance? He didn’t do much in his first legal jump in more than a year. Will Ashton Eaton compete the day after the decathlon ends? We’re betting no. TJ wild card Taylor wants to make the team in a second event.
1. Will Claye (Nike) 1
2. George Kitchens (Goldcal) 4
3. Christian Taylor (Li Ning) 5
4. Jeremy Hicks (unattached) (4)
5. Marquis Dendy (Florida) nr
6. Mike Hartfield (Ohio State) 8
7. Jarvis Gotch (South Plains JC) nr
9. Bryce Lamb (Texas Tech) (6)
10. Jarrion Lawson (Arkansas) nr


The world’s two best TJers aren’t likely to meet as Taylor’s wild card allows him to concentrate on the LJ. That leaves the TJ open for Claye. Is Wilson still in the hunt? Is USA indoor champ Honeycutt a new hopeful?
1. Will Claye (Nike) 2
2. Chris Carter (unattached) (4)
3. Chris Benard (Chula Vista Elite) 10
4. Omar Craddock (Florida) 4
5. Josh Honeycutt (Phoenix Elite) nr
6. James Jenkins (St. Louis Blues) nr
7. Rafeeq Curry (Shore AC) 9
8. Marquis Dendy (Florida) nr
9. Aarik Wilson (unattached) 5
10. Nkosinza Balumbu (Mission Viejo) 7


Still one of America’s best international events, even with Adam Nelson’s retirement and Cantwell not showing good form. With a full field of spinners, someone—or more—is bound to make a disastrous mistake, but we’d be surprised if it were steady performers Whiting and Hoffa.
1. Ryan Whiting (Nike) 2
2. REESE HOFFA (New York AC) 1
3. Cory Martin (Nike) 6
4. Ryan Crouser (Texas) nr
5. Kurt Roberts (Nike) 7
6. Joe Kovacs (Nike) 4
7. Zack Lloyd (unattached) (9)
8. Eric Werskey (unattached) 10
9. Christian Cantwell (Nike) 3
10. Jacob Thormaehlen (unattached) 9


Anyone can win this, and early-season form seems to ride the winds. Come the selection meet, Rome is always in the hunt. Who gets left home? Or is that the wrong question? Right now, no Americans have met the Worlds A or B standard.
1. Jason Young (Nike) 2
2. Lance Brooks (Nike) 1
3. Jarred Rome (Nike) 4
4. Casey Malone (Nike) 6
5. Russ Winger (Asics) 3
6. Luke Bryant (unattached) 9
7. Jared Schuurmans (WTA) nr
8. Mason Finley (unattached) (9)
9. James Plummer (Rutgers) nr
10. Rodney Brown (LSU) nr


Johnson and Kruger seem to have separated themselves from the rest. Loftin is in PR territory this year, but Cralle had a great Olympic Trials. Is that his new level of ability or will that remain his peak?
1. Kibwé Johnson (New York AC) 1
2. A.G. Kruger (Nike) 2
3. Drew Loftin (OtterBox) 5
4. Chris Cralle (unattached) 3
5. Jake Freeman (Nike) 9
6. Andy Fryman (Mjolnir) 7
7. Garland Porter (unattached) 8
8. Colin Dunbar (unattached) nr
9. Garrett Grey (Ashland) nr
10. Jeremy Postin (Florida) nr


Hostetler, Kinsley and Furey have competed sparingly, but defender Humphreys PRed at his Regional. Collegians seem ready to crowd out the veterans, but will they have the right stuff at the right time?
1. Sam Humphreys (Texas A&M) 1
2. Corey White (unattached) 7
3. Cyrus Hostetler (Oregon TC) 3
4. Tim Glover (Illinois State) 5
5. Sam Crouser (Oregon) 6
6. Andy Fahringer (unattached) nr
7. Nick Howe (Moving Shoes Elite) nr
8. Craig Kinsley (unattached) 2
9. Sean Furey (Mizuno) 4
10. Barry Krammes (Shore AC) 10


The last two international champions, and then a guessing game as to who will be 3rd and 4th. Or will we be looking for 2nd and 3rd as wildcard Hardee doesn’t have to finish or even compete in this event. Will the U.S. have enough finishers score well enough (the A is 8200) to make standard and allow us to send a full contingent to Moscow?
1. Ashton Eaton (Oregon TC) 1
2. TREY HARDEE (Nike) 2
5. Gunnar Nixon (unattached) 10
4. Kevin Lazas (Arkansas) 8
5. Curtis Beach (Duke) (6)
6. Ryan Harlan (unattached) 6
7. Isaac Murphy (Texas) 9
8. Dakotah Keys (Oregon) nr
9. Jeremy Taiwo (Washington) nr
10. Garrett Scantling (Georgia) nr