Chart #1 (switch to women's chart)

compiled by Dave Johnson (as of April 5)

With the professional season being what it now is, with very little meaningful activity before May and June roll around, this initial stab at handicapping the 2013 national championships is very much based on past form. With that in mind, 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).

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 picks:

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Bailey is the up-and-comer, Patton the old-timer who’s getting better with age. Both can challenge the three favorites, who are also long on big-time experience.
1. Justin Gatlin (Xtep)
2. Tyson Gay (adidas)
3. Walter Dix (Nike)
4. Ryan Bailey (Nike)
5. Doc Patton (Nike)
6. Mike Rodgers (Nike)
7. Trell Kimmons (adidas)
8. Jeff Demps (unattached)
9. Harry Adams (Auburn)
10. Maurice Mitchell (Nike)


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.
1. Wallace Spearmon (Saucony)
2. Walter Dix (Nike)
3. Maurice Mitchell (Nike)
4. Calesio Newman (unattached)
5. Doc Patton (Nike)
6. Ameer Webb (Texas A&M)
7. Isiah Young (Mississippi)
8. Jeremy Dodson (Boulder TC)
9. Harry Adams (Auburn)
10. Ryan Bailey (Nike)


Merritt should be back to form, but can he and veteran Wariner hold off the pack of youngsters?
1. LaShawn Merritt (Nike)
2. Tony McQuay (adidas)
3. Jeremy Wariner (adidas)
4. Calvin Smith (adidas)
5. Bryshon Nellum (USC)
6. Mike Berry (Oregon)
7. Josh Mance (Florida State)
8. Angelo Taylor (Nike)
9. Manteo Mitchell (Nike)
10. David Verburg (George Mason)


Solomon dethroned Symmonds as top American, 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?
1. Duane Solomon (Saucony)
2. Nick Symmonds (Nike)
3. Erik Sowinski (unattached)
4. Khadevis Robinson (Nike)
5. Robby Andrews (adidas)
6. Andrew Wheating (Oregon TC)
7. Ryan Martin (Asics)
8. Elijah Greer (Oregon)
9. Charles Jock (Nike)
10. Tyler Mulder (Oregon TC)


Lagat and Lomong could wind up running the 5000 only. 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.
1. Matthew Centrowitz (Nike)
2. Leo Manzano (Nike)
3. Bernard Lagat (Nike)
4. Lopez Lomong (Nike)
5. Andrew Wheating (Oregon TC)
6. David Torrence (Nike)
7. Will Leer (Nike)
8. Robby Andrews (adidas)
9. Andy Bayer (Indiana)
10. Craig Miller (New Balance)


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.
1. Evan Jager (Nike)
2. Donn Cabral (Nike)
3. Kyle Alcorn (Nike)
4. Dan Huling (Nike)
5. Donnie Cowart (R Mt)
6. Ben Bruce (adidas)
7. Max King (Central Oregon RK)
8. Billy Nelson (unattached)
9. Brian Olinger (Reebok)
10. Cory Leslie (unattached)


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 particularly difficult.
1. Bernard Lagat (Nike)
2. Galen Rupp (Nike)
3. Lopez Lomong (Nike)
4. Matt Tegenkamp (Nike)
5. Andrew Bumbalough (Nike)
6. Chris Derrick (Nike)
7. Ryan Hill (NC State)
8. Ben True (Saucony)
9. Brent Vaughn (Nike)
10. Elliott Heath (Nike)


10,000 METERS
Derrick and True broke through during the cross country season and could be ready to make a Worlds 10K team.
1. Galen Rupp (Nike)
2. Matt Tegenkamp (Nike)
3. Chris Derrick (Nike)
4. Dathan Ritzenhein (Nike)
5. Ben True (Saucony)
6. Brent Vaughn (Nike)
7. Ryan Vail (Brooks)
8. Bobby Mack (Reebok)
9. Tim Nelson (Nike)
10. Aaron Braun (adidas McMillan)


Merritt had one of the great hurdle seasons ever; 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?
1. Aries Merritt (Nike)
3. David Oliver (Nike)
4. Jeff Porter (Nike)
5. Ryan Wilson (Saucony)
6. Dexter Faulk (Nike)
7. Antwon Hicks (unattached)
8. Ronnie Ash (Nike)
9. Kevin Craddock (unattached)
10. Omo Osaghae (adidas)


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


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)
2. Patrick Stroupe (unattached)
3. Tim Seaman (New York AC)
4. Alex Chavez (unattached)
5. Nick Christie (unattached)
6. John Nunn (unattached)
7. Ben Shorey (Shore AC)
8. Dan Serianni (World Class RW)
9. Michael Mannozzi (Shore AC)
10. Jonathan Hallman (World Class RW)


The first three make a very solid threesome, but Kynard has split his last two meetings with Jackson, each winning once on the countback.
2. Erik Kynard (Kansas State)
3. Dusty Jonas (Nike)
4. Marcus Jackson (Mississippi State)
5. Ricky Robertson (Mississippi)
6. Nick Ross (unattached)
7. Ronnie Black (Virginia Tech)
8. Geoff Davis (Purdue)
9. Ed Wright (unattached)
10. Jamie Nieto (New York AC)


Kendricks got a 19-footer at Texas, but how much of that is his future and how much was the ideal conditions which made for so many PRs? And are either Irwin or Whitt the better collegiate jumpers, now ready to make the team?
1. Brad Walker (Nike)
2. Jeremy Scott (Nike)
3. Sam Kendricks (Mississippi)
4. Andrew Irwin (Arkansas)
5. Jack Whitt (Oral Roberts)
6. Jordan Scott (unattached)
7. Mark Hollis (Nike)
8. Jake Blankenship (Tennessee)
9. Cale Simmons (Air Force)
10. Michael Woepse (UCLA)


Phillips has the wildcard, so will he do anything more than just put in an appearance? The bet here is that if he’s healthy enough to show, he’ll be healthy enough to jump seriously. Will Eaton compete the day after the decathlon ends?
1. Will Claye (Nike)
3. Marquis Dendy (Florida)
4. Ashton Eaton (Oregon TC)
5. Christian Taylor (Li Ning)
6. George Kitchens (unattached)
7. Mike Hartfield (Ohio State)
8. Norris Frederick (unattached)
9. Jeremy Hicks (unattached)
10. Jarrion Lawson (Arkansas)


The world’s two best TJers would seem to have locks on the top spots. Is Wilson still in the hunt? Can Dendy transfer his new LJ skills to what used to be his best event? Is indoor champ Honeycutt a new hopeful?
2. Will Claye (Nike)
3. Aarik Wilson (unattached)
4. Bryce Lamb (Texas Tech)
5. Omar Craddock (Florida)
6. Josh Honeycutt (Phoenix Elite)
7. James Jenkins (St. Louis Blues)
8. Brandon Roulhac (Shore AC)
9. Marquis Dendy (Florida)
10. Rafeeq Curry (Shore AC)


Still one of America’s best international events, even with the retirement of Adam Nelson. With a full field of spinners, someone—or more—is bound to make a disastrous mistake.
2. Ryan Whiting (Nike)
3. Christian Cantwell (Nike)
4. Cory Martin (Nike)
5. Kurt Roberts (unattached)
6. Joe Kovacs (unattached)
7. Zack Lloyd (unattached)
8. Jordan Clarke (Arizona State)
9. Derrick Vicars (unattached)
10. Russ Winger (Asics)


Anyone can win this, and early-season form seems to ride the winds. But come the selection meet, Rome is always in the hunt. But who gets left home?
1. Lance Brooks (Nike)
2. Jarred Rome (Nike)
3. Jason Young (Nike)
4. Russ Winger (Asics)
5. Ian Waltz (New York AC)
6. Casey Malone (Nike)
7. Wes Stockbarger (unattached)
8. Dan Hytinen (unattached)
9. Luke Bryant (unattached)
10. Nick Jones (unattached)


Johnson and Kruger seem to have separated themselves from the rest. Cralle had a great Olympic Trials, but is that his new level of ability or will that remain his peak?
1. Kibwé Johnson (Nike)
2. A.G. Kruger (Nike)
3. Chris Cralle (unattached)
4. Drew Loftin (OtterBox)
5. Michael Mai (US Army)
6. Andy Fryman (Mjolnir)
7. Garland Porter (unattached)
8. Jake Freeman (Nike)
9. Lucais MacKay (Oregon TC)
10. Kevin Becker (Shore AC)


Who’s left? 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)
2. Craig Kinsley (unattached)
3. Cyrus Hostetler (Oregon TC)
4. Sean Furey (Mizuno)
5. Tim Glover (Illinois State)
6. Sam Crouser (Oregon)
7. Corey White (unattached)
8. Aris Borjas (unattached)
9. Barry Krammes (Shore AC)
10. Sean Keller (US Army)


The last two international champions, and then a guessing game as to who will be 3rd and 4th. And will the 3rd and 4th finishers score well enough to make the required standard?
1. Ashton Eaton (Oregon TC)
3. Kevin Lazas (Arkansas)
4. Gunnar Nixon (unattached)
5. Curtis Beach (Duke)
6. Isaac Murphy (Texas)
7. Joe Detmer (unattached)
8. Gray Horn (unattached)
9. Dakotah Keys (Oregon)
10. Chris Helwick (unattached)