It’s time to take a look at the female speed demons. Interestingly just as with the men, two dominant women have emerged – one from the US, one from Jamaica. As right now Carmelita Jeter and Veronica Campbell Brown have emerged as the two Alpha Females of the drag racers!
The events are also similar in that a youth movement is on the way. The question being will it arrive as rapidly as the men’s youth movement that appears to be on this year’s horizon? It’s hard to tell because the times on the women’s side are not dropping quite as rapidly as they are on the women’s side. Only seven women under the 11.00 threshold so far this season – two Americans, three Jamaicans, two Others – which would seemingly make it an easy call at the top.
As always the difficulty comes for that final open spot and the relay pools. Oh won’t those be fun to look at in a couple of weeks! In any case, here is my take on the outcome of the women’s 100 events next week.
I see the first two spots playing out pretty easily. First off, this race is Jeter’s to lose. Based on times and consistency, it would take a catastrophe for her not to make the team. Similarly it would take a horrible race for her to lose this. Having said that her start IS her Achilles heel – often leaving her with much more ground to make up than she should have to work with. I’m better on a decent start here and the win.
Should the start be less than decent, look for Marshavet Myers to press her to the line, Myers has been solid for the past couple of seasons, closes well, and appears to be a step better than all but Jeter.
After these two, we’re looking at some change among the upper echelon of US sprinting. The woman that I expect to lead this change is Alexandria Anderson. Her start has gotten better this year, and she has the ability to close with passion. She and Sholonda Solomon will both close hard, I’m thinking that Anderson may have a step at the half way point and that will get her the nod.
They will be looking to out finish an “oldie” and a “newbie”. The oldie will be Lauryn Williams who appears to be just a step off after taking some time away last year. She may be sharper next year, but doesn’t seem to have recovered it yet. Of course now that I say that she’ll burst from the blocks in Eugene and blow my prediction out of the water – and I wouldn’t be mad at her! But as I look at things right now, I see her and newbie Jeneba Tarmoh fighting with Anderson and Solomon for that final spot in the open event as well as relay pool duty.
Look for a lot of youngsters to be fighting for spots in this final. Among them: English Gardener, Kimberlyn Duncan, and Lakya Brookins leading the way. A group that might be ready to make for a different final in 2012. The semifinals should be HOT.
Jamaica still has it’s holdovers from Beijing and Berlin in it’s top four women. After that there is a pool of youth waiting to surface. The best of the veterans has been Veronica Campbell Brown – who just seems to get better with age. Campbell Brown has developed into a consistent starter over the last couple of seasons and that combined with her already strong finishing speed will give her the Jamaican title.
Behind her, and right on her heels, is the woman that I think is the heir apparent in waiting – Kerron Stewart. Stewart is where Campbell Brown was a few years ago – better at 200 because she lacks the consistency at the start. An adequate start should get her the #2 nod here, however as she seems to be sharper than the next two women.
Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce is the defending Olympic and World Champion, but has seemed a step off so far this season. I think she has enough, however, to get the #3 slot in Kingston, which would give her time to prepare to defend her title – a conversation for later in the summer. The woman she’ll be looking to hold off is Sherone Simpson who has had some issues in recent weeks – and can’t afford to be anything less than her best in this field.
Behind these women will be a group of youngsters getting their first real taste of this kind of heat. Young ladies that could be a factor by Moscow ‘13.
|1.||Veronica Campbell Brown||10.81|
|3.||Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce||10.95|
That’s how I see this “play in round” for the World Championships. I expect to see these women make up at least half of the Daegu final – as well as take the medals. It will be interesting to see if any real challengers develop as the summer moves forward, but right now the top of both finals are the cream of the crop in this event.
Next I want to take a look at the middle distance races at the US Trials. There has been a lot of movement in the last two seasons, and these four races should be quite exciting.