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10 Americans to Watch at Worlds

Published by
RunnerSpace.com/Pro   on Mar 5 2014, 04:23 PM

Team USA sends another incredibly strong squad to the IAAF World Indoor Track and Field Championships, with high expectations and athletes ready to step it up to another level. Here’s the shortlist of ten American track and field stars to keep an eye on in Sopot, Poland.

Team USA Roster | World Indoors Website

Marvin Bracy (@_BraceYaself): The 20 year old sprint sensation continues his dominating indoor campaign in Sopot, this time eyeing World Championship gold in the 60 meter dash. Bracy is on a roll this season, winning the 60m event at both the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix and NYRR Millrose Games.

Heading into the USA Indoor Track and Field Championships, Bracy was the heavy favorite and did not disappoint. The former Florida State wideout won a close battle with Trell Kimmons, running a personal best of 6.48 (Kimmons 6.49). Bracy’s time ranks him number one in the world heading to World Indoors. Can the young star take home gold? All signs point to yes!

Michelle Carter (@ShotDiva): The U.S. women’s team captain is poised to earn another World Indoor Championship medal. In 2012, Carter came up big, winning bronze. Her sixth place finish at the London Olympics and fourth place finish at the World Outdoor Championships last summer should have Carter pumped up to go after another medal. While Valerie Adams and Christina Schwanitz are the heavy favorites for gold and silver, there are a strong group of women all capable of coming away with a medal. Carter’s 60-6.5 winning toss at the USA Indoor Championships leaves her less than 1.5 feet out of the third best mark heading in.

Ashton Eaton (@AshtonJEaton): The indoor heptathlon world record holder not only is eyeing another gold medal, but another world record. His 2012 record of 6,645 points is in trouble. Eaton’s indoor season has shown him only getting stronger in each individual event, so put them all together and he’s going to be very hard to beat. He’s clearly the favorite in Sopot and could build upon his “greatest of all-time” legacy with another indoor title. Even better, the USA has a chance to bring home double gold in the multi events, as Sharon Day-Monroe is the favorite on the women’s side.

Erik Kynard (@Erik_Kynard): The 2012 Olympic silver medalist took the smart approach and eased into his season, but seems to be hitting his stride at the perfect time. In mid-February, Kynard lept a season’s best 7-8 in Birmingham, only to come back at the USA Indoors to take home gold. While Russian Ivan Ukhov is the heavy favorite to win (and go after the indoor world record), Kynard enters Worlds as the third best, only behind Ukhov and Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim. The high jump is arguably the premier field event in the world currently, so there’s a ton of depth and talent. Kynard is no lock for a medal, but he knows what it takes to perform his best when it matters most.

Bernard Lagat (@Lagat1500): The 39 year old started his 2014 indoor campaign rather average, but after his most recent two performances he’s a legit medal threat over 3,000m. Lagat set the American 2,000m record at the NYRR Millrose Games, only to come back at USA Indoors and beat Galen Rupp by a whopping two seconds. Lagat is on fire and with his veteran experience he will once again contend for gold. Don’t forget,  Lagat won gold at World Indoors in 2012 at 3,000m. He may not be the fastest on paper, but if the race is even remotely tactical, the odds are in his favor. Also of note, the wily veteran is the U.S. men’s team captain.

Francena McCorory (@theREALMcCorory): The Olympic gold medalist (4x4 relay) is the American record holder over 400 meters (50.54) and ranked number one in the world heading into this weekend’s competition. Her toughest competition comes from Russian Kseniya Ryzhova and fellow American Joanna Atkins. She was sixth at Worlds last summer, but is running so strong this indoor season. A win at USA Indoors gives her plenty of momentum and if the 25 year old hits on all cylinders over the weekend, her American record is in trouble and she could come home with two gold medals (she’s also on the 4x4 team).

Tyron Stewart: With Christian Taylor staying quiet this indoor season, Stewart earned his chance to shine brightly, winning the USA Indoor title and positioning himself in the fight for a medal in Poland. His season best mark of 26-11.75 leaves him in the mix for top three, but he’ll have to jump more consistently, and at a higher level, if he wants to earn a medal.

Jenn Suhr (@JennSuhr): The London Olympic gold medalist was a surprise runner-up at USA Indoors, losing to Mary Saxer. However, she does have a season best of 15-5.5 and knows what it takes to bring home top prize in major international competition. The women’s pole vault is simply insane, with nine women all within 1.75 inches of one another entering the weekend’s competition. Unfortunately, Suhr came down with food poisoning during her travels to Poland. Can she rebound? We can only hope.

Ryan Whiting (@ryanwhitingusa): The 2012 World Indoor gold medalist is back and wants to bring home more shiny neckware from Poland. Whiting is ranked number one in the world this indoor season, won USA Indoors easily and is clearly the favorite. Fellow Team USA member Kurt Roberts and German David Storl are his two toughest competitors, but Whiting seems to only be getting stronger as Worlds approaches.

Ajee’ Wilson (@AjeeW): It’s been said numerous times, but with fellow teen star Mary Cain out of Worlds due to injury, now is the time for Wilson to shine. The 19 year old is tearing up the track this indoor season. Big performances all season long, as well as an impressive repeat of her USA indoor title, make her the favorite to bring home gold in the women’s 800m event. Fellow Team USA teammate Chanelle Price gave Wilson a run for her money at USA Indoors, as the two finished 2:00.43-2:00.48, so a gold-silver victory for the U.S. is certainly realistic. The 2012 World Junior Champion and sixth place finisher at World Outdoors last summer is ready for one more big step on the international stage.

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History for IAAF World Indoor Championships
YearResultsVideosNewsPhotosBlogs
2014 1 16 24 1030  
2013     6    
2012 1 109 12 1146  
2011     1    
2010 1 59 6 582  
2008   2 53 193  
2006   1   20  
2004   1      
1999   48      
1997   1      
1993   23      
1991   26