Olympic Trials Highlights

RW Staff

Staff member
The USA Olympic Track and Field Trials have quickly come and gone in a blur of big-named athletes, blistering temperatures, and even hotter record-breaking performances. Now, as we eagerly await the upcoming Olympic Games, all of us at the RW offices have been discussing and dissecting the myriad of fabulous highlights that we were able to see over the 10 days of coverage.

The main highlights that have had all of us buzzing include:

  1. The success of track clubs like New Balance, Tracksmith, and ON. Also, the strength of the collegiate athletes throughout the meet.
  2. The emergence of high schoolers Hobbs Kessler (1500m), Roisin Willis (800m), Juliette Whittaker (800m), Jaylen Slade (200m), and finally, Erriyon Knighton (200m) who broke the U20 World Record.
  3. World-Record Breaking performances from Sydney McLaughlin in 400m Hurdles and Ryan Crouser in Shot Put, and not to mention the host of meet records that also fell.
Of course, these are only a few of the many highlights from a very exciting Olympic Trials, and by the looks of things, Team USA is ready for success in Tokyo. All that said, what do you think were some of the biggest highlights from the trials? Is Team USA going to dominate the Track and Field events at the Olympic Games this summer? Which athletes are primed for gold?

RW Staff


I wish I had time to actually focus and watch the trials. Rather unfortunately I've just been catching the headlines that follow in their wake.

I am for sure excited about points 1 and 2. Burrito scandal aside, it is great to see that Nike doesn't have a complete stranglehold on competitive talent. Also, while I am ordinarily amazed at longevity in sports (particularly in a sport like track & field which is both individual and about as close to 100% athletics as you can get), it is great to see young talent emerging. I am excited to see the development of Kessler as apparently he has stumbled his way into running from climbing?

One thing that is always both fun and sad to see are the upsets. Donavan Brazier has to be completely heartbroken after his 800 performance and similarly Craig Engels has to be gutted after finishing fourth in the 1,500. While the all or nothing nature of the trials can provide for some truly cruel results, it has to feel like winning the lottery twice-over for the athletes who succeeded where they faltered.

While I know that the Olympics are tactical more often than not, I expect that we will see many records fall in Tokyo. It has been almost 15 years since I've worn a pair of spikes, so I can't comment as to how game-changing the apparent super spikes are but it is clear that many athletes are in top form.

One event that I am very excited about is the men's marathon. Kipchoge's recent mortal performances coupled with an ever-growing competitive field will likely make this an exciting race into the final miles.

Now the real challenge will be trying to catch these events live or watching them after the fact on peacock without running into spoilers.
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Andrew A.

I only found time to watch finals recaps via NBC Sports youtube channel -- I was moving house and also trying to keep up with Euro 2020 while working full time. I have no significant rooting interests, though was happy to see young locals (and ex-Buffs) like Joe Klecker and Val Constein rise to the occasion to make their first team against highly competitive odds. I wasn't too unhappy to see Jenny Simpson miss on what would have been her 4th Olympics team and she predictably went out with grace. Erriyon Knight is a bright star, will be very interesting to see how he navigates Tokyo and beyond. I have a bit of a connection to one of the Team USA guys, I know Jake Riley's coach Lee Troop and it was fun to get some of his insights from Eugene as he was there in support of a couple of other athletes who both made the finals in their events. I've already suggested to my wife that we try to go to the OT in 2024 there as that stadium looks wonderful and it's something we might be able to afford as the Olympics or World Champs themselves seem a bit too rich for my blood.