Michael Jordan has the best shot at winning a national championship when he competes in the 3,000-meter steeplechase on Friday (my story is now online here), but USI also has four other runners who will participate in the meet at Pueblo, Colo.
Freshman Johnnie Guy seems to have the best chance at earning all-American status, which is finishing eighth or better in the final. He’ll be competing in both the 5,000 meters and the 10,000 meters. He has run the 18th-fastest time in Division II at 5,000 and the 12th-fastest time in the 10,000. Trouble is, he’ll also be running against several runners who train at altitude while he, of course, trains here in Evansville. Plus, he’s only running his second 10K. “MJ (Jordan) has talked tome about not really making your move more than once because of oxygen debt,” said Guy.
Senior Lauren Minor is making her first trip to nationals. She’ll be running in the women’s 3,000 steeplechase and is ranked 16th nationally. “I need to stay within the top four in the (preliminary race) and make it to the next day,” she said. “I’d like to be in the 10:40s range. I think that’s something I can do right now.”
Freshman Tyler Schickel will run in the 1,500 meters. His time ranks 15th nationally. His goal? “Anything below a sub-3:50,” he said.
Junior Erika Wilson is making her second appearance at nationals. She’s running the 10,000 and has a time ranked 21st nationally.
The schedule (all times CDT): Men’s 1,500 meters preliminaries, Thursday, 6:25 p.m.; women’s 3,000 steeplechase prelims, Thursday, 7:40 p.m.; men’s 3,000 steeplechase prelims, Thursday, 8:10 p.m.; women’s 10K final, Thursday, 9:10 p.m.; men’s 10K final, Thursday, 9:50 p.m.; women’s 3,000 steeplechase final, Friday, 8:15 p.m.; men’s 3,000 steeplechase final, Friday, 8:35 p.m.; women’s 5K final, Saturday, 9:05 p.m.; men’s 5K final, Saturday, 9:30 p.m.
Anyone interested in watching them race, simply click the video link at www.gousieagles.com on the day of the race.