Troopy is positioned on the north side of the track calling final times and encouraging runners with his characteristic enthusiasm as they come through the finish line. 8:25, 8:26, 8:27. Alex Monroe is first to finish the 3k time trial as a final workout in preparation for the USATF Olympic Track Trials 10k race to be held a week later, this Friday night, July 1.

“I felt really good, that’s the strongest I’ve been able to switch gears,” Alex commented about the workout.

The Boulder Track Club’s High Performance Team coached by Lee Troop will be sending four runners to compete in the Olympic Trials and perhaps even a top spot and an Olympic berth. According to FloTrack, Troop is one of 29 coaches sending 3 or more entries into the distance events. (CU’s Head Coach Mark Wetmore and Assistant Coach Heather Burroughs will be sending 7 athletes). There are about 20 runners from Colorado who will be competing at the trials.

“From a club perspective this is really exciting. It’s been 5 years of hard work. We didn’t have any athletes in the track trials in 2012 although two in the Marathon trials, and then quite a few at the marathon trials this year and 4 this year at Eugene – has been a great coup for the club and hopefully it builds a nice legacy piece for the next 4 years.” – Lee Troop

 

Laura Thweatt

Laura Thweatt following pacer Matt Hensley BTC 3k Time Trial - Photo Todd Straka

Laura Thweatt following pacer Matt Hensley BTC 3k Time Trial – Photo Todd Straka

At the top of the hopeful list is former CU Buff Laura Thweatt. She has been in top form the last few years spotlighted by her first American finish in the New York City Marathon. This will be her first Olympic trials and she has qualified for both the 10k and the 5k, but her focus will be on the 10k to be run on Saturday.

“I can’t believe it’s here, it’s been something I’ve been working towards over the last 4 years. For it to finally be here and I’m healthy, I can’t believe I get this opportunity to be on the start line for the Olympic Trials,” Laura mentioned before her cool down on Saturday.

“Lee has always told me this is a big stage, but just to treat it like any other race and not put it on this pedestal, so I am just going to go through my normal routine and just try and stay relaxed and focused and really enjoy the moment and not let myself get too carried away with the pressure of the racing and all that.”

But don’t let her smile and good nature fool you, Lee Troop knows she is ready to be competitive. “For Laura we are looking at top 3. It’s not like we are going there just to get the experience of what the trials is, she is a legitimate contender for the 10k and that’s what we have prepped for and focused on the last 4 years. Even with doing New York last year, everything was focused on this moment.”

He added, “We have looked at all the different scenarios and have practiced some of that in training. She is in awesome shape, it’s great to have her healthy. We are confident that no matter how the race plays out, she has a shot.”

 

Jon Grey

Jon Grey in the BTC 3k Time Trial - Photo by Peter N. Jones

Jon Grey in the BTC 3k Time Trial – Photo by Peter N. Jones

Jon has been close to toeing the line for the 10k at the Olympic Trials, he was the first one out of the 2012 Trials. He even booked his ticket and waited for the final calls but it wasn’t to be. This time, he has the Olympic “A” standard and is excited about the opportunity to line up this year.

Jon also ran the Olympic Marathon Trials in February, but since then has been working through some fatigue but feels back in form now. “I went in to the marathon pretty cooked. It’s a blessing in disguise, I’m just about 5 weeks into training as I’ve had so many ups and downs lately, and that’s probably helping as I am coming into the trials with an upswing instead of a down swing so I’m going in a lot fresher. I already have the A standard so at this point it’s just hop in the race and see what happens.”

Lee Troop on Jon:

“Jon’s at a different level, he’s been around for a number of years, but it’s going to be fairly difficult to make top 3 based on the level of competition there.
Best thing about jon is that he’s a scrapper. It may be one of those races that Jon can use his determination that he’s known for and sneak himself in. I’m not saying that’s going to happen but you never know what’s going to happen.”
“If they go out and run high 26, low 27 he won’t have a chance he will just have to be there and sit from behind and just execute that race but if he gets himself in a position and its just an even pace, and not too explosive and starts to wind up, he may find himself in a really good position. if it comes down to the last 6 laps and he’s with that group he can grind he can always find that last little bit to put himself in the race.”
“Everyone on that start line has a chance, some greater than others, but everyone has a chance that’s why they are there.”

Alex Monroe

Alex Monroe - Photo Peter N. Jones

Alex Monroe – Photo Peter N. Jones

Lee Troop on Alex: “Alex is sitting 2 seconds off the qualifying time is there for the experience, – Alex a year and a half ago was dealing with injuries, so to get him healthy and to the point of where he is now, he’s got nothing to lose to go there and soak in the atmosphere.”

Alex on his expectations and hopes for the evening: “To put myself into position to place as high as I can, top ten would be the goal going into this, but I am not going to sell myself short and hopefully if I have a good day, I might surprise myself and end the season the way I want to.”

 

Sara Vaughn

Sara Vaughn sharpening her 800m speed at the BRR Summer Track Series

Sara Vaughn sharpening her 800m speed at the BRR Summer Track Series – Photo Dave Albo, Lane1Photos.com

Sara Vaughn has also now officially made the start list for the 1500m.

Lee Troop on Sara’s progress since she joined the BTC. “In 6 months she has gone from being unfit after her 3rd child to being as fit as she has ever been and at 30 years of age, just missed her 800m and 1500m PR’s.  She has achieved so much in such a short period of time and it has been such a great joy to work with her each and every day. We are still in the game and I hope we get to ride this amazing comeback from her for just a little longer!”


Fleet Feet will be hosting an Olympic Trials watch party preceded by a fun run on both Friday night and Saturday mornings to watch the Men’s and Women’s 10k races.

2016 Olympic Track & Field Trials Schedule

Results from the 3k time trial

Noted by the timer, not IAAF electronic timing standards

Alex Monroe 8:27, Jon Grey 8:37, Clint Wells 9:06, Craig Alexander 9:17, Laura Thweatt 9:19, Joe Zamadics 9:34, Rich Heller 10:25, Sarah Hutchings 10:50, Charles Wilbur 11:18, Taylor Stinson 12:11, Fanny Toorenburg 13:08.

Photos of the Boulder Track Club’s 3k Time Trial