Pre-race marathon favourites prevail to make women’s U.S. Olympic team

Amy Cragg took the victory at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Los Angeles on Saturday as all three pre-race favourites prevailed (Photo: Calum Neff).

Amy Cragg

Amy Cragg, Desiree Linden and Shalane Flanagan, all three pre-race favourites, qualified for the U.S. Olympic marathon team on Saturday in Los Angeles by finishing in the top-three at the U.S. Trials.

Men’s race report.

Cragg and Flanagan led for the majority of the race before Cragg made a move with less than 5K to go to take the victory. Flanagan faded in the end to finish third while Linden ran the 42.2K race strategically to finish second after sitting back in the pack for the first half of the race.

Only the top three women earn a spot on the U.S. Olympic team in Rio. Kara Goucher finished fourth in her bid to make her third Olympic team.

Cragg (nee Hastings) finished fourth at the U.S. Olympic Trials in 2012 and just missed qualifying for the marathon team in London. Today proved to be redemption (though she raced in London in the 10,000m).

Flanagan, the 10,000m U.S. record holder, has qualified for every senior national team (track, road, cross-country) that she has tried out for. She won a bronze medal in the women’s 10,000m at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

Full results.

Cover photo: Calum Neff.