Sure, the Olympics and most every major meet has been cancelled for the year, but that hasn’t stopped the team from staying on the gas with plans for more top results in 2021. And it’s paid off. Whether it was intrasquad bragging rights or a 2:35:28 time for Steph Bruce in the Virtual New York City Marathon, the runners have adjusted—and thrived. And with the Olympics shifted to summer of 2021, so too were the U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials, scheduled for June 18-27.
“We did see Aliphine qualify for the Olympics, but I look at the team and see so much collective improvement. For example, Lauren Paquette is one of the newest members of the team, and she set a new 5K personal best,” Rosario said. “She may find this delay of the Olympics to her benefit; with another year and a full season with us, I could see her being a major factor at the Olympic Trials. Really, everyone’s making progress. We just want to get better. If we do, the results will simply be a byproduct.”
For many on the team, punting real world racing until 2021 (fingers crossed) has been the only goal. Others are looking at the extra year in a positive light, as nothing more than an extra year of training, to sharpen the blade. And hey, it may give Rosario more athletes in addition to Tuliamuk to coach in Tokyo, meaning a rebooking of his flight to and from Tokyo.
“Hey, if we have folks who qualify for Tokyo in the 10,000 or 5,000, I’ll have to change my flight dates a bit,” Rosario said. “But that would be a welcome stress!”