Emily Sisson, the odds-on favorite in Orlando

The presser on the day prior to the U.S. Olympic Trials is a contrived affair. About a half dozen men and half dozen women were asked to speak, and they provided some thoughts to consider.

Aliphine Tuiliamuk is the defending champion, and she is formidable. The HOKA NAZ athlete told the assembled media, “I’m super excited! This is the best field of women ever assembled!”

Emily Sisson commented on the weather, “ The weather down here has been different each day, so you have to be prepared for everything.”

Here’s the real inside scoop. Emily Sisson and her coach, Ray Treacy, are quite smart. They know, any screw-up by Emily, and there are six to ten women who would gladly trade places with Emily Sisson to make the team.

In my mind, Emily Sisson is one of the great ones. Her 2:18.29 from 2022 was quite impressive. Her absolute focus on the marathon, a conscious move from the 10,000m and 5,000m, has shown that Ms. Sisson has the range and ability to battle for a World Champ or Olympic medal.

Emily Sisson,
Bank of America Chicago Marathon
© 2022 Bank of America Chicago Marathon/Kevin Morris
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The key is to get through the Olympic Trials with as little damage as possible.

My guess is that Emily is well prepared, and knowing the Aliphine Tuiliamuk, Betsy Saina, Keira D’Amato, and Des Linden, among others, will give her no quarter. She also has to know that Jenny Simpson, with her Olympic and WC 1,500m medals, knows how to fight to make a team.

For Emily Sisson, the young woman who hails from Chesterfield, Missouri, the 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon is a chance to put her name among the great ones, Joan Benoit Samuelson, Deena Kastor and Molly Seidel, Olympic medalists all.

The first thing, however, is to run 26.2 miles in Orlando, Florida, make the Olympic team, and then, the journey to Paris will begin.