2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, Track & Field: What To Watch In Eugene

The U.S. Olympic Team Trials in track and field begin on Thursday with the women's and men's hammer throw at 4:15 p.m. ET and 8:15 p.m., respectively. (It's been dubbed HammerTime, obviously.) With the opening ceremonies set for the following day, the trials technically don't begin until Friday, but let's not get technical.

The Olympic trials determine the USA Track & Field team for the 2012 Summer Olympics, with the top three finishers in each event earning a spot in London (provided the athlete has reached the "A" standard of qualification; more on that here).

From hammer throw on Thursday night through the men's 200-meter on July 1, there are a total of 38 events (men's and women's) being decided -- you can see a full schedule in our StoryStream. That's a lot of track and field events to pay attention to, so how about we just take you through the highlights, day-by-day?*

*Brief note: We generally maintain a track-heavy bias here at SB Nation, because, for the most past, the "field" part of the schedule just consists of throwing sharp and heavy things around. As such, this What To Watch Guide will feature mostly track events. If you feel slighted, field fans, go in your backyard and throw a hammer as far as you can.

Day One - June 22

Men's and Women's 10,000m
TV Coverage: NBC Sports Network, 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET

Just two finals on Friday, so watch 'em both! It's the men's and women's 10,000m (or 10K, the equivalent of 6.21 miles). Galen Rupp comes in as the fastest qualifier on the men's side (26 minutes, 48 seconds, the current American record) and is the heavy favorite. But keep an eye on Dathan Ritzenhein, who refocused on the 10,000m after finishing fourth in the marathon at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, just missing a spot on the U.S. marathon team by eight seconds. Ritz, Rupp's training partner, doesn't yet have the Olympic "A" standard of 27:45, so expect him to push the pace.

Day Two - June 23

Women's 100m Hurdles and Women's 100m
TV Coverage: NBC, 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. ET

Again, just two finals on Saturday, but again, both are worth watching. Dawn Harper is the top qualifier in the women's 100 hurdles, but most attention will be on Lolo Jones, as it has been for the past few months. Then, at 8:52 p.m. ET, the fastest women in America will line up in the 100m. Carmelita Jeter, the second-fastest woman ever in the 100 (behind only Florence Griffith Joyner), is obviously the favorite, but Allyson Felix and Tianna Madison are also likely to punch tickets to London.

Day Three - June 24

Men's 100m
TV Coverage: NBC, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. ET

The men's and women's 400m are both worth your time, but the must-see finals of the day -- and, indeed, the marquee event of the trials -- is the men's 100m. Tyson Gay, the second-fastest human on Earth, 2008 bronze medalist Walter Dix and 2004 gold medalist Justin Gatlin will likely be your top three, in some order. Come watch and see who gets to lose to Usain Bolt!

Day Four - June 25

Men's Javelin Throw
TV Coverage: NBC Sports Network, 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET

Oh, you don't want to watch men throw an 8-foot spear 85-plus yards?

Day Five - June 26

Rest day! Go find a hobby!

Day Six - June 27

Rest day! Make a new friend!

Day Seven - June 28

Men's 5,000m
TV Coverage: NBC Sports Network, 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET

This is a 5K (equivalent of 3.1 miles). There's a good chance you have run a 5K before. There is not a good chance you ran it in less than 13 minutes, but Galen Rupp has. And he might not even be the favorite -- Rupp faces stiff competition from Bernard Lagat, who won bronze in the 1,500m in Sydney in 2000 and took silver in Athens in 2004 while representing Kenya, and holds the American record in the 5000m.

Day Eight - June 29

Women's 3,000m Steeplechase
TV Coverage: NBC Sports Network, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. ET

It's a race with 30-inch hurdles to jump, one of which forces you to land in a pool of water -- It's like an obstacle course was dropped on the track and no one bothered to move it. It's weird.

Day Nine - June 30

Women's 200m
TV Coverage: NBC, 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET

It's Allyson Felix, two-time defending Olympic silver medalist, against Carmelita Jeter, who edged Felix in the 2011 World Championships, against Sanya Richards-Ross, who has run the fastest time of 2012. Should be exciting.

Day Ten - July 1

Men's 200m
TV Coverage: NBC, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. ET

There's a lot happening on the last day of the trials, with eight finals -- including walking, so it's really more like 7.5 finals -- but if you're going to pick one, make it the men's 200m. In the 2008 Olympics, Walter Dix took bronze, and is considered the favorite at the trials in Eugene, Ore.

Stay with our StoryStream for the latest from the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Track & Field in Eugene as Team USA is decided.

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