bank of america chicago marathon

Dozens of American athletes hit Olympic standard in Chicago Marathon

NBC Universal, Inc.

With the Paris Olympics looming in the distance, nearly three-dozen American athletes hit the qualifying standards to compete in the Olympic Team Trials next year.

Hitting that mark is critical at this time of year, with the deadline looming on Dec. 5.

Those trials will take place between June 21-30 in Oregon next year, but racers in Chicago found themselves with an opportunity to take advantage of good conditions in their efforts to punch their ticket to those qualifying races.

To qualify for the trials, athletes must complete a full marathon in less than 2 hours and 18 minutes, according to USA Track and Field. In the women’s division, the qualifying standard is 2 hours and 37 minutes.

During the 2023 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, a total of 16 men hit that standard, with seven achieving it for the first time. That group included Sam Chelanga, who finished in ninth place with a time of 2:08:50.

Connor Winter, Julian Heninger, Eric Vazquez Olivas, Ben Payne, Cameron Dickson and Kevin McDonnell all completed the race in under 2:18:00, thereby qualifying for the Olympic trials.

Molly Seidel was one of 15 American women to hit the qualifying standard in Chicago, as she finished in eighth place overall with a time of 2:23:07.

Mimi Smith, Hailey Bowes, Billie Hatch, Kathryn Fluehr, Britney Romero and Jo Butler all hit the qualifying standard for the first time.  

Going into the Chicago Marathon, 132 women had qualified for the Olympic trials, while 154 men had qualified. The deadline for qualification comes on Dec. 5, with the Olympics in Paris set for a July 2024 start.

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