“He has a big upside,” Lananna said. “If you don’t have A.J. Acosta as one of your potential qualifiers I think you’ve missed the boat, because he’s going to be a contender.”
Talk about being a homer and an optimist or perhaps Vin knows something that we don’t…that would have to be it. While AJ is certainly good enough that you can’t absolutely-completely count him out, but I would say the Vegas odds are very-very low. AJ is a big talent and I would say a national team is somewhere in his future, although I am not sure if it will even be in the 1500 and I seriously doubt it will be this year. I would give AJ a 50/50 chance of winning PC-10s and less than 50/50 of winning the NCAAs and less than 50/50 of making the USATF national 1500m finals. It’s not that AJ isn’t good, it’s just a tough year, the toughest year I can recall. Among the U.S. middle distance athletes, I would put AJ somewhere near the top of that big tier 3 group; see below:
Btw, I am not just going by a one time performance, a PR, because I know AJ ran a 3:53x mile last year, but the range you consistently run in and your ability to close off of decent pace. Torrence for example only has a 3:34x PR, but he has shown to be a legit 3:34 or better guy and is a legit 1:45 800m runner as well.
What would perhaps convince me AJ has a shot is if I saw a fast 800 like a 1:46x or a 5000 in the mid 13:20s.