Men's 10,000, women's 10,000 and day one of heptathlon: The spotlight will immediately turn to the sprinters, as world champions Maurice Greene and Marion Jones begin qualifying in the 100. Among others, they'll be chased by two former local prep stars, Bernard Williams (Carver) and Kisha Jett (Hammond). Matt Holthaus, another Columbia product, runs in the first round of the men's 1,500. Qualifying in the women's long jump will include Jackie Joyner-Kersee, a four-time Olympian who hasn't competed in two years.
Men's 100 and shot put, women's 100, hammer throw and day two of heptathlon: Look for a huge hug in the infield if Jones wins the women's 100 and her husband, C.J. Hunter, takes the shot put. He and John Godina have combined to take the last three world championships.
Men's 400, 1,500 and pole vault; women's 400, 1,500, long jump and high jump: Michael Johnson is invincible in the 400, while Jones has struggled with her long-jump form. An injury to Marla Runyan, who's legally blind, could rob the women's 1,500 of a great story, but that field still has potential Olympic medalists in Regina Jacobs and Suzy Favor Hamilton.
Men's long jump; women's 400 hurdles, 3,000 steeplechase, discus and javelin: The 1988 trials featured a magnificent duel in the long jump between Carl Lewis and Larry Myricks, who combined for six jumps past 28 feet. This year's crew will be lucky to muster one.
Men's 3,000 steeplechase, javelin and day one of decathlon: Two days after his 34th birthday, Olympic champion Dan O'Brien will determine if he still has it in the decathlon. Chris Huffins was third at the 1999 world championships. Pascal Dobert, who starred at Walt Whitman High in Bethesda, is the steeplechase favorite.
Men's 5,000, hammer throw and day two of decathlon: Bob Kennedy, one of the few American distance runners who has gone toe to toe with the world's best, could already have made his third Olympic team, in the 10,000.
Men's 400 hurdles; women's triple jump: The hurdles final could include two locals, Woodlawn's Torrance Zellner and Mervo's James Carter.
Men's 200, 800, 110 hurdles, high jump, triple jump and discus; women's 200, 800, 100 hurdles and pole vault: The women's pole vault is a new Olympic event, and consistent 15-footer Stacy Dragila is the star. Starting with Jearl Miles-Clark, the women's 800 could be loaded. A three-hour feast of action will conclude with the 200 finals, and both sides have titanic matchups: Michael Johnson vs. Maurice Greene among the men, and Marion Jones vs. Inger Miller among the women.