American middle distance runners are looking to medal in Paris.

The 33rd Olympic summer games will kick off with the opening ceremony on July 26, with the games getting underway on the 27th  and finishing with the women’s marathon on August 11. Along the way, we’ll be treated to watching the best athletes in the world compete. And when it comes to running, it’s going to be awesome. Here’s a sneak peek at some American medal hopefuls, including a few with Texas ties.

Originally form Midland, Bryce Hoppel was a superstar at Midland High, where he won the 2016 UIL Track & Field Championship in the 6A division, posting 1:49.67 for the 800-meter event, his specialty.  At Midland High, Hoppel also set records in the 800  (1:49.67), 1,600 meters (4:10.51) and 3 miles (14:54.00). On August 10, Hoppel hopes to continue his winning ways in the 800 against a stacked field.

Moving up in the middle distances, we’ll be rooting  for Yared Naguse in the 1,500. The 2019 NCAA Division I 1,500-meter champion in the event, Nuguse holds American records in outdoor track for 1500 meters and one mile, as well as indoor records for the 1500 meters, one mile and 3000 meters.  Look for the former Notre Dame track star to make the finals on August 5th.

In 2022, Grant Fisher had a breakthrough season, setting American records in the 5,000 (12:46.96) and 10,000 (26:33.84). And in 2023, the former Stanford distance ace notched another record, this time in the 3,000 meters (7:25.47). Fisher’s times in both the 5,000 and 10,000 make him a legitimate medal contender for the 10,000 on August 2, and the  5,000 on August 10.

Former Texas A&M middle distance ace Athing Mu is certainly one to watch. Mu is no stranger to the Olympics—she won gold in  2021at the Tokyo games (delayed from 2020 due to Covid-19), posting a 1:55.21 to win the 800. She later lowered her 800 to 1:54.97 at the Prefontaine Games in Eugene, OR in 2023.Like Fisher, she has an excellent shot at medaling in Paris in the women’s final 800 on August 6.

Look for Elle St. Pierre to make the finals in the 1,500. This will be St. Pierre’s second Olympics—she competed at the 2021 Tokyo games, finishing a disappointing 10th in 4:01.75.  However, just last month (May) she ran a sizzling 3:56.00 at the Prefontaine Games. That bodes well if she makes the 1,500-meter finals set for August 8th.

Upcoming races: The Luling Thumpin’ 5K is set for  Saturday, June 22 at 7:30 a.m.