Tim Seaman can't lose at the U.S. Olympic Trials, though he admitted his chances, at 40, of making a third Olympic team in the men's 20-kilometer walk are minuscule.
It's just that the fellow likely to win the trials' 20-k a week from Saturday, and thus qualify for this summer's London Olympics -- 19-year-old Trevor Barron of Pittsburgh -- is coached by Seaman, the 1990 North Babylon High School grad now based in San Diego.
Seaman also coaches the favorite in the women's 20-k, Maria Michta of Nesconset, and four others in Michta's race: Miranda Melville of Rush, N.Y., Lauren Forgues of Boothbay, Maine, Katie Burnett of Mesa, Ariz., and Rachel Zoyhofski of Rochester, N.Y.
Plus, Seaman's wife Rachel already has earned a berth in the London Games as the No. 1 women's 20-k walker for her native Canada. "I will be in London for sure," Seaman said. "With my wife and hopefully two Americans."
Seaman has continued his competitive career while coaching cross country at Cuyamaca Junior College near San Diego and mentoring top young race walkers such as Michta via daily email and telephone contact. "Because of the time difference," Michta said, "don't call him too early. Unless you have a really good race result."
Ten times a national record holder at various race walking distances, Seaman recently finished second in the Olympic 50-k trials. That means he has been designated the Olympic alternate for that event, should San Diego's John Nunn be unable to compete -- the third time in the last five Olympics that Seaman has been an alternate.
In the other two Olympics over that time, Seaman competed, finishing 40th in 2000 and 20th in 2004 in the 20-k.
He has written two books on race walking, gives clinics and runs an annual training camp for young race walkers in south Texas every winter. "I'm in good shape for the 20-k trials," Seaman said. "But Trevor is very strong. And I'm 40."