Ward is making his third appearance at Boston, having placed 10th in 2017 in 2:15:28 and eighth in 2019, in a personal-best 2:09:25. After finishing third at the 2016 Olympic Trials in Los Angeles, he placed sixth in Rio de Janeiro in 2:11:30. Ward won three national championships in 2015 — in the marathon, 25K and 20K. He also has three top-10 finishes at the New York City Marathon, sixth in 2018 and ’19, and 10th in 2021.
Riley, an eight-time cross-country/track All-American at Stanford, finished second behind Galen Rupp at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in 2020 in Atlanta, in a personal-best 2:10:02. Riley finished 29th in that Olympic marathon in 2:16:26. He won the 10-kilometer 2012 USATF Club Cross-Country Championship in 29:58. Riley was the top American, ninth overall, in the 2019 Chicago Marathon (2:10:36).
Fauble’s best marathon came at Boston in 2019, when he finished seventh in 2:09:09, also as the top American, and placed 16th at Boston last fall, in 2:13:47. He turned in his first top 10 at the 2018 NYC Marathon, seventh in 2:12:28. At the 2020 Olympic Trials in Atlanta, Fauble crossed in 2:12:39, good for 12th place. His top performance at 5,000 meters also came in a race in Boston, in 13:50 in 2018.
In just his third marathon last October, the Massachusetts native was the top American finisher at Boston, seventh overall, in 2:11:26. Bennie placed ninth in his debut at 26.2 miles, at the 2020 Olympic Trials in 2:12. He finished third later that year at the Marathon Project in Chandler, Arizona, in 2:09:38. Bennie has enjoyed success under coach Chris Fox, first at Syracuse, where the Orange won the 2015 NCAA title, and now while running for the Reebok Boston TC.
In October, Albertson set his own pace from Hopkinton for the first 20 miles until the elite pack caught up, then he rebounded in Boston for a top-10 finish, in 2:11:44. He placed in the top 10 in three marathons last year, second (2:14:29) at Grandma’s in Duluth in June and eighth (2:14:45) at the California International in December. His top time is 2:11:18, while finishing 10th at the 2020 Marathon Project. That February, he placed seventh (2:11:49) at the Olympic Trials.
While standouts from Ethiopia and Kenya have dominated the podium in recent years, elite American runners have made Boston Marathons plenty exciting for spectators on the route and on television.
CJ Albertson proved to be much more than an early rabbit when he opened a wide lead on the chase pack in last October’s race. The pack eventually caught him after 20 miles, but he rebounded late to finish 10th.
An American male hasn’t won Boston since 2014, when Meb Keflezighi prevailed in the event’s triumphant Boston Strong return after the tragic bombing at the finish line the year before. That followed a 34-year drought without a U.S. champion since Greg Meyer won in 1980.
“(Scott) Fauble, Albertson, they’ve got a good amount of Boston experience,” said Colin Bennie, the top U.S. finisher at 2021 Boston, seventh overall. “They’ll be ready to take a good shot, and then there’s Jake Riley coming off the Olympics.”
The women’s field also includes talented U.S. runners, led by Olympic bronze medalist Molly Seidel, who lived in the Boston area for five years. Des Linden is the last American to win Boston, prevailing four years ago.
Here are some of the top American contenders for the 2022 Boston Marathon, which will be held Monday, April 18: