The Warm-Up Lap: Weekend News and Notes (Feb. 7)
NEW ORLEANS – With time running out to record marks that secure a National Championships berth in a few weeks and the all-important conference championships right around the corner, meets across the country are filled with fields brimming with national talent.
Though the imminent threat of Winter Storm Nemo has the potential to wreak havoc on meets in the Northeast – with Boston having already cancelled the widely attended Valentine Invitational – most meets around the country will go on as planned, including a pair of titanic Division I meets in Arkansas and Washington.
The best sprinters, hurdlers, jumpers and throwers will be on display at the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark., – site of the 2013 NCAA DI Indoor Championships – while distance events will be the flavor of the day at the Husky Classic in Seattle.
Grand Valley State plays host to 64 teams and a battle between a top DI thrower and DII’s best thrower at the GVSU Big Meet in Allendale, Mich., while the All-Ohio DIII Indoor Track & Field Championships will feature some of the division’s best sprinters.
DI Meets of the Week
Feb. 8-9 | 1 p.m. ET/1 p.m. ET | Fayetteville, Ark.
Ranked Teams (Men): No. 1 Arkansas; 4, Oregon; 6. LSU; 9. Auburn; 12. Mississippi State; 13. Penn State; 16. Florida State; 22. Oklahoma; 23. Oklahoma State; 25. Missouri Southern (DII)
Ranked Teams (Women): No. 1 Kansas; 3. LSU; 4. Arkansas; 5. Oregon; 9. UCF; 14. Texas; 18. Indiana State; 19. Baylor; 20. South Carolina; 21. Florida State; 25. Auburn
With stacked fields in every single championship event – men and women – between Arkansas’ Tyson Invitational and Washington’s Husky Classic, it would be unwise to overlook either meet as the DI Meet of the Week, so the two track & field spectacles will share the honor. Top-flight sprinting, hurdling, jumping and throwing performers saturate Tyson’s performance list, while Washington will feature the season’s deepest distance fields outside of a select few conference championships and the NCAA Indoor Championships.
Tyson’s event of the weekend may end up being the men’s 60 meters, in which Florida State’s Marvin Bracy, Colorado’s Joe Morris and Tulsa’s Bryce Robinson have the opportunity to settle on the track their three-way tie atop the qualifying list at 6.61. They certainly won’t be alone in going for the nation’s top spot, as nine other sprinters in the field have recorded a time of 6.69 or faster. The women’s race sets up just as intriguingly, with reigning The Bowerman winner and collegiate-leading Kimberlyn Duncan of LSU (7.16) taking on a field that includes second-ranked Octavious Freeman of UCF (7.19) and No. 4 Aurieyall Scott of UCF (7.23).
Duncan will look to not only look to take down Scott in the 60 but also the 200. Scott supplanted Duncan as the collegiate leader by .01 last weekend, and two-time defending indoor and outdoor 200 champ Duncan will seek a measure of payback on the track among a field with 11 of the top 25 performers of 2012-13. Watch also for the men’s 200 with No. 3 Aaron Ernest of LSU, No. 4 Everett Walker of Baylor and No. 5 Ahkeem Gauntlett of Arkansas.
The women’s 400 promises to excite, as No. 1 Regina George of Arkansas does battle with reigning NCAA indoor champ Diamond Dixon of Kansas, in addition to No. 3 Erika Rucker of South Carolina and No. 6 Courtney Okolo of Texas in a field with nine of the top 25 performers this season. Thrower Felicia Johnson of Indiana State will take part in two No. 1 vs. No. 2 battles this weekend, entering the weekend No. 1 in the weight throw against No. 2 Alena Krechyk of Kansas, and No. 2 in the shot put against top-ranked Tia Brooks of Oklahoma.
For the men, the 60 hurdles sets up as an ultra-tight competition between four of the top six hurdlers of 2012-13. No. 3 Caleb Cross of Arkansas, No. 4 Greggmar Swift of Indiana State, No. 5 and Keiron Stewart of Texas and No. 6 Jordan Mullen of Iowa have the potential to meet up in a National Championships preview final. A similar show is in store for the men’s long jump with the top four jumpers this season all slated to take the runway in Arkansas’ top-ranked Raymond Higgs, No. 2 Damar Forbes of LSU, Arkansas’ No. 3 Jarrion Lawson and No. 4 Malcom Pennix of Missouri.
Feb. 8-9 | 7 p.m. ET/11 a.m. ET | Seattle, Wash. | WATCH ONLINE
Ranked Teams (Men): No. 1 Arkansas; 2. Florida; 4. Oregon; 5. Arizona State; 10. Arizona; 11. Texas; 13. Penn State; 15. Wisconsin; 16. Florida State; 18. Stanford; 19 Virginia Tech; 20. BYU; 22. Oklahoma; 23. Oklahoma State; 24. Northern Arizona; 4. Adams State (DII); 7. Western State (DII); 22. Alaska-Anchorage (DII)
Ranked Teams (Women): No.1 Kansas; 4. Arkansas; 5. Oregon; 7. Florida; 8. Washington; 10. Georgia; 12. California; 13. Arizona; 14. Texas; 15 Dartmouth; 16. Stanford; 17. Arizona State; 20. South Carolina; 21. Florida State; 9. Simon Fraser (DII); 13. Adams State (DII); 15. Alaska-Anchorage (DII); 19. Western State (DII);
As potentially exciting as the sprints, hurdles and field events in Fayetteville may be, the distance action in the Great Pacific Northwest sets up just as strong, particularly on the men’s side. With many taking their first and/or final shot at qualifying standards in the 3000 and 5000 meters for conference and national championships this weekend while retaining some time to rest, both events feature stacked fields. The men’s 3000 features 17 runners who are ranked in the top 25 of either the 800, mile, 3000 or 5000, including 5000 meters collegiate leader Ryan Hill of NC State and mile leader Patrick Casey of Oklahoma. Hill will look to best his meet and facility record of 7:43.08 set last season in a narrow win over Northern Arizona’s Diego Estrada, who, after a delayed start to his indoor campaign, will be part of the field.
Oregon’s Jeremy Elkaim, ranked second among collegians in the 5000 this season, and third-ranked at 3000 Kevin Williams of Oklahoma will headline a 5000 field with 19 ranked runners in addition to other standouts. Current 3000 collegiate leader, defending indoor 3000 and 5000 national champion and former NCAA cross country champion Lawi Lalang will demonstrate his incredible range in the 800 field containing five top-25 distance runners.
For the women, Oregon standout Jordan Hasay and 2012 NCAA Indoor Championships 5000 meters runner-up Megan Goethals of Washington headline a field of eight ranked distance runners in the 5000, while second-ranked mile runner Amanda Winslow of Florida State will take a shot at the collegiate lead in a field featuring nine ranked distance runners.
Keep an Eye on DI: Kirby Invitational (Feb. 8-9); Iowa State Classic (Feb. 7-9)
DI Top 10 in Action
|1||Arkansas||Tyson Invitational/at Husky Classic||Feb. 8-9|
|2||Florida||at Virginia Tech Elite Meet/at Husky Classic||Feb. 8-9|
|3||Texas A&M||Texas A&M Invitational||Feb. 9|
|4||Oregon||at Tyson Invitational/at Husky Classic||Feb. 8-9|
|5||Arizona State||at Kirby Invitational/At Husky Classic||Feb. 8-9|
|6||LSU||at Tyson Invitational||Feb. 8-9|
|7||Indiana||Hoosier Hills Invitational||Feb. 8-9|
|8||Minnesota||at ISU Classic||Feb. 7-9|
|9||Auburn||at Tyson Invitational/at Virginia Tech Elite Meet||Feb. 8-9|
|10||Arizona||at Husky Classic/at Kirby Invitational||Feb. 8-9|
|1||Kansas||at ISU Classic/at Tyson Invitational/at Husky Classic||Feb. 7-9|
|2||Clemson||Tiger Paw Invitational/at Virginia Tech Elite Meet||Feb. 8-9|
|3||LSU||at Tyson Invitational||Feb. 8-9|
|4||Arkansas||Tyson Invitational/at Husky Classic||Feb. 8-9|
|5||Oregon||at Tyson Invitational/at Husky Classic||Feb. 8-9|
|6||Texas A&M||Texas A&M Invitational||Feb. 9|
|7||Florida||at Virginia Tech Elite Meet/at Husky Classic||Feb. 8-9|
|8||Washington||Husky Classic||Feb. 8-9|
|9||UCF||at Tyson Invitational/at Tiger Paw Invitational||Feb. 8-9|
|10||Georgia||at Virginia Tech Elite Meet/at Husky Classic||Feb. 8-9|
DII Meet of the Week
Grand Valley State Big Meet
Feb. 8-9 | 11 a.m. ET/10 a.m. ET | Allendale, Mich.
Ranked Teams (Men): No. 2 Ashland (DII); 5 GVSU; 15 Calvin (DIII)
Ranked Teams (Women): No. 1 GVSU (DII); 3 Academy of Art (DII); 4 Ashland (DII); 10. SVSU (DII); 21. Ferris State (DII); 24. Tiffin (DII);
Grand Valley State’s Big Meet most certainly lives up to its name, with a whopping 64 teams across all three NCAA divisions slated for representation in Allendale, Mich. The bulk of the top-flight action will take place Friday in the Invitational portion of the two-day meet, with ranked teams from all three divisions represented.
Top-ranked DII thrower Sam Lockhart of No.1 Grand Valley State will have the opportunity to re-assert that she is a top thrower in the nation – regardless of division – in a showdown against preseason Bowerman Watch Lister Brittany Smith of Illinois State. Lockhart is the defending indoor shot put champion in DII and finished runner-up outdoors, while Smith finished third at the DI Indoor Championships and runner-up outdoors last season. The two will also square off in the weight throw. Smith holds the better marks in both events at 55-11¼ (17.05m) and 70-7 (12.51m) in both the shot put and weight throw, respectively, but Lockhart is close behind at 53-6½ (16.32m) and 69-1¼ (21.06m).
The result of the meet could lead to some more movement in the Division II rankings after a big shakeup just this week. Four of the top ten women’s teams – No. 1 GVSU, No. 3 Academy of Art, No. 4 Ashland and No. 10 Saginaw Valley State – and two of the top five men’s teams in No. 2 Ashland and No. 5 GVSU have student-athletes participating in the meet. Division I talent in no shortage at this meet with two top-25 women’s teams in No. 18 Indiana State and No. 24 Michigan State, and in all three divisions time is running short to make qualifying marks and jockey into qualifying position, so expect competition to be ratcheted up to a big level and the Big Meet.
Keep an Eye on DII: CIAA Championships (Feb. 8-9)
DII Top 10 In Action
|1||Saint Augustine’s||at CIAA Championships||Feb. 8-9|
|2||Ashland||at GVSU Big Meet/at Mid-February Meet (BW)||Feb. 8-9|
|3||Grand Canyon||at Samford Multi & Invitational||Feb. 8-9|
|4||Adams State||at Kirby Invitational/At Husky Classic||Feb. 8-9|
|5||Grand Valley State||GVSU Big Meet||Feb. 8-9|
|6||Minnesota State||at ISU Classic||Feb. 8-9|
|7||Western State||at Husky Classic/at CSM Twilight||Feb. 8-9|
|8||Shippensburg||at Bucknell Winter Classic||Feb. 8-9|
|9||Indianapolis||at Hoosier Hills Invitational/at DePauw Inviational||Feb. 8-9|
|10||Lincoln (Mo.)||at ISU Classic||Feb. 7-9|
|1||Grand Valley State||GVSU Big Meet||Feb. 8-9|
|2||Lincoln (Mo.)||at ISU Classic||Feb. 7-9|
|3||Academy of Art||at GVSU Big Meet/at Kirby Invitational||Feb. 8-9|
|4||Ashland||at GVSU Big Meet/at Mid-February Meet (BW)||Feb. 8-9|
|5||Grand Canyon||at Samford Multi & Invitational||Feb. 8-9|
|6||Abilene Christian||at Kirby Invitational||Feb. 8-9|
|7||Central Missouri||at ISU Classic||Feb. 7-9|
|8||Sioux Falls||at Concordia Indoor Invitational||Feb. 8|
|9||Simon Fraser||at Husky Classic||Feb. 8-9|
|10||Saginaw Valley State||at GVSU Big Meet/at Hoosier Hills Invitational||Feb. 8-9|
DIII Meet of the Week
All-Ohio DIII Indoor Track & Field Championships (Hosted by Otterbein)
Feb. 9 | 11 a.m. ET | Westerville, Ohio
Ranked Teams (Men): No. 11 Mount Union (DIII); 12. Baldwin-Wallace (DIII); 22. Defiance (DIII)
Ranked Teams (Women): No. 10 Mount Union (DIII)
Otterbein College plays host to a handful of ranked teams at the All-Ohio DIII Championships for this week’s DIII Meet of the Week. The field is set in a manner similar to a national championship meet, with just the top 16 individuals and 12 relay teams from DIII institutions in the state of Ohio qualifying in each event.
The sprints are shaping up to be highest-caliber competition of the meet. The men’s 60 meters features four of the division’s top 10 performers this season, headlined by No. 3 Kevin Johnson of Baldwin-Wallace at 6.89. Teammate Ben Beidelman and Wittenberg’s Victor Banjo are breathing down his neck on the performance list at 6.90 in a tie for sixth, and Mount Union’s Dustin Matak is ninth in the division at 6.92. The men’s 400 should be similarly competitive with three of the top six in DIII set to take the blocks. Ohio Wesleyan’s Ethan Freet and Silas Jolliff are second (49.14) and fourth (49.36) in the nation, respectively, and lead a field which features seven runners seeded faster than 51 seconds. Former DIII National Athlete of the Week Tom Postema of Defiance enters with the top weight throw mark in DIII against a field with three other top-20 competitors.
The high jump has the potential to be the most tightly contested women’s event at the meet, with eight jumpers seeded within 10 centimeters of one another. The battle for the top spot will be intense, as Wooster’s Abena Boamah-Acheampong and Ohio Northern’s Vicki Moga both tied for fifth in the division at 5-6 (1.68m), with 10th-ranked Victoria Brown of Baldwin-Wallace just behind at 5-5¾ (1.67). The women appear poised to close the meet with a very competitive 4×400 relay, as the top five teams are seeded within four seconds of one another.
Keep an Eye on DIII: UW-Stevens Point Quad (Feb. 9); Fighting Scot Invitational (Feb. 9)
DIII Top 10 In Action
|1||UW-Oshkosh||at ISU Classic/at UW-Stevens Point Quad||Feb. 7-9|
|2||UW-La Crosse||at ISU Classic/at St. Mary’s Invitational||Feb. 7-9|
|3||North Central (Ill.)||Chicagoland Championships||Feb. 9|
|4||UW-Whitewater||at UW-Stevens Point Quad||Feb. 9|
|5||St. Thomas (Minn.)||at ISU Classic/UST Invite||Feb. 7-9|
|6||UW-Stevens Point||UW-Stevens Point Quad||Feb. 9|
|7||UW-Eau Claire||at UST Invite||Feb. 8|
|8||UW-Platteville||UW-Platteville Invitational||Feb. 9|
|9||Haverford||at Lafayette Rider Winter Games/at Tufts Cupid Challenge||Feb. 8/Feb. 10|
|10||Bates||at Tufts Cupid Challenge/ at TBD||Feb. 10|
|1||Wartburg||at ISU Classic/at Grinnell Invitational||Feb. 7-9|
|2||UW-Oshkosh||at ISU Classic/at UW-Stevens Point Quad||Feb. 7-9|
|3||Illinois Wesleyan||at Fighting Scot Invitational||Feb. 9|
|4||Williams||at TBD/at Tufts Cupid Challenge||Feb. 10|
|5||UW-Whitewater||at UW-Stevens Point Quad||Feb. 9|
|6||Washington (Mo.)||at Fighting Scot Invitational||Feb. 9|
|7||Ramapo||at TBD/at CTC Championships||Feb. 8/Feb.9|
|8||SUNY Cortland||at TBD/at Cornell Kane Invitational||Feb. 8/Feb.9|
|9||Illinois College||at Fighting Scot Invitational||Feb. 9|
|10||Mount Union||at All-Ohio Championships||Feb. 9|
News and Notes
Winter Storm Nemo Causes Cancellations/Postponements
With upwards of three feet of snow anticipated in parts of the Northeast as a result of Winter Storm Nemo, the Boston Valentine Invitational and MIT Coed Invite have been cancelled, while the Tufts Cupid Challenge has been rescheduled for Sunday for both men and women. Stay tuned for more cancellations/postponements as they are announced.