The Warm-Up Lap: Meets of the Week, News and Notes (April 4)
NEW ORLEANS – Relays again take center stage in the collegiate track & field world this weekend, with two of the three Meets of the Week containing the word "Relay" in their names.
Division I’s Meet of the Week takes us down to Gator Country in Gainesville for the Pepsi Florida Relays, where sprints, jumps, hurdles and relays will be the primary focus. With 13 top-25 DI schools between the men’s and women’s teams in action and numerous NCAA champions scheduled to compete, expect exciting battles in nearly every event.
The Emporia State Relays are the Division II Meet of the Week with seven top-25 teams, including the No. 1 Lincoln (Mo.) women, duking it out for DII supremacy in the Sunflower State.
Division III’s Meet of the Week is also in the Midwest at the Wartburg Select. The No. 1 Wartburg women and three top-25 men’s teams will all be in action for the two-day meet.
Last, but not least, be sure to check out the news and notes at the end of the article to keep you up-to-date on the latest happenings in collegiate track and field.
Division I Meet of the Week
Pepsi Florida Relays
Men’s Ranked Teams: No. 3 Florida; 6. Florida State; 8. Southern California; 11. Ole Miss; 17. Indiana; 23. Baylor; 25 Oklahoma State; No. 1 Saint Augustine’s (DII); 13. Johnson C. Smith (DII)
Women’s Ranked Teams: No. 4 Florida; 6. Texas; 12. UCF; 14. Baylor; 19. Georgia; 25. Southern California; No. 5. Johnson C. Smith (DII); 13. Saint Augustine’s (DII)
The gaze of the collegiate track & field world – at least on the East Coast – will shift to Gainesville, Fla., this weekend for the next in the outdoor season’s lineup of relay meets, the Pepsi Florida Relays. With 12 teams ranked within the top 25 in this week’s Division I National Team Computer Rankings – including three top-10 men’s teams and another two for the women – and the top-ranked Division II men’s team in Saint Augustine’s, the swamp will rocking with top-quality track & field action.
Sprint, hurdle, jump and relay events are the focal points of this three-day meet, with a combined 65 student-athletes ranked within the 2013 season’s DI top 25 of those individual events and 34 top-25 relay teams between the 4×100, 4×200 and 4×400.
Women’s 200: Though there aren’t any runners ranked in the 2013 DI top 25 in the race, but a number of high-profile women will be in the race nevertheless. Indoor 200 runner-up Aurieyall Scott and third-place finisher Octavious Freeman – both of UCF – will make their outdoor debut in the event. Indoor 400 champ freshman Shaunae Miller of Georgia, 2012 All-American at 200 Christy Udoh of Texas and Florida 400 meter standout Ebony Eutsy will also be in the field, along with pros Dee Dee Trotter and Natasha Hastings.
Men’s 110 hurdles: Indoor 60 hurdles champ Eddie Lovett of Florida, ranked No. 2 in DI in the 110 hurdles (13.47), headlines a field of six top-25 DI hurdlers that also includes 2012 NCAA 60 hurdles champion Jarret Eaton, formerly of Syracuse.
Men’s 100: Five of this outdoor season’s top 25 will be in action, including No. 5 Johnathan Smith of Georgia (10.20), No. 6 Isiah Young of Mississippi (10.30) and East Tennessee State’s No. 9 Ifrish Alberg (10.31). They will be joined by freshman Marvin Bracy of Florida State, who will be running his first race since being disqualified by false start from the NCAA indoor 60 after entering as the top seed. Former Florida Bowerman contenders Will Claye and Tony McQuay will also compete.
Women’s 400: With seven of 2013’s top DI runners in the event, all of whom are within three-quarters of a second of one another, the potential for an incredibly close finish in the finals is a distinct possibility. Baylor’s Raena Rhone, a junior, enters at 53.42, just .54 seconds ahead of No. 18 senior Yvonne Amegashie of Virginia Tech at 53.96 – with five other runners ranked between them. NCAA indoor championships qualifiers Eutsy, freshman Courtney Okolo and junior Briana Nelson of Texas, and sophomore Erika Rucker of South Carolina will all make their 2013 outdoor debut at 400 meters.
Women’s 100 hurdles: Sophomore Morgan Snow of Texas (12.90), senior Kierre Beckles of South Carolina (13.09) and senior Lutisha Bowen of UCF (13.15) enter as DI’s 3-4-5 hurdlers at 100 meters for 2013, and are joined by four other women ranked between 20 and 25.
Men’s 4×100 relay: Nine of the top 25 collegiate teams of 2013 will take the track for a quick lap around the track. No. 2 Florida is the fastest team by seed at 38.99, but No. 6 Tennessee and Saint Augustine’s – both at 39.75 last weekend – and No. 8 Baylor at 39.84 are all within a second of the Gators.
Women’s 4×400 relay: The No. 1 Florida women held on and edged out No. 2 Texas by just .04 at this past weekend’s Texas Relays (3:27.61 to 3:27.65), but the Longhorns will look to return the favor and take down the Gators on their own home track this weekend. The two will be joined by seven other top-25 ranked 4×400 relay teams.
Men’s Long Jump: Indoor champion and outdoor No. 1 sophomore Marquis Dendy of Florida (26-9¾/8.17m) headlines a field that also includes teammate and defending outdoor triple jump NCAA champ senior Omar Craddock. South Carolina’s senior Jarrod Hutchen is No. 4 in DI at 25-5¼ (7.75m) and Loyola (Ill.)’s junior James McLachlan is No. 5 (25-3¼ (7.70m).
Men’s Triple Jump: No. 1 Craddock (53-11/16.43m), the defending champ outdoors and runner-up indoors this season, will take on a field that includes three other NCAA indoor qualifiers in Dendy (4th), Baylor freshman Felix Obi (6th) and Kennesaw State sophomore Andre Dorsey (11th). A pair of top 25 jumpers in No. 8 junior Jonathan Gardner of Georgia Tech and No. 22 freshman Anthony Campbell of Charlotte.
Women’s Long Jump: The invitational section of the long jump will feature three of the top six jumpers of 2013 including No. 3 junior Julienne McKee of Georgia Tech (20-9/6.32), No. 5 senior A’Lexus Brannon of Texas (20-7¾/6.29m) and No. 6 senior Karimah Shepherd of NC State (20-7¼/6.28m).
Men’s High Jump: Any event with Indiana’s Derek Drouin (No. 1, 7-6½/2.30m), a four-time NCAA champ between indoors and outdoors, has become must-see track & field these days. Even though rival Erik Kynard of Kansas State isn’t in the field, he’ll still have plenty of competition with five other 2013 top-25 jumpers on the performance list.
Other Meets to Watch in DI: Sun Angel Classic (Arizona State), Apr. 5-6; Oregon Pepsi Team Invitational, Apr. 6; Jim Click Shootout (Arizona), Apr. 4-6
Division I Top 10 in Action
|1||Texas A&M||Oregon Pepsi Team Invitational||Apr. 6|
|2||Arkansas||John McDonnell Combined Events (Arkansas)||Apr. 7-8|
|3||Florida||Pepsi Florida Relays||Apr. 4-6|
|4||Oregon||Oregon Pepsi Team Invitational||Apr. 6|
|5||Texas||Jim Click Shootout (Arizona)||Apr. 4-6|
|6||Florida State||Pepsi Florida Relays||Apr. 4-6|
|7||Auburn||Tiger Track Classic (Auburn)||Apr. 5-6|
|8||Southern California||Pepsi Florida Relays||Apr. 4-6|
|10||LSU||UCLA-LSU-TCU Tri||Apr. 6|
|1||Kansas||Sun Angel Classic (Arizona State)||Apr. 5-6|
|2||Oregon||Oregon Pepsi Team Invitational||Apr. 6|
|3||Texas A&M||Oregon Pepsi Team Invitational||Apr. 6|
|4||Florida||Pepsi Florida Relays||Apr. 4-6|
|5||Arizona||Jim Click Shootout (Arizona)||Apr. 5-6|
|6||Texas||Pepsi Florida Relays||Apr. 4-6|
|7||LSU||UCLA-LSU-TCU Tri||Apr. 6|
|8||Arizona State||Jim Click Shootout/Sun Angel Classic||Apr. 4-6|
|9||Stanford||Jim Click Shootout/Sun Angel Classic||Apr. 4-6|
|10||Clemson||Tiger Track Classic (Auburn)||Apr. 5-6|
Division II Meet of the Week
Emporia State Relays
Men’s Ranked Teams: No. 6 Lincoln (Mo.); 9. Pittsburg State; 11. Missouri Southern; 22. Central Missouri
Women’s Ranked Teams: No. 1 Lincoln (Mo.); 11. Central Missouri; 20. Pittsburg State
Relay meets aren’t exclusive to just the big Division I schools by any means, as Emporia State is set to host a high-profile Division II relay meet this weekend that will produce a number of intriguing match-ups. With seven teams ranked in the most recent USTFCCCA DII National Team Computer Rankings – four for the men and three for the women, including No. 1 Lincoln (Mo.) – expect a number of performances that could shake up the rankings next Tuesday.
The men’s 110 hurdles features the premiere match-up of the meet, as two high hurdle heavyweights are set to square off in 2011 NCAA champ junior Andrew Etheridge of Emporia State and Lincoln senior Sabiel Anderson, 2013’s fastest in DII at 14.03. Anderson owns an NCAA title himself in the 400 hurdles from 2012, and got the better of Etheridge in the 60 hurdles at the 2013 NCAA Indoor Championships, finishing runner-up to Etheridge’s 5th.
Defending 4×100 relay champ Lincoln will debut its first lineup this season with defending 100 champ Romel Lewis (No. 3 at 10.36 in 2013) to take on the second-fastest team of the 2013 season in Pittsburg State, which ran a 40.23 this past weekend. Giving both squads a run for their money will be No. 13 Emporia State (40.88) and No. 17 Missouri Southern (41.11).
A top-five battle of 2012 DII Championships qualifiers is slated in the women’s javelin, where No. 3 junior Mary Riley of Central Missouri (152-3/46.41m) is separated by just six inches from No. 4 sophomore Sara Dunkin of Emporia State (151-7/46.20m), and just over 10 feet from No. 12 junior Amber Kloster of Pittsburg State (141-9/43.21m). Riley finished fourth at NCAAs in 2012, while Dunkin was ninth as a freshman.
The highlight of the men’s throws is shaping up to the seeded discus, which features six of 2013’s top throwers and four top-10 finishers at last season’s NCAA DII championships. Pittsburg State senior John Talbert is No. 2 in the DII ranks this season (173-7/52.92m), but he was beaten out by Missouri Southern senior Dustin Green at the DII championships, fourth to sixth. Green is No. 6 this season (168-0/51.20m). The top seed? Fort Hays State’s Max Alonso will compete in the discus collegiately for the first time since finishing sixth at the 2011 DII championships with a throw of 173-7 (52.90m).
Three women in the triple jump have already achieve NCAA provisional qualifying marks and are all within 10 inches of one another. Senior Sheri Kaye Campbell of Lincoln (No. 10, 39-7¼/12.07m), Lincoln sophomore Daniele Newman (No. 13, 39-3¼/11.97m) and Missouri Southern freshman Brittani Reagan (No. 15, 38-9¾/11.83m) will all push each other for not only an event win, but the auto qualifying mark.
The meet will also be a chance to see defending NCAA DII champ at 100 and 200 meters senior Latoya King of Lincoln and Lincoln’s defending 400 hurdles champion senior Michelle Cumberbatch in action. King will be making her season debut at 200 meters.
Other Meets to Watch: Vance Butler Invitational (Augustana), Apr. 5-6; Angelo State David noble Relays, Apr. 4-6
DII Top 10 in Action
|1||Saint Augustine’s||Pepsi Florida Relays||Apr. 4-6|
|2||Grand Canyon||Don Kirby Tailwind Invitational/Mesa Classic||Apr. 5-6|
|3||Adams State||Air Force Relays/Don Kirby Tailwind Invitational||Apr. 4-6|
|4||Findlay||Miami (OH) Invitational||Apr. 5-6|
|5||Texas A&M-Kingsville||Angelo State David Noble Relays||Apr. 4-6|
|6||Lincoln (Mo.)||Emporia State Relays||Apr. 6|
|7||Chico State||Delta Multi-Events/California-Oregon Border Battle||Apr. 4-6|
|8||Ashland||Akron Quadrangular||Apr. 5-6|
|9||Pittsburg State||Emporia State Relays||Apr. 6|
|10||Abilene Christian||Sun Angel Classic||Apr. 5-6|
|1||Lincoln (Mo.)||Emporia State Relays||Apr. 6|
|2||Adams State||Air Force Relays/Don Kirby Tailwind Invitational||Apr. 4-6|
|3||Grand Canyon||Don Kirby Tailwind Invitational/Mesa Classic||Apr. 5-6|
|4||Grand Valley State||Spartan Invitational/Bulldog Invitational||Apr. 6|
|5||Johnson C. Smith||Pepsi Florida Relays||Apr. 4-6|
|6||Alaska Anchorage||Williamette Invitational||Apr. 6|
|7||U-Mary||American River College Invitational||Apr. 6|
|8||Academy of Art||Sun Angel Classic||Apr. 5-6|
|9||Angelo State||Angelo State David Noble Relays||Apr. 4-6|
|10||Abilene Christian||Sun Angel Classic||Apr. 5-6|
Division III Meet of the Week
Apr. 5-6 | Full Schedule | Waverly, Iowa
Men’s Ranked Teams: No. 7 Augustana (Ill.); 10. UW-Stout; 14. Wartburg
Women’s Ranked Team: No. 1 Wartburg
Defending women’s champion Wartburg will continue to get its title-defense outdoor campaign rolling this weekend with its home Wartburg Select, while three top-15 men’s teams in No. 7 Augustana (Ill.), No. 10 UW-Stout and No. 14 Wartburg will engage in an early-season battle.
Junior Camesha Goods and senior Tanisha McAllister of the Wartburg women, the runner-up and fourth-place finisher in the 100 hurdles at the 2012 outdoor championships, are among the many Knights from last season’s championship team who will make their 2013 outdoor debuts. McAllister also finished third in the 400 hurdles. Scorers Kendra Kregel (leg of winning 4×400 team, 5th 400 meters), Britlyn Sieck (5th shot put), Sarah Boraas (winning 4×100 team) are also scheduled to compete.
The Augustana men’s team was the most successful at the recent NCAA Indoor Championships, finishing 14th to UW-Stout’s 19th and Wartburg’s 39th.
The student-athletes to watch for Wartburg on the men’s side are headlined Jonas Elusme, the runner-up in the outdoor long jump last season and the top returner nationally, as well as the No. 4 high jumper. He will compete in both events this weekend.
Also watch out for Augustana’s Alex Rindone at 200 meters as the No. 4 sprinter in the USTFCCCA event rankings, as well as No. 2 400 hurdler David Voland, who will compete in the open 400 at Wartburg.
DIII Top 10 in Action
|1||North Central (Ill.)||Chicagoland Championships||Apr. 5-6|
|2||UW-Oshkosh||UW-Oshkosh Open||Apr. 6|
|3||UW-Whitewater||Rex Foster Invitational (Home)||Apr. 5|
|4||UW-La Crosse||Ashton May Invitational (Home)||Apr. 5-6|
|5||Whitworth||Sam Adams Classic (Home)||Apr. 6|
|6||UW-Eau Claire||Ashton May Invitational||Apr. 5-6|
|7||Augustana (Ill.)||Wartburg Select||Apr. 6|
|8||Haverford||Sam Howell Invitational/Muhlenberg Invitational||Apr. 5-6|
|9||Bates||Sam Howell invitational/Fitchburg State||Apr. 5-6|
|10||UW-Stout||Wartburg Select||Apr. 6|
|1||Wartburg||Wartburg Select||Apr. 6|
|2||UW-Oshkosh||UW-Oshkosh Open||Apr. 6|
|3||Williams||UVM Invitational||Apr. 6|
|4||Illinois College||Central Methodist Invitational||Apr. 6|
|5||Illinois Wesleyan||Washington (Mo.) Select||Apr. 6|
|6||George Fox||Linfield Meet||Apr. 6|
|7||UW-La Crosse||Ashton May Invitational (Home)||Apr. 5-6|
|8||Ramapo||Roadrunner Invitational||Apr. 5-6|
|9||Claremont-Mudd-Scripps||SCIAC Quad||Apr. 6|
|10||Birmingham-Southern||Hilltop Twilight 6-Way Classic||Apr. 5|
Weekend News and Notes
Conference Re-Alignment Updates
Old Big East to be renamed "American Athletic Conference" at the conclusion of the 2012-13 sports seasons. League will include UCF, Cincinnati, Connecticut, East Carolina, Houston, Navy, Memphis, SMU, South Florida, Temple, Tulane and Tulsa. Full Story
Western Kentucky is scheduled to join Conference USA at the beginning of the 2014-15 academic year in July 2014. Full Story
Great Britain’s Oxford and Cambridge reported to be poised to compete in Ivy League Heps in 2014-15. Full Story
Hy-Vee makes big-time investment in Drake Relays
Midwestern supermarket chain Hy-Vee has committed an estimated $800,000 to $1 million per year for five years to the prestigious Drake Relays. The investment will provide for prize money for professionals in the track & field and road race events, in addition to a 90-minute ESPN broadcast. Full Story
Rock v. NCAA case involving anti-trust and scholarships dismissed
An Indiana court dismissed a case in which the three plaintiffs challenged NCAA bylaws regarding restrictions on and prohibition of granting athletics-based scholarships. One plaintiff’s scholarship was not renewed following a coaching change, while the other two lost their scholarships to DIII schools after it was determined the aid was connected to their student-athlete status. Full Story
Akron’s Barber Breaks Canadian Pole Vault Record
With a mark of 18-8¾ (5.71m) at the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays this past weekend, Akron freshman pole vaulter Shawn Barber broke the 22-year-old Canadian record of 18-5 (5.61m) set by Douglas Wood in 1991. He also owns the Canadian junior indoor record. Full Story
Ohio State’s Michael Hartfield breaks Jesse Owens’ long jump record
With a leap of 26-9 (8.15m) at the Texas Relays long jump, senior Michael Hartfield took down the 77-year-old record of 26-8¼ (8.13m) set by the legendary Jesse Owens, hero in more than one way of the 1936 Olympics in Berlin of Nazi Germany. Full Story
Liberty to Christen Renovated Facility
Liberty will hold its first meet at the newly-renovated Matthes-Hopkins Track Complex this weekend with the Liberty Collegiate Invitational. The complex now features a brand-new track, two shot put sectors, two discus rings, two pole vault runways and two long jump/triple jump runways. The program will also host the Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships later this season. Full Story
Track Town USA Photo Contest Promotes NCAA Championships
Track & Field fans are encouraged to share their best track & field photos with Track Town USA for a chance to win all-session passes to the NCAA DI Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Full Story