The Warm-Up Lap: News, Notes and Meets of the Week (May 1)

The Warm-Up Lap: News, Notes and Meets of the Week (May 1)

NEW ORLEANS – With most major invitationals and relay meets in collegiate track & field’s rear-view mirror, the time has come for conference championships to take center stage.

Conference Championship Central: Division I | Division II | Division III

More Info: This Weekend’s Meets | Broadcast Schedule

The Division I conference championship season has its first big championship weekend with 13 leagues determining their title winners — chief among them the Big 12 and the Big East, experiencing its final meet in its present form.

 Six of Division II’s 11 conference championship meets this weekend will feature teams ranked within the most recent top 25. The GLIAC, MIAA, RMAC, CCAA, Lone Star Conference and Northeast-10 all have at least one top-25 team on both the men’s and women’s side going for conference titles.

Division III also has six conference meets with ranked teams, in addition to the New England DIII Championships.

Collegiate Football Player/Track & Field highlights from last week

Standout sophomore USC wide receiver Marqise Lee recorded the top long jump mark by a collegiate football player in 2013 with a 24-3¾ (7.41m) effort, good for third in the USC-UCLA dual and 55th overall in the division. Lee was one of the best wide receivers in the collegiate game in 2013, racking up 1,721 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns — second- and third-best in DI, respectively. He recorded eight 100+ yard games, including a monster 345-yard effort on 16 receptions in a close 39-36 loss at Arizona.

Mark Jackson of UTEP won the Drake Relays triple jump with a mark of 53-1½ (16.19m), placing him third overall among collegians for the 2013 outdoor season and first by more than three feet among all collegiate football players. The former Big 12 triple jump champion transferred from Texas to UTEP this season to have an opportunity to compete in both football and track & field. He will be a wide receiver.

Central (Iowa) sophomore defensive back Eric Larson had a big weekend at the Drake Relays, finishing eighth in the decathlon with a DIII-leading score of 6,717 against professional, DI and DII competition. During the 2012 football season Larson recorded three interceptions for the 5-5 Dutch, tied for second on the team, while recording 27 total tackles.

Ashland sophomore wide receiver Waquiem Comar recorded the fastest 400 hurdle time by a football player in 2013 by nearly a second, running a 52.45 to win at his home Ashland Alumni Open. His time is 13th-best in DII this season. He also ran a leg of the 17th-fastest 4×400 relay team in DII at 3:12.86. On the football field he made one reception in 2012.

Football players aren’t just limited to the sprints, hurdles and field events: junior defensive back Anthony White of Minnesota Morris became the lone football player to run a steeplechase race this season with a 11:22.10 this weekend. He recorded a sack, forced a fumble and broke up a pass last season for the Cougars.

 

Weekend News and Notes

USTFCCCA Hall of Famer Bob Jenkins Dies at 79

Jenkins, the first high school coach to be inducted into the USTFCCCA Hall of Fame and an instrumental figure on the track & field scene nationally, passed away Monday at age 79. Remembering Bob Jenkins.

LSU Women Take Track & Field News Dual Meet Crown

A perfect 7-0 in dual meet competition this outdoor season — scored meets with four teams or fewer, per T&F News — earned the LSU Lady Tigers the honor of top dual meet team of the 2013 season. Full story.

Track & Field at the NFL Draft

Three-time NCAA outdoor long jump champion, 2012 Olympic long jumper and wide receiver Marquise Goodwin of Texas was drafted 78th overall by the Buffalo Bills. Full story.

Margus Hunt of SMU was drafted 53rd overall to the Cincinnati Bengals. Hunt at one point held the world junior discus record of 220-10 (67.32m) after he won the World Junior title in 2006. He also won the World Junior shot put title, making him the first to complete that double. Full story.

Lawrence Okoye, the British discus record holder and a 2012 Olympian, signed with the San Francisco 49ers. A former rugby star, Okoye had never worn football equipment until pre-draft workouts with the New Orleans Saints. Full story.

 

Division I Meets of the Week

Big 12 Championships

 Mary 3-5 | Full Schedule | Host: Baylor | Waco, Texas – Hart Patterson Track | Meet Home

Ranked Teams (Men): No. 8 Texas, 18. Texas Tech
Ranked Teams (Women): No. 2 Kansas, 10. Texas, 16. Iowa State, 17. Texas Tech, 21. Baylor, 23. Oklahoma

With nearly a quarter of the women’s teams ranked in the top 25 in action in Waco this weekend, expect a meet that will go right down to the wire. Two-time defending men’s champion Texas A&M has gone to the SEC, 2009-10 champion Nebraska has moved to the Big Ten and 2008 champ Colorado now resides in the Pac-12, leaving the Oklahoma men as the last current league team to win a title back in 2007. The Texas women are the defending champs, but No. 2 Kansas will be looking for its first outdoor title in program history.

As many as nine Division I leaders — five for the men and four for the women — could be in action this weekend. Kansas State high jumper Erik Kynard highlights the men, joined by 1500 leader Riley Masters of Oklahoma, shot put leader Ryan Crouser of Texas, 400 hurdler Michael Stigler of Kansas and Girma Mecheso of Oklahoma State at 10,000 meters.

National Indoor Field Athlete of the Year Andrea Geubelle — the NCAA indoor long jump and triple jump champion , and current triple jump leader– and all-time collegiate shot put record-holder Tia Brooks are both members of the women’s April Bowerman Watch List, and Iowa State’s Betsy Saina could very well join them in May following her collegiate-leading 10k run in Stanford last weekend. Oklahoma State’s Natalja Piliusina is the women’s 1500 meters collegiate leader.

One key event to watch on the women’s side will be the 200 meters, where five teams — including ranked Kansas, Texas , Texas Tech and Baylor — could each represented by a top-16 sprinter.

 

Big East Championships

May 3-5 | Full Schedule | Host: Rutgers | Piscataway, N.J. – Bauer Track & Field Complex | Meet Home

The conference is currently without a top-25 team in either the men’s or women’s rankings, but that fact does not preclude this meet from producing some outstanding performances. The UConn men snapped Notre Dame’s Streak of four consecutive titles last season, but the Irish have a chance to claim the final outdoor track and field title from the current form of the Big East. The Louisville women are on a streak of four straight conference crowns, themselves, and will look to close out their Big East run — as they are joining the ACC next season — on top.

The men’s field is highlighted by sprinter Brycen Spratling, the NCAA outdoor 400 runner-up from a season ago. Cincinnati 110 hurdler Terrence Somerville is ranked No. 4 at his event this outdoor season, while South Florida triple jumper Matthew Oneal is No. 3 in the division in his event as a freshman.

A bulk of the action on the women’s side will come from the distance events. Providence’s Emily Sisson and Laura Nagle; Villanova’s Emily Lipari, Angel Piccirillo and Kelsey Margey; Notre Dame’s Rebecca Tracy and Danielle Aragorn; Georgetown’s Chelsea Cox and Katrina Coogan; Syracuse’s Lauren Penney and Connecticut’s Lindsey Crevoiserat are among the many strong middle and long distance runners for the Big East, and each will play a pivotal role in the final Big East Championships race as we know it.

DI Top 10 In Action

Men

Rank School Event Date
1 Florida Off
2 Texas A&M Off
3 Florida State Seminole Twilight May 3
4 Arkansas Off
5 Oregon Oregon Twilight May 3
6 Georgia Off
7 Southern California Pac-12 Multi Championships May 4-5
8 Texas Big 12 Championships May 3-5
9 Virginia Tech Liberty Twilight May 1
10 Nebraska Nebraska Invitational May 4

 

Women

Rank School Event Date
1 Texas A&M Off
2 Kansas Big 12 Championships May 3-5
3 Florida Off
4 LSU Off
5 Arizona Pac-12 Multi Championships May 4-5
6 Arkansas Off
7 Oregon Oregon Twilight May 3
8 Georgia Off
9 Arizona State Pac-12 Multi Championships May 4-5
10 Texas Big 12 Championships May 3-5

 

DII Meet of the Week

GLIAC Championships

May 1-3 | Full Schedule | Host: Ashland | Ashland, Ohio – Dwight Schar Athletic Complex | Meet Home

Ranked Teams (Men): No. 4 Ashland, 5. Findlay, 7. Grand Valley State, 20. Tiffin
Ranked Teams (Women): No. 4 Grand Valley State, 9. Ashland, 20. Tiffin

The GVSU women are the only team to have won a GLIAC title in the 21st century, having claimed 12 in a row dating back to 2000.  Sitting at No. 4 in the USTFCCCA Rankings, the Lakers are the favorites to claim another, but Ashland at No. 9 will pose the greatest challenge.

The Ashland and Grand Valley State men have been trading titles since the turn of the new millennium with five and seven titles, respectively. GVSU won last season to snap a streak of three straight Ashland titles, but Ashland is the top-ranked men’s team at No. 4 to GVSU’s No. 7. Also in the mix is Findlay at No. 5, looking for its first title in program history.

Eight division leaders will be in action — five on the men’s side and three on the women’s — setting up for terrific action this week, particularly in the field events.

Top-quality throws and the GLIAC are nearly synonymous at this point, with five of the eight division leaders in the throws event scheduled to compete. Grand Valley’s Sam Lockhart is the shot put and discus DII-leader — as well as the discus DII record holder — and she will be up against deep fields in all of her events. Five of the top 15 shot putters in DII could be in action, as well as four of the top 16 discus throwers. Findlay’s Jessica Rowland is No. 2 in the hammer throw this season but is the all-time division record holder, and she will face a field that includes 10 of the top 14 throwers this season.

Findlay’s Derrick Vicars leads the DII shot put qualifiers and will be in a field with seven of the event’s top 15. Ashland’s Garrett Grey is tops in the hammer throw in a field with six of the top 16, and Tiffin freshman Macklin Tudor is No. 1 in the discus.

Mentioned many times in this feature in the past is the outstanding GLIAC pole vault rivalry between three of the all-time DII greats in No. 1 Kayla Caldwell of Hillsdale, No. 2 Katie Nageotte of Ashland and No. 3 Kristen Hixson of Grand Valley State. The three will likely meet again later this month at the DII National Championships.

Other DII leaders slated to compete include USTFCCCA Indoor Male Track Athlete of the Year Drew Windle of Ashland at 800 meters, and decathlete Justin Balczak of Lake Superior State.

Other DII Conference Championships to Watch

MIAA Championships

May 5-7 | Full Schedule | Host: Fort Hays State | Hays, Kan. – Alex Francis Track | Meet Home

Ranked Teams (Men): No. 6 Lincoln (Mo.), 9. Pittsburg State, 15. Missouri Southern, 19. Central Missouri

Ranked Teams (Women): No. 2 Lincoln (Mo.), No. 14 Central Missouri, No. 19 Pittsburg State

 

RMAC Championships

May 5-7 | Full Schedule | Host: Colorado Mines | Golden, Colo. – Stermole Track & Field Complex

Ranked Teams (Men): No. 2 Adams State, 12. Western State

Ranked Teams (Women): No. 5 Adams State, 17. Western State

 

Lone Star Conference Championships

May 2-4 | Full Schedule | Host: West Texas A&M | Canyon, Texas – West Texas A&M Track & Field Complex

Meet Home

Ranked Teams (Men): No. 14 Angelo State, 16. Abilene Christian, 22. Texas A&M-Kingsville, 23. West Texas A&M

Ranked Teams (Women): No. 7 Angelo State, 13. Harding, 15. Abilene Christian, 24. West Texas A&M

 

Northeast-10 Championships

May 3-4 | Full Schedule | Host: American International | Springfield, Mass. – John G. Hoyt ’52 T&F Complex | Meet Home

Ranked Teams (Men): No. 11 Southern Connecticut, 18. American International
Ranked Teams (Women): No. 18 UMass Lowell

 

CCAA Championships

May 2-4 | Full Schedule | Host: Cal State Stanislaus | Turlock, Calif. – Al Brenda Track | Meet Home

Ranked Teams (Men): No. 8 Chico State
Ranked Teams (Women): No. 23 Chico State, 25. Cal State LA

 

DII Top 10 In Action

Men

Rank School Event Date
1 Saint Augustine’s Liberty Twilight/Duke Twilight May 1/5
2 Adams State RMAC Championships (@ Colorado Mines) May 5-7
3 Grand Canyon Off
4 Ashland GLIAC Championships (@ Ashland) May 1-3
5 Findlay GLIAC Championships (@ Ashland) May 1-3
6 Lincoln (Mo.) MIAA Championships (@Fort Hays State) May 5-7
7 Grand Valley State GLIAC Championships (@ Ashland) May 1-3
8 Chico State CCAA Championships (@ Call State Stanislaus) May 2-4
9 Pittsburg State MIAA Championships (@Fort Hays State) May 5-7
10 Minnesota State Hamline May 4

 

Women

Rank School Event Date
1 Grand Canyon Off
2 Lincoln (Mo.) MIAA Championships (@Fort Hays State) May 5-7
3 Academy of Art Oxy Invitational May 4
4 Grand Valley State GLIAC Championships (@ Ashland) May 1-3
5 Adams State RMAC Championships (@ Colorado Mines) May 5-7
6 Johnson C. Smith Off
7 Angelo State LSC Championships (@ West Texas A&M) May 2-4
8 Alaska Anchorage Oxy Invitational May 4
9 Ashland GLIAC Championships (@ Ashland) May 1-3
10 Saint Augustine’s Liberty Twilight/Duke Twilight May 1/5

 

DIII Meet of the Week

WIAC Championships

May 3-4 | Full Schedule | Host: UW-La Crosse | La Crosse, Wis. – Veterans memorial Field Sports Complex | Meet Home

Ranked Teams (Men): No. 1 UW-La Crosse, 2. UW-Oshkosh, 3. UW-Eau Claire, 6. UW-Whitewater, 15. UW-Platteville, 18. UW-Stevens Point, 19. UW-Stout

Ranked Teams (Women): No. 2 UW-Oshkosh, 12. UW-La Crosse, 16. UW-Whitewater

The atmosphere for the WIAC Championships is shaping up like an NCAA DIII Championship meet, particularly on the men’s side. Four of the top six teams in the division, per the  USTFCCCA rankings, will be in action at UW-La Crosse — site of the 2013 DIII Outdoor Championships later this month. Both the men’s and women’s indoor champions from this past winter will be on hand in the No. 1 UW-La Crosse men and No. 2 UW-Oshkosh women. Three of the four USTFCCCA Indoor DIII Athletes of the Year are likely to be in action, as well as eight division leaders. This has the potential to not only be the best meet in the division, but among the best in the country this weekend.

UW-La Crosse’s men have won 48 conference titles, 22 straight and 34 of the past 35. The last time the Falcons lost the conference title a Bush was in the Oval Office — George H.W. Bush beginning his term in 1990. It was UW-Oshkosh that won that title in 1990, and it is the team in best position to knock them off again this season. UW-La Crosse is also the defending women’s champion, but only of one season, but UW-Oshkosh claimed the title in 2011 to snap a four-year winning streak by La Crosse.

The conference features two division leaders at 1500 meters in USTFCCCA Indoor Track Athletes of the Year Dan Sullivan of UW-Stevens Point and Christy Cazzola of UW-Oshkosh, as well as Field Athlete of the Year Isaac Vazquez of UW-La Crosse in the long jump and triple jump.

However, Vazquez is not the division leader in either event. The long jump honors currently reside with Justin Bowers and Cory Zaeske of UW-Whitewater, while the triple jump has been owned by Whitewater’s Marcus Smith, the No. 2 outdoor triple jumper in DII history.

A name to watch in the sprints is Dennis Thurgood of UW-Eau Claire, the DIII leader at 100 meters, and a member of the top-ranked 4×400. The top-ranked women’s 4×400 also comes from the WIAC in UW-Oshkosh. With competition predicted to be tight, especially on the men’s side, this edge on the meet’s final event could be a crucial advantage.

Other Conference Championship to Watch:

CCIW Championships

May 3-4 | Full Schedule | Host: Millikin | Decatur, Ill. – Frank M. Lindsay Field | Meet Home

Ranked Teams (Men): No. 7 North Central (Ill.), 8. Augustana (Ill.)
Ranked Teams (Women): No. 25 Illinois Wesleyan

 

NJAC Championships

May 4-5 | Full Schedule | Host: Rowan | Glassboro, N.J. – Rowan Track & Field Complex | Meet Home

Ranked Teams (Men): No. 12 Rowan
Ranked Teams (Women): No. 5 Ramapo, 11. Rowan

 

Weekend Broadcast Schedule

THURSDAY, MAY 2, 2013

2:00 PM ET / 
1:00 PM CT
Lone Star Outdoor Championships
(Canyon, Texas)
WEB: Lone Star Conference LIVE

 

FRIDAY, MAY 3, 2013

GPAC Outdoor Championships
(Seward, Neb.)
WEB: Concordia Sports Network LIVE
Oregon Twilight
(Eugene, Ore.)
WEB: Pac-12/Oregon LIVE
11:30 AM ET / 
10:30 AM CT
Lone Star Outdoor Championships
(Canyon, Texas)
WEB: Lone Star Conference LIVE
12:00 PM ET AHSAA (Ala.) Championships [Classes 4A-6A]
(Gulf Shores, Ala.)
WEB: playOn! LIVE
Classes 4A-6A
12:00 PM ET AHSAA (Ala.) Championships [Classes 1A-3A]
(Selma, Ala.)
WEB: playOn! LIVE
Classes 1A-3A
1:00 PM ET FHSAA Championships (Classes 3A, 4A)
(Jacksonville, Fla.)
WEB: playOn! LIVE
Class 3A
6:25 PM ET GHSA (Ga. HS) Championships [Boys]
(Jefferson, Ga.)
WEB: playOn! LIVE
Boys 3200m

 

SATURDAY, MAY 4, 2013

GPAC Outdoor Championships
(Seward, Neb.)
WEB: Concordia Sports Network LIVE
9:30 AM ET AHSAA (Ala.) Championships [Classes 1A-3A]
(Selma, Ala.)
WEB: playOn! LIVE
Classes 1A-3A
9:30 AM ET AHSAA (Ala.) Championships [Classes 4A-6A]
(Gulf Shores, Ala.)
WEB: playOn! LIVE
Classes 4A-6A
11:00 AM ET GHSA (Ga. HS) Championships [Boys]
(Jefferson, Ga.)
WEB: playOn! LIVE
12:00 PM ET / 
11:00 AM CT
Lone Star Outdoor Championships
(Canyon, Texas)
WEB: Lone Star Conference LIVE
1:00 PM ET FHSAA Championships (Classes 1A, 2A)
(Jacksonville, Fla.)
WEB: playOn! LIVE
Class 4A

 

SUNDAY, MAY 5, 2013

RE:RUN San Diego
(San Diego, Calif.)
WEB: Flotrack Pro LIVE
Sub. Required
5:30 PM ET NCAA Division I Indoor Championships
(Fayetteville, Ark.)
TV: ESPNU tape-delayed