THE WARM-UP LAP: Events to Watch as Championships Season Begins

THE WARM-UP LAP: Events to Watch as Championships Season Begins

Collegiate indoor track & field’s championships season isn’t quite in full swing yet, but it’s revving up.

Select conferences like the Southland Conference have already contested their league meets over the past week. A dozen or so more conferences across all three NCAA Divisions are competing this weekend (mostly from the Northeast and the South). Most teams are either resting or competing in tune-up meets with their league meets upcoming next weekend.

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Indoor Track & Field:
NCAA: Division I | Division II | Division III | NAIA

Here’s a list of conference championship action taking place this weekend, and below we get into a few of the headlining match-ups of the weekend.

*America East Indoor Championships
New York, N.Y. * New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armory
NYC Armory  
Fri Feb 20 
Meet Home
Meet Preview
Atlantic 10 Indoor Championships
Providence, R.I. * Mackal Fieldhouse
Rhode Island  
Sat Feb 21 – Sun Feb 22 
Timing Site
Meet Home
MAAC Indoor Championships
New York, N.Y. * New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armory
Manhattan  
Sat Feb 21 
Meet Home
Meet Schedule
Northeast Indoor Championships
Landover, Md. * Prince George’s Sports Complex
Northeast  
Sat Feb 21 – Sun Feb 22 
Timing Site
Meet Home
*Patriot League Indoor Championships
Annapolis, Md. * Wesley A. Brown Field House
Navy  
Fri Feb 20 – Sun Feb 22 
Timing Site
Meet Home
Sun Belt Indoor Championships
Birmingham, Ala. * Birmingham CrossPlex
Sun Belt  
Mon Feb 23 – Tue Feb 24 
Meet Home
Broadcast Info 
(WEB: SunBeltSports.com)
SWAC Indoor Championships
Birmingham, Ala. * Birmingham CrossPlex
SWAC  
Sat Feb 21 – Sun Feb 22 
Meet Home

 

Conference Carolinas Indoor Championships
Winston-Salem, N.C. * JDL Fast Track
Conf. Carolinas  
Sun Feb 22 
Host Site
East Coast Indoor Championship
Huntington, N.Y. * St. Anthony’s High School Track
East Coast  
Sat Feb 21 
Host Site
*GNAC Indoor Championships
Nampa, Idaho * Jacksons Indoor Track
Northwest Nazarene  
Fri Feb 20 – Sat Feb 21 
Host Site
Northeast-10 Indoor Championships
Boston, Mass. * Reggie Lewis Track & Athletic Center
Northeast-10  
Sat Feb 21 
Host Site

 

Capital Athletic Indoor Championships
Newport News, Va. * Freeman Center
Christopher Newport  
Sat Feb 21 
Timing Site
Broadcast Info 
Meet Home | CAC Sports Coverage | Meet Preview
HCAC Indoor Championships
Terre Haute, Ind.
Rose-Hulman  
Sat Feb 21 
Host Site

 

*GPAC Indoor Championships
Seward, Neb.
Concordia (Neb.)  
Fri Feb 20 – Sat Feb 21 
Timing Site
Broadcast Info 
(WEB: Concordia Sports Network)
Host Site | Meet Schedule
*Heart of America (HAAC) Indoor Championships
Lamoni, Iowa * Eugene E. and Julia Travis Closson Center
Graceland (Iowa)  
Fri Feb 20 – Sat Feb 21 
Host Site
Wolverine-Hoosier (WHAC) Indoor Championships
Grand Rapids, Mich. * Alksnis Athletic & Rec Building
Aquinas (Mich.)  
Sat Feb 21 
Host Site

 

NJCAA Region VI/Jayhawk Conference Indoor Championships
Manhattan, Kan. * Ahearn Field House
Sat Feb 21  Host Site
*NJCAA Region VI/Jayhawk Conference [Combined Events]
Overland Park, Kan.
Johnson County CC  
Thu Feb 19 – Fri Feb 20 
Host Site
*NJCAA Region XI Indoor Championships
Storm Lake, Iowa
Buena Vista  
Fri Feb 20 
Host Site

 

Here are the events/match-ups with the biggest national and/or historical implications, in chronological order.

Michael Lihrman (Wisconsin) vs. The Collegiate Weight Throw Record

Wisconsin Scarlet & White Open | Friday, 5pm ET/4pm CT

Lihrman, the current NCAA Division I weight throw record holder with his season-opening 80-3½ (24.47m), is taking aim this weekend at the collegiate record in the event. That mark is 82-3½ (25.08m), held by Kibwe Johnson of Division II Ashland.

How do we know he’s taking aim at it?

The Badger senior owns six of the top 10 marks in collegiate history, though Big Ten rival Chukwuebuka Enekwechi of Purdue is hot on his heels with a mark this past weekend of 80-0¼ (24.39m). Lihrman has only finished in the 78-foot neighborhood in each of his two subsequent meets, though those marks would still have put him at No. 5 in collegiate history.

Shawn Barber (Akron) vs. The Collegiate Indoor Pole Vault Record

Akron Zips Invitational | Friday, approx 8pm ET (following women’s PV at 7pm)
Live Webstream

Barber, who joined us yesterday on our QA2Max Podcast, has broken the collegiate record in the pole vault two weekends in a row, most recently with a 19-4¼ (5.90m) leap at Arkansas’ Tyson Invitational last weekend.

The week before that was at the Akron Invitational in the same Stile Athletes Field House in which he’ll be competing tonight. He took down 19-3½ (5.88m) on that night on his first attempt, then took three tries at six meters.

Will he make it three weeks in a row tonight? You can find out live with a free webstream from Akron.

Men’s & Women’s Distance Medley Relay Teams vs. The National Qualifying Lists

Notre Dame Alex Wilson Invitational | Saturday, 11:50am ET (Women) & 12:05pm ET (Men)
LIVE on Flotrack Pro

Once a "last-chance" fixture for distance medley relay teams the weekend before the NCAA Championships, the Alex Wilson Invitational has moved two weeks forward when "last chance" meets were discontinued before the beginning of last season.

That hasn’t stopped many of the nation’s top DMR teams from making the trip to South Bend, Indiana, in pursuit of fast qualifying times.

There’ll be two sections of the men’s race. The first is scheduled to feature defending national champion No. 6 Stanford, last year’s third-place Indiana, No. 10 Iowa State, and No. 11 Columbia. The second will be headlined by No. 7 Arkansas and also feature No. 17 Virginia and No. 18 Texas battling to get into the top 12 nationally – the cutoff for the NCAA Championships.

Just one section of the women’s race is scheduled, headlined by last year’s third- and fifth-place finishing teams in host Notre Dame and Michigan, respectively. Also looking to bolster their positions will be No. 8 Baylor, No. 10 Oklahoma State, No. 13 Harvard and a No. 22 North Dakota State squad that will be running this time with standout Erin Teschuk.

Demi Payne (Stephen F. Austin) vs. Sandi Morris (Arkansas) vs. The Collegiate Women’s Pole Vault Record – Round 2

Arkansas Open | Saturday, 4pm ET/3pm CT
LIVE on SEC Network+

Saving the best for last, the final match-up to watch this weekend is the rematch between the last two women’s collegiate pole vault record holders: current standard-bearer Demi Payne of Stephen F. Austin and former record-holder Sandi Morris of Arkansas.

Last time these two met – two weekends ago at New Mexico – Payne got the better of Morris. The SFA senior cleared 4.66m on her first attempt and proceeded on to take three attempts at 4.76m (one centimeter better than her current collegiate record ), while Morris went out at 4.56m after three tries at 4.66m.

What have they been up to since? Payne easily won the Southland Conference at, what is for her, a pedestrian 4.28m (she only brought "monster poles" to the meet), while Morris won the Tyson Invitational at 4.49m after shaking the rest of the field early and taking three solid attempts at 4.76m.