WEEKEND PREVIEW: The Best of the Rest (Baylor, Princeton, and more)
NEW ORLEANS–Track & field athletes, more than those in any other sport, feel the powerful pull of their past performances. Setting a PR is a great feeling–until the time or distance becomes an albatross. This weekend, lots of athletes are trying to recapture the old magic, and a few more are probably going to show that they’re still in the best in the country at what they do.
Baylor women’s 400
When: Saturday, 6:15 CT/7:15 ET
Who: Pros Sanya Richards-Ross, Janeil Bellille, Briana Nelson; Texas’s Courtney Okolo and Kendall Baisden; Texas A&M’s Shamier Little and Kendall Baisden
Best case scenario: Richards-Ross and Okolo push each other to the fastest clean sea level 400 ever run in the month of April. (Doper Marion Jones ran 49.59 at the 2000 Mt. SAC Relays; Myrtle Bothma of South Africa ran 50.12 at altitude in 1986; doper Amantle Montsho ran 50.15 in London three years ago; arguably, Richards-Ross’s 50.18 at this very meet three years ago is the best ever 400 run in April)
Princeton men’s 800 and 1500
When: Friday, 5:00 ET (800) and 7:00 ET (1500)
Who: Jesse Garn of Binghamton chasing pros Kyle Merber and Robby Andrews in the 800 and Drew Windle of Ashland, Tom Awad of Penn, and Sam McEntree, Jordy Williamsz, and Rob Denault of Villanova in a pro-rabbitted 1500.
How to follow: Live results
Best case scenario: Thunderstorm strikes, clears up, Swarthmore 2012 redux.
Baylor women’s pole vault
When: Saturday, beginning at 5:00 CT/6:00 ET
Who: Indoor collegiate record holder Demi Payne of Stephen F. Austin and ex-indoor CR holder Kaitlin Petrillose of Texas
Best case scenario: These two women are No. 1 at 4.75m (Payne) and No. 3 at 4.60m (Petrillose) on the indoor all-time list, but both set those bests in Albuquerque’s altitude and haven’t gone higher than 4.50 outdoors. That’s still excellent–they’re among five women tied for the sixth-best outdoor vaulter ever–but both would love to prove that they can kill it at sea level outdoors.
Azusa Pacific men’s 1500
When: Friday, 10:00 PM PT/1:00 AM ET
Who: Peter Callahan (New Mexico), Sam Stabler (Lamar), Zach Perkins (Air Force), Ben Saarel (Colorado, running unattached), Jake Hurysz (Colorado)
Best case scenario: Everyone starts the race (some of these men are entered at Mt. SAC, seven miles away); Callahan establishes himself as one of the two best 1500 runners in the NCAA; Saarel runs well enough that Mark Wetmore decides to not redshirt him this outdoor season.
Baylor men’s 100
When: Saturday, after the women’s 100 beginning at 7:00 CT/8:00 ET
Who: Trayvon Bromell (Baylor), Shavez Hart (Texas A&M), Ronnie Baker (TCU)
Best case scenario: No questionable false starts are called on Bromell and the tailwind is measured at exactly 2.0 meters per second.
Baylor men’s 400
When: Saturday, after the women’s 400 beginning at 6:15 CT/7:15 ET
Who: Former king of the college 400/Olympic gold medallist Jeremy Wariner and 2014 king of the college 400/Bowerman winner Deon Lendore of Texas A&M.
Best case scenario: At least one of Lendore or Wariner simply runs better than his most recent race.