WEEKEND PREVIEW: Last Chance, Heps, Oregon, and More
NEW ORLEANS — This is the last weekend of Division II competition before nationals, the last weekend of DI meets before the power conference meets, and last seven days of DIII meets before the championship fields are set. Kyle and I will be in Hammond, Louisiana covering Demi Payne at the Southland meet this evening, and there are a smattering of great small meets across the country starting today. Here’s a quick rundown:
Ken Goe has Oregon distance coach Andy Powell "turning loose" his best men’s distance runners for the first time this outdoor season. That means potentially spicy performances from Ed Cheserek in the 3k and Eric Jenkins and Will Geoghegan in the mile. While Jenkins, Geoghegan, Daniel Winn, and ex-Duck Mac Fleet are the clear favorites, high schooler (and Oregon signee) Matthew Maton could finish fifth and still overshadow them. Maton’s 3:42.54 1500 from the last time he raced at Hayward is only a few ticks shy of a sub-four mile equivalent, and tonight at 6:47 local time, he gets to go for the real thing.
Private Schools Battle in Philly
The Ivy League championships are maybe three (i.e. cross, indoors, outdoors) of the ten most hotly contested team competitions in the sport in this country every year. We won’t go full Letsrun and write a thesis-length breakdown of a mid-major conference championship, but we can point you to the best ways to follow Heps live:
Just a half-hour train ride away from the Heps at Franklin Field are the BIG EAST championships at Villanova. Emily Sisson used her indoor conference meet as a dress rehearsal for her front-running tactics at NCAAs, smashing the indoor collegiate 5k record in a totally solo run at the Armory. She hasn’t run a 5k yet this outdoor season, and while it’s a better bet–it’s going to be north of eighty degrees on the Main Line this weekend–that she cruises to a win and a regional qualifier in 16:00 or so, she’s shown she isn’t afraid to front-run to a fast time at a conference meet.
Demi Payne at the Southland Conference meet
The editors of your favorite collegiate track & field website will be there! We’re going to attempt to use Periscope to live stream Demi Payne‘s attempts in the pole vault beginning at 4:00 PM Central time. Payne only needed one jump to win the Southland indoor meet, but, per TFRRS, she did take three cracks at 4.50m after clinching the meet with her 4.28 opening height.
We can’t guarantee technological competence or adequate data remaining on our cell phone plans, but again–should Payne start pushing the bar over 4.50 or so, we should have every jump live.
DII and DIII Last Chance Meets
The men and women trying squeak into the Division II and Division III NCAA championship meets at the last second are a pretty small sliver of college track, but the scramble to get in is one of the most unique parts of the season. This is the only last chance weekend for DII, while the DIII qualifying window is open through Friday, May 15. Division II Grand Valley State is hosting the unpretentiously named Second-to-Last-Chance and Last Chance on Friday and Saturday, DIII North Central (Ill.) has some type of last chance action going on nearly every day between now and the end of the qualifiying window, and the legendary, definitely accurately timed, definitely on a 400 meter track Swarthmore Final Qualifier is on Monday, May 11.
There are too many great and narrow last chance meets to do them all justice here. You might get five DIII 1500 meter qualifiers at La Crosse, and you could get four DII shot put qualifiers at Adams State. For a complete listing of every last chance meet this weekend, visit here, and follow along with the rapidly updating descending order lists at TFRRS.