WEEKEND PREVIEW: Getting Back On Track & In The Field
NEW ORLEANS — If this past weekend proved one thing, it was that collegiate track & field athletes couldn’t wait to get outside after being cooped up during the winter.
Huge marks and quick times canvassed the national landscape, especially in the field events. Several throwers firmly entrenched themselves in the all-time collegiate top-10 for their respective disciplines and put the rest of the nation on notice.
After looking at what’s on tap for this weekend, there’s no reason not to think it could be even better.
Here’s what you should keep your eye on while setting up for Easter egg hunts.
Climbing The Charts
Last weekend we saw Maggie Malone, Sam Mattis, DeAnna Price and Raven Saunders leave their marks on the all-time collegiate top-10 in the javelin, discus, hammer and shot put, respectively.
Mattis had the best showing of them all, landing at No. 2 all-time for the discus at 67.45m (221-3). He also finished with the third and seventh-best throws in collegiate history, but who’s counting.
Malone fell in at No. 3 on the javelin chart with her heave of 60.36m (198-0).
Price had the fourth-best hammer throw of all-time at 72.19m (236-10), while Saunders is now seventh in the shot put (18.75m/61-6¼).
Mattis (Penn Challenge), Price (Bill Cornell Spring Classic) and Saunders (Arkansas Spring Invitational) will all be in action this weekend with hopes of moving up the all-time charts. Malone isn’t competing this weekend, but will throw next weekend at the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays.
Good To Be Back
This weekend marks the season debut for several talented runners who either didn’t have indoor eligibility or are returning from prolonged absence.
Arkansas’ Dominique Scott is scheduled to run in the 1500 at the Arkansas Spring Invitational. Scott hasn’t raced in the NCAA system since the 2015 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships last November, where she placed third behind Notre Dame’s Molly Seidel and Boise State’s Allie Ostrander. The senior from South Africa did compete at the Millrose Games in February and placed 10th in the mile in 4:31.57.
Michigan State’s Rachele Schulist is looking to shake off the injury bug that plagued her near the end of the cross country season and some of the indoor season. Schulist shut it down after the Roy Griak Invitational in the fall and re-appeared at the GVSU Tune Up five months later in a winning 3000-meter effort. Nearly one month after that, Schulist will compete in the 10,000 meters at the NC State-hosted Raleigh Relays alongside her teammate Alexis Wiersma.
Usually Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska and Penn State would be fighting each other for conference glory.
The same could be said for Arizona, Arizona State, California and Washington.
Well, this weekend those four teams from the Big Ten and those four teams from the Pac-12 teams will team up for the Pac-12 vs. Big Ten Challenge, hosted by Arizona State.
Last year the Pac-12 women (372-353) and the Big Ten men (363.5-356.7) were victorious.
Going (Back) To Cali
It should be a fast and exciting meet at the Power Conference Cardinal & Gold Challenge this weekend.
Southern Cal is hosting Florida, Ohio State and Texas. All eight teams (men’s and women’s) are ranked in the top-25 of the preseason USTFCCCA National Team Computer Rankings.
- Florida — 3rd-ranked men, 10th-ranked women
- Ohio State — 13th-ranked men, 16th-ranked women
- Texas — 7th-ranked men, 7th-ranked women
- USC — 16th-ranked men, 4th-ranked women
Look out for Section 1 of the women’s 100. It will feature 2016 60-meter champ Teahna Daniels of Texas, 2016 400-meter champ Courtney Okolo, also of Texas, and Florida’s Shayla Sanders.