WEEKEND PREVIEW: January 31-February 2
Welcome to the heart of the collegiate indoor track & field season.
Once February hits, teams know it’s time to kick it into high gear.
From The USTFCCCA InfoZone: Meets & Results
You better believe we’ll continue to see some big marks across each division.
Here are a few meets that we’re keeping an eye on this weekend.
We’re in for a treat with the Razorback Invitational.
There will be 13 ranked teams in action at the Randal Tyson Track Complex, including five top-10 women’s programs (No. 2 Georgia, No. 3 Arkansas, No. 4 Texas, No. 6 LSU and No. 10 Florida) as well as three top-10 men’s programs (No. 2 LSU, No. 4 Texas, No. 7 Florida).
You can watch the meet LIVE on SECN+ tonight beginning at 6 pm CT with the DMRs and 200s highlighted and then Saturday beginning at 1 pm CT.
Men’s 200 Meters
We’ll see five of the current top-10 athletes in the field.
National leader Micaiah Harris of Texas goes up against third-ranked Terrance Laird of LSU, fourth-ranked Cameron Miller of Florida, seventh-ranked Joseph Fahnbulleh of Florida and ninth-ranked Samson Colebrooke of Purdue.
Three of those aforementioned athletes are upperclassmen (Colebrooke, Harris and Laird), while both of the Florida athletes (Fahnbulleh and Miller) are freshmen. If you extend the net out to the top-12, you add another freshman in the guise of Charles Lewis from LSU.
Will youth be served? We’re going to find out soon enough.
Three women currently in the national top-10 are entered.
Fourth-ranked Jessica Lawson of Stanford is scheduled to go up against the Arkansas duo of fifth-ranked Carina Viljoen and eighth-ranked Katie Izzo. Each of them should have fresh legs as they raced their last mile two weeks ago.
We could have seen four from the top-10 in the mix, but Kathryn Gillespie of Texas is going to cut the distance in half this weekend and give it a go over 800 meters.
We hate to lump these together, but we’d write 8,000 words about them otherwise.
There will be top-5 battles in each of the four horizontal jumps at the Razorback Invitational, including colossal matchups between three top-5 athletes in the men’s long jump (Rayvon Grey of LSU, Ja’Mari Ward of Missouri and O’Brien Wasome of Texas) and in the men’s triple jump (The Florida duo of Clayton Brown and Jonathan Strange faces off against Purdue’s Jah Strange), while the women’s triple jump sees five top-10 athletes in its field, including a top-5 battle between second-ranked Mikeisha Welcome of Oklahoma and fourth-ranked Jasmine Moore of Georgia, who is doubling down in the long jump as well.
Don’t forget about The Bowerman Watch List member JuVaughn Harrison of LSU, who is competing in the long jump, either.
Look for some great action in the men’s and women’s high jump.
The men’s high jump is headlined by third-ranked Darius Carbin of Georgia going up against fifth-ranked Tejaswin Shankar of Kansas State, but you can’t discount Vernon Turner of Oklahoma, who cleared 2.33m (7-7¾) two years ago to match the fourth best performer in collegiate history.
The women’s high jump will see four athletes who are currently ranked in the top-10 nationally, led by a top-5 battle between second-ranked Abigail O’Donoghue of LSU, third-ranked Anna Hall of Georgia and fourth-ranked Shelby Tyler of Georgia. Here’s a fun fact: Both of the Bulldog jumpers are freshmen.
Expect to see some NCAA qualifying marks this weekend.
There are 21 men entered in the heptathlon, including Johannes Erm of Georgia and TJ Lawson of Kent State, while 18 women are entered in the pentathlon, including the debuts of the aforementioned Anna Hall and Nina Schultz as Bulldogs. Hall is a heralded freshman, having shattered former Georgia standout Kendell Williams’ prep pentathlon national record, while Schultz transferred to Georgia from Kansas State, where she finished national runner-up in 2018 and third in 2017.
Texas Tech Invitational
The Sports Performance Center in Lubbock, Texas, has quickly turned into an ideal destination for athletes and teams seeking big marks.
That will be the case this weekend as 19 collegiate programs descend on Texas Tech’s campus for the 2020 edition of the Texas Tech Invitational. Of those 19 collegiate programs, 16 are ranked in the most recent National Rating Indexes, which were released earlier this week.
Here are a few events that we have our eye on.
Men’s 200 Meters
Many of those athletes who we expected to be racing the 60 decided to add some more distance this weekend and will be racing the 200, instead.
That means you’ll see Cravont Charleston, the second-ranked man at 60 meters, go up against Jacolby Shelton, the seventh-ranked man at the same distance, in Section 3. Brendon Stewart of Southern California, the fourth-ranked man at 60 meters, will be racing in Section 4.
Women’s 200 Meters
The same thing that applies for the men applies for the women.
Top-ranked athletes from the Descending Order List in the 60 are racing the 200.
That means you’ll see athletes like Ka’Tia Seymour of Florida State go up against Cambrea Sturgis of North Carolina A&T and Anavia Battle of Ohio State in Section 1.
Section 2 features Jayla Kirkland of Florida State and Twanisha Terry of Southern California.
Men’s 400 Meters
Prepare to see fireworks in Section 1.
That’s because The Bowerman Watch List member Trevor Stewart of North Carolina A&T makes his 2020 debut in the 400 against Bryce Deadmon, who is ranked No. 2 in the nation. Stewart had a major breakthrough outdoors last year when he went sub-44.44 three times, including a PR of 44.25.
Men’s High Jump
Two of the 10 men who cleared 2.33m (7-7.75) in collegiate history are competing in this event: Trey Culver and Darryl Sullivan. Culver topped that bar in 2018 when he competed at Texas Tech, while Tennessee’s Sullivan accomplished the feat just a few weeks ago.
If Sullivan raises the bar even further – let’s say to 2.34m (7-8) – he’d become just the fourth man in collegiate history to do so. Brian Brown sits third on the all-time chart at 2.34m (7-8) and after that you’ll find Derek Drouin at No. 2 with his clearance of 2.35m (7-8.5) and record-holder Hollis Conway at his mighty standard of 2.37m (7-9.25).
Strong competition brings the best out of elite athletes, so we’ll see if Sullivan is ready to reach truly rarefied air.
Other Meets Of Interest
Indiana Relays & UW Invitational
Those clamoring for distance action this weekend would be hard-pressed to find better competition than what will be found in Bloomington, Indiana and Seattle, Washington.
We have a keen eye on the Indiana Relays, because that’s where two members of The Bowerman Watch List will make their 2020 debuts: Oliver Hoare and Alicia Monson, both of Wisconsin. Hoare tunes up for the Wanamaker Men’s Mile at the NYRR Millrose Games with an 800 this weekend, while Monson will get her legs moving in the mile ahead of defending her title in the 3000 at The Armory next weekend.
Meets in The Dempsey, as they call it, always attracts strong competition from the collegiate and professional ranks. This year is no different with loaded fields in each event. Don’t forget about the women’s pole vault competition, either, because Olivia Gruver of Washington cleared 4.66m (15-3½) just a few weeks ago to match the fourth best performance in collegiate history. If Gruver clears anything above 4.75m (15-7), the record is hers.
Pittsburg State Invitational
One of the largest meets at the NCAA Division II level happens this weekend in Pittsburg, Kansas. Among all of the teams entered, 15 of them were ranked among the top-25 teams in the most recent NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field National Rating Index, including the second-ranked Lincoln (Mo.) men and women, the third-ranked Northwest Missouri women and the sixth-ranked Missouri Southern men, among others.
Not only that, but there will be 14 teams that were ranked in the most recent NJCAA Indoor Track & Field National Rating Index in action as well, including the sixth-ranked Coffeyville (Kan.) CC men and the ninth-ranked Butler (Kan.) CC women.
Colorado Indoor Invitational
Did you know that Colorado is one of the last states to not have a runner crack the four-minute barrier in the mile on its home soil? Altitude might have something to do with it (Hint: It does).
Joe Klecker and his teammates are looking to change that tonight.
A number of talented athletes are entered in the Men’s Seeded Mile at the Colorado Indoor Invitational, led by the national runner-up during the cross country season. Klecker will be joined by teammates John Dressel and Eduardo Herrera as well as a host of professionals.