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October 13, 2017

PreNats Preview: BYU vs. Arkansas, New Individual Champions To Be Crowned

New individual champions will be crowned at the 2017 PreNats but we will see a great team battle between BYU and Arkansas in the men’s race.

October 10, 2017

Should the NCAA add the half marathon?

Chris and Stephen got bored and decided to trade Slack messages about whether the NCAA should add the half marathon. Here are their thoughts.

October 6, 2017

Feast your eyes on the best male athlete portraits in track and field (Part IX)

Picture day is something to look forward to every year. These runners surely made the most out of their respective roster portraits. Part IX.

October 2, 2017

Wood Report: Thoughts On A Big Cross Country Weekend

Isaac Wood breaks down the importance of what took place at cross country meets across the country. Furman, Alabama, Dillon Maggard among big performers.

October 2, 2017

Finding Value In Caring About Running

Jenny DeSouchet explains the value of having passion for something, like running, even when it may feel selfish or pointless or crazy.

October 1, 2017

The Athlete Special – CROSS COUNTRY SEASON DEBUT: Paul Short Invitational 2017

Spencer Brown tries his luck at racing cross country for the first time this year when he takes on the Paul Short Invitational.

October 1, 2017

What happened in cross country this weekend?

Taking a look at the results from the weekend’s cross country action in South Bend, Louisville, Springfield, Stillwater and more.

September 30, 2017

Some thoughts after the Bill Dellinger Invitational – BYU rocks, Rainsberger flies

Katie Rainsberger smashes the course record and BYU takes 1–4 on the men’s side of the Bill Dellinger Invitational on Friday.

September 25, 2017

An Ode To Boston University Coach Bruce Lehane

Bruce Lehane served as the Boston University coach for over 35 years. During that time, he coached 50 NCAA Division 1 All-Americans, two NCAA Champions and two Olympians. This past Saturday, Lehane passed awayat the age of 68 after a bout with ALS. Bruce wasn’t only a long-time coach with a long list of accolades, but he was a big part of the Boston running community as well. Katie Matthews, class of 2012, wrote a tribute to Lehane after running under his tutelage for five years in college and for the start of her professional running career, as well as serving a stint as an assistant coach at BU.  


It wasn’t until late into my high school career that I considered running for a Division I track program. As I reached out my feelers into the world of collegiate running opportunities, very few top level coaches saw the potential in my 5:04 mile PR, lack of Footlocker XC appearances, or my recent stress fracture.

But Bruce Lehane did. In fact, he told me later that he saw something in me the day I ran to a dismal 40th place finish at a Footlocker regional meet, something I’ll never quite understand.

His recruiting philosophy had always been to place the most time and energy to those individuals already voicing interest in Boston University and his team. I was one of those prospects. Boasting a strong academic focus where major and class selection was valued over practice commitments, it seemed like BU would be a perfect fit for someone like me, where running was giving me an opportunity to afford to attend a very expensive private university but wouldn’t be my main reason for heading to college.

I ran well the first two years at BU, but nothing stellar. However, I developed a strong relationship with Bruce through hundreds of talks in his office, van rides to Franklin Park practices and always picking his brain for advice. I had the somewhat unique experience of entering the team with Bruce’s son, Elliot, and some of his Brookline High teammates from the revered 2008 NXN class who knew Bruce previously. I don’t know if it was befriending them that helped me feel comfort, or having girls who had such respect for, belief in, and success with Bruce take me under their wings, but the team instantly felt like a family.

Bruce Lehane

Whenever Bruce got to telling a story, we usually received much beyond training philosophy. His talks morphed into Boston running history lessons: tales of his former coach Billy Squires leading Salazar, Rodgers, and Beardsley to early success, and the way the running landscape here had changed in the years since. We heard about him growing up in Southie in the 50s, building the famous BU indoor track and from what was the old Armory on Commonwealth Ave., and anecdotes of his sons and home life.

Plenty of his stories focused on collegiate athletes he had coached before us — those whose workouts we were mimicking or who had set records. He always emphasized their character and worth ethic above all else. I learned what being a blue-collar runner was really about. When questioned about training trends or new technology, his favorite catch phrase was always ,“the way to get better at running is by running.”

I soon found I wanted to know everything he could tell me, and eventually what he imparted on me clicked.

In a Hartford Courant article from 2013, Bruce was asked about my jump in performance. He’s quoted as saying “She just transformed. She was sixth in the America East as a sophomore in the 5,000. The next year, she was sixth in the NCAAs in the 5,000. She just took this gigantic leap.”

What Bruce humbly brushed off as a coincidence and no minor fault of his own was anything but. Bruce motivated me and led me to success in a way that was truly unique. He rarely celebrated victories but simply wanted his athletes to learn from each race and move on to the next challenge. Receiving a hug or ‘congratulations’ from Bruce was something my teammates and I used to track for its rarity. With that being said, every single athlete on the team wanted to perform well and better themselves for him. Getting a loud shout from Bruce to pick it up during the last 800m of a race really carried some weight.

Bruce had a way of making each athlete feel like the most important one on the team. He looked for and saw the best in each runner he coached. He guided us all to make strong decisions about the way we spent our energy balancing the many facets of college life and in pursuing of our own goals outside of the sports arena. He put the responsibility in our own hands to become great or remain mediocre. Countless times we were given a workout or race plan to follow through without him in attendance. Whether it was because we were missing practice due to a class commitment or because he was with the other half of the squad at a different track meet, it was on us to figure out the logistics of getting the work in.

On the flip side, Bruce was always willing to come to the indoor track early or stay late into the evening to oversee a workout. Usually it would be a bread and butter workout like 600, 600, 800 x 2, with him quietly reading the splits from the sideline. If we were sick or an injury was nagging, we simply missed the workout for that day and proceeded in training as if we had done it. If we missed more than a couple workouts, we did not race, as Bruce always err on the side of caution. If we were to become injured, as I did during my 2012 season, it wasn’t because of too high mileage or intense workouts, it was due to failure on our part to be smart in recovery and training load.

Track trips became opportunities to explore different parts of the country. Whereas some coaches would have their athletes rest in the hotel for days leading up to competition, I traveled with Bruce to Niagara Falls, the Space Needle, Pier 39, the plains of Texas, and the Oregon coast to name a few places. If we wanted to come into his office and just chat, not about running but just about what was going on in our lives, his door was always open. Under his careful guidance, I eventually lowered my PRs to a 9:05 3k, 15:42 5k, and a 32:44 10k.

In the running community, Bruce was known for his laid-back demeanor. However, the way he loved his athletes was anything but. I’ll never know if I would have had the same athletic achievements under another coach, but I do know I wouldn’t have forged the same relationships, career path, and life philosophy as I have now. Given his humble attitude, he wouldn’t accept me saying so, but I owe so much to this wonderful man.

I remember one day, early in my professional running career, we were having a chat in his office.  I had been lamenting over some petty dating woes and off handedly mentioned wanting to be single and not have to deal with finding a partner.  Bruce became serious, and threw away a comment I said about being “independent.” He said, “But you do need to find someone — sharing your life with someone is one of the most beautiful gifts you’ll ever receive.”

In the years since, I’ve come to realize he was right. It doesn’t matter if you have all the stories, money, skills, or fortune in the world, if you don’t have anyone to share them with, they don’t matter. And Bruce had lots of people to share his life with.

Watching someone I love battle with ALS throughout the last couple of years has been heartbreaking. My thoughts and heart go out to his wife, Lesley, and sons Blaize, Elliot, and Aidan. Thank you for sharing your husband and father with me and so many others. We are all better people for knowing him.

Bruce, wherever you are, I hope you are getting in some quality miles.

Bruce Lehane

Lehane with Katie Matthews

 

September 20, 2017

Feast your eyes on the best male athlete portraits in track and field (Part VIII)

Picture day is something to look forward to every year. These runners surely made the most out of their respective roster portraits. Part VII.

September 17, 2017

Cross Country is Here. The Athlete Special Season 6

Season 6 of the The Athlete Special kicks off with a subtle shot at The Wood Report’s rankings and a look at an early Georgetown XC workout.

September 13, 2017

Feast your eyes on the best male athlete portraits in track and field (Part VII)

Picture day is something to look forward to every year. These runners surely made the most out of their respective roster portraits. Part VII.

September 12, 2017

Wood Report: Syracuse’s Justyn Knight tops NCAA XC Preseason Rankings

Projecting and predicting every finisher at the NCAA Division I Cross Country National Championship. Justyn Knight tops the list.

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August 31, 2017

CITIUS Mailbag: Who do you think will win the NCAA title?

The CITIUS Mailbag is open and ready to take reader questions. Email or tweet us your best cross country musings. Right now: Who will win the men’s title?

August 28, 2017

How to avoid burnout in running: A search for answers

How do we prevent burnout? Some runners believe that they know the secret better than others. Some routines work and others don’t.

August 28, 2017

Last year’s NCAA XC returners and some questions surrounding them

Karissa Schweizer returns to defend her NCAA Cross Country crown but she will be challenges with six of last year’s top 10.

August 25, 2017

Track Talk: What’s your favorite part of cross country season?

The leaves are starting to change colors. We consulted with our good friend what’s their favorite part of cross country season.

August 25, 2017

The King Is Gone: Who Is The Most Feared NCAA XC Runner Now?

With the departure of Ed Cheserek & Patrick Tiernan unable to defend his title, the throne is empty. What runner is favored and feared ahead of the season?

August 23, 2017

NCAA Cross Country Coaches and Their NBA Equivalent

What once started as a bar conversation is now a blog post. Thinking of NCAA Cross Country coaches and their notable NBA equivalents.

August 22, 2017

The Alabama Additions That Could Shake Up The NCAA XC Scene

There’s a chance that Gilbert Kigen and Vincent Kiprop could make an instant impact on the front of the NCAA cross country scene.

August 21, 2017

Your First Day of Cross Country

A look at how your first day of cross country practice will go. Beware this will be your life for the next four to five years as well.

August 9, 2017

Recognizing the Division II Stars At Worlds

From Drew Windle to Kibwe Johnson, highlighting some of the Division II stars that have found their way to the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London.

July 24, 2017

Attempting a 200-mile week

Zach Kughn and Ethan Wilhelm will soon attempt to run a 200-mile week as they try to settle a little bar argument that took place in April.

July 14, 2017

Postcard from Kenya: Sarah Mwangi’s journey to UTEP

Next month, Sarah Mwangi fly from Nairobi to El Paso to start her four years at UTEP. Her flight will be the last and easiest leg of her journey.

July 10, 2017

The Athlete Special: Craziest Race of My Life

I was able to find a mile race last second. I was hoping the weather would hold up…

Also stick around for the end of the episode for a special announcement…

PS: Just got a Garmin so add me on Strava.

July 7, 2017

The Strange Magic of Division II

Division II track and field has a slew of storylines that usually go unheard. David Ribich making the U.S. Championship 1500 meter final was inspiring

June 29, 2017

A letter from Summer Training to runners

Dear runners everywhere, It’s me again, your good friend Summer Training! It’s been almost a year since we’ve last had a chance to sit down and talk.

June 16, 2017

Disordered Eating and the Slope to Eating Disorders

We’d be remiss if we didn’t broach the serious topic of eating disorders during our food-themed week. They’re extremely prevalent in distance running.

June 13, 2017

Interview with NCAA 1,500m champion Jaimie Phelan of Michigan

Citius Mag’s Jesse Squire chats with Michigan’s Jaimie Phelan just days after she won the first NCAA women’s 1500 meter championship in Michigan history.

June 11, 2017

PHOTOS: NCAA Outdoor Championship (Day 4) by Dane Schubert

Photos from the 2017 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. All photos by Dane Schubert.

June 10, 2017

Oregon Wins Women’s NCAA Championship in a Thriller

All we could say as we walked back to the hotel was “Wow . . . wow”. This was a meet we will never forget.

Complete results

Yesterday Florida had a near-perfect day while Texas A&M did not and that determined the men’s championship. Today Georgia had a completely perfect day and Oregon had plenty of missteps, but the Ducks squeaked out a championship anyway.

Georgia started off with 24.2 points from Thursday’s field events and had just four entries today. Those entries were Kendell Williams in the heptathlon, an event she’d twice won before; Keturah Orji in the triple jump, an event in which she’d never lost; and Mady Fagan and Tatiana Gusin in the high jump, who went 1-2 at the NCAA indoor championships. The Bulldogs got three wins and a second to max out their scoring potential at 62.2 points.

Oregon had so much that it looked inevitable that they’d win, but it was far closer than anyone expected. They had no points when the day began but fourteen entries. In event after event they were almost there.

Katie Rainsberger was part of a five-wide dash to the finish in the 1500 and led with as little as 40 meters to go but ended up fourth. Alaysha Johnson contended early in the hurdles but ended up fourth with teammate Sasha Wallace—the NCAA indoor champion—back in sixth. Elexis Guster moved well at the end of the 400 but could only get sixth. Deajah Stevens and Ariana Washington ran well in the 100 for second and fourth. The most alarming moment was in the 200, where Stevens led around the turn and down the stretch, got challenged by Florida’s Kyra Jefferson, then suffered a complete form breakdown and fell some 15 meters from the finish. Washington took second, but Stevens’ fall was a huge loss of points. And in the 5000 meters, Samantha Nadel and Lilli Burdon were in great scoring position with 200 meters to go and then faded to 8th and 9th for a single point.

What saved Oregon’s bacon was the 800 meters. Raevyn Rogers won her sixth NCAA championship, and teammate Brooke Feldmeier ran a brilliant race for third, a PR by nearly two full seconds.

Still, it meant that the Ducks had to win the 4×400 in order to win the meet. Despite the fact that Oregon ran the fifth-fastest time in collegiate history at the Penn Relays back in April, it was quickly apparent that this too would take everything they had. USC was ahead at the first two exchanges and retook the lead immediately after the final one. Rogers was on the anchor leg and took the lead with 200 to go, but even then it wasn’t secure. Only in the final steps did she pull away for the win.

The Three Stars
In the style of pro hockey, our picks for the meet’s three stars…

The First Star: Raevyn Rogers
Rogers simply would not allow her team to lose. She ran with ice water in her veins. She split (approximately) 27-31-31-31 in the 800 for a 2:00.02 win, then came back and anchored the 4×400 in 49.77 for another win. Oh, and Oregon broke the collegiate record too – 3:23.13. That would have won bronze at last summer’s Olympics.

The Second Star: Kyra Jefferson
Florida’s sprint star won the 200 in a collegiate record time of 22.02, breaking the altitude-aided mark of 22.04 that had stood since 1989. She also took her 4×100 team from way back up into third and ran a leg on the sixth-place 4×400.

The Third Star: Maggie Ewen
Ewen scored in three throwing events, a rare accomplishment, and broke the collegiate record in the hammer. Her 21 points in the throws came from first in the hammer, second in the discus, and sixth in the shot put.

Bonus – Fourth Star! Allie Ostrander
The Boise State redshirt freshman won the steeplechase in just her fourth attempt at the distance. She ran away from New Hampshire’s Elinor Purrier over the last half-lap and looked like she had plenty more to give. Eighty minutes later she went to the start line in the 5000 meters and ran fourth. I’ll have to research it to be sure, but I’d guess she’s the first to ever score at the NCAAs in both the steeplechase and 5000 in a single day.

Biggest surprise: 1500 meters
The pace went out so slow that runners were five wide coming around the first turn and it never really got fast enough to lose anyone until less than 300 to go. Slow paces like that favor chaos and unpredictability and that’s what we got. With 50 meters to go there were still five abreast coming to the finish line: Katie Rainsberger (Oregon), Dani Jones (Colorado), Karisa Nelson (Samford), Nikki Hiltz (Arkansas), and Jamie Phelan (Michigan). The Wolverine managed to pull it out by two hundredths of a second, going from last at the bell to first at the finish. It was Michigan’s first win in this event at the outdoor nationals, and in fact they had never before finished in the top three. Phelan was part of Michigan’s cross country team that lost the NCAA Championships by a single point to Oregon, and now she is a national champion.

June 10, 2017

Saturday NCAA Viewer’s Guide: Women’s Championship Finals

Today is the final day of men’s competition at the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon. Below is everything you need to know about who, what, when, why, and how to watch the meet.

Key links
Live results
ESPN3 coverage
Live twitter coverage via yours truly

The Schedule
Here is today’s meet schedule in visual form (click for larger version). Pink indicates that it’s all women’s competition today.

Video coverage is via ESPN3 from 2:30pm until 6:30pm (EDT), and the evening finals will be shown live on ESPN.

Who is going to win the team competition?
Oregon is going to win this unless they suffer an implosion of historic standards. They have not yet scored but have fourteen qualifiers today, eleven of which are guaranteed to score as long as they reach the finish line. It’s essentially inevitable.

First place is not the only one that matters, though. The top four teams win trophies, and who will win the other three is very much up in the air. USC, Arkansas, and Georgia are the leading candidates but there are others who could make a run at it. Below is a chart of those teams and their entries (click for larger version). Colorado is one more team that could win a trophy if they have a strong series of results in the distance races.

EVENT PREVIEWS

Heptathlon
Start lists and live results
Barring injury, Georgia’s Kendell Williams will win her third NCAA heptathlon championship. Second place looks like it could be close. While Kansas State freshman Nina Schultz is currently in fifth place, her strengths lie in today’s events and she could move up to second. Arkansas has a strong trio in Payton Stumbaugh, Taliyah  Brooks, and Leigha Brown, and the Hogs should score some big points here. Wichita State’s Nikki Larch-Miller barely qualified to the NCAA Championships but is having a great meet and just might end up on the awards stand. Below is a summary that shows each athletes’ PRs in the second-day events and how the final standings might play out.

High Jump
Start lists and live results
The favorites are Georgia’s Mady Fagan and Tatiana Gusin–they took the top two spots at the NCAA Indoor Championships–so the Bulldogs have major scoring potential here. The best mark of the outdoor season is 1.90 meters (6′ 2.75″) by UNLV’s Kaysee Pilgrim, but it’s a bit of a one-off performance; her second-best career jump is 5cm short of that. Logan Boss (Mississippi State) and Stacey Destin (Alabama) are two more to watch. Kentucky has an outside scoring chance with Ellen Ekholm.

Discus
Start lists and live results
Arizona State’s Maggie Ewen has already won the hammer throw (with a new meet record) and placed sixth in the shot put. She’s attempting her third throwing event here and is among the favorites. She is one of three women to throw over 60 meters this year, the others being Kansas State’s Shade Lawrence and Florida State’s Kellion Knib. Knob and Lawrence are the top two returners from last year’s championship, and both are undefeated this year against collegiate competition. Lurking as a possible upset is shot put champion Danielle Thomas of Kent State.

Triple Jump
Start lists and live results
The most dominant athlete in the entire meet is Georgia triple jumper Ketura Orji. She is already not just the best collegiate triple jumper of all time but the best American triple jumper of all time. She holds the collegiate record (and all of the top six jumps in collegiate history) and the American record (and all of the top three jumps in US history). She has never been beaten in collegiate competition, and her fourth place finish at last summer’s Olympics is the best ever by an American. In an event typical decided by inches or less, she’s two feet better than anyone else in this meet. In short, the competition here is for second place.

4×100 Relay

This is a race of survivors. Co-collegiate record holders Oregon and LSU suffered the dreaded DQ on the way to the championship, as did Texas A&M, Miami, and Auburn — half of the year’s ten fastest teams. It’s probably going to come down to Florida, Alabama, and Kentucky…if they can get the baton around.

1500 meters

This race matches up three former NCAA champions. Mississippi State’s Price won this event two years ago, but hasn’t performed to that level since. Sanford’s Karissa Nelson won the NCAA indoor mile this year and has backed it up with fast times outdoors. Colorado’s Dani Jones won the NCAA indoor 3000 and outran all the mile specialists to win the distance medley from behind. Oregon’s Rainsberger will probably begin the scoring onslaught. If you hadn’t already heard, sisters Christina and Danielle Aragon are racing each other.

Steeplechase

New Hampshire’s Purrier is the favorite but there are a few newcomers who could upset the apple cart. Boise State cross country star Allie Ostrander is running just her fourth steeplechase ever and already looks very good at it. Another to watch is Colorado freshman Madison Boreman, who will be running her sixth steeplechase ever.

100m Hurdles

Oregon and USC each have two finalists and should come away with a large amount of points. The clear favorite is Camacho-Quinn, the defending champion, although Amusan appears her equal.

100 meters

By their own high standards, Oregon’s Stevens and Washington ran like garbage in Thursday’s semifinals and barely qualified to the final. I’m not sure what to make out of that. The favorite is probably LSU’s Hobbs, but she didn’t run well in the semis either. Daniels is the reigning NCAA champion at 60 meters so expect her to lead early and try to hang on.

400 meters

This is expected to be a three-way battle. Wimbley and Ellis went 1-2 at the NCAA Indoor Championships while Gordon had the best semifinal. Guster will add yet more points to Oregon’s total.

800 meters

Oregon might clinch the championship right here. That would be appropriate since the 800 is where the sprints and the distances meet, which perfectly describes the profile of this Duck team. Rogers is as overwhelmingly a favorite as you’d expect from a five-time NCAA champion who holds the collegiate record.

400m Hurdles

Expect a battle between Iuel and Watson, the two fastest and most accomplished athletes in the race. USC will score big here and, if Oregon is having a terrible day, could put themselves in contention.

200 meters

Oregon’s Stevens and Washington looked much better in the 200 semis than the 100 semis, particularly Stevens who rates as the favorite. Brown is better than most people expected, since the last half of her outdoor season was run in the kind of terrible weather you get in Big Ten country.

5000 meters
Start lists and live results
Missouri’s Karissa Schweizer is the favorite. She was the NCAA champion in cross country last fall and at the NCAA Indoor Championships she won the 5000 and took second in the 3000. Only two women entered in this race have beaten her at any time in the last nine months. Those are Erin Clark (Colorado) and Peyton Bilo (Cal Poly) who beat her at the cross country Pre-Nationals in October. Oregon has yet more scoring firepower in this race with Samantha Nadel and Lilli Burdon.

4×400 Relay

This will probably just be piling on for Oregon. But in the unlikely scenario that the Ducks need to win the relay to win the meet, they have one of the best squads in collegiate history. The second, third, and fourth place trophies could be in play at this point and most of the contenders are in the race.

June 10, 2017

Pumped Up Picks: Devon Allen’s Pre-Race Playlist

What does U.S. Olympian Devon Allen listen to before a big race? In the latest installment of Pumped Up Picks, he shares his pre-race playlist.

June 10, 2017

PHOTOS: NCAA Outdoor Championship (Day 3) by Dane Schubert

Photos from the 2017 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. All photos by Dane Schubert.

June 9, 2017

Florida Gators Win NCAA Title, Coleman Completes Historic Sweep

The Florida Gators captured their second consecutive NCAA men’s team title. Christian Coleman completed his indoor & outdoor sprint title sweep.

June 9, 2017

Where the heck do all these Division I NCAA Track and Field Championships qualifiers come from?

We take a deep dive into the hometowns, states, and countries of all the 850 athletes competing in this week’s NCAA Track and Field Championships.

June 9, 2017

Friday NCAA Viewer’s Guide: Men’s Championship Finals

Today is the final day of men’s competition at the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon. Below is everything you need to know about who, what, when, why, and how to watch the meet.

Key links
Live results
ESPN3 coverage
Live twitter coverage via yours truly

The Schedule
Here is today’s meet schedule in visual form (click for larger version). The women’s heptathlon begins today and is shown in pink; all the rest of the events are men’s competition.

Video coverage is via ESPN3 from 3:30pm until 8:30pm (EDT), and the evening finals will be shown live on ESPN.

Who is going to win the team competition?
The experts at Track & Field News rate this as a toss-up between Texas A&M and Florida. The Aggies and Gators have been in this position before; the title was decided by a mere half-point at this year’s NCAA Indoor Championships and the two tied for the championship in 2013. Since the NCAA awards trophies to the top four teams, I have identified nine teams most likely to contend for those trophies (Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, BYU, Florida Georgia, LSU, Oregon, and Texas A&M) and have highlighted their entries in my individual event previews.

Below is a handy guide to tell you who has scored how many points and what events they’re in today.

Texas A&M has a lead over Florida but it will almost certainly dwindle as the evening wears on, and things will really come to a head as the field events finish up.

EVENT PREVIEWS

Women’s heptathlon
Begins at 12:30pm local time (3:30pm EDT) and runs all day
Start lists & live results
In seven previous NCAA heptathlon/pentathlon championships, Georgia’s Kendell Williams has six wins and a second. She is the strongest favorite to win in the entire women’s championship. After that it’s up in the air since just four of last year’s top twelve return: Williams, Payton Stumbaugh (Arkansas), Leigha Brown (Arkansas), and Jackie Siefring (Akron). Arkansas could have three or even four women score points; the Hogs’ Stumbaugh and Taliyah Brooks have the year’s second-and third-best marks. I think Siefring could be a surprise. I will have more detailed analysis tomorrow.

High Jump
5:00pm local time (8:00pm EDT)
Start list & live results
The vertical jumps are always unpredictable and the recent crop of collegiate high jumpers is especially so. Two-time NCAA indoor champion Trey Culver (Texas Tech) has never finished better than fifth at the outdoor championship. Kyle Landon (Southern Illinois) finished second at both this year’s NCAA indoor and last year’s Olympic Trials. Florida has a pair of qualifiers in Clayton Brown and Jhonny Victor and the Gators are equally capable of coming up with big points or nothing at all.

Discus
5:05pm local time (8:05pm EDT)
Start list & live results
Ole Miss’ Brian Williams is undefeated against collegians in 2017 and has the year’s longest throw. Defending champion Nick Percy (Nebraska) is also undefeated in the discus this year. Brothers Phil and Reggie Jagers compete for archrivals Akron and Kent State and could fight for the win as well. Oregon might be able to pick up a few more points from Ryan Hunter-Simms.

Triple Jump
5:40pm local time (8:40pm EDT)
Start list & live results
This event is going to be crucial for Florida. KeAndre Bates is favored to finish off a long jump/triple jump sweep and get ten more points for his Gators. Teammate Clayton Brown will be doing double duty in the high jump and that may affect his ability to perform in either or both events. Eric Sloan (USC), Clive Pullen (Arkansas), and Felix Obi (Baylor) are the other major contenders.

4×100 Relay

As we saw in yesterday’s women’s semifinals, this event tends towards chaos. Houston probably has the most speed but has had exchange problems all year. Unheralded North Carolina A&T could actually win this – they have possibly the best anchor in Christopher Belcher. Texas A&M is looking to score as many points as possible.

1500 meters

New Mexico’s Kerr is a strong favorite. He was NCAA indoor champion where he became one of the few collegians to ever beat Edward Cheserek, and looked very good in Wednesday’s semis. Ole Miss’ Engels is rated has having the best chance to beat him. Oregon’s Haney has proved himself as a very good racer as well.

Steeplechase

Louisville’s Kibichy is the favorite: he is the top returner from last year’s championships (third), has the year’s fastest time, and won his conference championship and his semifinal. Oklahoma’s Blankenbaker hit a barrier and fell hard in his semi and still managed to qualify; if he can stay on his feet he might be a factor.

110m Hurdles

Holloway is the favorite based on winning the NCAA indoor title in March, but this is a true toss-up race. Kendziera or Walters could win it, as could Mallet. Florida needs big points out of Holloway.

100 meters

Coleman shocked the stadium with a 9.82 run in Wednesday’s semifinals – a huge collegiate record, the world’s leading time, and good for #4 on the all-time US list. The weather may or may not permit such fireworks today. In Coleman’s wake two other ran great semis: Burrell and Belcher each won their semis in 9.93. Every finalist now has a PR of 10.00 or better.

400 meters

As with the 100, the weather may inhibit record-setting. Texas A&M’s Fred Kerley set the collegiate record with 43.70 two weeks ago and looks like he could do more. In any case, the Aggies must get ten points in this race. Chambers has a history of coming out of nowhere to score big at the NCAA final. Every qualifier has a PR of 45.02 or better.

800 meters

This race looks like Korir’s to win. He’s run tremendously fast times in both the 800 and 400. The 800 is an inherently unpredictable event, though. Both Texas A&M and Florida will score here, the question is simply how much.

400m Hurdles

This is the event that won the championship for Florida last year, when they swept the top two spots for 18 points. Defending champion Futch ran a PR in the semis but still got beaten by Mowatt, so things appear a bit more complicated this year. Texas A&M needs some good scoring from Grant. Both Kendziera and Palmer will be finishing off a rare 110H-400H double.

200 meters

Coleman is expected to finish off a tremendous sprint double, but both Richards and Belcher are plenty fast themselves and are more than capable of sub-20.00 clockings.

5000 meters

“TFN” refers to position on the Track & Field News formchart
In the absence of umpteen-time NCAA Champion Edward Cheserek, the mantle of favorite goes to Syracuse’s Justyn Knight. He’s been close to winning a national title many times and might be finally able to do it. Tulsa’s Marc Scott showed off his kicking ability in winning Wednesday’s 10k, but how much gas does he have left? Colorado has a trio of potential scorers who might decide to work together.

4×400 Relay

Texas A&M has speed to burn and has the best anchor in the history of college track, the record-holding Fred Kerley. Barring disaster they will get ten points here. Florida is capable of being second and could win the team championship by doing so, but beating Auburn and/or Alabama is not going to be easy.

June 9, 2017

PHOTOS: NCAA Outdoor Championship (Day 1 &2) by Dane Schubert

Photos from the 2017 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. All photos by Dane Schubert.

June 8, 2017

Thursday NCAA Viewer’s Guide: Running Events

The NCAA Championships continue today, starting with the conclusion of the decathlon at 1:30pm Eastern time (10:30am Pacific). Women’s competition opens today with five field event finals plus running event semis. I’m splitting my preview for today into two parts; field events were published earlier today. Below is everything you need to know about today’s running event action.

Key Links:
Live results
ESPN3 coverage
Live twitter coverage via yours truly

The Schedule
To the left (or above on mobile platforms) is today’s schedule presented in visual form.

Pink and blue indicates men’s and women’s competition (all women except the decathlon). Starting times for field events are exact but how long each will take is a guess.

ESPN3 will cover the decathlon and field events up through 7:30pm (Eastern), when the television broadcast will begin on ESPNU. It will switch over to ESPN2 at 8:30pm.

Who is going to win the team championship?
Today is the first day of the women’s competition. Oregon is figured as a lock to win, despite losing sprinter Hannah Cunliffe to injury and their 4×100 relay suffering the dreaded out-of-zone disqualification two weeks ago. The Ducks are so loaded and across so many events that it appears more or less a foregone conclusion. If somehow they were to suffer a Golden-State-Warriors-2016-NBA-finals level of implosion, then there are a handful of team that could win it: USC, Arkansas, Georgia, or LSU.

All of the top four teams in the final standings walk away with trophies. I have identified eight teams I think are fighting for those four trophies (Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Oregon, Texas A&M, and USC) and have highlighted them in each event preview.

Tonight’s only running event final is the…

10,000 meters
Begins at 7:08pm local time (10:08pm EDT)
Start list and live results
Note: “TFN” refers to the Track & Field News formcharts

The conventional wisdom has this as a battle between Wright (New Mexico) and Rohrer (Notre Dame), but there are no strong favorites here. It could be a fascinating race since any of a number of runners could take the bull by the horns and try to pull off an upset. One accomplished runner who seems to be getting ignored is Tennessee’s Chelsea Blaase, who has run only three races this year. Another who could surprise is Eastern Michigan’s Jordan McDermitt.

Semifinal previews…

4×100 Relay semis
4:32pm local time (7:32pm EDT)
Format: top two in each heat plus the next two fastest qualify to Saturday’s final

Start lists and live results

As no doubt you will hear all afternoon, Oregon’s record-setting relay did not qualify due to passing out of the zone at the regionals two weeks ago. That’s how things often go in this event, where the margin for error is small. LSU tied the record that Oregon set and is a heavy favorite. The likely qualifiers are all SEC plus San Diego State and maybe one or two ACC teams.

1500 meter semis
4:46pm local time (7:46pm EDT)
Format: top five in each heat plus the next two fastest qualify to Saturday’s final

Start lists and live results

Four different women in these semis have won NCAA championships at one time or another, although it’s been a while since Price (Mississippi State) has performed at that level. Sisters Danielle and Christina Aragon are in the same semifinal heat and both are capable of getting to the final.

Steeplechase semis
5:02pm local time (8:02pm EDT)
Format: top five in each heat plus the next two fastest qualify to Saturday’s final

Start lists and live results

Very few of these women have NCAA Championships experience in the steeplechase, and the most interesting of them all has very little experience in the steeplechase at all. That’s Boise State’s Allie Ostrander, the 2015 NCAA cross country runner-up. Today will be just the third time she’s ever run the event. It looks like it may take 10:00 to get to the final, and another newcomer who might upset the apple cart is Colorado freshman Madison Boreman.

100m Hurdles semis
5:32pm local time (8:32pm EDT)
Format: top two in each heat plus the next two fastest qualify to Saturday’s final

Start lists and live results

Oregon has yet more firepower in this event with two women expected to qualify to the final. USC is in the same situation except their pair is a bit more tenuous. Of all the top hurdlers, I think Devynn Charlton (Purdue) is the one getting the least respect and I think she’ll prove how good she is right here.

100 meter semis
5:46pm local time (8:46pm EDT)
Format: top two in each heat plus the next two fastest qualify to Saturday’s final

Start lists and live results

Stevens and Washington are two of the engines that drive Oregon’s train. It’s unlikely that Hobbs could put on the kind of record-breaking show that Christian Coleman did yesterday, but she might be capable of it. These semis will go a long way in determining whether anyone can challenge Oregon for the team championship, and if so which team it will be.

400 meter semis
6:00pm local time (9:00pm EDT)
Format: top two in each heat plus the next two fastest qualify to Saturday’s final

Start lists and live results

Oregon is likely to rack up even more qualifiers here, and USC and/or LSU could do the same. Despite Wimbley winning the NCAA indoor title in March, Ellis is the favorite to win on Saturday.

800 meter semis
6:14pm local time (9:14pm EDT)
Format: top two in each heat plus the next two fastest qualify to Saturday’s final

Start lists and live results

Oregon will more than likely get yet another final qualifier here and maybe two. I think the second and third heats are going to be the most interesting. Villanova’s Cleirigh Buttner hasn’t run overly fast times but proved herself to be a great racer at the Penn Relays, and she’s up against Oregon’s Rogers, the collegiate record holder and four-time NCAA champion. Heat 3 features a very fast freshman, Texas A&M’s Fray, and some experienced competitors in the form of Green and Collinsworth.

400m Hurdle semis
6:30pm local time (9:30pm EDT)
Format: top two in each heat plus the next two fastest qualify to Saturday’s final

Start lists and live results

If it is possible for USC to challenge Oregon for the championship, they’ll have to max out on points in this event and get two qualifier. The same likely goes for LSU. Watson, a 2016 Olympic semifinalist for Canada, is the favorite.

200 meter semis
6:44pm local time (9:44pm EDT)
Format: top two in each heat plus the next two fastest qualify to Saturday’s final

Start lists and live results

Another event, more likely Oregon finalists.

4×400 Relay semis
7:48pm local time (10:48pm EDT)
Format: top two in each heat plus the next two fastest qualify to Saturday’s final

Start lists and live results

Qualifying is a mere formality for the very best 4×400 relays, which Oregon and USC undoubtedly are. Texas A&M and Miami probably fit that description as well. It’s the teams on the edge that have to really run, ones like Florida, Purdue, and Ohio State.

June 8, 2017

Summer Travel, Training and Running Tips: Part I

Becky Wade encourages runners to spend their summers trainings and exploring a new setting to shake up your running spots.

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