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Big 12 Championships Preview

Big 12 Championships Preview
Here is the Second in a series of previews of the weekend's top collegiate conference championship meets. Earlier I previewed the MPSF Championships.

To see previews of the other south central conferences -- Conference USA and the Southland Conference -- go to my blog at tracksuperfan.com.

References to national and regional rankings are my own rankings, and not those of the USTFCCCA.

The Big 12 Championships will be held on Friday and Saturday at Texas A&M's Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium.

Championship Central
Live webcast link, Friday at 3:00 PM ET and Saturday at 3:50 PM ET
Flotrack Coverage

Men's meet

Nationally-ranked teams:
# 3 Texas A&M, # 10 Texas, #20 Kansas State
Regionally-ranked teams: #2 Texas A&M, #4 Texas #5 Texas Tech, #6 Oklahoma, #6 (Midwest) Kansas State, #8 Baylor, #12 (Midwest) Missouri, #13 Oklahoma State, #13 (Midwest) Iowa State, #21 (Midwest) Kansas

Defending conference champions Texas A&M may not have the firepower to win the NCAA Championships this year, but the Aggies' depth is unrivaled anywhere and are overwhelming favorites to win here. Texas is probably the next best team.

Events to watch
Long jump (7:00 PM Friday).
Texas' Marquise Goodwin, the defending USATF outdoor champion, leads a field that includes three of the NCAA's top five: Goodwin, Bryce Lamb (Texas Tech) and Malcom Pennix (Missouri).
60 Hurdles (3:20 PM Saturday). Three of the NCAA's top ten are here in Mantas Silkauskas (Kansas State), Wayne Davis II (Texas A&M), and Malcolm Anderson (Oklahoma).
High jump (3:00 PM Saturday). Any time Kansas State's Erik Kynard is jumping, you should pay attention.
800 meters (5:15 PM Saturday). Texas A&M's strength has shifted from the long sprints to the middle distances. The Aggies' Joey Roberts and Michael Preble are both in the NCAA's top five, and Baylor's Patrick Shoenball is also in the top ten.
Shot Put (5:30 PM Saturday). Texas should go 1-2-3, but in what order? Jacob Thormaehlen and Hayden Baillo were All-Americans last spring, and Ryan Crouser is the best freshman thrower since Michael Carter came to SMU over three decades ago.

Women's meet

Nationally-ranked teams:
#5 Texas A&M, #11 Texas, #14 Kansas, #18 Texas Tech, #21 Iowa State, #23 Kansas State
Regionally-ranked teams: # 3 Texas A&M, #3 (Midwest) Kansas, #4 Texas, #5 Texas Tech, #6 Oklahoma, #6 (Midwest) Iowa State, #7 Baylor, #8 (Midwest) Kansas State, #18 (Midwest) Missouri, #21 Oklahoma State

Texas A&M's depth is such that they are going to be very tough to beat. Last year, Nebraska broke a four-year A&M win streak, but the Huskers are now part of the Big Ten. Kansas and Texas are the most likely combatants for runner-up honors.

Events to watch
Shot Put (3:00 PM Saturday).
Oklahoma's Tia Brooks is the NCAA leader and ranks in the all-time collegiate top ten.
400 meters (4:25 PM Saturday). Q: Who was the only collegian to beat Jessica Beard, last year's Bowerman Award winner, in a 400 meter race? A: Kansas' Diamond Dixon.
200 meters (5:25 PM Saturday). This should be a tight race between Texas A&M's Dominique Duncan and Kamaria Brown and Texas' Allison Peter. All three are in the NCAA's top six and have run sub-23.50.

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