Flotrack was just at the Armory, but it seems to have grown-up a bit in the last week. It no longer has the high school vibe, but now the iconic venue has a collegiate feel to it.
The Armory Collegiate Invitational brings together so many top tier teams from across the nation, it gives us an idea of what NCAA Indoor Nationals will look like in March.
Many coaches have remarked that the spirit of team competition is good for the sport while others have argued that the winter season is a waste and should be abolished.
If indoor is going to be a necessary evil, it might as well be enjoyable for the fans.
For that to happen, the top teams cannot be scared by the competition even though the athletes could qualify for nationals without facing any big names through the Sweet 16 qualifying procedure. If top teams compete against one another more often, then maybe (wait for it), faster times could be run.
For that to happen, premier athletes are going to break some taboo rules of track and field and go head-to-head. This indoor season, tradition is taking a back seat to the spirit of competition.
The Armory Collegiate, or "Pre-Nationals," features eleven teams between the men and the women who are ranked in the top ten by the USTFCCCA. Some of these teams have already battled earlier this season, but that doesn't mean they can't do it again at the Armory.
Although these teams help change a long day in New, York to a long and exciting day in New York, New York, we've narrowed down the races to five top events that you can watch live with a Flotrack Pro subscription.
Friday, February 1st
60m Hurdles Championship Prelims
Friday 2/1/2013 - 5:01 PM
If you wanted a preview for the women's 60mH race at NCAAs this year, well the Collegiate Invitational will give you that and more. This event will feature an absurd EIGHT of the top ten ranked hurdlers in the nation.
Who says sprinters are scared of competition, huh?
The field is lead by Clemson tiger and NCAA record holder, Brianna Rollins.
#1 - Brianna Rollins (Clemson), 7.78
#3 - Bridgette Owens (Clemson), 8.17
#4 - Katie Grimes (Texas Tech), 8.18
#4 - Jasmine Edgerson (Clemson), 8.18
#6 - Kendra Harrison (Clemson), 8.19
#7 - Ivanique Kemp (Arkansas), 8.23
#9 - Kori Carter (Stanford), 8.24
#10 Jasmin Stowers (LSU), 8.25
Men's DMR Championship
Friday 2/1/2013 - 6:05 PM
The new "Sweet 16" NCAA qualifying procedure makes it that teams will either have to set up quick time trials or hop in fast, competitive races to make the cut for nationals. In the DMR, the former is a pretty tough task as relay events don't have rabbits very often.
So if you want to run a fast DMR, you'll travel to the Armory to try and get one of those top sixteen times. For some teams like Oregon and Stanford, that means flying across the country.
The Ducks are bringing just the DMR (and one other to run the 1000m), so they'll be pretty tuned in this weekend. This relay is something special because it sees the return of Mac Fleet
, who's been sidelined for quite some time with injuries.
Arkansas (currently #3 and #5 in the country)
BYU (#1 time from 2012 - 9:29.00. Team should consist of Ryan Waite, David Graham, Cade Lindahl, and Jason Witt).
Columbia (The reported lineup is Johnny Gregorek, Connor Claflin, Harry McFann, Mark Feigen).
Oregon (Brett Johnson, Mike Berry, Elijah Greer, and Mac Fleet).
Stanford (Toss-up as seven Cardinals are competing in the men's championship mile on Saturday: Michael Atchoo,Marco Bertolotti, Justin Brinkley, Tim Luthin, Jim Rosa, Joe Rosa, and Tyler Stutzman. Atchoo has an indoor best of 3:59.92.)
Villanova (Tully, Fitzsimons, O'Sullivan, and Williamsz ran 9:52.56 earlier this season, but don't forget the
3:43 3:36 1500m and Kick of the Week man, Sam McEntee).
Saturday, February 2nd
Saturday 2/2/2013 - 5:16 PM
They might have graduated from high school, but there'll be a small adidas Dream Mile reunion on Saturday. Last spring, Stanford's Cami Chapus and Villanova's Angel Piccirillo went one-two in that race and both dipped below the 4:40 barrier. The adidas Dream Mile was at Ichan Stadium and if they can rekindle the NY magic, this mile showdown should be solid.
Those aren't the only freshmen looking to break onto the collegiate scene. Villanova's and Armory native, Kelsey Margey has already run the Armory's facility record at 1000m with her time of 2:43.89.
Margey may be stepping up in distance from the last few weeks, but there are some that are stepping down to the mile. Stanford's Jessica Tonn is coming off her 9:10 3000m from the UW Invitational and should be primed for a fast time as well.
Men's 200 Dash Championship
Saturday 2/2/2013 - 11:55 AM
Even though the trio will have traveled thousands of miles, they're still going to race one another. Texas A&M's Prezel Hardy, Jr. (#2 in the NCAA at 200m) will race Aaron Ernest (#3 in the nation), who is entering his sophomore season with the goal of an NCAA championship.
Not to be forgotten in the mix is Hardy's teammate and reigning 200m indoor champion, Ameer Webb.
Prelims: Friday 2/1/2013 - 4:18 PM
Finals: Saturday 2/2/2013 - 4:32 PM
Perhaps the biggest event of the weekend will have a small preview on Friday and a showdown on Saturday. The 400m will feature six men who have dipped under the 46-second barrier and they'll all be looking to run not once, but twice.
The loaded field includes Deon Lendore from Texas A&M (45.13), Aldrich Bailey from Texas A&M (45.19), Errol Nolan from Houston (45.28), Caleb Williams from LSU (46.61), David Verburg from George Mason (45.06), and Bryce Spratling from Pittsburgh (45.82).
You can catch all the action starting tomorrow at 9:30 AM EST with a Flotrack Pro subscription.