Top Five Events To Watch At Husky, Featuring Evan Jager And King Ches
WATCH THE HUSKY CLASSIC LIVE ON FLOTRACK
When: Friday, February 10 5:50PM PT
Why: Edward Cheserek will be making his 2017 debut in the distance that has given him two NCAA indoor titles. While this field usually produces quality NCAA marks, it's definitely more top heavy this time around. King Ches will be joined by Bowerman Track Club's Dan Huling, Washington's Colby Gilbert and Fred Huxham, Butler's Erik Peterson, and Colorado State's Jerrell Mock. Huling's indoor PB is only 13:52 from 2006, and the final NCAA qualifier from 2016 was 13:48. Gilbert is leading the country right now with his 7:45 3000m and ran 13:35 outdoors last spring. Only five men have broken 14:00 this season, so expect at least these six to dip under the mark as well.
When: Saturday, February 11 3:30PM PT
Why: Penn State freshman Danae Rivers will be challenged at the Dempsey on Saturday. Rivers blew away the field at the Penn State National in 4:34, the number two mark in the NCAA right now. The Arkansas duo of Therese Haiss and Nikki Hiltz have run under 4:38 this season, and Washington's Amy-Eloise Neale is coming off a 20 second PB in the 3K at the UW Invite. Neale was eighth at the NCAA cross country championships and ran 9:17 two weeks ago at the Dempsey. Her 1500m speed (4:13) landed her a spot in the NCAA 1500m final last spring, and she's got home field advantage on her side.
Watch Rivers smash the PSU National mile in 4:34:
When: Saturday, February 11 3:45PM PT
Why: Evan Jager and Lopez Lomong are returning from an altitude stint in Flagstaff to test their fitness at the Dempsey. Jager (3:55 PB) and Lomong (3:51) will have to fight off Jordan McNamara and NCAA contenders Matthew Maton, Josh Thompson, Olivier Aitchison and more. Keep your eyes peeled for Colorado State's Cole Rockhold and Montana State's Diego Leon. Rockhold is ranked fourth in the NCAA mile right now with a 3:57.19 (altitude converted) mark set against the trio of Colorado Buffaloes last weekend in Boulder. Leon is a new sub-4 miler with a 3:59.13 set in Bozeman last weekend. Remember Cristian Soratos? Is Leon going to hang with Jager and Lomong and drop a 3:55 on Saturday?
UPDATE: Cheserek will double back from the 5K on Friday night and also race the mile on Saturday afternoon.
Watch Soratos smash a 3:55 mile at the 2015 Husky Classic:
When: Saturday, February 11 4:45PM PT
Why: Oregon superstar Katie Rainsberger is making her individual debut after anchoring the NCAA record-setting DMR at the Armory two weeks ago. She's in good company. Elise Cranny was runner-up in this event as a freshman in 2015 when she ran the 13th-fastest junior time in the world in 8:58.88. She was injured in the fall but rolled a 2:05 indoor 800m PB and a solid 1200m leg on the Stanford DMR at the Penn State National. Calli Thackery, Samantha Nadel, Erin Clark, Kaitlyn Benner, and Dani Jones will also be looking to dip under 9:10 to secure an NCAA bid. If anyone can surprise Rainsberger and Cranny, it may be Jones. The Colorado sophomore was an NCAA 1500m finalist as a freshman--the only frosh in the final--and just ran 4:32.68 (altitude converted) for the mile in Boulder. Her wheels are sharp and could come in handy during her 3000m debut.
When: Saturday, February 11 4:50PM PT
Why: Woody Kincaid will make his indoor debut with the Bowerman Track Club in the 3000m. The Olympic Trials 5K finalist should smash his 7:48 PB set in 2016 right before he was out of the indoor season with injury. Ross Proudfoot and Luc Bruchet will be in the mix, as well as Jefferson Abbey, Zach Perrin, Willy Fink, Blake Haney, Joe Klecker, and Ben Saarel. Saarel, Klecker, and Perrin are coming off impressive altitude converted miles, but Houston's Brian Barraza could be one to watch, as well. The senior ran 3:58 in the mile back in December and ran 7:59 at Husky last season.
Watch Kincaid run his 7:48 PB set last winter:
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