Full Preview: The Women's Track Events At Mt. SAC Are Gonna Be So Good
You can watch it all live on FloTrack, beginning at Thursday night Pacific time. All the events listed below are on Saturday, except for the 1500m, which is Friday night. The events are previewed chronologically, and the full meet schedule is here.
Note: Olympian Vashti Cunningham is in the high jump, and Olympic gold medalist Michelle Carter and collegiate record holder Raven Saunders are in the shot put.
Who: Amanda Eccleston, Rhianwedd Price, Chanelle Price, Amy Eloise-Neale, Allie Ostrander, Katie Rainsberger
When: 6:35 PM PT/9:35 PM ET Friday
Why: 2015 NCAA 1500m champion Rhianwedd Price missed the entire 2016 track season, but after solid cross country (32nd at NCAAs) and indoor (third in the SEC mile) seasons, Price threw down a 4:13 at the Florida Relays last weekend, stamping her as a major outdoor title contender. She'll have a very good field to run against on Friday night.
The fastest woman there will be Amanda Eccleston. She came into 2016 with a two-year-old 4:08 1500m PR and then ran 4:05 to barely miss the Olympic team; she rebounded from the Trials heartbreak to run 4:03 on the circuit later last summer.
Eloise-Neale, a Washington junior who was ninth in the NCAA mile, might not be a miler much longer. She debuted in the 5K at Stanford, going 15:39 and outkicking Karissa Schweizer for the win there. But she'll be joined by two other longer distance runners on Friday night. Newly minted steeple stud Allie Ostrander is making what we believe to be her college 1500m debut, and so is Katie Rainsberger, who is the sixth-fastest high school runner ever in the event but will likely be more of a 3K/5K athlete over the next few years for Oregon.
Who: Altis, LSU, Kersee All-Stars (Allyson Felix), Oregon
When: 1:15 PM PT/4:15 PM ET Saturday
Why: Two weeks ago, the Oregon women ran 42.34 for a new collegiate record. We believe they'll be running the same four legs at Mt. SAC: Ariana Washington, Makenzie Dunmore, Deajah Stevens, and Hannah Cunliffe.
The competition at Florida was very good--a quartet featuring Dafne Schippers and Tianna Bartoletta finished just 0.23 seconds behind. But the comp on Saturday might be even better. Altis is rolling out a squad that may have former Duck Jasmine Todd on an early leg; Allyson Felix should be on the first leg or two for her team as well. (She ran the second leg at UCLA last Saturday.)
This could be part of a two-year assault on the 4x1 CR, as none of the four Ducks on the relay are seniors.
Who: Dalilah Muhammad, Kendall Ellis
When: 2:08 PM PT/5:08 PM ET
Why: This is 400m hurdles Olympic gold medalist Dalilah Muhammad's outdoor season opener and her first flat 400 in over a year. Muhammad is a textbook hurdler, as her flat 400 PR is only 0.24 seconds faster than her PR for the same distance with 10 hurdles included. She'll have USC's Kendall Ellis to chase. Ellis is the 2017 NCAA leader in the 400 at 50.98 and lost the indoor NCAA title by less than 0.01 of a second.
Who: Jasmine Todd, Hannah Cunliffe, Jenna Prandini, Deajah Stevens, Ariana Washington
When: 2:45 PM PT/5:45 PM ET
Why: It's the Duck show. Undergraduates Stevens, Washington, and Cunliffe are joined by alums Todd and Prandini; all except for Washington and Cunliffe have made a senior U.S. outdoor team at some point. (Prandini and Stevens went 2-3 in the Olympic Trials 200m final last summer.)
Mt. SAC, wherever it is being held--it's at El Camino College this weekend--has been kind to the Ducks. Two years ago, Prandini ran 10.92 for the fastest time ever run by a collegian at sea level; last year, Cunliffe ran 10.99 to become the eighth collegian to break 11 seconds in-season. (Prandini won the race.)
Who: Chrishuna Williams, Raevyn Rogers, Laura Roesler, Shea Collinsworth, Chanelle Price
When: 3:05 PM PT/6:05 PM ET
Why: Williams and Rogers were third and fifth in last summer's Olympic Trials 800m final. Rogers and Collinsworth were first and third at NCAAs in March, and Roesler, Williams, Rogers, and Price all sport 1:59 PRs. Roesler's 2:00.54 at Mt. SAC in 2014 is the fastest time ever run by a collegian at the meet, and that could easily go down on Saturday afternoon. Collinsworth is the current collegiate leader at 2:01.51 (in a race where she beat Price), and she clearly can go faster. Just watch the race; the entire field didn't go out with the pacer and came through 400 meters in 60 seconds. If Saturday's race is rabbitted a little more evenly--or if the race, wisely, doesn't employ a rabbit and just lets these studs compete--these women are ready to run 2:00 or faster.
Everyone is in decent form. Williams won the Texas Relays in 2:02. Collinsworth won Sun Angel in 2:01. Price was second at Sun Angel in 2:02. Roesler ran 2:00 at Georgia last weekend, and Rogers was on a 3:26 4x4 at the Florida Relays for her first race since winning NCAAs.
6. 100m Hurdles
Who: Queen Harrison, Sasha Wallace
When: 3:20 PM PT/6:20 PM ET
Why: Queen was fourth at the Trials last summer, beating world record-holder Keni Harrison and just missing out on what would have likely been an Olympic medal in Rio. She ran 12.81 for her season opener on Saturday; she'll be facing off against Oregon's Sasha Wallace, who just won the NCAA indoor 60m hurdles title.
Who: Natasha Hastings, Ariana Washington, Deajah Stevens, Jenna Prandini, Hannah Cunliffe
When: 4:45 PM PT/7:45 PM ET
Why: Prandini and Stevens are 200m Olympians, and Washington is the reigning 200m queen of the NCAA. Washington won the 2016 outdoor and 2017 indoor 200m NCAA titles, but Stevens might be coming for her crown. Stevens obliterated the American record indoors, running 22.28 in the heats at NCAAs--and then she was DQ'd for stepping all over the lane lines on both sides. This is her first outdoor 200m of 2017, and she'll be ready to roll.
Who: USC, Oregon
When: 5:10 PM PT/8:10 PM ET
Why: USC beat Oregon by 0.04 in the indoor NCAA 4x4 final; both teams ran 3:27 and dipped under the old collegiate record. Texas's 3:23.75 collegiate record might be out of reach--there's a reason it's lasted 13 years--but we should see very, very fast times on Saturday night.
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