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The Warm-Up Lap: Weekend News and Notes (Jan. 31)
January 31, 2013
NEW ORLEANS ÂÂÂ Some of the strongest fields to be seen prior to conference championship and NCAA Championship are in store this weekend, setting up a weekend that could significantly alter the national leaderboards and rankings in all three divisions.
More than 20 percent of all 150 teams ranked in this weekÂÂs National Computer Team Rankings between both genders and all divisions will be in action at New York CityÂÂs Armory for the Armory Collegiate Invitational, included six top-10 womenÂÂs teams and five top-ten menÂÂs teams.
Division II will be on display at the Division II Team Challenge hosted by SPIRE, and the top of the DIII rankings could see a bit of a shake-up as the top four menÂÂs teams are all in action at the UW-Whitewater "Squig" Converse Invitational.
Keep reading for previews of each of these meets and their top match-ups, in addition to some general collegiate track & field news and notes to prepare you for the upcoming weekend.
DI MEET OF THE WEEK
MenÂÂs Ranked Teams:Â No. 1 Arkansas; No. 2 Florida (partial); No. 3 Texas A&M; No. 4 Oregon (partial); No. 6 LSU; No. 11 Texas; No. 15 Mississippi State (partial); No. 19 BYU; No. 20 Stanford; No. 22 Oklahoma (partial); No. 8 American International (DII); No. 21 Shippensburg (DII)
WomenÂÂs Ranked Teams:Â No. 1 Clemson; No. 2 Kansas; No. 4 Arkansas; No. 5 LSU; No. 6 Texas A&M; No. 7 Florida (partial); No. 10 Iowa State; No. 14 Texas; No. 15 Dartmouth (partial); No. 16 Stanford; No. 21 South Carolina; No. 25 Connecticut (partial); No. 19 Tiffin (DII); No. 25 Shippensburg (DII); no. 6 Ramapo (DIII); No. 15 Lehman (DIII); No. 22 Wheaton (Mass.) (DIII); No. 23 Johns Hopkins (DIII)
Though the unseasonably warm January weather in New York City will cool down this weekend, the college track & field action at The Armory for the Armory Collegiate Invitational will be hotter than anywhere in the country. With 22 of the 50 ranked teams in Division I, between both men and women, and 31 total ranked teams in all divisions set to descend upon the Armory, this weekend will provide some of the best indoor fields to be seen prior to conference championships weekend and perhaps even National Championship weekend.
Four national leaders in the menÂÂs championship events and two in the womenÂÂs will be in action in the Big Apple, headlined by a stacked womenÂÂs 60 hurdles field that will feature No. 1 ClemsonÂÂs Briana Rollins, running her first hurdles race since setting her collegiate-record 7.78 three weeks ago, against 10 of the top 25 performers in the nation. Of those 11 top-25 hurdlers, seven are within the top 10, making for a potential Indoor Championships preview. The menÂÂs race is just as competitive, with 10 of DIÂÂs top 25 taking the track.
The womenÂÂs championship pole vault field of 19 is made up of nine of the top 25 in the country, with another top-25 vaulter in the college division. Five of DIÂÂs top ten performers are in the event, with three having gone over 14 feet. Also challenging the field will be DIII RamapoÂÂs Michelle Favre, who could make a run at the DIII indoor record of 13-9Â¼ (4.20) just two inches shy of her performance this past weekend.
Six of the top 10 female sprinters at 60 meters will be in action, including ClemsonÂÂs second-ranked sprinter Dezerea Bryant and reigning winner of the Bowerman Kimberlyn Duncan of LSU. The menÂÂs field is likewise stacked with eight of the top 25 sprinters set to take the blocks. The 400 meters fields for both the men and women will be graced by the nation-leaders in Texas A&MÂÂs former USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week Deon Lendore and ArkansasÂÂ Regina George, respectively. Both headline a field with eight of the top 25 in the nation.
The list of intriguing events seemingly never ends, with 19 championship events featuring five or more top-25 competitors/teams. The collegiate leaderboard could end up with a revision following this weekend and this meet in particular, so be sure to keep an eye on the Armory this weekend.
Keep an Eye on DI:Â Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational (Feb. 1-Feb. 2); Meyo Invitational (Feb. 1-Feb. 2)
DI TOP 10 IN ACTION
DII MEET OF THE WEEK
NCAA Division II Team Challenge hosted by SPIRE
MenÂÂs Ranked Teams:Â No. 15 Findlay
The largest gathering of DII teams at one competition this weekend will occur at the Division II Team Challenge hosted by SPIRE in Geneva, Ohio. A total of 23 teams from around the Great Lakes/Midwest regions will compete in this meet, which is open only to Division II teams ÂÂ no schools from other divisions or unattached participants.
Ranked teams Findlay (No. 13 women/No. 15 men) and Hillsdale (No. 22 women) will split time this weekend between the Findlay Classic and the DII Team Challenge, and as a result some of their biggest names will not participate in this meet. However, that does not detract from the many high-quality events throughout the weekend.
A number of races/events feature multiple top-25 DII performers, based on performances from this season. The womenÂÂs 60 hurdles will pit three of the top 15 hurdlers in TiffinÂÂs Kina Anderson and EdinboroÂÂs Tabitha Bemis (both No. 10 at 8.68) and No. 13 Sashawna Bennett (8.73) against one another, as will the womenÂÂs long jump, headlined by No. 4 Laurie Ajavon of Indiana (Pa.) (19-4Â¼/5.90m).
The menÂÂs 400 is an event to watch on the menÂÂs side, with Lake Erie freshman Keith Hemphill (No. 8 at 48.24) leading a field of five men seeded at 49.00 or faster.
Keep an Eye on DII: Abilene ChristianÂÂs Diarra Elea (No. 2 female in the 400 at 55:05) at the Armory Collegiate Invitational; Ted Nelson Open (Feb. 2); Findlay Open (Feb. 1)
DII TOP 10 IN ACTION
DIII MEET OF THE WEEK
"Squig" Converse Invitational (Men)/Warhawk Classic (Women)
Flash back three weeks ago: the North Central (Ill.) men entered their home DIII Meet of the Week as the No. 1 team in the nation. After a narrow defeat at the hands of UW-Oshkosh and UW-La Crosse, the Cardinals slipped to No. 3.
Back to this weekend, the Cardinals have a chance to exact some revenge as it once again is set to compete at the DIII Meet of the Week with No. 1 Oshkosh and No. 2 La Crosse this weekend at the "Squig" Converse Invitational, hosted by No. 4 UW-Whitewater, which will also be looking to make a run into the top three. Meanwhile, the Oshkosh women will be looking to hold on to their newly-acquired No. 1 ranking the following day at the Warhawk Classic.
The divisionÂÂs aforementioned top four menÂÂs teams combine for a total of nine individual/relay event leaders of the 15 championship events. The most hotly contest events between all four teams could be the 400 and 800 meters, in which all four have at least one student-athlete ranked in the divisionÂÂs top 25.
The remainder of the scored meet -and the order of the DIII top four ÂÂ could be decided in how well each team plays to their strengths and breaches into their opponentsÂÂ. Oshkosh fields arguably the best throwing corps in the country, Whitewater excels in the hurdles and jumps, La Crosse boasts an impressive sprinting group, and North Central fields a well-balanced attack.
Keep an Eye on DIII: Pointer Invitational (Feb. 1-Feb. 2); Tufts Stampede (Feb. 2); Keck Invitational (Feb. 1-Feb. 2)
DIII TOP 10 IN ACTION
WEEKEND NEWS AND NOTES
Clemson Informs NCAA of Track & Field Violations
NCAA Committee Adjusts Marijuana Testing Threshold
Qualifying Standards for the USA Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championships Released
FSUÂÂs Marvin Bracy Headlines Football Performances
USA Cross Country Championships Set for Saturday
U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association