On the men's side, things were led by Penn State sophomore Robby Creese, who ran 3:57.11 to put himself at number two on the descending order list. Creese is the collegiate record holder over 1000 meters, which bides the question - will his speed along with proven prowess in the mile put him atop the NCAA final?
A lot depends on what happens this upcoming weekend. Defending national champ Chris O'Hare, 3:55 man Lawi Lalang and ninja kicker Ryan Hill will all take to the track at the Armory for the Millrose Games Wanamaker Mile. The top NCAA runner in the race will likely enter nationals as not just the race favorite but likely the new collegiate record holder as well.
For the women, the weekend was all about Cory McGee. With her 4:32.10 at Husky, the Florida junior set the fastest non-converted time of 2013, but it was her post-race interview that may have raised more eyebrows. McGee was involved in a freak accident last summer that sliced her ankle ligament, required surgery and put her out of racing for six months.
McGee has always been capable of running fast in time trial settings but has what some call the David Torrence dilemma - being a miler without top notch finishing speed. To win at NCAA's, she'll need to seize the lead and hold on or muster a kick that we haven't seen from her yet.
A few more notes and tidbits before we call it quits:
- Raul Botezan ran 3:57.79 at the Husky Classic to join four of his Oklahoma State teammates who previously entered the sub-four minute club. A remarkable five Cowboys, four of whom were on the national championship cross country team, have now broken four this indoor season. Penn Relays 4 x mile, anyone?
- We've seen sub-four performances out of 'B' heats at Husky, but one out of the 'C' heat is a new phenomenon. Chad Noelle of Oregon managed to do it with the help of some teammates with his 3:59.57 clocking.
- 3:59.998 is considered sub-four minutes, right? Maybe not. Cornell senior Nick Wade was denied the honor of joining the coveted club since official results are rounded up to the hundredth of a second, making his official mark 4:00.00.
- The new sweet 16 system has Christine Babcock of Washington in an odd spot. She's currently ranked #16 in both the mile and 3000 meters. Babcock will more than likely need to improve upon those marks to punch her ticket to Fayetteville.
- We discussed the men's mile for Millrose earlier, but the women's mile also features a number of top NCAA runners - Emma Coburn, Abbey D'Agostino and Jordan Hasay.