The Best Head-To-Head Conference Matchups This Weekend

The Best Head-To-Head Conference Matchups This Weekend

These eight conference matchups will produce fireworks this weekend.

May 9, 2024 by Lincoln Shryack
The Best Head-To-Head Conference Matchups This Weekend

It’s conference weekend! The most exciting slate of matchups outside of NCAAs is here, and I’ve previewed the best head-to-head competitions to watch this weekend. (To no one’s surprise, the SEC is very well represented here; the meet in Gainesville is going to be fantastic.)

SEC Women’s 100m - Jacious Sears vs. Brianna Lyston

Saturday, 6:35 pm EST

Tennessee’s Jacious Sears is the fastest woman in the world so far this year with her 10.77 from April 13. That time is No. 2 in NCAA history, behind only Sha’Carri Richardson’s 10.75 NCAA record. But Sears will have her hands full in Gainesville with LSU sophomore Brianna Lyston, the NCAA indoor 60m champion. Lyston ran a slightly wind-aided 10.84 (+2.2) that is second-best in the country this season.

SEC Men’s 400m - Christopher Morales Williams vs. Auhmad Robinson

Saturday, 6:05 pm EST

The indoor NCAA champion (Morales Williams, Georgia) and his runner-up (Robinson, Texas A&M) will clash in Gainesville this weekend in a preview for NCAA outdoors. Morales Williams ran the fastest indoor 400m ever at indoor SECs (44.49) and he’s beaten Robinson in three straight head-to-head matchups. But the Aggie junior wasn’t too far behind in their last race (44.91 to 44.98) on April 13 and this race will be expected to produce the two fastest NCAA 400m marks of 2024 so far.

SEC Women’s 200m - Ja’Meesia Ford vs. McKenzie Long

Saturday 7:35 pm EST

It’s the star rookie vs. the established vet in the SEC women’s 200m as South Carolina freshman Ja’Meesia Ford battles Ole Miss senior McKenzie Long. Ford won the indoor NCAA 200m title in March and leads the country with her 22.21 mark, but Long beat her handily when they last matched up at the Tom Jones Memorial Invite on April 13 in Gainesville. Long was the NCAA runner-up in this event last spring.

SEC Men’s 400mH - Chris Robinson vs. Clement Ducos

Saturday, 7:05 pm EST

Alabama’s Chris Robinson became just the sixth collegiate to break 48 seconds in the 400m hurdles with his 47.95 performance on April 13. Even so, the reigning NCAA champion won’t have a cakewalk at SECs this weekend as Tennessee Clement Ducos wasn’t too far behind with his 48.26 PB in the same race. Keep an eye on the clock: only one other race in NCAA history has produced two sub-48s finishes.

SEC Women’s 400m - Kaylyn Brown vs. Everybody

Saturday, 6:15 pm EST

Arkansas freshman Kaylyn Brown is the only woman to break 50 seconds so far this outdoor season with her statement win last month at the Tom Jones Invite in 49.95. Her spot atop the NCAA will be thoroughly tested this weekend as she battles her teammate and NCAA indoor 400m champion Amber Anning, along with Georgia’s Aaliyah Butler (50.05 SB), Arkansas’ Nickisha Pryce (50.13 SB) and 200m sensation Ja’Meesia Ford (50.81 SB).

SEC Men’s 4x400m - Alabama vs. Texas A&M vs. Florida

Saturday, 8:30 pm EST

Unsurprisingly, the top three 4x400m squads so far this outdoor season are each from the SEC, and the winner on Saturday in Gainesville will have pole position heading into the NCAA Championships. Alabama edged Texas A&M by three one-hundredths, 3:00.77 to 3:00.80, back in March, which still stands as the top two NCAA times in 2024. The Crimson Tide have all four members of their 2:58.01 relay from last season (No. 4 NCAA all-time), and they enter SECs as the favorites. Florida, competing on their home track, could upset ‘Bama and A&M as their 3:01.20 seed time is No. 3 this season.

SEC Women’s High Jump - Lamara Distin vs. Rachel Glenn vs. Elena Kulichenko

Saturday, 4:15 pm EST

The three best women’s high jumpers in the NCAA all represent the SEC, and each of Lamara Distin (Texas A&M), Rachel Glenn (Arkansas), and Elena Kulichenko (Georgia) have reason to believe they’re the best of the bunch. Distin is a three-time NCAA champion and the top seed via her 1.96m clearance in early April. But she was beaten by Glenn at NCAA indoors as the latter cleared 2.00m to match Distin’s collegiate record; Kulichenko’s PB is “only” 1.93m, but she beat Distin via tiebreaker when they last matched up on April 13.

Glenn then promptly defeated Kulichenko two weeks later on April 27, so expect this competition to be very tight this weekend.

Big Sky Men’s 1,500m - Colin Sahlman vs. Nico Young

Saturday, 11:50 am MST

The top stars of Northern Arizona's distance powerhouse have each had fabulous 2024 seasons to date, and when Nico Young and Colin Sahlman meet this weekend in the Big Sky 1500m final, it will be a rematch of their epic race from last week. Young edged Sahlman in the latter’s speciality on May 4, 3:34.56 to 3:34.64, but the sophomore owns the faster PB (3:33.96) and greater top end speed (1:45 800m PB). Their 1500m bests are second and third NCAA all-time.

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