Olympians, NCAA Champions Convene At The New Mexico Collegiate Classic

The Albuquerque Convention Center plays host to the New Mexico Collegiate Classic on Friday and Saturday. The action kicks off at 4 PM MT on Friday, and you can watch the meet live on FloTrack. Set to compete are current and former NCAA champions, Olympic medalists, and highly-touted college freshmen. 

Here are five events to keep an eye on this weekend in Albuquerque.

Men’s 200m

When: Friday, 7:10 PM MT

Names To Watch: Jaylen Bacon, Jereem Richards, Champion Allison

Friday will be Jereem Richards’ first race since his breakout 2017 that saw him go from third in the NCAA meet in June to third at the IAAF World Championships two months later. London was a dream meet for Richards. After the 200m surprise he ran the fastest split of the entire field in the 4x400m and propelled Trinidad and Tobago to a gold medal.  

In Albuquerque, he will square off with Bacon, who is still a collegian but is experienced in top-level competition. The senior from Arkansas State is currently ranked first in the 60m and second in the 200 on the FloTrack NCAA indoor rankings. This race also provides the first chance to see Alabama’s super freshman, Champion Allison. Allison ran 10.44, 20.71, and 45.87 in high school. 

Men’s 60m

When: Semifinals, Saturday 12:15 PM MT, Finals Saturday 2:10 PM MT 

Names To Watch: Jaylen Bacon, Kyree King, Keitavious Walter

Bacon has already run 6.65 in 2018 and owns a personal best of 6.56 from his third-place performance at the 2017 NCAA Indoor Championships. King is fresh off an outdoor season that saw him race all the way from the NCAA season to the IAAF world championships. He’s appeared in one meet this year, where he clocked a 6.75 in the 60m at the UW Indoor Open. Walter is making his debut for Alabama. The JUCO transfer won four national championships in his time at Hinds Community College and has a 60m best of 6.59.

Women’s 60m 

When: Semifinals, Saturday 12:25 PM MT, Finals Saturday 2:15 PM MT 

Names To Watch: Aleia Hobbs, Mikiah Brisco, Kortnei Johnson

The LSU trio of Hobbs, Brisco, and Johnson tops the entry list. Hobbs, a senior, is coming off a lifetime best performance of 7.14 in the 60m two weeks ago, the fastest time in the nation. How fast can she go in the thin air of Albuquerque? 

Her teammate, Brisco, won the national title last year in 100m and currently sits second on the NCAA 60m list with a 7.17 clocking in Lubbock. Johnson will try to ensure the Tigers go 1-2-3. She finished sixth in the 60m at the 2017 NCAA Indoor Championships and carries a personal best of 7.18.

Men’s Mile

When: Saturday, 12:40 PM MT

Names To Watch: Anthony Rotich, Sam Worley, Jonah Koech, Alex Rogers 

Rotich won four NCAA titles at UTEP — three in the steeplechase and one in the mile. His best competition will come from three collegians. Koech of UTEP has run 1:46 for the 800, while Rogers, a steeplechaser from Texas, has a personal best of 1:48. Texas freshman Worley is running his second collegiate 800m. He was a prep star in Texas with personal bests of 1:48.25 and 4:00.61 in high school. 

Men’s 800m

When: Saturday, 2:25 PM MT

Names To Watch: Harun Abda, Brannon Kidder, Sam Worley, Edward Kemboi

This race is top-heavy with pros Abda, Kidder, and Kemboi. Abda hasn’t raced this year, but has an indoor personal best of 1:46.97. Kidder competed well indoors last year and ran 4:01.74 at the Dr. Sander Invitational last weekend in New York. 

The 24-year-old Kemboi has run 1:45.98 indoors and has competed a ton this indoor season. He’s run two 800s, a 1000m, a mile, and two 3000s since December 1. We will find out on Saturday if all that racing has made him worn out or just race sharp. 

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