NCAA Men’s Sprint And Hurdle Preview: Grant Holloway Tries To Stay Perfect

Last year, Christian Coleman swept the 60m and the 200m at the NCAA indoor championships, while Fred Kerley completely dominated the 400m. Both men have since moved on to the professional ranks, leaving an opening for new stars to emerge at this weekend’s 2018 NCAA Indoor Championships in College Station, Texas. 

While there is some mystery about those events, the men’s 60m hurdles is all about one man — Grant Holloway. The Florida sophomore broke the collegiate record this year and will try to add to his perfect record in NCAA championships. 

Below is a preview of all the men’s sprint and hurdle events. For full 2018 NCAA Indoor Championships event information, check out our coverage page where you can find entries, schedule, and the full list of previews.

Men’s 60m 

Time: Semifinals, Friday 6:05 PM CT; Finals, Saturday 4:30 PM CT

Top Seed: Andre Ewers - Florida State, 6.52

Top Returner: Jaylen Bacon - Arkansas State, 3rd Place

Five men have run under 6.60 this year with five other posting season bests right at exactly 6.60 mark. Ewers of Florida State ran 6.52 in his first meet of the year, but hasn’t broken 6.60 in his next two appearances and finished second to his teammate at the ACC championships. 

The second seed, Jeryl Brazil of UL-Lafayette, also didn’t win his conference meet. The senior, who has a season best of 6.55, false started and was disqualified from the Sun Belt championships. Elijah Hall had a great outdoor campaign where he finished third at the USATF championships in the 200m. He’s put up a great indoor season so far with this opener of 6.60 and a season best of 6.58.  

null


Arkansas State’s Jaylen Bacon is tied for sixth on the NCAA performance list, but is a big meet performer. He finished fourth at the USATF outdoor championships last year and was third in this meet in 2017. In a race of this magnitude, experience will be vital. 

In the team competition, keep an eye on the two runners from Texas Tech: Divine Oduduru and Andrew Hudson. Both men are doubling this weekend for the Red Raiders, who are ranked fourth in FloTrack’s latest team rankings. Georgia and Arkansas, two other teams with team trophy aspirations, have entrants in Kenzo Cotton (Arkansas) and Kendal Williams and Cejhae Greene (Georgia). Williams and Greene enter with marks that put them 11th and 14th, so any points they get will be a bonus for the Bulldogs.   

Men’s 200m 

Time: Semifinals, Friday 7:35 PM CT; Finals, Saturday 5:50 PM CT

Top Seed: Divine Oduduru - Texas Tech, 20.25

Top Returner: Kenzo Cotton - Arkansas, 7th Place

Oduduru is undefeated in his three appearances in the 200m this year. He competed sparingly last year outdoors so this will be his first NCAA championships. Oduduru’s 20.25 mark is a converted 20.18 that the redshirt freshman ran at altitude in Lubbock. Behind Oduduru is a crowded group — there are seven men between 20.45 and 20.56. That group includes Ncincilili Titi (South Carolina), Nick Gray (Ohio State), Andrew Hudson (Texas Tech), Elijah Hall (Houston), Rai Benjamin (USC), Mustaqeem Williams (Tennessee), and Terrance Laird (Penn State). 

Hall, Gray, and Williams all won their respective conference championships in the 200m. Williams’ victory at SECs — where he beat Kenzo Cotton, Jaron Flournoy and Titi — gives him some added momentum heading into these championships. 

WATCH: Divine Oduduru wins Big 12 200m 

null

Join PRO Now to Get Unlimited Access to FloTrack!

Join Now

Already a PRO Member? Log In


But this field is deep. Hudson, Oduduru’s Texas Tech teammate, has run an altitude adjusted 20.49 and beat Oduduru in the 60m at the Big 12 championships. Speaking of the 60m, this race will feature several runners doubling back from the short sprint. Oduduru, Hudson, Hall, Andre Ewers (Florida State), and Cotton (Arkansas) are all scheduled to race both the 60m and 200m. Can any of them pull off the double that Chrisitan Coleman did in 2017?

When it comes to the team race, Texas Tech is expected to finish toward the top of the standings, so Oduduru and Hudson’s performances are critical. Ditto for Benjamin for USC and Cotton of Arkansas.

Men’s 400m 

Time: Semifinals, Friday 6:25 PM CT; Finals, Saturday 4:50 PM CT

Top Seed: Michael Norman - USC, 45.00

Top Returner: Mylik Kerley - Texas A&M, 3rd Place

Six of the eight finalists last year were seniors, leaving the door open for a new crop of quarter milers to get on the podium. Michael Norman comes in with the top mark and will be one of three Trojans in the field (the Trojans fourth man who ran a qualifier, Rai Benjamin, is entered in the 200m, not the 400m). The top two entry times, Norman’s 45.00 and Auburn’s Akeen Bloomfield’s 45.02 both took place at the Clemson Tiger Paw Invitational three weeks ago. The two sophomores have a chance to go head-to-head again this weekend, this time with much higher stakes. 

WATCH: USC goes 1-2-3 in MPSF 400m 

null

Join PRO Now to Get Unlimited Access to FloTrack!

Join Now

Already a PRO Member? Log In


Bloomfield won the SEC title two weeks ago and is in good form. That SEC championship race had its usual quick times across the board with six of the eight finalists set to compete this weekend. Nathon Allen of Auburn finished third in that race behind Bloomfield and Nathan Strother of Tennessee. It was just the second indoor 400m of the season for the redshirt freshman Allen. Last year, he was runner-up to Fred Kerley outdoors and went on to run 44.19 and turn in a fifth place finish at the world championships for Jamaica. Thus his yearly rank of 46.03 is a bit deceiving and its a good bet that he jumps up into the finals.

In the team race, the USC trio will be trying to rack up the points. Norman is expected to score, but the Trojans will also try to get contributions from Ricky Morgan Jr. and Zach Shinnick. Texas A&M (Mylik Kerley and Robert Grant) and Arkansas (Obi Igbokwe and Rhayko Schwartz) have two entrants apiece. 

Men’s 60m Hurdles 

Time: Semifinals, Friday 6:55 PM CT; Finals, Saturday 5:10 PM CT

Top Seed: Grant Holloway - Florida, 7.42

Top Returner: Grant Holloway - Florida, 1st Place

Holloway enters the weekend as perhaps the largest favorite of the entire week. His time of 7.42 is a collegiate record and is tops in the world this year. All indications point to Holloway defending his 2017 title with ease and more post-racing dancing in College Station. 



How much faster can Holloway go? He has been so dominant in all of his appearances this year, turning in one flawless performance after another. When he ran the 7.42 at Clemson he didn’t just take down the collegiate record, he beat Omar McLeod — the best hurdler in the world. With someone like Holloway, you never want to rule anything out. The American record of 7.36 would require another significant improvement, but with Holloway’s season it is possible. 



Behind Holloway is Alabama’s Ruebin Walters. Walters has the second best mark of year, a 7.61 that he ran in the same meet as Holloway’s 7.42. He’s finished second to Holloway at the SEC championships two weeks ago and is in good position to improve upon his fifth place finish from the 2017 Indoor Championships. There’s four other hurdlers with season best marks faster than 7.70 — Jaylan McConico (Illinois State), Chad Zallow (Youngstown State), Antoine Lloyd (Nebraska), and Angelo Gross (Syracuse). Zallow tore through the Horizon League championships winning the 60m, 60m hurdles and 200m. He also brings some big meet experience after competing in a field with professionals at this year’s Millrose Games. 

For the team title, keep track of Gross of Syracuse and his teammate Matt Moore. Syracuse is currently ranked seventh on the FloTrack team rankings and could use some points in this event to complement the truckload of points that distance star Justyn Knight is expected to put up for Syracuse. Georgia, ranked second behind Florida, also has an entrant in Michael Nicholls. His entry time of 7.76 puts him 15th in the entries so it would be a huge boost for the Bulldogs if he can work his way into the final.  

Holloway Debuts, Kenny B's Back, Another ASU Star Thrower Emerges

It’s still the early days of the outdoor season, with athletes regrouping from the indoors and slowly trickling into the spring season. This weekend’s action was light, especially compared to next weekend’s trifecta of big meets at Stanford, Florida and Texas, but there were some notable results.

Talented ADP Squad Likes World XC Medal Chances On Tough Aarhus Course

null

Join PRO Now to Get Unlimited Access to FloTrack!

Join Now

Already a PRO Member? Log In

When Shadrack Kipchirchir lines up for the 2019 IAAF World Cross Country Championships on March 30 in Aarhus, Denmark, the 30-year-old American is hoping for the nastiest weather that the Danish city can provide.

Join PRO Now to Get Unlimited Access to FloTrack!

Join Now

Already a PRO Member? Log In

Here's Why USATF Honoring World Rankings Would Be A Disaster

Earlier this week we published an opinion stating why it is a good thing for USATF to use time standards as the only means to guarantee a spot on the 2020 U.S. Olympic team. Our main reason was based on the fact that the new world rankings are unfair, but more importantly, the world rankings make the selection process even worse.

CAS Delays Semenya Decision Until Late April

The Court of Arbitration for Sport announced on Thursday that they will push back a ruling in the case involving Caster Semenya until late April. 

House Of Run: Everything To Be Excited About In The Outdoor Season

Jason and Kevin discuss the 42 most interesting storylines heading into the outdoor season. How healthy is Wayde Van Niekerk? Who will be the top women's 1500m runner? Can the Jamaican men win a sprint medal? What will Eliud Kipchoge do for an encore? Will this be the year of the 400m hurdles?

The Best Track And Field Athlete From Every NCAA Tournament School

The 2019 NCAA DI Men’s Basketball Tournament begins this week, and in honor of March Madness we’ve selected the best track and field athlete— past or present— from each of the tournament’s 68 schools (minus Old Dominion, who does not have a track team; get a track team Old Dominion). Some of the names below are NCAA track and field legends from major programs. Others on this list never even qualified for the NCAA Championships. The 68 here ran the gamut, from Olympic heroes to mere school record holders.

Why LetsRun Is Wrong & USATF Is Right About Olympic Qualifying

Last week, the IAAF announced its new qualification process for the 2020 Olympic Games, which included tougher entry standards and new computerized world rankings. The reaction was intense as some media outlets painted an apocalyptic worldview for U.S. athletics. In reality, it’s not that dramatic.

Cal Coach Tony Sandoval To Retire

Tony Sandoval, the director of track and field and cross country at Cal, will retire at the conclusion of the outdoor season. Sandoval spent 37 years at the university, beginning as the head women’s coach in 1982. 

Six Reasons We're Looking Forward To The NCAA Outdoor Track Season

As exciting as 200-meter ovals and banked curves are, we’re ready for the unpredictable weather, sprint relays and 10K races of spring track season. Here’s a few reasons to get excited for NCAA outdoor track and field.

FloTrack To Stream 2019 Boston Marathon In Europe

AUSTIN, Texas — March 18, 2019 — Today, FloSports, the innovator in live digital sports and original content, and the Boston Athletic Association, announced a partnership to provide live and on-demand coverage of the 2019 Boston Marathon on FloTrack.com exclusively in over 40 European countries.