Phyllis Francis Double, Spicy Men’s 4x400 On Tap At Michael Johnson Invite

Some of the NCAA’s best sprinters will descend on Waco, Texas, looking for fast times at the Michael Johnson Invitational. Joining the top talent from Arkansas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, and Baylor will be several professional athletes—including 2017 world 400m champion Phyllis Francis. You can watch the meet live on FloTrack and find the full schedule and entries here

Below are a few of the most interesting events to watch on Saturday.

Watch The 2018 Michael Johnson Invitational Live On FloTrack

Men’s 400m: 6 PM CT

Athletes To Watch: Wil London Jr., Obi Igbokwe

Wil London of Baylor turned in one of the most surprising performances of 2017 when he went from eighth place at the NCAA championships to third place at U.S. championships, running a lifetime best of 44.47. This year, he wasn’t able to qualify for the finals of the 400m at the NCAA indoor championships and has turned in an outdoor season best of 45.90. 

On his outside will be Obi Igbokwe of Arkansas. Igbokwe is running his first 400m of the outdoor season and has qualified for the last five NCAA championships. Howard Fields III, a Baylor freshman, ran 46.38 to finish second at the Texas Relays.  

Women’s 100m: 6:10 PM CT

Athletes To Watch: Phyllis Francis, Angela Tenorio, Tiffany Townsend and Candyce McGrone

Gold medalist and 400m specialist Phyllis Francis looks to use this meet to get in some speed work. She is entered in both the 100m and 200m, and while neither are her specialty, it will be interesting to see how fast she can go. Her 11.55 personal best means she’s not the favorite to win, but surely she’d be happy with a fast time. 

Angela Tenorio of Ecuador has a sub 11-second personal best: a 10.99 from 2015. She also made the semifinal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Tiffany Townsend and Candyce McGrone have personal bests of 11.08 and 11.00, respectively, and are strong candidates to get the win. 

Men’s 100m: 6:15 PM CT

Athletes To Watch: Divine Oduduru, Roy Ejiakuekwu

Divine Oduduru of Texas Tech enters as the clear favorite. Last outdoor season he ran 10.09 with +2.1m/s wind, and this winter he placed second in the 200m at the NCAA indoor championships and sixth in the 60m. 

It looks like his best competition will come from Roy Ejiakuekwu of Arkansas. The junior from Great Britain has a bunch of relay experience for the Razorbacks and qualified for the NCAA outdoor championships last June in the 200m. 

Men’s 400m Hurdles: 6:40 PM CT

Athletes To Watch: Javier Culson, Ilolo Izu

Based on resume, Javier Culson of Puerto is a cut above the field. He has two medals from the world championships and one from the Olympics. But those accomplishments are several years old at this point, making the 33-year-old vulnerable against the rest of the field. 

The best candidate to beat him is Texas A&M’s Ilolo Izu. The junior just set his lifetime best in the event: a 50.00 at the Texas Relays. Considering Culson just ran 49.91, the two look to be neck-and-neck despite being at different points in their careers.

Women’s 200m: 6:55 PM CT

Athletes To Watch: Phyllis Francis, Angela Tenorio, Tiffany Townsend and Candyce McGrone

Francis should be on firmer ground here than she is in the 100m. She’s run this race much more frequently than the 100m and has a personal best of 22.50. Candyce McGrone and Tiffany Townsend will also be doubling back. 

Townsend’s best time in the event is 22.26 and comes from 2013, while McGrone has run 22.01. Of the three, McGrone’s fourth-place finish at the 2015 World Championships makes her the favorite, but it’s still early season and this will be her second race of the day. 

Men’s 200m: 7 PM CT

Athletes To Watch: Kenzo Cotton, Obi Igbokwe, Maxwell Willis

This race will be Maxwell Willis against four athletes from Arkansas. Willis has run 20.39 in the 200m and 10.18 in the 100m and qualified for both events at last year’s NCAA championships. 

Kenzo Cotton ran a windy 10.12 100m this season and, along with Obi Igbokwe and Roy Ejiakuekwu, is the best competition for Willis.  

Men’s 4x400m: 7:50 PM CT

Teams To Watch: Arkansas, Baylor, Texas A&M, Texas Tech

The presence of the above four teams means this race will be quick. Texas A&M, the runner-ups at the NCAA indoor championships (and indoor world records holders), have entered Mylik Kerley, Bryce Deadmon, Devin Dixon, and Ilolo Izu. That quartet has already run a 3:02.43 this outdoor season, good for second best in the NCAA. Arkansas is running Obi Igbokwe, Kemar Mowatt, Roy Ejiakuekwu, and Larry Donald. Baylor has Howard Fields III listed as lead-off and Wil London Jr. on the anchor. Divine Oduduru and Vincent Crisp are on the start list for Texas Tech. Unless there's a flood of scratches, there’s no way this race isn’t fast. 

Yulimar Rojas Sets Indoor Triple Jump World Record In Madrid

Venezuelan Yulimar Rojas set the women’s indoor triple jump world record on Friday in Madrid with a 15.43m leap. With it, the 24-year-old eclipsed Tatyana Lebedeva’s 15.36m mark that had stood since 2004.

Ababel Yeshaneh, Not Brigid Kosgei, Sets Half Marathon World Record

What was expected to be a coronation of marathon world record holder Brigid Kosgei as the half marathon queen instead turned into an introduction of a worthy counterpart as Ethiopian Ababel Yeshaneh stunned the Kenyan on Friday morning (Thursday night in the U.S.) at the Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Half Marathon by setting a 64:31 world record.

The 10 Best Performances From The Weekend

Between more Mondo Duplantis' theatrics in Glasgow, a ridiculous road 5k world record in Monaco and plenty of excitement stateside, there was a lot to get excited about this past weekend in track and field.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Don't Look Now... The NAU Lumberjacks Could Win NCAA Indoors

With just two weeks left to qualify for NCAAs a majority of the top-16 fields are coming into form on the distance side. The NAU men are currently slated to qualify ten entries across three distance events.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Joshua Cheptegei Smashes Road 5k World Record In 12:51

A little over a month after Rhonex Kipruto took down Joshua Cheptegei’s road 10k world record, the Ugandan has answered back in a big way by running 12:51 on Sunday in Monaco to smash Kipruto’s 5k world record. Cheptegei cut a whopping 27 seconds off the 13:18 that the Kenyan ran on Jan. 12, a run that came en route to Kipruto’s 26:24 10k record.

Mondo Does It Again, Breaks Pole Vault World Record

null

Mondo Duplantis is ushering in a new era of the pole vault, one centimeter at a time. Just a week removed from his world record clearance of 6.17m, the 20-year-old vaulted 6.18m at the Muller Indoor Grand Prix in Glasgow.

U.S. Indoor Women's Preview: Can Purrier Chase Down Houlihan?

The most interesting match-up of the indoor season materialized quickly. Last Saturday evening at the Millrose Games, Elinor Purrier dropped a stunning 4:16.85 mile to break the American record and dispatch a stacked field in a race that turned into a festival of personal bests and national records. It was a career-defining race for Purrier. A run fast enough to legitimately raise the question if she could beat America’s best mid-distance runner, Shelby Houlihan. This weekend at the US Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, Purrier will have two chances (the 3000m on Friday and the 1500m on Saturday) to pull it off. 

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

2020 High School Track & Field State Championships Central

2020 High School Indoor Track & Field State Championships:

Weekend Watch Guide: Simpson, Jones Chase Fast 5k At BU

One of the busiest weekends of the 2020 indoor track season is upon us, and FloTrack has you covered with several live events across the country. Boston will once again host some of the top professional and collegiate distance runners in the U.S., including Jenny Simpson, Dani Jones and Tyler Day.

U.S. Indoor Men's Preview: Coleman Debuts, Engels Battles Thompson, Murphy

The stakes for the 2020 USATF Indoor Championships were dramatically reduced in the wake of World Indoors being postponed due to the coronavirus. But prize money and bragging rights are incentive enough for the world’s fastest man and several top domestic distance runners this weekend in Albuquerque.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In