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College Weekend Recap

College Weekend Recap
Jesse Squire

This weekend was all about speed. Who ran the fastest, and what does it tell us about next month’s NCAA Championships?

The weekend’s college action was centered around big meets and fast times. Most of the top teams traveled to one (or more) of several meets held at tracks with a fast reputation: Fayetteville, Albuquerque, Seattle, College Station, Ames, and others.

The result was a whole boatload of new collegiate leaders in various events. What do they all mean?

New National Leader: Aaron Brown (USC), 200 meters (20.53 at the Don Kirby Elite Meet)
What it means: On paper, Brown is the best sprinter in the NCAA and this underlines it. He was a Worlds semifinalist for Canada at last year’s World Championships and this breaks the Canadian record. The race was run at Albuquerque’s mile-high track, but it’s still a clear collegiate leader even with the altitude correction factored in.

New National Leader: Edward Kemboi (Iowa State), 800 meters (1:45.98 at the Iowa State Classic)
What it means: It’s hard to tell. Kemboi has run two very fast 800s but was beaten two weeks ago at the Penn State National Invitational. The 800 is an unpredictable race anyway, so pencil him in as just one of several NCAA title favorites.

New National Leader: Lawi Lalang (Arizona), mile (3:52.88 at the Millrose Games)
What it means: Lalang broke the collegiate indoor record in this race and came a step or two away from beating the 33-year-old outdoor record. Even though he was passed on the homestretch by Will Leer, he’s still way better than anyone else in the NCAA and the defending indoor champion to boot.

New National Leader: Reed Connor (Wisconsin), 5000 meters (13:37.42 at the Iowa State Classic)
What it means: Connor narrowly won this over Villanova’s Patrick Tiernan, and NCAA cross country champion Edward Cheserek ran nearly as fast while winning Friday’s UW Husky Classic. Cheserek is the heavy NCAA favorite and nothing will change that in the next month. What this does mean is that Wisconsin might have the firepower to get into the top four in the team standings at the NCAAs and take home a trophy.

New National Leader: Aleec Harris (USC), 60m hurdles (7.60 at the Don Kirby Elite Meet)
What it means: Harris is inconsistent, capable of fast times but also capable of being beaten. He has two wins in his four hurdle finals this season, so call him an NCAA contender rather than a favorite.

New National Leader: Sam Kendricks (Ole Miss), pole vault (5.70m/18′ 8¼” at the Don Kirby Elite Meet)
What it means: The pole vault is a fickle master, but Kendricks is vaulting better than anyone else right now. He’s the defending NCAA outdoor champion and here he knocked off Shawn Barber, the NCAA’s #2 vaulter.

New National Leader: Raymond Higgs (Arkansas), long jump (7.99m/26′ 2¾” at the Tyson Invitational)
What it means: This was just his second long jump competition of the year and his only win. He and teammate Jarrion Lawson (the man who beat him earlier this year) figure to score big points in Arkansas’ bid to win their second straight indoor title.

New National Leader: Obi Felix (Baylor), triple jump (16.44m/53′ 11¼” at the Tyson Invitational)
What it means: Obi has improved more than any other triple jumper in the NCAA, breaking PRs in both of his triple jump competitions this year. He was sixth at last year’s indoor championships and didn’t qualify to the outdoor championships but has really come on in 2014.

New National Leader: Dezerea Bryant (Kentucky), 60 meters (7.16 at the Tyson Invitational)
What it means: Bryant is now the NCAA favorite in this event. She’s taken on and beaten the 2nd, 3rd and 4th runners on the national list. She has a shot at the 200 too, but it’s not her specialty.

New National Leader: Kamaria Brown (Texas A&M), 200 meters (22.80 at the Texas A&M Invitational)
What it means: Brown is the NCAA favorite in this event. This is partly because she’s the national leader and undefeated in three 200 meter finals. It’s also because she didn’t run this time on Arkansas’ track, which is so fast as to sometime make sprinters look better than they really are.

New National Leader: Abbey D’Agostino (Dartmouth), 3000 meters (8:51.91 at the Millrose Games)
What it means: D’Agostino hasn’t lost a track final to another collegian since the NCAA indoor championships two years ago. This time, the fourth best in indoor collegiate history, shows the streak will continue.

New National Leader: Texas 4×400 relay (3:30.12 at the Tyson Invitational)
What it means: By itself, not much. The track at Arkansas is so fast for the long sprints as to make times less than meaningful. The four best relay teams in the NCAA were at three different meets this weekend, and only two of them (Texas A&M and Florida) have to face each other at a conference meet.

New National Leader: Jasmine Todd (Oregon), long jump (6.50m/21′ 4″ at the Don Kirby Elite Meet)
What it means: I have no idea, because the meet was in the high altitude of Albuquerque and the NCAA has no conversion factor to correct for it. I don’t know that anyone does.

New National Leader: Shanieka Thomas (San Diego St.), triple jump (13.79m/45′ 3″ at the Don Kirby Elite Meet)
What it means: Take altitude-aided jump marks with a large grain of salt, but Thomas was already the NCAA favorite anyway. She went undefeated against collegians during the 2013 outdoor season. This, her 2014 season opener, is nearly ten inches further than anyone else has done this year.

New National Leader: Kearsten Peoples (Missouri), shot put (17.51m/57′ 5½” at the Tyson Invitational)
What it means: Peoples tied Iowa State’s Christina Hillman for the national lead. Both are undefeated so far this year and they are headed for a big showdown at the NCAAs.

Dual meet rankings

These are the final regional dual meet rankings for the indoor season. Final national rankings will be released later today at the Track and Field News website.


Great Lakes region
1. Akron
2. Purdue
3. Wisconsin
4. Eastern Michigan
5. Michigan State
6. Kent State
7. Notre Dame
8. Indiana State
9. Indiana
10. Central Michigan

Midwest/Mountain/West region
1. Nebraska
2. Texas Tech
3. Air Force
4. Iowa
5. Kansas State
6. Colorado St.
7. Eastern Illinois
8. Missouri
9. Northern Iowa
10. Wichita State

Mid-Atlantic/Northeast region
1. Navy
2. Princeton
3. Harvard
4. Monmouth
5. Buffalo
6. Dartmouth
7. Army
8. Lehigh
9. Maine
10. Rider

South/Southeast/South Central region
1. Arkansas
2. Texas A&M
3. LSU
4. Texas
5. Texas-Arlington
6. Louisville
7. Mid. Tenn. State
8. Tennessee St.
9. Western Kentucky
10. Winthrop


Great Lakes region
1. Notre Dame
2. Michigan State
3. Purdue
4. Kent State
5. Akron
6. Indiana
7. Indiana State
8. Wisconsin
9. Eastern Michigan
10. Western Michigan

Midwest/Mountain/West region
1. Nebraska
2. Texas Tech
3. Kansas State
4. North Dakota St.
5. Southern Illinois
6. Iowa
7. Missouri
8. Wyoming
9. Northern Iowa
10. Sacramento St.

Mid-Atlantic/Northeast region
1. Harvard
2. Columbia
3. Dartmouth
4. Monmouth
5. Princeton
6. Buffalo
7. Yale
8. Lehigh
9. Penn
10. Holy Cross

South/Southeast/South Central region
1. Texas A&M
2. Arkansas
3. LSU
4. Texas
5. Louisville
6. Mid. Tenn. State
7. Tennessee St.
8. Texas-Arlington
9. Austin Peay
10. Western Kentucky


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