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NCAA Championships: What to Watch on Thursday

NCAA Championships: What to Watch on Thursday

| On 09, Jun 2016

The women’s side of the competition gets started today.

The NCAA Championships continue today at Oregon’s historic* Hayward Field, and we coverage right here at the Daily Relay.

(*I am told that Larry Rawson will begin to tell you about splits and the origins of the steeplechase and demand you go down to your local high school track if you do not refer to Hayward as “historic”.)

What I have for you today is a breakdown of your key links and information, an analysis of each of the team favorites, and a preview of each of today’s events.

Key Information

For the second year in a row, the meet has been split into men’s competition (today and Friday) and women’s competition (Thursday and Saturday)
Schedule, start lists and live results

TV/web: You can see it all on the various ESPN networks.
ESPN3.com will have live decathlon and field event coverage all day.
Television coverage begins at 7:30pm on ESPNU and switches over to ESPN at 8:00pm.

All the other information you need can be found at the USTFCCCA’s National Championships Central.

Team favorites

There are several ways of looking at who the team favorites are. One is the USTFCCCA computer rankings, and another is Track and Field News’ formcharts. For each of the top-rated teams, I’ve summarized their ranking and their season, plus listed all of their entries into the meet and how they are predicted to finish (an “x” means not picked for the top ten).

As the meet goes along, you can follow many different team scoring projections all in one nifty form chart tracker.

Arkansas Razorbacks

USTFCCCA rank: #1
TFN formchart pick: #1
NCAA indoor finish: 2nd
Outdoor conference finish: 1st in the SEC
Last outdoor championship: none
Why they’ll win: They’re everybody’s consensus pick, they’ve won everything this year save the NCAA indoor championship, they have the most qualifiers, and they have the hunger of a team that has never before won this championship.
Why they won’t win: They’ve never won this before.
Complete entry list:

Athlete    Event    TFN pick
Kiara Parker    100m    x
Taylor Ellis-Watson    400m    2
Daina Harper    400m    x
Jessica Kamilos    3kSt    6
Devin Clark    3kSt    x
Dominique Scott    5k    1
Dominique Scott    10k    2
Payton Stumbaugh    100H    x
Alex Gochenour    100H    x
Damajahnee Birch    400H    x
relay team    4×100    x
relay team    4×400    2
Lexi Weeks    PV    1
Tori Weeks    PV    6
Ariel Voskamp    PV    x
Taliya Brooks    LJ    8
Kelsey Herman    LJ    x
Taliya Brooks    Hept    5
Payton Stumbaugh    Hept    4
Alex Gochenour    Hept    10
Leigha Brown    Hept    x

Oregon Ducks

USTFCCCA rank: #6
TFN formchart pick: #2
NCAA indoor finish: 1st
Outdoor conference finish: 1st in the Pac-12
Last outdoor championship: 2015
Why they’ll win: They’ve got the experience, they’re at home, and they always seem to beat the formcharts at the NCAAs.
Why they won’t win: Drama. A large number of athletes have left the program in recent years, most notable superstar Jasmine Todd – who quit the team at the regionals.
Complete entry list:

Athlete    Event    TFN pick
Hannah Cunliffe    100m    2
Ariana Washington    100m    4
Deajah Stevens    200m    2
Ariana Washington    200m    5
Raevyn Rogers    800m    1
Annie Leblanc    800m    x
Brooke Feldmeier    800m    x
Annie Leblanc    1500    10
Lilli Burdon    1500    x
Alli Cash    5k    9
Alaysha Johnson    100H    4
Sasha Wallace    100H    10
relay team    4×100    2
relay team    4×400    5
Brittany Mann    SP    6

Texas Longhorns

USTFCCCA rank: #3
TFN formchart pick: #5
NCAA indoor finish: 4th
Outdoor conference finish: 1st in the Big 12
Last outdoor championship: 2005
Why they’ll win: They have two of the biggest stars in the NCAA, sprinter Morolake Akinosun and quarter-miler Courtney Okolo.
Why they won’t win: Ain’t got much else.
Complete entry list:

Athlete    Event    TFN pick
Morolake Akinosun    100m    1
Morolake Akinosun    200m    3
Courtney Okolo    400m    1
Chrisann Gordon    400m    4
Mary Beth Hamilton    800m    x
Sandie Raines    5k    x
Ashley Miller    100H    x
Ariel Jones    400H    10
relay team    4×100    8
relay team    4×400    1
Kally Long    PV    x
Alu Uhle    PV    x
Asa Garcia    TJ    10
Ashtin Zamzow    Hept    9

Texas A&M Aggies

USTFCCCA rank: #5
TFN formchart pick: #4
NCAA indoor finish: 40th
Outdoor conference finish: 2nd in the SEC
Last outdoor championship: 2014
Why they’ll win: This team is built for outdoor track, with its biggest stars in the 400 hurdles (Shamiere Little) and the long throws (Shelbi Vaughan, Maggie Malone).
Why they won’t win: The Aggies finished 40th at the NCAA indoor championships, and maybe they’re just not that good.
Complete entry list:

Athlete    Event    TFN pick
Brenessa Thompson    100m    7
Jennifer Madu    100m    x
Aaliyah Brown    100m    x
Brenessa Thompson    200m    x
Aaliyah Brown    200m    x
Briyahna Desrosiers    400m    x
Katie Willard    800m    x
Jazmine Fray    800m    7
Shamier Little    400H    1
relay team    4×100    4
relay team    4×400    6
Shelbi Vaughan    DT    2
Maggie Malone    JT    1
Audrey Malone    JT    9
Madalaine Stulce    JT    x
Annie Kunz    Hept    6

Event-by-event viewer’s guide

Hammer Throw

Begins at 2:00pm local time (5:00pm ET)
Two flights of 12, then 9 to finals

Start list & live results
The favorite: DeAnna Price, Southern Illinois
Price is the defending champion, the collegiate record holder, and made the US team for the Worlds last year. She may be the strongest favorite in the entire meet.
The challenger: Maggie Ewen, Arizona State
The Pac-12 champ is just a sophomore but already over the magical distance of 70 meters.
Team implications: None of the four championship contenders have a qualifier.
Key indicators: Price hasn’t lost to a collegian since the 2013 NCAA Championships.

Running event semifinals

Begin at 4:30pm local time (7:30pm ET)
Start lists and live results
The real drama in semifinals are not at the front, but at the fringes of qualifying. Looking good in a semi only has so much meaning, and if a favorite struggles to qualify then they are no longer the favorite. In the team race, it’s all about getting as many qualifiers as possible.

Pole Vault

Begins at 5:00pm local time (8:00pm ET) and will last a good long time.
Start list & live results
The favorite: Lexi Weeks, Arkansas
Weeks is just a freshman but won the NCAA indoor title and has lost to collegians just once, at the Texas Relays.
The challenger: Megan Clark, Duke
Clark was second at the NCAA indoor championships and has the year’s second best mark among collegians.
Team implications: This is big. Arkansas has three entries in sisters Lexi and Tori Weeks plus Ariel Voskamp, and Texas has two in Kally Long and Ali Uhle.
Key indicators: If swirling winds make things hard today like they did for the men yesterday, who will be able to adjust the best?

Javelin Throw

5:45pm local time (8:45pm ET)
Start list & live results
The favorite: Maggie Malone, Texas A&M
Malone finished ninth at last year’s NCAAs but has made a giant leap this year, adding eight meters to her PR and running the table in her six meets.
The challenger: Hannah Carson, Texas Tech
Carson was runner-up at last year’s NCAAs and has the year’s best throw.
Team implications: Texas A&M needs big points here from Maggie and Audrey Malone (unrelated) and Madalaine Stulce.

Long Jump

Begins at 6:00pm local time (6:00pm ET)
Start list & live results
The favorite: Quanesha Burks, Alabama
Burks puts up the best distances, and swept the indoor NCAAs and indoor & outdoor SECs.
The challenger: Keturah Orji, Georgia
Orji is a star triple jumper who could surprise.
Team implications: Arkansas has two long shots to score in Taliya Brooks and Kelsey Herman.

Shot Put

Begins at 6:30pm local time (9:30pm ET)
Start list & live results
The favorite: Raven Saunders, Ole Miss
Saunders is a record-setting thrower but she bombed at the indoor NCAAs and finished 12th. Don’t expect that to happen again.
The challenger: Nikki Okwelogu, Harvard
Okwelogu may be the best of those chasing Saunders but likely will be far behind.
Team implications: Oregon really needs some points from Brittany Mann.
Key indicators: Saunders could end this in the first round.

10,000 meters

7:08pm local time (10:08pm ET)
Start list & live results
The favorite: none
Nobody sticks out as head and shoulders above the rest. Now that defending champion Molly Seidel is injured, this one is up for grabs.
The challengers: Dominique Scott, Arkansas; Chelsea Blaase, Tennessee; Alice Wright, New Mexico
All of the above are strong runners. Blaase is the SEC champion, and the other two were 3rd and 5th at the NCAA cross country championships.
Team implications: Of the major contenders, only Arkansas has a qualifier (Scott) and she could win it.
Key indicators: Scott has the best kick, which means somebody else may decide they don’t want it to come down to a kick.

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