The CHill Zone of T&F: Conway's View From the Finish Line

Mt SAC Match Ups

Apr 17th, 2012
1:23 pm PDT

Relay Shadow rightWhat’s a sign that this is an Olympic year? That the Mt SAC Relays are loaded. Several fields have multiple world class/ranked athletes scheduled to compete, and the overall level of athletes is as high as I’ve seen in a while.

Below is my list of names and events that I think deserve more than a causal look – and there are plenty. This could end up being one of those “memorable” meets. So much so that that I expect that we’ll have LOTS to talk about when this meet is over. For example,  take a look at the men’s 400 where Jeremy Wariner will be competing against US indoor leader Gill Roberts and USC’s Joey Hughes.  Wariner looked good early,  but has seemed to fallen off a bit the last couple weeks.  Roberts and Hughes should provide a legitimate test of where Wariner is at this point in his preparation – not to mention just what kind of competition they may provide in June.

Then there’s Carmelia Jeter who after taking the world lead in the deuce last weekend lines up in the 100 this week – will we see the first sub11 of the season? That’s highly possible with Blessing Okagbare and Bianca Knight in the field.  It will be nice to see Knight early on with the recent news about Marshevet Myers. She needs to compete well against Jeter, if for no other reason than to boost her own morale. Similarly I’m looking forward to seeing Lauryn Williams who will be in the 200 – something in the 22.7 range would be nice from Lauryn at this point of the season.

In the mid distances we get an early look at Charles Jock in the 800. The front running Jock has a good shot at making the London team in my opinion and the Matchups between he and Casimir Loxsom could be a preview of things to come – a classic front runner v kicker race. The same sort of race that we should get from the women’s race with Christin Wurth Thomas dropping down for some speed work against Olympic 800 hopefuls Maggie Vessey and Alice Schmidt – both of whom should be factors in Eugene. Indoors Vessey looked like she might be willing to abandon her WAY back in the pack running style. If she does she could improve on her PR 1:57.84 because she’s certainly strong enough and has the foot speed.

And the traveling Alan Webb show is making a stop in SoCal this weekend. Personally I think Webb is a long way from being a real topic of conversation at this point, but over a decade after his amazing senior year in high school he still generates conversation over his potential. His AR 3:46.91 mile will be five years old in July and Webb will be 30 next January,  we’re looking more at a window closing at this point than realizing potential. Realistically Webb needs to be well under 4:00 this weekend to warrant more conversation.

Mt SAC isn’t necessarily known for it’s distance fields, but this year they have Dathan Ritzenhein in the men’s 5000 as he looks to prepare for what looks like a bid for the London 10,000 squad. And the women’s 5000 has several top level middle distance runners – Jenny Simpson, Christin Wurth Thomas, and Anna Pierce – scheduled to take on Molly Huddle and Sara Hall. THAT could be a very interesting race.

We will also see some hurdlers in Mt SAC that that will be looking to get into the conversation. We will get our first look a 110H World champion Jason Richardson as he goes up against Omo Osaghae, Ryan Wilson and decathlete Ashton Eaton. With the hurdle field looking to be perhaps the toughest ever at the Trials, Richardson will want to run well and lay down a solid mark – and this field is strong enough that it could take something in the 13.10/13.20 range to claim victory. We’ll also get our first look at Angelo Taylor in the 400H this year. Bershawn Jackson, Jeshua Anderson, and Johnny Dutch are all under 49 seconds this year. We’ll see what form Taylor is in as he’ll need a 48.xx to keep pace with the competition in what should also be a deep field in Eugene.

There will be a lot of top level athletes in the field, though the overall fields are exceptionally deep. It will give us a chance to see some of our best field eventers however, like Kibwe Johnson, Erik Kynard, Brittney Reese, Michelle Carter and Jill Camarena Williams.

I’m also going to be taking a strong look at a community college athlete. Back in 1976 San Jose City College Sprinter got on a roll – and stayed there. He ended up winning the US Olympic Trials 200 in a Community College Record 20.10, and eventually won silver in Montreal behind sprint legend Don Quarrie. This year Diondre Batson (American River College), another Northern California kid, is blazing hot early having run 10.27 / 20.89, with a windy 20.53 (2.8) this past weekend in the Community College portion of this meet – all done while running away from the competition. This weekend he gets to taste the “big time”, especially in the 200 where he gets to take the track against Richard Thompson, Saidi Ndure, and Jeremy Dodson. If this young man ends up having a good run at the Trials, it might just start here at Mt SAC.

Below is my “watch list” for the meet. It should be a good one.

  • 100 – Christian Malcolm,  Ahmad Rashad,  Diondre Batson
  • 400 – Gil Roberts,  Jeremy Wariner, Joey Hughes
  • 800 – Casmir Loxsom, Charles Jock
  • Mile – Alan Webb, Andy Baddeley
  • 5000 – Dathan Ritzenhein
  • 110H – Jason Richardson, Omo Osaghae, Ashton Eaton, Ryan Wilson
  • 400H – Angelo Taylor, Michael Tinsley, Reggie Wyatt
  • HJ – Andra Manson,  Erik Kynard
  • Ham – Kibwe  Johnson
  • 100 – Carmelita Jeter, Blessing Okagbare, Bianca Knight
  • 200 – Lauryn Williams
  • 400 – Keshia Baker,  Nicola  Sanders
  • 800 – Maggie Vessey,  Alice Schmidt,  Christin Wurth Thomas
  • 5000 – Molly Huddle,  Anna Pierce,  Christin Wurth Thomas,  Jenny Simpson,  Sara Hall
  • LJ  – Brittney Reese
  • TJ – Amanda Smock
  • Shot – Michelle Carter,  Jill Camarena  Williams
  • Open 200 – Jeremy Dodson,  Richard Thompson, Saidi  Ndure , Diondre Batson

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3 Responses to “Mt SAC Match Ups”

  1. Anderson says:

    You skipped over the Elite 100m which has Walter Dix, Mike Rodgers, Saidi Ndure, and Ryan Baliey

    • CHill says:

      I didn’t see that when I was going through the list .. Thanks for pointing that out .. That Dix, Rodgers, Bailey matchup could be a third of the Eugene final ..Would be nice to see a sub10 come out of that race ..

  2. Mike M. says:

    It should be a great meet, but I have one complaint. It is not spectator friendly at all. It looks like the elite section of the race is spread out over 6+ hours on Saturday. While I love track and field and I live in the Los Angeles area, I’m not sure I can spare an entire day to watch a dozen great races when there are dozens of heats in between them. I’ll probably end up going to the distance carnival Friday night and catching the highlights from Saturday on the internet.

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