Lots and lots of high level action this weekend! Let’s start with Chris Solinsky. He opened eyes last year with his outdoor opener in the 100000 where he turned in a new AR becoming the first American under 27 minutes. In his indoor opener in Seattle this weekend he turned in a world leading 3:54.52 in the mile – setting a new personal best in the process. I’m loving the range – from mile to 10000 – because it indicates that he just might be able to hold on in that final sprint in the 5000/10000 come this summer!
Speaking of range, Marshevet Myers hasn’t long jumped since her collegiate days when she sprinted and jumped at Texas. Her 22’ 6” leap at the Tyson Invitational gave her the #2 mark on the season and moved her into #4 all time American indoors. Already a major threat to make the US team in the 100 meters, Myers is starting to look like a threat in the long jump as well as only Brittney Reese among current US long jumpers is in that class. It will be interesting to see if she continues jumping during the outdoor campaign.
Also showing readiness for the outdoor season is last year‘s US AOY David Oliver who took the first head to head against Liu Xiang (CHN) with a 7.40 victory in Karlsruhe (Liu 3rd in 7.55). While a win this time of year is relatively meaningless, take note that Liu was near his indoor PR (7.42) set back 2007 – in Karlsruhe of all places – and is clearly on his way back. So any psychological advantage that can be gained is welcome. Oliver is still in the groove that he ended last year with, and Liu seems to be working his way into one. Expect some serious battles by the time we get outdoors.
Kellie Wells (US) also continued her fine indoor campaign in Karlsruhe, running a world leading 7.82 in the women’s hurdle event. Wells now has the top six times in the world this indoor season and is .16 sec faster indoors than ever before – which could mean a new PR (currently 12.53) outdoors. She’ll be one to watch once the under cover season is over.
Regarding athletes to keep an eye on, several were on display in Fayetteville at the Tyson Invitational. I’ve already mentioned Myers in the long jump. In the men’s high jump Kansas State soph Erik Kynard leapt 7’ 7.75”. We could use another high jumper as only Dusty Jonas was equal outdoors last year among Americans. So Kynard going 2.33m is very good news.
We also saw the reemergence of Torrin Lawrence (US) in the 400 meters in Fayetteville as he ran a world leading 45.82. Lawrence must love the Fayetteville track because he ran a sizzling 45.03 there last year. we didn’t see much of him outdoors however due to injury. Lawrence clearly has potential, the question is will we see him emerge as a threat to Jeremy Wariner and Lashawn Merritt or will he be another Martin McGrady – strictly an undercover guy! The Fayetteville oval was hot as Rondell Bartholomew (GRN, 45.84) and Tony Mc Quay (US, 45.95) turned in efforts in their heats that were also under the previous world best.
All in all another very solid weekend. Things should get VERY hot shortly as the indoor season will be winding down in the next few weeks. Collegiate conference meets, NCAA championships, various National Championships and then European Indoor Champs will all be here and done within the next few weeks. Things should get very exciting!