We’re a week away from the U.S. Open in Madison Square Garden. So it still seems like the indoor season really hasn’t gotten under way yet. But there are a couple of meets this weekend in College Station,Texas and Gainesville, Florida that should provide a good show ahead of the bright lights on Broadway.
The first is the indoor dual between Texas A&M and LSU on Saturday. Both schools are perennial powers indoors and outdoors, and should be in the running for this year’s Indoor Championships. The USTFCCCA (U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association) preseason rankings have LSU #3 men and #2 women; and A&M #12 men and #14 women. Of course head to head the competition between the two will be intense, as neither program likes to lose. A number of athletes preseason ranked in the top 10 in their events collegiately will be on display – especially on the women’s side:
Texas A&M – Prezel Hardy (60), Joey Roberts (800),4×4 men, 4×4 women
LSU – Caleb Williams (400), 4×4 men, Marcus McGehee (pole vault), Damar Forbes (LJ), Kyron Blaise (TJ), Michael Lauro (Weight Throw), Semoy Hackett (60/200), Kimberlyn Duncan (60/200), Rebecca Alexander (200/400), Cassandra Tate (400), Charlene Lipsey (800), Jasmine Stowers (60H), 4×4 women
So I would expect to see both some good competition as well as solid early season marks coming out of College Station tomorrow. And the meet will be broadcast on the Texas A&M network online!
The second meet of note should be the Gator Invite in Gainesville Florida on Sunday – home of the men’s defending NCAA Champions. The Gators are loaded, with two men on the preseason Bowerman Watch list – Jeff Demps (sprints) and Tony McQuay (sprints) – as well as a solid contingent of individuals preseason ranked in the top 10 in their events:
Jeff Demps (60), Tony McQuay (200/400), Eddie Lovett (60H), 4×4 men, Dwight Barbiasz (HJ), Omar Craddock (TJ), Kemal Mesic (Shot), Gray Horn (Hep), Cory McGee (mile), 4×4 women
The meet will predominately feature schools from the state of Florida: Florida A&M, Univ of Central Florida, North Florida, Florida Atlantic, Jacksonville, et al; as well as schools like Bethune Cookman, Georgia Southern, Embry Riddle, Albany State and others. The meet does have several open competitors as well, however. Among those on the start lists are Justin Gatlin, Kelli Wells, Churandy Martina, David Oliver, Ladji Doucoure, and Dwight Thomas – giving the meet a touch of elite flavor.
The elites will be looking to set down good performances ahead of the U.S. Open next weekend – so the possibility exists for some outstanding times to come out of this meet. And for those of us who are chomping at the bits, it will be a good chance to begin to get in the groove of the indoor season. With some luck, there will be much to talk about come Monday.