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

Early Season Thoughts

Jan 18th, 2022
3:41 pm PST

Hear ye, hear ye. The 2022 season has begun! A slew of indoor invitationals have got things finally going. And while we’re a couple of weeks away from the “elite” invites. We’ve away gotten some pretty outstanding results coming in. Enough for me to say that 2022 could be an even better year statistically than last year! Some thoughts from this weekend.

Matt Boling – I’m going to start with this young man because it seems he always ends up under a microscope. His opener was exciting for me, because of his long jump win. Exciting because he lept 8.25m (27′ 0.75″). As good a sprinter that he is, that makes him a world class jumper. In an event that seems devoid of high quality competitors, he could immediately be a threat to go to Worlds for the US. So it will be interesting to see if this becomes a “focus” for Matt.

Aleia Hobbs – After a “down” year last year, Hobbs opens up at 7.10 in the 60. A nice time for the end of indoors, let alone to open. The US was not a factor last year in the women’s 100. We had one finalist in Tokyo, but no medals. And we’re routinely defeated by the Jamaicans and others on the circuit. Hobbs’ PR of 10.85, puts her in a position to be competitive. If she can improve on that by 0.10, she could be in the mix in the bigger events. Her 60 opener indicates that that could be possible.

Jacory Patterson – Patterson is a transfer from VA Tech to Florida. He was sub 45 at Tech but was up and down on the year. He opened up in Clemson at 31.99 over 300 – a collegiate record! And he did so looking very relaxed and in control! The men’s 400 is another event that was “down” last year. So watching a young quartermiler run at this level in January, with control. Gives me hope that 2022 is going to correct the “blip” of 2021.

Randolph Ross – Ross ran 43.85 last year to win the Olympic Trials. Then looked poorly in Tokyo. He just opened at 45.35 indoors. Very flid looking race. We know this young man can run the quarter. The question is can he be consistent at it. This opener is great but a long way from July. I hope he’s ready.

Micah Williams and Terrance Jones – Williams (6.48), and Jones (6.45) have the internet buzzing with some very fast 60’s. Jones looked to get a bit of home cooking with a potential false start that wasn’t called. Williams did what Williams does – start like second coming of Houston McTear. Perhaps a prelude of a fast year on the horizon. Dying to see how both run in subsequent races. And just how fast some of our elites run indoors.

Athing Mu – Opens up her season with a mile. She made it lood easy at 4:37.99. All I can say is that she has range! That and I think that she just touched to beginning of her talent last year. The World Indoor record in the 800 is 1:55.82; American Indoor record is 1:58.29. Ms Mu ran 1:58.40 last year, so I’m going to say that the American Record is toast. That WR is a bit tougher, but I do believe is in reach. Not sure how many races she is going to run indoors, but I’m dying to see how fast she is going to run.

Indoors is fun to watch, but lengthens the year. Collegians run because it’s part of the schedule. Elite athletes run for various reasons, but it’s usually a part of “training” more than a goal like college. That said, a few athletes I hope we get a glimpse of:

Fred Kerley – I’m curious to see Fred in the “shortest” sprint. He obviously did well in the 100, would like to see him work on that first 30-40 for outdoors. Because I don’t think Fred is going back to the quarter any time soon. So, if he’s going to dominate, let’s go do that.

Sha’Carri Richardson – I want to see her competing because I think it helps calm her down. She’s a compeitor that needs to be competing – and working on her start wouldn’t be a bad thing either!

Grant Holloway – I just like watching him compete to be honest. That, and I personally would like to see him get even more control of that speed and technique. He can run obviously break the outdoor record. That journey starts here in my humble opinion.

Gabby Thomas – In my opinion, right now Gabby is our best chance to beat the Jamaican women at any distance. Gabby is a strong finisher, and I hope she continues to do whatever got her there. Her start suck however, and I’d really like to see her in some 60’s to get that more competitive! Becasue I think she has the ability to run 10.7x with a decent start.

Fun to finally get to watch track again! Many of the collegiate meets stream online. And the top elite meets find their way to TV or online. If these early meets are any indication, this is going to be a fun season!






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