2011 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Men's Preview

With No Middle-Distance Or Long-Distance Runners Back To Defend Their Individual Crowns, One Should Expect A Totally Loaded, Wide-Open Affair Worthy Of A Texas Shootout

*LRC Womens Preview *NCAA Schedule *NCAA Entrants *NCAA Men's Start List *NCAA Women's Start List *2011 NCAA Results *Watch Live Starting At 3:55 pm ET Friday *Watch Live Starting At 4:55 pm ET Saturday

By: Letsrun.com
March 10, 2011

The 2011 NCAA Men's Indoor Track & Field Championships take place this weekend and mayhem may result. What do we mean? Well, we mean that nearly every mid-d or distance event is impossible to predict. It seems like the depth of the performances on the men's side are at an all-time high. Everyone who makes the meet nowadays is pretty much a stud, as you had to run 1:48.08, 3:59.03, 7:54.42, and 13:49.05 to just make the meet. Add the fact that none of last year's champions in the 800, mile, 3,000 or 5,000 are back to defend their crowns from last year and you've got some wide-open races. We guess that's only fitting - a shootout that would make a cowboy in the Wild West proud - down in the great state of Texas.

But no worries. We break things down for you below and give you at the very least a nice guide which should make watching the meet much more enjoyable. Below we break down the 800, mile, 3,000, 5,000 and the distance medley for you as well as the overall team battle.

Men's 800: Somebody Has To Win


Robby Andrews Winning Last Year

Only one guy from the last year's final is even entered in the 800 at the meet this year, so to say this event is wide open is an understatement. Defending champion Robby Andrews hasn't competed for UVA all year, runner-up Andy Wheating graduated, and the potential top returner in third-placer Ryan Foster of Penn State has opted for the mile. Moreover, the one returning finalist, Zach Mellon of Wisconsin, is only a sophomore. 16 guys made the field and all of them have run between 1:47.02 and 1:48.08 this year.

In terms of a favorite, it's almost impossible to say. Oregon sophomore Elijah Greer comes in as the top seed with the 1:47.02 clocking that he earned at the Huskie invite on February 11th. In that race, Greer defeated Mellon as well as three other NCAA participants, including two finalists from last year's outdoor meet in UCLA senior Cory Primm (5th outdoors last year) and Alabama senior Fred Samoei (8th last year outdoors). However, despite that impressive win, we don't consider him to be the favorite at all, as he was 0 for 2 in qualifying for finals at NCAAs last year. He needs to prove to us he's good in tactical races before we pick him in a big event.

Even though a freshman won this event last year (Robby Andrews of Virginia, who isn't running this year), experience is often a big factor at NCAAs - particularly in the 800 - so Primm should not be overlooked, as he's also got the best outdoor PR of anyone in the field at 1:45.70. In that light, senior Michael Rutt of Connecticut will likely be a big player in our minds. Early in the indoor season, Rutt lost the lead in the 4 x 800 at Millrose to a freshman from UVA not named Andrews (eventual ACC champion Anthony Kostelac, who didn't qualify for NCAAs), but he has been coming on strong of late.

Others to look for include Georgia junior Aaron Evans, who was third last year at NCAA outdoors. Evans was one of the last guys into the field at 1:48.07, but he finished just behind Samoei at SECs. Last year's world junior silver medalist Casimir Loxsom of Penn State also is a name to watch, but after opening up the season in red-hot fashion, he lost the Big 10 600 final to fellow sophomore Harun Abda, who also is in the field. Loxsom, like Greer, was 0 for 2 last year in making NCAA finals as a freshman. To win it, you have to be in it.

LRC's Take: Pick a name out of a hat and your prediction may be as good as that of any "expert." That being said, we think it's way more likely that the seniors Rutt and Primm are top three finishers than just about anyone else. Let's go with some East coast bias - Rutt for the win.

2011 NCAA Participants - Men's 800
1 Elijah Greer SO Oregon 1:47.02
2 Michael Preble JR Texas A&M 1:47.27
3 Chris Carrington SO George Mason 1:47.30
4 Cory Primm SR UCLA 1:47.31
5 Casimir Loxsom SO Penn State 1:47.36
6 Michael Rutt SR Connecticut 1:47.41
7 Fred Samoei SR Alabama 1:47.41
8 Joey Roberts JR Texas A&M 1:47.54
9 Zach Beth SR Wisconsin 1:47.71
10 Zach Mellon SO Wisconsin 1:47.87
11 Sharif Webb SR Kentucky 1:47.91
12 Harun Abda SO Minnesota 1:47.95
13 Erik Sowinski JR Iowa 1:47.98
14 Joe Abbott JR Washington St 1:48.05
15 Aaron Evans JR Georgia 1:48.07
16 Chuol Dey SO Arkansas 1:48.08

2010 NCAA Indoor Results - Men's 800 Results

1 Robby Andrews FR Virginia 1:48.39
2 Andrew Wheating SR Oregon 1:48.40
3 Ryan Foster JR Penn State 1:48.79
4 Richard Jones JR LSU 1:48.92
5 Zach Mellon FR Wisconsin 1:49.08
6 Jamaal James SR LSU 1:49.21
7 Jack Howard SR Notre Dame 1:49.48
8 Owen Dawson JR Penn State 1:49.59

Men's Mile: The Lee Emanuel Domination Comes To An End (Via Retirement)

Track and Field: NCAA Championships

The milers will be glad that Lee Emanuel of the University of New Mexico is gone.

This, like the 800, is a tough race to predict for a number of reasons. For starters, the men's mile is loaded, as for the first time that we can remember (and we're assuming in history) a sub-4 miler didn't even make the field this year (Butler senior Kris Gauson is the unluckiest man alive, as he went sub-4 over the weekend - 3:59.74 to be exact - and didn't make it into the meet). Then you add in the fact that two-time champion Lee Emanuel of New Mexico, who absolutely put on a clinic that last two years, is gone. All of that and the top two returners from last year were freshmen in Oregon's Mac Fleet and Montana State's Patrick Casey (redshirt freshman), so you've got a hard one to predict.

Fleet, who is coming back from injury, isn't in the same type of form that he was in last year and thus we don't expect him to contend for the win, although he seemingly is getting better by the week. He was the last guy accepted into the field at 3:59.03.

Casey, on the other hand, comes in as the top seed based on 2011 performances. His 3:59.76 solo mile victory at altitude equates to 3:54.59 according to the NCAA. After that mile, he ran a 1:47.67 800 PR a week later. Those are very impressive performances and would make him tough to beat. However, at the Big Sky championships he seemed mortal, as he only was sixth when he tripled back into the open 800 after winning the mile and running a leg on the victorious DMR. Still, he certainly will be expected to be a big player in the final on Saturday.

Maine junior Riley Masters is the only other top-seven guy that is back from last year. Masters was fifth last year and comes in after having run 3:58.17 in Boston, in a race that was won by Binghamton senior Erik van Ingen, who can't be discounted.

There are newcomers to NCAAs might also contend for the win. Tulsa sophomore Chris O'Hare of Great Britain comes into the race undefeated on the season, with a 3:56.48 personal best. However, he's come a long way in a single year (from 3:46 in the 1,500 last year) and thus we think he's probably a year away from contending. The other newcomer to NCAAs is someone who very well might walk away with a victory in his first appearance. Florida junior Dumisane Hlaselo comes in with the third best seed thanks to the 3:56.84 he ran in Washington. Hlaselo, a junior, just joined the NCAA ranks this year after a stellar junior career in South Africa, where he ran 3:38 for 1,500. He's more than a year-and-a-half older than O'Hare (21 versus 20) and much more experienced and really just running at his expected level given his pedigree prior to coming to UF. At the SEC championships, he pulled off the incredibly difficult 3,000/mile double in one of the nation's toughest conferences.

The fastest collegian in terms of actual miles run this year (and not altitude conversions) is BYU junior Miles Batty. The 23-year-old is enjoying a fine junior campaign, as he was 15th at NCAA cross in the fall before being the top collegian in the mile at UW, behind only Chris Solinsky. In that race, Batty defeated Hlaselo by 1.05 seconds. One thing to think about with Batty is that he (and Mac Fleet) also will be running the DMR, so he may be a bit tired when the final rolls around.

If the race is tactical, watch out for Penn State's Ryan Foster, who was third in the 800 last year. Ohio State's Cory Leslie is the one sub-3:58 guy we haven't talked about but that's because he was just fourth at Big 10s.

LRC's Take: It's not fair if Florida wins the team title without some major distance points. Look for Hlaselo to contend along with Masters and Batty, but we'll go with the East Coast bias (again) and take van Ingen for the win. Heck, he trains only 45 minutes from LRC headquarters. We're picking him as if he wins, Binghamton grad Tony Kornheiser had better mention the race on our favorite show - ESPN's Pardon The Interruption.

2011 NCAA Participants - Men's Mile
1 Patrick Casey SO Montana State 3:54.59
2 Miles Batty JR BYU 3:55.79
3 Chris O'Hare SO Tulsa 3:56.48
4 Dumisane Hlaselo JR Florida 3:56.84
5 Erik van Ingen SR Binghamton 3:57.11
6 Cory Leslie JR Ohio State 3:57.97
7 Matthew Gibney SR Villanova 3:58.12
8 Riley Masters JR Maine 3:58.17
9 Rich Peters FR Boston U. 3:58.26
10 Michael Hammond JR Virginia Tech 3:58.41
11 Ryan Foster SR Penn State 3:58.49
12 James Cameron SO Washington 3:58.51
13 Julian Matthews JR Providence 3:58.57
14 Jeff Thode SO Iowa 3:58.72
15 Duncan Phillips JR Arkansas 3:58.82
16 Mac Fleet SO Oregon 3:59.03

2010 NCAA Indoor Results - Men's Mile

1 Lee Emanuel SR New Mexico 3:59.26
2 Mac Fleet FR Oregon 4:01.63
3 Patrick Casey FR Montana State 4:01.87
4 A.J. Acosta SR Oregon 4:02.27
5 Riley Masters SO Maine 4:04.29
6 Jeff See SR Ohio State 4:04.34
7 Rob Mullett SR Butler 4:04.63
8 Dylan Ferris SO Stanford 4:04.73
9 Eric Harasyn JR Oklahoma 4:04.94
10 Abdi Hassan SO Arizona 4:05.36

Men's 3,000: 20 NCAA Auto Qualifiers Will Battle It Out

Track and Field: Tyson Invitational-Invitational Division

  Photo: 2009 and 2010 NCAA cross-country champion Samuel Chelanga is looking for his first NCAA indoor titles.

If you look at the official NCAA descending order list for the meet, you'll find two-time reigning NCAA cross-country champion Sam Chelanga is seeded number four at 7:50.92, as the NCAA in its brilliance won't allow Chelanga's 7:48.24 race at a meet on national television count as an NCAA qualifier. Don't worry, we've listed him at number one.

Anyway, Chelanga (who BTW is 26 years old - for those of you who say we only point out the age of old Mormons, that's for you) is in the field and he has run faster than everyone, but that doesn't mean we think he'll win. The 3,000 is often tactical (see last year's results) and we don't see Chelanga hammering it home for the title. Chelanga is really a long distance guy. Chelanga, the collegiate record holder at 10,000, didn't even attempt the 5,000/3,000 double last year. He was content to just run the 5,000, where he was second to NAU's David McNeill. In cross-country, he normally runs away from everyone early, but that's not really possible in the 3,000. As crazy good as Chelanga is, one needs to realize he's never even won an NCAA 5,000-meter title, so it's hard to see him winning the 3,000 - particularly after running the 5,000 the night before.

Plus, we've heard Chelanga himself jokingly say he's not tough like, say, his former teammate Josh McDougal, who once completed the IC4A 10,000, 5,000 and 1,500 triple. Even if he was totally fresh, we think Chelanga would have a real hard time winning the 3,000 unless it was a rabbitted affair. As it is, we think he'll be a bit content after having likely won the 5,000 the night before.

So who will win?

Before we get to that, can we congratulate the 20 guys in the NCAA who auto-qualified this year by running the equivalent of 7:54.42 or faster. Totally ridiculous.

As for who will win, we'll start by saying that if we could tell you after the first day of NCAAs, we'd have a better idea, as many of the top players are also anchoring the men's DMR on Friday night, so we'll see then how everyone stacks up.

Indiana's Andrew Bayer is the only guy besides Chelanga who has gone under 7:50 this year. He also is the top returner from last year. He also is one of three Indiana Hoosiers in the race (that's also ridiculous).

Bayer and Matt Centrowitz of Oregon and Lawi Lalang of Arizona and Elliott Heath of Stanford and Justin Tyner of Air Force and Ben Blankenship of Minnesota will all butt heads in the DMR the night before (although we don't think Heath will run the DMR, 3,000 and 5,000 - probably just the 3,000 and 5,000). In the DMR (see our DMR preview farther down), we are expecting to possibly see Lalang and Centrowitz battle at the end and it will be great to see the rematch here. If Lalang and Arizona somehow pull the shocker and win the DMR, look for history to repeat itself here, as we have a new star on our hands.

However, that's not likely to happen. As a result, this meet might be the coming out party for Matt Centrowitz on the national stage, as he's got a great last 200 and he may kick home for the title here after anchoring the DMR the night before. At the UW qualifying meet, Centrowitz was the top collegian, beating nearly half of the guys entered in the 3,000 - nine - at NCAAs this year, including many of the other top contenders like Ryan Hill of NC State (#4 seed).

One guy who isn't running the DMR is Oklahoma State junior German Fernandez. If Fernandez hadn't run a vastly subpar 4:03 mile last weekend at a last chance meet, we'd probably pick him for the win, as he's a 3:55 miler who just obliterated the field in the mile at Big 12s two weeks ago.

Stanford's Elliott Heath is someone that comes into the race not having lost in 2011, as he destroyed Lalang earlier in the year in Arkansas. But he, like Chelanga, may be a bit tired from some heavy duty the night before.

LRC's Take: Bayer did well last year as a redshirt freshman after running the DMR the night before. He will be tough to beat, but Centrowitz may have a better finishing kick if he's still there in the last lap. 1) Bayer 2) Centrowitz 3) Heath

2011 NCAA Participants - Men's 3,000
1 Sam Chelanga SR Liberty 7:48.24
2 Andrew Bayer SO Indiana 7:48.35
3 Matthew Centrowitz JR Oregon 7:50.59
4 Ryan Hill SO NC State 7:50.78
5 Leonard Korir JR Iona 7:51.40
6 Diego Estrada SO Northern Arizona 7:52.18
7 Elliott Heath JR Stanford 7:52.27
8 Maverick Darling SO Wisconsin 7:52.31
9 Ben Blankenship JR Minnesota 7:52.52
10 Riley Masters JR Maine 7:53.11
11 Colton Tully-Doyle SR Washington 7:53.13
12 David McCarthy JR Providence 7:53.33
13 Andrew Poore JR Indiana 7:53.81
14 German Fernandez JR Oklahoma State 7:53.82
15 Reed Connor SO Wisconsin 7:53.88
16 Justin Tyner SR Air Force 7:53.91
17 Ross Millington SO New Mexico 7:54.08
18 Lawi Lalang FR Arizona 7:54.32
19 Ben Hubers JR Indiana 7:54.37
20 Thomas Farrell SO Oklahoma State 7:54.42

2010 NCAA Indoor Results - Men's 3,000

1 Dorian Ulrey SR Arkansas 8:10.52
2 David McNeill JR Northern Arizona 8:10.96
3 Andrew Bayer FR Indiana 8:11.19
4 Brandon Bethke SR Arizona State 8:11.61
5 Craig Miller SR Wisconsin 8:12.15
6 Rory Fraser SR New Mexico 8:12.88
7 Chris Rombough SR Minnesota 8:15.11
8 Andrew Poore SO Indiana 8:15.76
9 Justin Marpole-Bird SR Stanford 8:16.04
10 Matthew Leeder JR Florida State 8:17.44
11 Mark Matusak SR California 8:18.55
12 Lee Emanuel SR New Mexico 8:19.35
13 Michael Coe JR California 8:20.80
14 Luke Puskedra SO Oregon 8:22.47
DNF Jeff See SR Ohio State

Men's 5,000: Will Chelanga Earn His First Indoor Title?

Two-time NCAA cross-country champion Sam Chelanga comes into this event as the favorite but it needs to be remembered that's he's never won an NCAA title at 5,000 meters. The collegiate record holder at 10,000 is way better suited for 25 400-meter laps than 25 200-meter laps.

Look for Chelanga to try to run away from the field, but if he can't do it, a number of people might pull off the upset if it's close at the end. Two fellow Kenyans will be in the mix if Chelanga falters, as Arizona junior Stephen Sambu pushed Chelanga in cross-country last fall and is a leading contender here again. Iona's Leonard Korir also can't be ignored, as he's the number three seed. Korir has only lost once all winter and that was to Stanford's Elliot Heath, who is undefeated for the year. Heath defeated both Korir and Sambu when he ran his 13:37.77 to qualify. Heath has also got a great kick, but it's hard to imagine someone who was 42nd at NCAA cross-winning the 5,000; however, he might be the most likely candidate in our mind if Chelanga falters. Heath's teammate, Chris Derrick, the three-time top-ten finisher at NCAA cross-country, is also in the field, but he's not in top form and was the last qualifier.

LRC's Take: Everyone except us will be stunned when Heath pulls the upset. 1) Heath 2) Chelanga

2011 NCAA Participants - Men's 5,000
1 Sam Chelanga SR Liberty 13:37.55
2 Elliott Heath JR Stanford 13:37.77
3 Leonard Korir JR Iona 13:40.62
4 Stephen Sambu JR Arizona 13:41.57
5 Diego Estrada SO Northern Arizona 13:42.64
6 Maverick Darling SO Wisconsin 13:43.04
7 Mohammed Ahmed SO Wisconsin 13:43.96
8 Ben Hubers JR Indiana 13:44.93
9 George Alex JR Oklahoma 13:45.32
10 Andrew Poore JR Indiana 13:45.33
11 Luke Puskedra JR Oregon 13:46.70
12 Kevin Schwab SO Oklahoma 13:47.59
13 Miles Unterreiner JR Stanford 13:48.13
14 Mohamud Ige SR Arizona 13:48.15
15 David Adams SR Nebraska 13:48.78
16 Chris Derrick SO Stanford 13:49.05

2011 NCAA Participants - Men's 5,000

1 David McNeill JR Northern Arizona 13:36.41
2 Sam Chelanga JR Liberty 13:37.01
3 Justin Tyner JR Air Force 13:41.26
4 Chris Barnicle SR New Mexico 13:43.20
5 Jon Grey SR William and Mary 13:46.12
6 Festus Kigen JR TCU 13:50.21
7 Elliott Heath SO Stanford 13:51.00
8 Colby Lowe SO Oklahoma State 13:54.90
9 Luke Puskedra SO Oregon 13:57.98
10 Jake Riley JR Stanford 13:59.85
11 Ryan Collins SO Virginia 14:06.98
12 Rory Fraser SR New Mexico 14:07.77
13 Scott MacPherson SR Arkansas 14:30.27
14 Andrew Poore SO Indiana 14:32.09

Men's DMR: There Is A Favorite, But Will Oregon Win?

At last, a mid-d or distance event with a clear favorite (well, we guess Chelanga is the clear favorite in the 5,000, but we just picked him to lose).

The top three teams from last year in Oregon, Arkansas and Minnesota are all entered, but all three of them will be sporting new anchors. One might think that this means this event is wide open, but this is actually a rare distance event where we think there is a clear favorite - Oregon.

Oregon, which is expected to be anchored by Matt Centrowitz, comes in as the big favorite as they've run more than 2 seconds faster than anyone else this year with their 9:26.78 clocking. Theoretically, they'll load up a team that starts with last year's mile runner-up in Mac Fleet at 1,200, then  goes to freshman Mike Betty, who has run 46.67 already this year, then goes to the #1 seed in the 800 in Elijah Greer before being anchored by Centrowitz. Centrowitz displayed great closing speed when he ran 7:50.59 for 3,000 at Washington. The DMR normally comes down to the anchor but with that trio up front, one ponders if Oregon will have a big lead that will enable Centrowitz to cruise to victory.

If Centrowitz can't cruise to the win, things get interesting. The rest of the DMR field looks (as is often the case) as a mini-preview of what one can expect the next day in the men's 3k final, as many teams' DMR anchors often run the 3,000 the next day. In addition to Centrowitz, who is the #2 seed in the 3k, the field also includes 3k #1 seed Andy Bayer of Indiana.

However, in our minds in terms of winning, the only teams one needs to pay attention to are the four teams that broke 9:30 to qualify. The #2-seeded team in this race is Arizona and they should not be overlooked. Abdi Hassan, who ran 3:58 last year for the mile, will lead off and 1:48.43 performer James Eichberger will be totally fresh on the 800 leg, before the race is anchored by 3:59 miler freshman Lawi Lalang of Kenya. Does Lalang sound familiar to you? It should, as he's the brother of 2008 Kenyan Olympian Boaz Lalang, who competed for Rend Lake CC. The problem is Arizona is way slower on the 400 leg, as freshman Sean Delfani has a 48.51 to his name so far this year.

The two other teams that might contend in this race are the two teams that went sub-9:30 earlier this year to qualify. BYU (9:29.13) also is a team to watch as they'll be anchored by 3:55 miler Miles Batty. The problem is we think Batty will have a ton of ground to make up, as BYU will lead off with 1:50/3:46 guy Brian Weirich before running 47.53 man Chris Carter, then going to 1:49.57 man Justin Hedin. Stanford has a 4:00 miler to lead off in John Sullivan before going to a 46 400 guy (Amaechi Morton), and then a 1:48 800 guy (Dylan Ferris) before being anchored by 3:41 performer Elliot Heath. The problem is while Heath is really good, he's truly more of a 5,000 guy (where he's run 13:29).

It should be noted that the top four teams all raced each other at the MPSF championships just a few weeks ago and there Oregon won easily (race video here), as Centro got it with a big lead and was never challenged. The one thing that should make Duck fans nervous is that it's clear that Mac Fleet wasn't in the same form he was in last year when he got 2nd at NCAAs in the mile. He got worked over at the end of the 1,200 by Stanford and Arizona, but Oregon cruised to a big lead thanks to huge 400 and 800 legs. The problem with that scenario is if Fleet fades that much at NCAAs, there will be a lot more traffic to contend with - and all of it on a legit 200 meter track - and things might get dicey.

LRC's Take: Oregon should win, but it's normally hard to run away from the competition in the DMR and if it comes down to the anchor, things could get interesting. How good is this guy Lalang? He seems to be coming on at the right time, as he won the MPSF 3,000 by 2.72 seconds in 7:54.32 and split faster than Centrowtiz on the DMR as well. 1) Arizona 2) Oregon

2011 NCAA Participants - Men's DMR
1 Oregon 9:26.78
2 Arizona 9:28.87
3 BYU 9:29.13
4 Stanford 9:29.22
5 Indiana 9:30.78
6 Arkansas 9:30.85
7 Minnesota 9:31.78
8 New Mexico 9:31.95
9 Notre Dame 9:31.99
10 Air Force 9:32.06
11 Villanova 9:33.50
12 Alabama 9:33.77

2010 NCAA Indoor Results - Men's DMR

1 Oregon 9:36.87 10 1(1)
  A.J. Acosta (SR) 2:57.04 Chad Barlow (SR) 48.39 Travis Thompson (JR) 1:50.22 Andrew Wheating (SR) 4:01.23
2 Arkansas 9:37.53 8 1(2)
  Drew Butler (FR) 2:56.84 Ben Skidmore (SO) 47.26 Chris Bilbrew (JR) 1:49.64 Dorian Ulrey (SR) 4:03.79
3 Minnesota 9:38.09 6 1(3)
  Ben Blankenship (SO) 2:57.17 Logan Stroman (SR) 47.70 Harun Abda (FR) 1:49.64 Chris Rombough (SR) 4:03.59
4 California 9:38.19 5 1(4)
  Mark Matusak (SR) 2:54.68 Tom Blocker (FR) 48.77 Sebastian Sam (SO) 1:48.91 Michael Coe (JR) 4:05.84
5 Eastern Michigan 9:38.44 4 1(5)
  Curtis Vollmar (SR) 2:56.62 Ackeem Forde (SR) 46.72 Blake Figgins (SR) 1:50.36 David Brent (SR) 4:04.75
6 UCLA 9:39.20 3 1(6)
  Scott Crawford (SR) 2:58.66 Quentin Powell (JR) 48.85 Cory Primm (JR) 1:48.97 Marlon Patterson (SR) 4:02.72
7 Indiana 9:39.35 2 1(7)
  De'Sean Turner (JR) 2:57.86 Kind Butler (SO) 47.45 Daniel Stockberger (SO) 1:50.90 Andrew Bayer (FR) 4:03.16
8 Texas 9:39.91 1 1(8)
  Logan Gonzales (JR) 2:57.77 Danzell Fortson (JR) 47.06 Tevas Everett (SR) 1:50.06 Patrick Todd (SO) 4:05.03
9 Villanova 9:39.96 1(9)
  Carl MacKenzie (JR) 2:56.30 Garrett Kroner (SR) 48.06 Cody Harper (JR) 1:51.02 Mathew Mildenhall (FR) 4:04.59
10 Stanford 9:41.90 1(10)
  John Sullivan (JR) 2:57.98 Amaechi Morton (SO) 46.50 Dylan Ferris (SO) 1:51.00 Justin Marpole-Bird (SR) 4:06.44
11 Arizona State 9:44.98 1(11)
  Nectaly Barbosa (JR) 2:58.84 Joel Phillip (SR) 47.51 Mason McHenry (SO) 1:54.08 Brandon Bethke (SR) 4:04.57

Team Battle - Florida Repeats In Dominant Fashion

The top four teams from last year in Florida (57), Oregon (44), Texas A&M (44) and LSU are expected to be the top four teams again this year. The folks at Track and Field News are predicting a Florida rout and we have to agree with them. Florida has a staggering 11 people or relays seeded in the top five of an event (#2 & #5 in 60, tie #1 in 200, #2 in 400, #4 in mile, #3 in 4 x 400, #1, 2 and 3 in triple jump, #5 in shot put, and #4 in heptathlon). In the sprints and triple jump, it seems (barring a disaster) that Florida is guaranteed big, big points, as it's hard to see their top athletes not finishing at least in the top three - even on a bad day. For example, in the 60, Jeff Demps is the defending champion and seeded #2 this year. In the 200, Tony McQuay is tied for the #1 seed, but his mark of 20.61 is .09 faster than the third seed. In 400, McQuay is seeded #2 at 45.21, which is .61 faster than the third seed. In the triple jump, Florida - led by Christian Taylor - has the top three seeds in the country, and Taylor won by almost three full feet last year, so we certainly don't expect him to lose this year. They should easily get to 50 points, which is normally good enough to win - although the 72 that TFN is projecting is an astronomical amount.

Track & Field News Projected Team Score
TEAM SCORES
1. Florida    72
2. LSU     48
3. Texas A&M        38
4. Oregon    32
5. BYU        29

2010 NCAA Indoor Results
TEAM SCORES
1. Florida 57
2. Oregon 44
3. Texas A&M 44
4. LSU 44


A Look Back at NCAA Two Years Ago: Galen Rupp's Coming Out Party And The Missing German Fernandez

Two years ago, the NCAA meet was at Texas A&M and Galen Rupp, already an Olympian and World Championships team member, had his coming out party in our minds. Rupp had finally gotten over the hump the previous fall and won his first NCAA title - the granddaddy of them all, the NCAA XC title - but on the track, he was a guy known for being fast but not with great finishing speed. Not having great finishing speed usually means one thing: not winning. That all changed in 2009. To begin with, for the first time Rupp finally broke four minutes in the mile. An important barrier for sure, but contenders on the world stage break four minutes in their sleep.

At the NCAA meet, Rupp put on a performance that will be remembered forever. On Day 1, he closed in 1:55 to win the 5,000m, and then he came back in the DMR and outkicked all the top milers in the field, including Dorian Ulrey. The closing speed Rupp had lacked for four years was now there. For good measure, he came back the next day and the destroyed the field in the 3k as they raised the white flag, and then added the NCAA outdoor 5k and 10k titles.

Two years ago, there was one NCAA miler Galen Rupp did not outkick, German Fernandez. The young freshman Fernandez had already run an NCAA record 3:55.02, but skipped the NCAA indoor meet to run World Junior Cross-Country.

Thinking of Rupp and Fernandez at NCAAs two years ago got us thinking of comparing their careers when they were both juniors in college. Despite Fernandez's troubles of late, and our concern for him after last week's 4:03 mile, when one looks at the big picture, Fernandez's career looks more favorable than Rupp's at this stage. Fernandez, entering his third year NCAA indoors, not only has the better 5k PR, but he is also much faster and has shown the ability to win shorter races. Rupp did not show that speed until his fourth year. So everyone wanting to give up on Fernandez's longer-term prospects needs to look at a much bigger picture.

  Galen Rupp
(did run 13:37 in HS)
German Fernandez
Freshman 3:44, 7:44, 13:44, 2nd NCAAs 28:15 3:55 NCAA Record Mile, Outdoor 1,500 NCAA Champ, 7:47, 13:25 5k
Sophomore 5th indoor 3k Injured
Junior 3rd indoor 5k, 4th 5k, 2nd 10k 13:30 outdoors, 27:33 10k World Champs Team ???
Redshirt 27:36 Olympics  
2009 Won Everything at NCAAs, 1st Sub-Four Minute Mile, 13:18 5k  

More: *NCAA Schedule *NCAA Entrants *NCAA Men's Start List *NCAA Women's Start List *2011 NCAA Results *Watch Live Starting At 3:55 pm ET Friday *Watch Live Starting At 4:55 pm ET Saturday

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