OREGON IS TAPERING UP FOR THE BIG INDOOR NATIONALS BUT SO IS EVERYBODY ELSE!
I would think he has a better chance of losing the 3000m as it will be his 4th race and Jenkins will have run the 5000m (which shouldn't take an all out effort to win) the previous night, but I won't completely rule out the chances of him losing the mile, which can be more unpredictable.
Are you willing to say who you think will beat him?
McBride is a beast, he's got the time and good tactics, Kemboi is always in the hunt, and has the #1 NCAA time right now, Schnulle PR wise is behind who I would have as 4th, his teammate Andres Arroyo, but Schnulle is a better racer (impressive SEC win this past wknd)
Mile- 1) Cheserek 2) Soratos 3) Kidder
*Chez is really going to have to work for this win, Soratos will push just like he did at Husky Classic, and with Chez already having to run an extra hard mile (DMR anchor) it will be difficult, but I think he'll just nip him in the last 100m, Anthony Rotich hasn't been on his A game like what I saw last year, I'm going to have to give the 3rd spot to Brandon Kidder
3000m- 1) Jenkins 2) Cheserek 3) Campbell
Call me crazy on this one, but I think Jenkins wont have to work that hard in the 5k the night before to win, and with Chez doing 1 easy and 2 hard miles before this 3k, his legs wont be as fresh as Jenkins with a lap to go, and the way Jenkins looked at Millrose, I wouldn't count him out for this win
Campbell looked good 2 years ago, and will do the same here with a solid 3rd place finish, but if Goeghegan recovers well from the 5k, Elkaim I believe will be fresh leading into this, could this be an Oregon sweep? I still have Campbell 3rd...
5000m- 1) Jenkins 2) Campbell 3) Curtin
Curtin nealy led wire to wire in his conference 3k for 7:50, convincing win at Iowa State with a 13:38, I don't see anyone who seriously contest Jenkins over the last 1k though, except Campbell, but Jenkins has the 13:18 5k PR and excellent finishing speed
Mile- 1) Houlihan 2) Quigely 3) O'Conner
3000m- 1) Scott 2) Sisson 3) Schulist
5000m- 1) Sisson 2) Johnson 3) Westphal
Sorry, I didn't write reviews for the women, not sexist, just have to finish up something by midnight
We'll have our event previews out next week, but I've got to say I love how Oregon is planning on using Cheserek in this meet (assuming he anchors the DMR). Tactically, it's probably the right move but I like it much better as a fan.
If Ches did the 3k/5k double like last year, those races are a snoozefest. As good as Eric Jenkins and the rest of the top guys are, I just don't see anyone stopping Cheserek over the last 200.
No, to keep the sport interesting, an athlete like Cheserek needs to be challenged. That's why I applaud Lawi Lalang for even trying the mile/3k/5k triple last year (even though he scratched from the 3k when it wasn't working out). I think Cheserek won't have much of a problem on the anchor of the DMR as long as he gets the baton in good position, but in Cristian Soratos and Jenkins (who will not have raced the mile final two hours earlier), he has some guys who could theoretically challenge him in the mile/3k. I'm not necessarily betting against Cheserek, but it's a lot more interesting to have a setup like this where there's a chance he might lose, as opposed to the straight 3k/5k double where I don't think anyone would bet against him.
A couple of edits included above, and some thoughts on each.
Men's 800m: I think that Kemboi and Mcbride are definitely the class of the field. While Kemboi's 800m/1000m double at Big XII's each of the last two years blows my mind, it seems that Mcbride has had better showings in national championship races, so I will take him for the win.
Men's mile: Everyone is making me re-think picking Soratos for only 3rd, especially given Rotich's less than stellar conference performance, but I've got to go with the guys who have been there before, and I think Cheserek will be able to take care of business.
Men's 3000m: This one should be a good battle between Jenkins, who should be pretty fresh from a less-than-all-out 5000m effort, and Cheserek who will be on his 4th race. I had originally picked Geoghegan for 3rd, not even noticing he was running the 5000m on day 1, but I'll still keep him there. I think it will be an Oregon sweep 1-3, even if he isn't the one who is 3rd.
Men's 5000m: Jenkins should be able to win this easily, as mentioned above. Then a lot of options. But I'll take Campbell because he's been there and Curtin because of his conference showing and solid ISU race.
Men's DMR: I think there are 4 very good teams here, though it is hard for a mere outside fan to know who is running on some of the teams. I'm assuming Oregon will have Franzmair and Cheserek on the last 2 legs, with a sub 4 guy on the leadoff. Penn State should be dangerous with Kidder and a fresh Creese and Watkins. Villanova will again be dangerous with Williamz, Solis, and whoever else they put on the relay. Georgetown also scratched some guys so that Bartelsmeyer, Manahan and Ledder/Williams can have fresh legs. I'm probably most excited about this race! Arkansas and Virginia Tech are taking hits to their potential with other races to focus on.
Women's 800m: No idea. I expect Goule to rebound from her conference loss and take down Greene, and pretty much randomly picked a 3rd place finisher.
Women's mile: Houlihan has been flying under the radar by her standards after a "disappointing" 4:30 at Millrose. She ran 2:04 at MPSF and will be fresh for the mile as she's not on a DMR. Quigley and O'Connor will not have that luxury (I'm assuming they are anchoring each of their teams' DMRs, but I have no idea). O'Connor's DMR split from Big 10 is pretty ridiculous so I'll take her for 2nd.
Women's 3000m: Edit #1 - I am taking off Houlihan as she has the mile finals earlier in the day. Sticking with Scott over Sisson in what should be a close race, and picking someone for 3rd who will have only raced the DMR. Schulist? Cranny? Coogan? I'll go with Schulist I guess because now that I think about it she might not be on their DMR.
Women's 5000m: Like the men's 5000m, it looks on paper to be a fairly comfortable win. Especially with Disanza coming off injury. After Sisson, Westphal and Johnson seem like reasonable choices.
Women's DMR: Edit #2 - I decided that Arkansas has too much firepower to pick against them, and so I switched them and Michigan State. Should be good if the chasers run their studs on anchor (Coogan for Georgetown, Silva for New Mexico, Aragon for Notre Dame, Cranny for Stanford, Quigley for FSU, Piccirillo for Nova). Yeah, relays are just more exciting for a fan.
Cheserek on an anchor is always worth the price of admission, Jordy Williamsz will surely test him I would figure. Solis ran 2:51 last year and 4:01.x mile this year winning and Slade, won Big East 800 in 1:48.x off 54 first 400, I would think he could split 1:48 lower or into the 1:47's chasing.
Creese will be fresh, Kidder will surely keep them right near the front, will already have run one race , Watkins is a hit or miss really , this year, and Ches will be off what would at least have to be some sort of honest effort in deep mile Prelims. But , there seems to be nothing he cannot do at this point, so far in his career.
Georgetown with most likely go Manahan, I would think to Joe White (46 point at PSU) to Ledder to Bartlesmeyer, in his first real pressure cooker, PSU meet was a free roll.
If your going to talk about Shaquille Walker what about true Sophomore Clayton Murphy. His 1:47.82 he won by over 10 seconds. He won the Tyson Invite from the slow heat. Ran 1:48 in his first fast 800 this season. He could be the biggest surprise of them all
I believe the main reason why they won last year was that no one on the squad competed individually, they went all in for the DMR. This time around they are once again keeping all their guys out of the individual races to focus on the relay, and once again I believe this is why they will take it.
Leading up to McGorty they don't neccesarily have the strongest legs but given their qualifying time I think they're good enough to keep Stanford in the mix come the anchor leg. McGorty wen't sub-4 this year at one of the earliest meets of the season (Washington preview I think, Jan. 13) and has I assume been plugging away at training ever since (only one other race this season, a 3k). Given whatever improvements he has made since then plus the fact that he will be 100% fresh along with the rest of his teammates, I think he has a decent shot of bringing home the win so long as he is in contact by the time he gets the stick.
This scenario is a little unlikely but hey, that's why they call it a darkhorse pick.
Realistically Oregon will get the win, they've proven that they have the ability to be in position out front by the anchor leg and there aint no one that's touchin' Cheserek once he get's the stick.
Oregon losing pretty much depends on how badly not having Jenkins hurts them. The squad when they ran 9:27.02 was (in order) Ches, some 400 guy, Gregorek, then Jenkins. Without Jenkins to anchor I imagine Gregorek will move up to the 1200 and someone else like Russel Hornsby will step in to run the 800.
Jenkins did only split 3:58 for his 1600 leg in that 9:27 race so Cheserek anchoring is certainly an upgrade, but I seriously doubt that Gregorek will be able to open things up quite like Ches could on the 1200.
In regards to the 800 leg, something tells me that whoever they've got filling that role won't be too fast given that Gregorek, a miler, was their top choice with their 9:27 squad (which I'm assuming for all intents and purposes was their 'A' team) so that could be an issue.
The ducks certainly seem to throw most of their scholarship money at distance runners (1500m and up) and while it's those athletes who are the source of hope for another team title this year, it seems like it would do them some good to spread the love to the field events and sprints as well.
Seriously though, on the men's side they have NO ONE scoring outside of the distance events except for Greg Skipper in the weight throw. This is a problem that is compounded further by the fact that it typically takes longer for distance runners to develop into scorers at track meets than field guys and sprinters, and once they're at that level you only have them there for one or two seasons.
Having a base of even just a couple of field guys/sprinters with the talent to get points seems like it would be a big boost if they could manage to wrangle a few recruits away from the southern schools. On the flip side of this, if it weren't for Florida's 800m guys they wouldn't be in the position they are right now to take down the Ducks.