There were a press conference yesterday with coaches Chris Bucknam (Arkansas), Lance Harter (Arkansas), Mike Holloway (Florida), Wayne Norton (Georgia), Robert Johnson (Oregon).
The coaches had some interesting things to say about the outdoor champs having the men's and women's finals on separate days that we'll address after NCAAs.
A few other tidbits:
In terms of this year's meet all the coaches reiterated it was an honor to be in contention for the title. That's standard procedure but you get the sense they mean it. A lot can go wrong in a track season. Teams can go about it differently. Oregon's men's team is all distance runners except for 1, Georgia's team is all field eventers.
I asked the coaches about the DMR order. The Arkansas women and Oregon men have more than a few options. Coach Johnson said the Oregon ordered wouldn't be set until after the mile prelims. Lance Harter noted that his team which won NCAAs last year in the DMR, dropped the baton this year in the race they qualified. They are definitely one of the favorites this year.
Coach Norton of Georgia said it was never under consideration to double pentathlete Kendell Williams. She's a sophomore and they decided to put her in her best event instead of also putting her in the LJ or HJ where she could possibly score points in team battle.
Coach Johnson was asked about the pressure of being the favorites and he said in various forms, "Pressure is self-induced". His guys and girls were just going out there to do the best they could do and compete. With so many guys in the 3k he said his instructions to each would be the same, "I'll look each one of them on their eye and their message to me is to win."
Should be a good one.