|Girls Weight Throw|
Top Six Contenders: (in alpha order) Katie Bragg GA, Lauren Chambers GA, Patrice Gates GA, Karen Henning NY, Jazmin Miller GA, Charlotte Pope NY
The Buzz: The Throw 1 Deep show, which starred the first night at Simplot, returns for an encore Friday at NIN – with the house to themselves even more so than in Idaho. The setup in Boston prevents any running events from taking place during the weight throw. Chambers is just 6.5 inches away from the national mark, though her last few meets haven’t been as strong. The top six seeds include four Georgians and two New Yorkers.
The Record Threat: Strong, with Chambers having closed in on Victoria Flowers’ 62-02. Flowers’ meet record is 61-02, a mark Chambers has already beaten.
The Breakdown: Chambers is an obvious favorite and should win even if not at her best. Gates has a better career mark than Miller, but Miller (US#5) has gone further this year.
The Medalists: 1. Chambers, 2. Gates, 3. Miller
Girls 5000 meters
Top Six Contenders: (in alpha order) Jordan Jenkins PA, Samantha Nadel NY, Waverly Neer IN, Chelsea Oswald OH, Megan Venables NJ, Rebecca White MA
The Buzz: While there’s not as much buzz surrounding this as the boys 5K or other distance races, this is still a very solid group of runners. Oswald leads in the credentials department as a distance runner, as a two-time Foot Locker Finalist. She’s somewhat less proven at the national level in track and this could be a great start to her senior year. Most of the rest of the contenders have 3200/2M marks this winter in the 10:45-10:55 range.
The Record Threat: A time in the low-mid 17:00s seems likely, making the meet (16:53.55 by Aurora Scott in 07) and national (16:43.02 by Bri Jackucewicz as a 7th-grader at NSIC in 04) marks likely to remain.
The Breakdown: Nadel and Venables have shown the best fitness this winter at 3200, with times around 10:45, with Oswald having not raced as much, but still having a recent 10:50. Will Oswald, who overcame an iron deficiency to come on strong at season’s end, be fit enough so early in her season to take the win?
The Medalists: 1. Oswald, 2. Nadel, 3. Venables
|Boys Weight Throw|
Top Six Contenders: (in alpha order) Joshua Faboyede RI, Alec Faldermeyer NY, Dominic Filiano MA, Michael Gama RI, Conor McCullough CA, Nabil Mubarak GA
The Buzz: Faldermeyer has been leading the nation all winter, slowing moving up the all-time list and creeping toward 80 feet. Yet even he knows he’s probably throwing for 2nd as McCullough comes east for his only meet of the year. That’s because of the rep the Californian has earned, thanks to his destruction of Walter Henning’s national mark last year at NSIC – and it doesn’t hurt that he also took down the US hammer mark last summer. Although the competition will more likely come for the other medals, it will likely be a great battle with Mubarak – the leader of the boys Throw 1 Deep contingent – trying to find another foot or two to give Faldermeyer a run for silver.
The Record Threat: Pretty darn good, wouldn’t you say? As crazy as it sounds, a lot of people wouldn’t be surprised if McCullough pushed 90 feet.
The Breakdown: McCullough breaks his national record while Faldermeyer continues his record of success in holding off Mubarak.
The Medalists: 1. McCullough, 2. Faldermeyer, 3. Mubarak
Boys 5000 meters
Top Six Contenders: (in alpha order) Sean Curry NY, Phil Galebach MA, Alex Kramer MA, Ben Miller MI, Lukas Verzbicas IL
The Buzz: In a year with an astonishing number of talented boys freshman and sophomore distance runners around the nation, the most talented of all may be Verzbicas, whose presence in Friday’s 5K upgrades that event from kinda interesting to extremely fascinating. Last fall, Verzbicas entered the XC scene with an impressive, but under-the-radar youth track record and started running crazy fast times around the state. Fans outside of IL took them with a grain of salt, though, because of the fast rep of IL courses and the fact that he had to short-circuit his season before state. The nation now believes, though, after the amazing double Lucas pulled off at Arkansas, where he set national freshman records of 4:15.43y and 8:29.16 (3k). Amazingly, this (and the 2M, assuming he doubles) may be the only other time we get to see this phenom on the track; training for and running triathlons is his first love.
The Record Threat: Yes, amazing as it might sound, Verzbicas could very likely take down Solomon Haile’s meet record 14:53.83 from last year. The HSR of Brad Hudson from 1984, 14:29.80, may be a bit out of reach, though.
The Breakdown: Just don’t forget that Verzbicas isn’t the only fine runner in this field. Ross has been pushing RI star Andrew Springer all winter and just ran 9:11 for 2M, while Curry hit 9:16 for 3200 last weekend as well. Though seeded a bit further back, Max Straneva NY could challenge the top three, too.
The Medalists: 1. Verzbicas, 2. Ross, 3. Curry