June 16th - 17th , 2006
Watch Out for the Juniors
By Steve Underwood
It’s typical in prep boys distance running for the seniors to be the dominant class on the national scene. And whether you look at the fact that the Class of 2006 took the top eight and 13 of the first 14 places at Foot Locker Nationals, or the headline-grabbing of California stars AJ Acosta and Michael Coe, this year appears to be no exception.
But look deeper, for example, at the entry lists for this week’s Nike Outdoor Nationals mile and two-mile fields. Aren’t five of those top seven seeds in the deuce from the junior class? And seven of the top 10 in the mile? What exactly has happened here in the last few months, in the events that DyeStat fans are perhaps the most fond of among all those in the meet?
Well, several factors have been at work. First, some outstanding juniors that didn’t make it out of their FL region last fall have shown their true talent all track season, like Craig Forys NJ, Mike Cybulski CA, and Matt Centrowitz MD. Forys, in fact, was picked by many to win FL Northeast but had a bad day there, while Cybulski was hampered partly by injury off and on all fall.
Then there are some 11th-graders that have simply continued to improve rapidly beyond what most expected them to do. As good as they were thought to be, was it really anticipated for Matt Tebo NM to get down to 8:52 at Arcadia? Or Ben Hubers GA to make it to 4:08/8:57? Or even Evan Jager IL, the top junior in San Diego in 9th, to get to 4:08y/8:57?
Others yet simply weren’t really on the national radar at all until this spring, like Andy Weatherford IN (4:08), and Mark Amirault MA (9:01y). Finally, there has been the fact that some of the better seniors, such as Craig Miller PA, Sandy Roberts NC, Ryan Craven IL, Justin Harbor FL, Michael Eaton KY, or Landon Peacock MI, will not be in Greensboro due to injury, illness, or simply calling it a year.
“There’s an exceptional number of outstanding juniors in both the mile and two-mile,” said A.J. Holzherr of the National Scholastic Sports Foundation. “And there’s a sprinkling good juniors in other events as well.”
While the times at the top aren’t as impressive as, say, Ritz, Webb, and Hall were in 2000, the depth is probably better and maybe as good as almost any year.
Acosta and Coe still probably have to be tabbed as the favorites, but this may be one time when it’s wise for them to look over their shoulders.
Complete Boys Capsule Previews
By Steve Underwood
The Top Seeds: AJ Acosta CA, Matt Tebo NM, Michael Cybulski CA, Jeremy Stevens IL, Matt Centrowitz MD, Evan Jager IL.
The Buzz: Besides the Rise of the Juniors, the buzz is that AJ has switched to this event from the mile and another showdown with Coe. Bad for the mile, but good for the deuce. Now, instead of talk of a low-mid 8:50s, there’s talk of maybe 8:45, or at least sub-8:50. Almost everybody who’s anybody is here. A record 11 are seeded at the equivalent of 9:00 or better for 3200.
The Breakdown: AJ has to be the instant favorite now, though not by much. Yes, he lost to Cybulski two weeks ago, but Cybulski was fresh and he wasn’t. Beyond that, one has to do kind of a who’s-hot-and-who’s-not thing with the rest of the closely matched field. For example, it’s clear from here that Jager and the surprisingly fast and consistent Minnesotan Mike Torchia are red hot. It’s not clear, though, that US#2 Tebo, Centrowitz, or either top returnee Sandy Roberts NC and Dan Roberts CO are hot these days.
The Record Threat: Jeff Nelson’s USR 8:36.3 will continue to march toward its 20th birthday. Ritz’s 8:44.43 from 2001 could get a scare.
The Medalists: 1. Acosta, 2. Cybuski, 3. Jager.
The Top Seeds: Michael Coe CA, Kenny Klotz OR, Evan Jager IL, Craig Forys NJ, Ben Hubers GA, Andy Weatherford IN.
The Buzz: This race has turned on its ear the last two weeks, from a Clash of the Titans (Coe-Acosta) II, with Jack Bolas NC thrown in, to a huge question mark. Acosta’s in the deuce only, Bolas is in the DMR only, and Coe has struggled with mono in recent weeks (and a loss to Acosta in the CIF 1600). Still, Coe is running and there’s a lot of great talent in the field. It’s likely it will take at least 4:07 to win.
The Breakdown: Looking back to form and with relatively recent bests of 3:49 1500 and 8:18 3k, Klotz has to join Coe atop the favorites list; when he’s on, he’s as good as anyone in the country. Forys just ran 8:56 3200 last week, but doesn’t have a really great open mile/1600 to go with his 4:05 relay carries indoors. Jager will have to bounce back really well to be in the race. Beyond that, there are several talents in the 4:09 area that merit particular concern, like Ben Hubers GA, Andy Weatherford IN, Dorian Ulrey IL, NIN champ Ayalew Taye, and the talented Brian Rhodes-Devey (BRD) NY. Others with good kicks fall in the mix if the pace lags or they can improve 2-4 seconds.
The Record Threat: Alan Webb’s USR is obviously too far out there, and it’s very unlikely Sharif Karie’s MR 4:02.01 can be tested.
The Medalists: 1. Coe, 2. Klotz, 3. Hubers.
Boys 800 Meters
The Top Seeds: Cory Primm CA, Ryan Waite OR, Aaron Kauffman PA, John Maloy NY, John Moore NY, Jason Apwah NJ
The Buzz: No question what the buzz is – look at who’s missing from the top six seeds. The top returnee, and #2 ever indoors, Karjuan Williams, has a time this spring that puts him just 8th, the last seed in the fast heat. Gaining confidence from that apparent mortality is a crazy-deep field led by CIF champ and US#1 Primm. Everyone will be waiting to see if Williams’ typical fast start will give him a lead he can maintain or if the competitive pack swallows him and makes it a free for all.
The Breakdown: 2005 NON runner-up and 2006 NIN champ Williams is no fool, though, and knows himself and knows how to win. Expect him to have another gear if challenged. There are certainly some runners that could throw a wrench in things and take the lead themselves, but expect others to play off Williams. Waite, Maloy, and Apwah all have recent wins, along with Primm, in their state title meets.
The Record Threat: Karjuan could have been viewed a record threat early in the year, but Michael Granville’s 1:46.45 lives another year. The 1:48.51 meet mark is probably safe unless someone just goes nuts.
The Medalists: 1. Williams, 2. Primm, 3. Waite.
Boys 2k Steeplechase
The Top Seeds: Greg Kelsey NY, Ryan McDermott NY, A.J. Savoia NY, Taylor Morgan OR, Brian MacArthur NY, Kyle O’Brien NY
The Buzz: Probably the biggest buzz in the steeplechase in a long time came last weekend in NY when Noel Bateman ripped an eye-popping 9:02 at his state meet over the 3k barriers that moved him to #4 all-time. It was the fastest time since the 70s, for crying out loud. But Bateman has an academic commitment that will preclude him from coming.
The Breakdown: So that leaves the race to fellow New Yorkers Kelsey and McDermott, who lead a field of 18 (mostly more New Yorkers). McDermott has the year’s best time, a junior class record 5:54.4, but Kelsey beat him by one place last year here, and at 3k behind Bateman last week, 9:11-9:14. Savoia and Morgan should battle for third. The hot weather might be a challenge for the eastern guys.
The Record Threat: Kelsey, and possibly McDermott, have a shot at the national and meet records of 5:43.9 and 5:49.11. Kelsey is as talented an overall runner as this event usually sees.
The Medalists: 1. Kelsey, 2. McDermott, 3. Morgan.
Boys 5000 Meters
The Top Seeds: Ben Massam NJ, James Joy NY, Mikias Gelagle MD, Caleb Vogt FL, Clay Mayes OK, Phillip Heckhausen IN
The Buzz: Fun, fun, fun … and an extra distance opportunity for the not-quite-ready for prime-time. The event was sort of added as a people’s race for aspiring CC kids, but in Massam, the event has a pretty darn good top seed. It’s a good year for the 5k, with several meets having added it, both in and out.
The Breakdown: Massam’s hot of his 9:07 3200 in the NJ MOC runner-up effort to Forys. He was also very good over hill and dale last fall, though not quite making FL Nationals. Expect the placings to pretty much follow the seeds, but look out for OK jr. Kevin Schwab to potentially move up from his #8 spot.
The Record Threat: Well, a new meet record will be established. And it will likely be at least a minute behind the mind-bending 13:37 USR of Galen Rupp’s.
The Medalists: 1. Massam, 2. Joy, 3. Vogt
Boys 1 Mile Walk
The Top Seeds: Ricky Michaud ME, Taylor Burns NE, Michael Boucher ME, Allen Cox ME, Ren Morse ME, Padric Gleason ME.
The Buzz: Maine is typically dominant in this event and this year is no exception. But it’s not a great year for the sport in this event; no one is within a minute of the national or meet record.
The Breakdown: Michaud has the top time by six seconds. Burns, one of the few outside ME, is 12 ticks up on the #3 mark. And being from Nebraska, Burns may be a tad more heat acclimated than his rivals.
The Record Threat: See above.
The Medalists: 1. Michaud, 2. Burns, 3. Boucher
Boys 4x800 Relay
The Top Seeds: Warwick Valley NY, BC TC (Bishop Chathard IN), Kroy TC (York IL), Stark Street AC (Central Catholic OR), East St. Louis IL, Monsignor Farrell NY
The Buzz: This isn’t a year with record potential, but it IS a DEEP year, with 15 teams listed under 7:50. Expect to see 4-5 teams between 7:36 or 37 and 7:42.
The Breakdown: York may be the team with the best chance to close the 3.5-second gap between Warwick and the rest of the field. They reportedly will replace a 1:58 performer with 1:54 performer Matt Dettman.
The Record Threat: The Chris Lukezic-led boys from Auburn WA (7:32.89 USR and MR) can breath easy another year.
The Medalists: 1. York, 2. Warwick Valley, 3. BC TC.
4x1 Mile Relay
The Top Seeds: Royal CA, Kroy TC (York IL), Monsignor Farrell HS, BC TC (Bishop Chathard IN), Fayetteville-Manlius NY, Pope John Paul XXIII NJ
The Buzz: Make sure you slug some coffee down and get back to the track Saturday morning. You don’t miss what could be the best race of the weekend. While NIN 4x1 champ F-M has just the fifth seed, there has since been a 4:07 recorded by one Owen Kimple, and it should be a killer battle between them and Mike Cybulski-led Royal. This could be one for the ages.
The Breakdown: Royal has the best time coming in, the 17:19.31 they ran at Arcadia, and they certainly could run faster. Cybulski will have the 2M under his belt, though, and with a likely anchor matchup with Kimple, he’ll probably need a lead to work with. He hasn’t shown quite the mile speed of the F-M standout. York and Monsignor Farrell will likely battle for third; the boys of the Long Green Line are running all three relays and reportedly not putting their top guns in this one.
The Record Threat: Novi MI’s 17:20.92 is in dire straits. Both F-M and Royal should break it. South Eugene’s 17:06.6, celebrating 30 years, requires less than 4:17 per man. A tall order, but not impossible.
The Medalists: 1. Fayetteville-Manlius, 2. Royal, 3. Monsignor Farrell.
Boys Distance Medley Relay
The Top Seeds: Kroy TC (York IL), Fayetteville-Manlius NY, Warwick Valley NY, Stark Street TC (Central Catholic OR), Cardinal O’Hara, Chapel Hill NC
The Buzz: The last of the distance relay trifecta will feature York at full strength, and US leader F-M’s second shot. Royal’s not in it, but Central Catholic and Chapel Hill will feature anchors Kenny Klotz and Jack Bolas, two of the best in the country. Bolas, in fact, is ONLY running this event; Klotz will have the mile earlier in the evening.
The Breakdown: They key will be how close Klotz and Bolas are on their anchors. Both are 4:04-4:07 guys, with Bolas having the edge to date. Again, though, Kimple’s big breakthrough gives F-M more time to work with. On the other hand, Kimple could run the 1200 and give the stick to Tommy Gruenewald, who closed out the 10:06 at Penn. In the Dettmans, York has two 4:10+ type guys. If all four run well, they’ll likely be right there.
The Record Threat: All that said, no one has the Smith-Webb combo that South Lakes VA rode to 9:49.78 five years ago. Record safe.
The Medalists: 1. Fayetteville-Manlius, 2. York, 3. Chapel Hill
Boys 100 Meters
The Top Seeds: Harry Adams FL, Brandon Saine OH, Charles Clark VA, Trey Harts LA, A’Toloni Akinkoutu, Antonio Sales NC
The Buzz: Most years, it’s tough for this meet to draw really deep field of sprinters from reasons varying from being too late for the Texas and other southern kids, to other commitments for football players. Few of the top TX and CA sprinters are here or in other sprint events, but there ARE a lot of solid sprinters and a handful of great ones. With some of the same top guys running doubles (or even a triple), the individual sprints could play out like a 3-act play, starting here with Friday’s prelims.
The Breakdown: The X-factor here, though, is Adams. The sophomore laid down that 10.31 early in the year that few believed, but then backed it up at his state meet. With the other sub-10:50 seeds – Saine, NIN 60 runner-up Clark, and Harts – there should be a close and very solid race. If Harts has his legs back under him – he was just getting back into it at Great Southwest – he could move up at least a few spots from his #4 seed.
The Record Threat: The national (10.08) and meet (10.14) records are almost certainly out of reach.
The Medalists: 1. Adams, 2. Harts, 2. Clark
Boys 200 Meters
The Top Seeds: Trey Harts LA, Brandon Saine OH, Charles Clark VA, Darrin Conley OH, Jeffrey Smith MA, Bryce Sherman NC
The Buzz: The 200 prelims will start Saturday action for the individual sprints, followed by the 100 final, 400 finals, and 200 final. Adams isn’t in this, but Harts, Saine, and Clark are the top three seeds. US leader JT Scheuerman CO is just doing the 400.
The Breakdown: This is Harts’ specialty and he looked pretty good in beating JT at GSW. By this weekend, he should be at a new level. Clark – NIN champ and fourth last year – is a great furlong man, too. If Saine sticks with his plan of a triple, he could be dragging at this point. On the other hand, the fresh legs of the unheralded Smith could be worth a medal.
The Record Threat: Roy Martin’s HSR of 20.13 is otherworldly; last year’s MR of 20.76 by J-Mee Samuels is almost soft by comparison. Definitely doable on a good day.
The Medalists: 1. Harts, 2. Clark, 3. Smith
Boys 400 Meters
The Top Seeds: JT Scheuerman CO, LaJerald Betters TX, Brandon Saine OH, Nevin Gutierrez CA, Charles Cox NJ, Tabarie Henry FL
The Buzz: Probably the best field of the sprints, with a fistful of sub-47 talent here. Future Baylor teammates Scheuerman and Betters shared a 4x4 stick in New Mexico, but their showdown here is a headliner. Some of Scheuerman’s times have been greeted with skepticism. Here’s another chance to prove his talent.
The Breakdown: Unless Saine backs out of the 100 or 200, he’ll have a hard time being there at the finish. But Arcadia runner-up Scheuerman, 2005 NON runner-up Betters, and Gutierrez could all be at the line together, going for low- or sub-46 … Stay tuned.
The Record Threat: Darrell Robinson’s 44.69 USR has survived a lot of great runners; it may never be broken. LaShawn Merritt’s good 45.38 MR will stand, too.
The Medalists: 1. Betters, 2. Scheuerman, 3. Gutierrez.
Boys 110 Hurdles
The Top Seeds: Johnny Dutch NC, Oscar Spurlock TX, Darryl Reynolds NC, Cordera Jenkins TX, Josh Hembrough MI, Clyde Young IL
The Buzz: CA standout David Klech is graduating and GSW champ Darius Reed is injured, but this is still a darn good field. TX does come through here with Spurlock, the all-conditions leader at 13.42w, and 2005 World Youth and NIN 60H Champ Jenkins. And, of course, there’s Dutch, trying to win for his home state. Like it was at NIN, this will be a dandy.
The Breakdown: Dutch and Reynolds will be highly motivated in their home state, and Dutch was not happy with how it all went at NIN or NON last year. Overall, the seeds should mostly hold. Keep an eye on 2005 runner-up Carrington Queen PA, who doesn’t rank that high on the watch this year, but ran 13.72 here last year.
The Record Threat: Skeets’ immortal 12.9h will likely live forever, and Ricardo Moody’s 13.32 MR is very likely safe. But Dutch and Spurlock should keep it in mind; they’ll each be back another year.
The Medalists: 1. Dutch, 2. Spurlock, 3. Jenkins
Boys 400 Hurdles
The Top Seeds: Shaquan Brown NJ, Johnny Dutch NC, Darryl Reynolds NC, Emanuel Mayers NJ, Trey Charles GA, Raymond Davis NJ
The Buzz: Pick your storyline here. The very talented Shaquan Brown has struggled with injuries and made few appearances this spring, including missing his group and all-state championships. But the word is that he’s healed up and fit enough to compete for a title. Then, while this is hardly just a four-man race, there’s the sense of the event being a dual meet between Jersey and North Carolina, with those states claiming 5 of the 6 top seeds (in addition to super soph Charles).
The Breakdown: Definitely one of the toughest races to handicap. Could it go to Mayers, who has actually won a race at this distance in the last few weeks? He could be the hottest at the moment.
The Record Threat: The national (49.38) and meet (49.79) records should be safe in 2006.
The Medalists: 1. Mayers, 2. Dutch, 3. Brown
Boys 4x100 and 4x200 Relays
The Top Seeds: 4x100 - Team Texas, Cahokia IL, Track East Carolina, Team Hypersonic, Bulldog Striders (Simon Gratz PA), Manchester VA ----- 4x200 – Team Texas, Cahokia IL, Trotwood OH, JW North CA, Northwestern FL, Bulldog Striders
The Buzz: While Cahokia and others will put up a decent battle, especially in the 4x200, it’s likely to be all about record chasing for Team Texas, a.k.a. Houston Eisenhower. Half of the squad’s titanic Texas 5A sprint relay double was the 40.05 they nailed down. That’s almost a second up on the #2 seed. Their 1:24.10 is 1.75 up on Cahokia in the 4x2. With five at 1:26 or better, though, the longer race is the better race.
The Breakdown: Unless they drop the stick, the TX boys should sweep. And they want records. The battle for 2nd in the 4x2 should be terrific.
The Record Threat: O.D. Wyatt has the meet (1:23.67) and national (1:23.31) records. Very tough, but within reach of the Eisenhower quartet.
The Medalists: 4x1 – 1. Team Texas, 2. Cahokia, 3. Track East Carolina; 4x2 – Team Texas, 2. JW North, 3. Trotwood
The Top Seeds: JW North CA, West Des Moines Valley IA, Rollin Thunder, Bulldog Striders (Simon Gratz PA), DeMatha Catholic MD, East St. Louis IL
The Buzz: While they might have gotten some comp had some TX teams signed up, JW North appears in a class by itself – and peaking at the right time with its CIF 3:10.36. The Iowa squad is kind of the Cinderella team that is easy to fall in love with (see Pete Cava’s profile).
The Breakdown: JW North should roll, but there’s a slew of squads between 3:13-high and 3:16-low. And here’s a quick lesson that comes to mind. Never, never count out defending champ DeMatha Catholic
The Record Threat: Hawthorne’s 3:07.40 turned 20 last year and will stay on top. But Camden’s 3:09.91 MR could definitely fall.
The Medalists: 1. JW North, 2. DeMatha, 3. West Des Moines Valley.
Boys 800 Sprint Medley Relay
The Top Seeds: Northwestern FL, DeMatha Catholic MD, OTM Mustang, Blazin Raiders (Eleanor Roosevelt MD), Bayside TC, Newburgh Elite TC
The Buzz: This event carries some obscurity, only being contested in certain states, but it’s a great one for schools with a wealth of athletes in both the long and short sprints. Several schools are near the 1:30 mark, which indicates a good year.
The Breakdown: DeMatha and defending champ ERS are always going to be tough here. Northwestern, though, might have more strength in the centuries, which make up two of the legs.
The Record Threat: With both USR and MR marks just under 1:29, the winner has a good shot at getting one or both.
The Medalists: 1. Northwestern, 2. Blazin Raiders, 3. DeMatha
Boys 1600 Sprint Medley Relay
The Top Seeds: Bulldog Striders (Simon Gratz PA), Warwick Valley TC, Track Eastern Carolina, Blazin Raiders, Bethel, Team Hypersonic
The Buzz: It’s not a super fast year in the event, and the TX talent is missed. But there should be 2-3 teams in the 3:25-27 range.
The Breakdown: The trio at 3:27 or better has a clear margin on the field.
The Record Threat: The USR and MR of 3:21.15 and 3:22.69 are likely out of reach.
The Medalists: 1. Bulldog Striders, 2. Track Eastern Carolina, 3. Warwick Valley TC.
Boys High Jump
The Top Seeds: Donte Nall GA, Michael Kursteiner FL, Jerome McKenzie GA, Daniel Averso GA, Justin Frick NJ, Marlon Woods VA, Justin Oliver NJ
The Buzz: Not a lot of buzz with the high jump as just one of the nation’s 7-footers will make it to the apron in Greensboro: Nall. On the other hand, the event does have Woods and Frick, who were 1-2 at NIN, despite not clearing 6-9. Interestingly, it winds up that Georgia has three of the top four seeds. A hot bed of high jumping? Not usually, though it was the home of former US record-holder Dothel Edwards (still jr. class record-holder) and fr. class record holder Shane Haney, who died young in a tragic accident. The two went to schools just a few miles (but several years) apart.
The Breakdown: Nall has the two inches on everyone else, but if he can’t clear at least 6-10, then look for Frick and Woods.
The Record Threat: The national (7-7) and meet (7-4.5) records should be very safe.
The Medalists: 1. Nall, 2. Frick, 3. Woods
Boys Pole Vault
The Top Seeds: Mike Morrison VA, Scott Roth CA, Spencer McCorkel AR, Phil Hanson IL, Jordan Scott GA, Nick Frawley TX
The Buzz: The buzz isn’t quite as nuts as it was for this event 3 months ago at NIN, but it’s still way up there. Six 17-footers will take to the runway here, including old vets Roth, Morrison, and Scott. McCorkel will be back to improve his big meet record and Hanson and Frawley, newer members to the 17-foot club, will take on these big boys.
The Breakdown: Roth has both the NON and NIN titles in hand, so the road to the gold goes through him. He’s a great big-meet jumper, but last week at Golden West he made just 16-3 and lost on misses to Jared Jodon PA (also in this field). Scott’s consistent, but hasn’t won a big one. Morrison’s not quite as steady, but does have the best mark now at 17-6. Maybe he’s ready to finally win a big one. Don’t be surprised if GSW champ Nick Frawley works his way in there.
The Record Threat: These guys chased Pat Manson’s 17-6 indoors, but Tommy Skipper’s 18-03 USR outdoors is much more formidable.
The Medalists: 1. Morrison, 2. Roth, 3. Frawley.
Boys Long Jump
The Top Seeds: Keith Graham SC, Keenan Hall IN, Chris Dollinger PA, Marlon Woods VA, Kali Jackson IL, Michael Williams TN
The Buzz: While the talent from TX and a few other locales is missing, the meet snagged four 24-footers and several others very close to that mark for a deep, very solid field. Graham, 3rd last year, and Hall are both around 24-6.
The Breakdown: Graham and Hall have racked up plenty of wins and have to be regarded as the favorites, even if by a slim margin. But it’s hard to call, especially third place.
The Record Threat: Dion Bentley’s USR 26-09 hasn’t been approached in what has been something of a dry spell in this event. The meet record of 25-06.75 has stood since 98 and is likely to continue to do so.
The Medalists: 1. Graham, 2. Hall, 3. Woods
Boys Triple Jump
The Top Seeds: Kali Jackson IL, Gary Jones NY, Alphonso Jordan NC, Zedric Thomas LA, Keith Graham SC, Darrell Roddick ???
The Buzz: Can he do it again? That’s the question everyone wonders about Jackson, who flew 52-05.75 last month in an invitational, reportedly INTO a headwind. The mark was only accepted after some checking and pundits will be fascinated to see if he can back it up.
The Breakdown: Even if Jackson can just do 51, he’ll be in solid shape. Jones has also broken 51, but will have to show better consistency to have a good chance to win. Jordan is third with a seed of nearly 50 feet and is the NIN champ, while Graham has the experience of finishing third here last year.
The Record Threat: The 54-10.25 blast by Kenny Hall two years ago, is not within anyone’s reach, not even Jackson. But the Cahokia star’s PR is 0.25 inches beyond – yes, beyond – the meet record from 1997.
The Medalists: 1. Jackson, 2. Jordan, 3. Jones
Boys Shot Put
The Top Seeds: Eric Flores SD, Andrew Oaker MO, Eric Werskey IN, Benjamin Stephen IN, Aaron Studt WI, Nick Robinson CA
The Buzz: You could complain about a few guys missing here, like Darius Savage CA, but this field is really pretty loaded. South Dakota has a great chance at a few golds in Greensboro, and one of those could go to Flores. He is one of surely at least a few throwers who’ve had their eye on 70 feet this year. Don’t be too surprised …
The Breakdown: Flores, the NIN champ, is a great big-meet thrower and very consistent. Hard to pick against that. After that, it’s probably going to come down to who can hit a 65-footer and put the pressure on.
The Record Threat: As anyone vaguely familiar with the event knows, the 81-3 USR by one Michael Carter is of the will-probably-last-forever variety. The MR of 69-08.25 is much more achieveable – tough, but doable by at least Flores on a great day.
The Medalists: 1. Flores, 2. Studt, 3. Robinson
The Top Seeds: Bo Taylor CA, Geoffrey Tabor OK, Nick Robinson CA, Eric Werskey IN, Luke Bryant KS, Chris Cralle TX
The Buzz: Savage is missing here, too, but most of the nation’s best are here, namely the nation’s top man in new Golden West champ Taylor and history’s #2 sophomore in Tabor. Robinson is only third in his state, but could be in the top three here.
The Breakdown: Taylor is hot and Tabor is not, though. The latter hasn’t hit 190 in his last two meets, including last week’s fifth behind Taylor (Robinson was third). He will have to find his stroke to finish high here.
The Record Threat: Taylor’s PR exceeds the MR by three inches. The USR of 234-03 is way out there.
The Medalists: 1. Taylor, 2. Robinson, 3. Tabor
The Top Seeds: Michael Davis WA, Preston Chatham LA, Mark Paski NJ, Steve Pierce NJ, Justin Shirk PA, Jeremy Pennino NJ
The Buzz: Four 200-footers are in the field, paced by US#2 Davis. He’s been over 200 feet three times this year.
The Breakdown: Davis just got his PR at the Brooks meet June 3, making him the nation’s hot thrower. Chatham will give him a battle, followed one of the Jersey stars or the amazing freshman Shirk.
The Record Threat: Art Skipper’s USR 259-10 is another one that makes the eyes glaze over. One of the oldest MRs on the books here, 239-09 from Troy Burkholder, is 11 years old, going on 12.
The Medalists: 1. Davis, 2. Chatham, 3. Shirk
The Top Seeds: Walter Henning NY, David Schiedt GA, Wesley Wright GA, Andy Keller IN, Michael Zajac VA, Craig Pearce RI
The Buzz: Sorry, but unless Walter Henning shows up on crutches or with a fever of 108, everyone else is going for second. No offense to anyone, but the junior is consistent, and throws faaaarrrrrrrr. But Georgians Schiedt and Wright are increasing the breadth of this event from their club, Throw One Deep.
The Breakdown: The seeding for the top three should hold unless someone is really off or on.
The Record Threat: Henning, the new junior class record-holder and #2 all-time, is five feet up on the MR, and just 5-09 away from the USR. It’s either this year, or next year.
The Medalists: 1. Henning, 2. Schiedt, 3. Wright.