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10th Nike Indoor Nationals

March 15-16, 2008 at Prince George's County Sportsplex, Landover MD

DyeStat on-site

A Baker's Dozen (13) Reasons to Get Jacked Up
About Nike Indoor Nationals!

By SteveU, DyeStat News Editor

1. The Best and Deepest NIN Two Mile Ever – Almost every year, indoors and outdoors, the NSSF folks call their 2-Mile fields “the best ever.” And guess what? They’re usually right. There have never been more than 2 sub-9:00s in an NIN race, but that should change this year with a super-charged field led by Luke Puskedra UT, Colby Lowe TX, and the amazing New Jersey trio of Brian Leung, Brandon Jarrett, and Doug Smith. Puskedra and Lowe will almost certainly ensure a fast pace.

2. Hurdlers’ Heaven: Coward and Davis – Who could pass up a chance to watch these two over the 60H? USR-holder Jackie Coward TN has 5 of the top 7 times in history, including the top two. Wayne Davis NC, just a junior, is already within .01 of both the 55H and 60H marks. You think these two wouldn’t like to close 2008 indoor with a pair of new national standards?

3. The Blazin Raiders, 2008 Edition – What would a NIN or NON meet be without Desmond Dunham’s burners from Eleanor Roosevelt MD, which is just 8 miles from the PG Sportsplex? The Jamesons and Marika Walker are gone, but relay veterans Tasha Stanley, Doris Anyanwu, and Dominique Lockhart are back and better than ever, leading the way. They’re entered in five relays. Pay particular attention to the 4x2, where they’ll clash with the girls of Therrell HS in GA (“Team SWAT,” also defending NON champs), and the 4x8 where they’ll battle Mountain Brook AL and push for sub-9:00.

4. The Queen of the Multis – You’d be hard-pressed to find a better all-around athlete in the country, boy or girl, than PA standout Ryann Krais. Sprinting, hurdling, jumping, middle distance – Krais can do it all and more. The pentathlon meet-record-holder is #3 all-time (3715) and has Shana Woods’ USR (3924) in her sights. Tune in.

5. Weygandt-Laurent, Round II – The two pole-vaulting friends from TX and LA, respectively, have authored arguably the best individual rivalry in the country. While their only 2007 showdown at Simplot didn’t materialize, with Shade Weygandt winning, but Rachel Laurent no-heighting, they’ve traded off the US lead all winter and currently sit #3 (Laurent 13-09.25) and #4 (Weygandt 13-08) all-time. Laurent has been gangbusters since Idaho, also already hitting 13-10 outdoors, #3 all-time. Could a 14-footer be in the offing?

6. Sprint Medley Showdown – Usually overshadowed by the DMR and/or the traditional 4x200/400/800s, the sprint medley should be in the spotlight this weekend for sure. Cleveland Heights OH and Track Eastern Carolina (athletes from New Bern NC) both have the great combinations of sprinters and 800 stars to scare the USR. Heights returns most of the athletes who went 3:14/7:40 in the 4x4 and 4x8 last year outdoors, including 800 star Jared Hall, while New Bern last year led the SMR outdoor list with almost the same cast at 3:24.5 – including the redoubtable Hendrix brothers.

7. Erik Kynard vs. The Bar – If God ever made the perfect high-jumper, he would look a lot like Erik Kynard OH. The 6-5 springer has not only gone 7-3.75 this winter, but has four meets at 7 feet or better. A 7-4 or better would raise the roof at the PG Sportsplex ... and it doesn't exactly hurt his chances that Scott Sellers set his 7-05.25 HSR in that very pit.

8. Jilly Willy Goes for the Triple – Jillian (“Jilly Willy Wonka”) Smith NJ has already claimed the miler’s jewels that are the Millrose and Boston Indoor titles, matching the feat of former teammate Danielle Tauro. But Tauro never won the NIN race and Smith has a great chance for the trifecta and maybe a time well under 4:50.

9. Girls Throwers' Throwdowns – There’s a lot going on during the 3-ring circus that is an indoor track meet, but don’t forget to train your eyes toward the throwers rings this weekend. Shotputters Becky O’Brien ME and Karen Shump PA have already become the 9th and 10th members of history’s exclusive 50-foot club this winter and have not met this year. In the weight throw, the same goes for new USR-holder Victoria Flowers RI and Lauren Chambers GA, the latter who just closed the gap, big-time, with an outdoor 60-10.75. In sum, watch for heavy things being tossed really long distances.

10. Battle of the 25-Footers – In an event that sometimes has an air of mystery to it, due to the numbers of great marks every year that come from smaller meets with no wind-readings, the NIN long jump has both its proven commodity and its big question mark. The former is Marquise Goodwin, defending NON champ, legal 25-footer, and 24-07 performer (US#2) this year. The latter is Tilden Matthews FL, who spanned a remarkable 25-11 in the LJ a few weeks ago outdoors – coming off just a 23-06w jump from last year. We’ll see who really brings it this weekend.

11. Saturday Night Vault Party – An annual tradition at NON is the boys pole vault that almost always closes the first day. The running events usually end before the bar gets to 16 feet, allowing everyone who hangs around to focus on the action on the runway. While there’s only one member to the 17-foot club this winter (Nico Weiler, at NSIC), there are a number of aspirants, including Cory Shank IN (17-00 last year), Joe Wesley MI (US#2 16-10.25), and Scott Houston NC (US#3 16-10). Six 16-footers are on the entry list.

12. A Deep Girls Deuce – While the field has suffered the unfortunate loss of defending champ Ashley Brasovan FL and Emily Jones MA, due to injury issues, there is still a deep and talented group in the girls 2 mile. On the one hand, it’s the first 2008 meeting on the track of last year’s NON 1-2 finishers in the mile, Stephanie Morgan and Emily Infeld, both from Ohio. On the other, you have new 10:32.73 2-miler performer Kathleen McCafferty, 2-time Foot Locker Finalist and 10:34 runner Kayla Hale and a bunch more under 10:50.

13. 60-Footers Galore – Freshman phenom and US leader Nick Vena NJ will be in New York, but six of the other 60-foot shot putters competing for a title this weekend will be in Landover Sunday, including 65-footer Brandon Pounds IN. Though Pounds is the only entrant over 64, expect a tight competition with all the athletes clustered in the 60- to 63-foot range.

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