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The Weekend’s Best Track and Field Matchups

posted by The Track & Field Superblog
Friday, March 1, 2013 at 8:26pm EST

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What to watch for in the coming weekend, in chronological order…

Distance Medleys vs the Bubble
Alex Wilson Invitational
Loftus Center, South Bend IN
Friday, 8:00 PM ET

Qualifying to the NCAA Indoor Championships is by time, the same as always, but it’s a little less murky this year. In the past there was automatic qualifying, and then everyone else had to take a wait-and-see attitude, since the number of individuals and teams varied from event to event. This year, it’s straight top 16 in individual events, top 12 in relays.

In most other events, who’s in and who’s out won’t change a whole lot during this “last chance” weekend. In the distance medley, it sure will. For many teams, this is the first time they’ve put all their best runners together and gone after a truly fast time.

Most of the top men’s teams will be running at the Alex Wilson Invitational at Notre Dame on Friday night. Mitch Kastoff of Flotrack predicts that eleven of the twelve teams who will make it to the NCAAs are running in that meet–and they’re split more or less equally into three heats. This will rock, and yours truly will be announcing on the webcast.
Host website | DMR Preview
Live webcast link (subscription required)

Darya Klishina vs Olga Kucherenko (long jump)
European Championships
Scandinavium, Göteborg SWE
Saturday, 4:00 pm local time (10:00 am ET)

Kucherenko is the world leader and has three of the year’s five best jumps. Klishina beat her at the Russian Championships, though, one of her three wins in her five meets.
Meet website | Live results
Live webcast link

Jeneva McCall vs Gwen Berry (weight throw)
USATF Championships
Albuquerque Convention Center
Saturday, 4:02 pm local time (6:02pm ET)

Many events at the USATF Championships have lackluster fields, but the weight throw is bringing the power. All four of the top weight throwers in the USA will be there. McCall is in her first pro season while Berry is in her second, both are Southern Illinois alums, and they’re the top two in the world so far this year.
Meet website | Meet preview
Runnerspace page
TV coverage: Saturday, 6-8 p.m. LIVE on Universal Sports

Renaud Lavillenie vs Bjorn Otto (pole vault)
European Championships
Scandinavium, Göteborg SWE
Sunday, 11:58 am local time (5:58 am ET)

Lavillenie has been dominant this season: eight wins in as many tries, and five of the top seven heights of the year. Otto, though, has been going nearly as high and lost to none but Lavillenie. Given that the pole vault is the least predictable event in track and field, this should be a good one.
Meet website | Live results
Live webcast link

Mary Cain vs The Pros (800 meters)
USATF Championships
Albuquerque Convention Center
Sunday, 3:04 pm local time (5:04pm ET)

Cain has been on a hot streak, breaking decades-old high school records and beating top pros at meets like the Millrose Games. This weekend she has entered the 800 meters at the USATF Championships. It’s a distance she hasn’t run yet this year, but few top runners have entered the event save Chanelle Price. I can’t recall the last time a high schooler won a senior USATF championship, let alone a high school junior.
Meet website | Meet preview
Runnerspace page
TV coverage: Sunday, 4-6 p.m. LIVE on NBC Sports Network

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