World Power Rankings — Men

Adidas Grand Prix edition

Yesterday I gave you my women’s power rankings for the events contested at this Saturday’s Adidas Grand Prix. Here are the current men’s power rankings for the events being held there. Names in bold are slated to compete.

100 meters

1. Justin Gatlin (USA)
2. Tyson Gay (USA)
3. Mike Rodgers (USA)
4. Nesta Carter (JAM)
5. Ryan Bailey (USA)

Disabled list: Usain Bolt (JAM), Yohan Blake (JAM), Doc Patton (USA), Asafa Powell (JAM)

Gatlin has two major victories (in Doha and Beijing) to Gay’s one (in Kingston) and has run nearly as fast. Rodgers was second to Gatlin in each of those victories while Carter was second to Gay in Jamaica. This is Bailey’s first serious race of the year. A massive number of sprinters have come up hurt recently.

200 meters

1. Nickel Ashmeade (JAM)
2. Warren Weir (JAM)
3. Jason Young (JAM)
4. Tyson Gay (USA)
5. Justin Gatlin (USA)
Disabled list: Usain Bolt (JAM), Yohan Blake (JAM), Wallace Spearmon (USA)

Ashmeade beat Weir at the World Challenge meet in Kingston, and Weir won the Diamond League meet in Shanghai. Gay ran a vary fast time, albeit wind-aided, but in an obscure meet that amounted to little more than a time trial.
Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

World Power Rankings — Women

Adidas Grand Prix edition

Who are the world’s best athletes in each event?

It’s not necessarily the same ranking as on the world lists for each event (although there is quite a bit of crossover). We don’t have win-loss standings, and the Diamond League standings in each event aren’t always descriptive either, especially this early in the season.

It’s something that most fans more or less keep in their head–and if they don’t, then they lack the proper perspective when watching a race. They have no idea whether the result went to form, or there was an upset, and who moved up and down in this theoretical ranking.

So here I am to enlighten you. These rankings are based on a lot of things, including last year’s results. The more high-level competitions an event has seen in 2013, the more the ranking is based on this year.

Today I’m listing women’s events, and just the ones that will be part of Saturday’s Adidas Grand Prix in New York.

100 meters

1. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (JAM)
2. Veronica Campbell-Brown (JAM)
3. Blessing Okagbare (NIG)
4. Kelly-Ann Baptiste (TRI)
5. Barbara Pierre (USA)
disabled list: Carmelita Jeter (USA)

No start lists are available yet for the Adidas Grand Prix in this event. Fraser-Pryce won the Diamond League opener in Shanghai and Cambell-Brown won the major early race of the World Challenge circuit in Kingston. The others have all taken runner-up spots in major races.

200 meters

1. Allyson Felix (USA)
2. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (JAM)
3. Veronica Campbell-Brown (JAM)
4. Sanya Richards-Ross (USA)
5. Kimberlyn Duncan (USA)
disabled list: Carmelita Jeter (USA)

The top two, Felix and Fraser-Pryce, will face off in 150 meter street race on Sunday in Manchester’s Great City Games, and Campbell-Brown will run in New York. As is common in the 200 meters, there hasn’t been much high-level competition between top sprinters.
Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Dual Meet Hall of Fame: Steve Prefontaine

Pre vs UCLA in April '70, his first college meet at Hayward Field

In each class of honorees for my Dual Meet Hall of Fame, I try to spread around the choices in event areas, eras, and regions. This year’s choice for distance runner, 70s dude and the Pacific northwest is one of the most intense competitors of all time, Steve Prefontaine.

A year ago I argued that dual meets were a huge part of why Prefontaine became the bigger-than-life Pre, the hero of Duck fans. All he did was win.

So many of his dual meet exploits require the word epic. There were crazy doubles, like a 3:56/13:06 mile/3-mile double. There were fast times, like his 13:29.6 American Record. But one race stands out above them all, possibly the greatest race ever held in a dual meet. It was against Oregon State on May 6, 1972. From the following day’s Eugene Register-Guard:

Pre during his epic 3:56/13:06 double in '73


In a race that those who saw will never forget — and in five years 100,000 people will say they were there — Steve Prefontaine reached back for more intestines than one man’s stomach should hold in repelling the inspired 1,500 meter challenge of Oregon State’s Hailu Saturday at Hayward Field.

Bill Bowerman called it one of the greatest races he has ever seen. It will forever overshadow Oregon’s obliteration of OSU in the dual meet…

The results say that Prefontaine won in 3:39.8 … and that Hailu was three strides back in 3:40.4.

As Pre said later, “I wanted the race to be a question of who had the most guts, not who had the most speed.”

The 800 meter lead went to Pre in 1:57 and he had it at three laps when Haile made his move.

The crowd [of more than 9,000] sensed the time had come for Pre to be tested. For a moment or two, as they battled stride for stride down the back stretch, there was a lingering doubt whether Pre could repel the challenge of the quicker African.

Pre used his superior experience, moving gradually over on the track as the two moved in front of the east grandstand. He forced Hailu to move wider than he wanted and the Ethiopian could never forge ahead.

Slowly, Pre pulled away around the turn and, although he wobbled the last 30 yards from sheer exhaustion, he hung on to win.

In his biography of the man, Pre!, Tom Jordan called it “the quintessential Prefontaine race”, and Eugene Register-Guard sportswriter Ron Bellamy listed it among the best races he ever saw.

Here is Pre’s complete record in collegiate dual meets.

3/21/70 at Fresno St w/ Stanford 1st 2-mile 8:40.0
3/28/70 at UTEP 1st 3-mile 13:48.8
4/4/70 at Washington 1st 1-mile 4:03.2
1st 2-mile 8:51.6
4/11/70 at Cal 1st 3-mile 13:30.6
4/18/70 vs UCLA 1st (tie) 1-mile 4:05.3
1st 2-mile 8:46.4
4/25/70 vs Washington St 1st 3-mile 13:12.8
5/2/70 vs Oregon State 1st 1-mile 4:00.4
3/20/71 home quadrangular 1st 2-mile 8:33.2
3/27/71 at San Diego State 1st 1-mile 4:00.2
4/3/71 vs Stanford 1st 3-mile 13:01.6 dual meet record
4/10/71 vs Washington 1st 1-mile 4:02.6
1st 8:36.2
4/17/71 vs Cal 1st 3-mile 13:34.0
4/24/71 at UCLA 1st 1-mile 3:59.4
5/8/71 at Oregon State 1st 2-mile 8:42.4
3/18/72 at Fresno State 1st 2-mile 8:55.4
4/8/72 at Washington 1st 1-mile 4:07.3
4/15/72 at Nebraska 1st 2-mile 8:35.2
4/29/72 vs Washington St 1st 5000m 13:29.6 American Record
5/6/72 vs Oregon State 1st 1500m 3:39.8 dual meet record
4/7/73 vs Washington 1st 1-mile 4:03.2
1st 2-mile 8:51.6
4/14/73 home quadrangular 1st 1-mile 3:56.8 dual meet record
1st 3-mile 13:06.4
5/5/73 at Oregon State 1st 3-mile 13:27.2
Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Dual Meet Hall of Fame: Sheila Hudson

The second-to-last athlete honored in the spring 2013 class of the Dual Meet Hall of Fame is Cal long/triple jumper Sheila Hudson.

Hudson was a four-time NCAA Champion, three times in the triple jump and once in the long jump. In dual meet competition she was a team player, regularly doing double duty in the jumps plus running on the 4×100 relay and sometimes the open 100.

My data on Hudson in dual meet competition is rather sparse, as she competed at a time when they were falling out of favor, but also because the late 80s and early 90s were a tough time for getting this kind of information. What I have shows her undefeated, putting up marks that remain near the top of the all-time dual meet lists.

What I have on her career:

4/25/87 at Oregon w/ BYU 1st LJ 20′ 6/5w
1st TJ 43′ 10″w
3rd 4×100
5/2/87 vs Stanford 1st LJ 20′ 8.5″w
1st TJ 43′ 1/4″
4/23/88 vs Oregon & Fresno State 3rd 100m 12.08
1st LJ 21′ 8.75″
1st TJ 43′ 9.25″
3rd 4×100
4/30/88 vs Stanford results unknown
redshirted 1988
4/21/90 vs Oregon 1st LJ 21-6.25
1st TJ 45-1 dual meet record
4/28/90 vs Stanford 1st LJ 21-7
1st TJ 42-11
Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Dual Meet Hall of Fame: Randy Matson

The next athlete honored in the spring 2013 class of my Dual Meet Hall of Fame is James Randal “Randy” Matson.

Matson was the greatest collegiate thrower of all time. He lost just once in his entire college career at Texas A&M, setting collegiate and world records along the way.

In dual meet competition, he was unworldly. He broke the dual meet record in his very first collegiate shot put competition and broke it four more times in his three years of eligibility (and broke the discus record twice). Of course, going into that first collegiate meet, he was already the Olympic silver medalist.

He finished off his dual meet career with a world record 71′ 5½” throw (21.78 meters). Forty-six years later, it still stands as the dual meet record. Matson owns four of the top ten marks in dual meet history, and ranks #3 in the discus.

In later years, he continued to work with his alma mater in fund-raising and promotional roles, but has now retired.

His complete dual meet career:

2/27/65 vs Baylor 1st SP 66′ 8½” dual meet record
1st DT 185′ 3½”
3/6/65 at Rice w/ Texas 1st SP 65′ 7″
1st DT 170′ 7½”
3/20/65 at LSU w/ Rice 1st SP 63′ 9″
1st DT 189′ 1″
4/9/65 vs Baylor, Texas & SMU 1st SP 67′ 11¼” dual meet record
1st DT 190′ 7″
4/14/65 at Baylor w/ Texas Tech 1st SP 67′ ¼”
1st DT 201′ 1½” dual meet record
4/30/65 at Texas w/ Rice 1st SP 69′ ¾” dual meet record
1st DT 195′ 10½”
3/19/66 at Rice w/ LSU 1st SP 62′ ¾”
1st DT 161′ 8″
4/12/66 vs Baylor 1st SP 65′ 10¼”
1st DT 191′ 6½”
2/24/67 vs Baylor 1st SP 68′ 8¾”
1st DT
3/3/67 at Texas w/ Rice 1st SP 66′ 5½”
1st DT 184′ 6″
3/18/67 vs Rice & LSU 1st DT 200′ 7¾”
4/8/67 vs Baylor & TCU 1st SP 70′ 5½” dual meet record
1st DT 213′ 9″ dual meet record
4/12/67 at Baylor 1st SP 68′ 7″
1st DT 189′ 5″
4/15/67 at New Mexico w/ Kansas 1st SP 69′ 2¼
1st DT 190′ 8½”
4/22/67 vs Baylor & Texas Tech 1st SP 71′ 5½” World Record
1st DT 200′ 11″
Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Dual Meet Hall of Fame: Jackie Joyner (Kersee)

As a nod to the USC-UCLA rivalry, every spring will see one athlete from each of the two universities honored in the Dual Meet Hall of Fame. The last athlete was a Trojan and this one will be a Bruin.

She’s only the greatest athlete of all time, and possibly the most versatile, so Jackie Joyner (Kersee*) is a natural for the Dual Meet Hall of Fame.

My listing of Joyner’s career dual meet record looks rather sparse in terms of meets because I’m probably missing a bit. It’s also a bit sparse because in most of those seasons she was still playing basketball for the Bruins well into the early part of the West Coast track season. Joyner redshirted the 1984 season to prepare for the Olympics, too.

But when she competed…whew. She set two dual meet records that may never be broken. One was with a long jump of 22’ 11¼” (6.99 meters). Another was for the heptathlon.

Heptathlon? Yes, heptathlon. In an April 1982 triangular against USC and Utah State, Joyner did all seven heptathlon events (plus a leg on the 4×100). Scored on the current tables, it’s 5527 points in just under 3 hours.

4/10/82 vs Oregon 1st HJ 5-7
1st LJ 19-6
4/17/82 at USC w/ Utah St 2nd 200m 24.72
5th 800m 2:20.44
1st 100H 14.68w
3rd HJ 5-4
1st LJ 20-5½
6th SP 36-6½
6th JT 124-6
1st 4×100 45.61
4/9/83 at Oregon 2nd 100m 12.24
1st 200m 24.78
1st 100H 14.02
1st LJ 19′ 6″
1st 4×100 45.60
4/13/85 vs Cal Poly 1st HJ 6-0
1st LJ 19-11¾
1st TJ 41-6½w
2nd SP 44-3
1st 4×100 45.88
1st 4×400 (53.6 split)
5/4/85 at USC 2nd 100H 13.19
2nd HJ 5-11½
1st LJ 22-11¼ dual meet record
2nd JT 157-5
1st 4×100 44.13 DMR
1st 4×400 (52.5 split)

*Joyner did not marry Bobby Kersee until 1986, after her collegiate career was over.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Dual Meet Hall of Fame: Bob Seagren

The next athlete honoree for the spring 2013 class of my Dual Meet Hall of Fame is USC pole vaulter Bob Seagren.

During Seagren’s freshman year of 1966, he broke the world record. Of course, back then there was no freshman eligibility. He went on to win two NCAA outdoor titles in ’67 and ’69, with a runner-up finish sandwiched in between. Ironically, he won Olympic gold in that same season that he didn’t win the NCAA.

Seagren is possibly most famous for getting screwed by Olympic officials in 1972, leading him to exit from “amateur” competition and join the International Track Association. He also won the 1973 Superstars competition and acted, including a brief role in the classic 70s sitcom Soap.

He won sixteen of his eighteen collegiate dual meets, a remarkable achievement given the inconsistency of the event and that he often faced world-class competition, including teammate Paul Wilson. He twice set the dual meet record, once each in 1967 and ’68. Seagren lost that record to UCLA’s Dick Railsback in ’69 but beat him at the all-important USC-UCLA dual meet. In fact, only once in Seagren’s career did the Trojans lose a meet. Unlike many pole vaulters, Seagren was no one-trick pony; he branched out into the 440 yard hurdles and scored every time he ran.

So far as I know, this is Seagren’s complete collegiate dual meet career.

3/18/1967 vs Arizona & Arizona St 1st PV 16-6¾
4/9/1967 vs Cal 1st PV 16-6
4/15/1967 vs Washington 1st PV 16-6½
4/22/1967 vs Stanford 1st PV 15-6½
4/29/1967 at Oregon State 1st PV 15-6
5/6/1967 vs UCLA 1st PV 17-½
dual meet record
3/30/1968 vs Occidental nh PV
4/6/1968 at Cal 1st PV 16-6
4/13/1968 at Oregon 1st PV 17-1½
dual meet record
4/20/1968 vs Stanford 1st PV 16-6
2nd 440yh 54.4
4/27/1968 vs Washington St 1st (tie) PV 15-7
5/4/1968 vs UCLA 1st PV 16-6
2nd 440yH 53.6
3/8/1969 vs Arizona & Arizona St 1st PV 16-0
3rd 440yH
3/29/1969 vs Occidental 2nd PV 16-0
4/5/1969 vs Cal 1st PV 16-7
2nd 440yH
4/19/1969 at Stanford 1st PV 16-0
1st 440yH 53.0
4/26/1969 at Washington St 1st PV 16-11½
2nd 4x110y Relay
5/3/1969 vs UCLA 1st PV 17-0
Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Major Conference Projection Updates

Yesterday I posted some projections for the Pac-12 and SEC Championships. The SEC team projections were my own work, and I put up the Pac-12 projections published by the Eugene Register-Guard.

With another day of competition done, here are my updates…

SEC Championships

MEN
It’s beginning to look like Arkansas’ meet to lose. Projections:
Arkansas 161
Texas A&M 129
Florida 123

WOMEN
Yesterday it appeared that this would be an inseparable three- or four-way battle, but LSU has moved ahead of the pack. A Tiger victory, however, is by no means secure. Projections:
LSU 140.5
Florida 110
Texas A&M 107
Arkansas 106.5

Pac-12

I did not update the men’s scores because Oregon is cruising towards a seventh straight conference title. The women’s meet looked closer, and the favored Ducks had a mishap when defending NCAA 100 meter champion English Gardner false-started out of the 100m semis. It’s a bit closer now, but Oregon’s women still have the advantage. Projections:
Oregon 151.5
Arizona 122
Arizona State 94

Big Ten

I finally ran some projections for the Big Ten men’s championship, and it’s going to be a real barn-burner. At the indoor Big Ten meet, just five points separated the top five teams, and it could happen that way again. Projections:
Illinois 104
Nebraska 100.5
Ohio State 97
Wisconsin 91.5
Iowa 86
Minnesota 85
Indiana 77
Penn State 69
Purdue 49
Michigan 39
Michigan State 21

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Major Conference Championship Team Projections

The two major conference championships going on this weekend are the SEC and Pac-12. So who is going to win?

One way is to look at the USTFCCCA rankings. In a situation like this, though, those are not exactly helpful–those rankings are a numerical measure of a team’s scoring potential at the NCAA Championships, which isn’t exactly the same thing as a conference championship.

Better yet is to come up with a “dope sheet”, a prediction of the outcome of each event, and then add up scores. You can then update your scoresheet as actual results come in, and adjust your predicted final score.

It’s a cumbersome project at times, which is why a) I haven’t done it for the Big Ten Championships (and maybe I’ll get to that later today) and b) I’m glad the Eugene Register-Guard already did it for the Pac-12.

Here are the predicted final scores, which I will periodically update throughout the weekend.

SEC Championships

On the men’s side, Arkansas’ 26-point gap is more likely to narrow than expand. On the women’s side…holy cow.
Meet homepage (schedule, live stream links)
Live results

MEN WOMEN
153 Arkansas 124 Florida
127 Florida 123 LSU
125 Texas A&M 121 Arkansas
78 Georgia 104 Texas A&M
56 LSU 82 Georgia
51 Kentucky 47 Kentucky
50 Auburn 43 Missouri
41 Alabama 42 Auburn
38 Missouri 40 South Carolina
38 Mississippi 24 Tennessee
33 Tennessee 23 Miss State
31 Miss State 22 Alabama
9 South Carolina 13 Mississippi
9 Vanderbilt

Pac-12 Championships

It looks like an Duck sweep, but Arizona is going to make the Oregon women work for it.
Meet homepage
Live results

MEN WOMEN
148 Oregon 159 Oregon
107 USC 121 Arizona
104 UCLA 89 Arizona State
89 Arizona State 84 Stanford
88 Washington 83 USC
69 California 80 UCLA
68 Arizona 55 Washington
54 Colorado 53 Colorado
47 Washington St. 38 Washington St.
45 Stanford 35 California
14 Utah
8 Oregon State

Eugene Register-Guard dope sheets:
Men | Women

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Dual Meet Hall of Fame: Henry Carr

Yes, I own this trading card. Ain't OCD wonderful?

One of the great forgotten names in collegiate track and field is Henry Carr, who ran for Arizona State for three seasons before giving up “amateur” track and field for the NFL.

It’s rare for a sprinter to set world records in collegiate competition, and it’s rarer still that he set them in dual meets. Yet Carr did just that, twice. He won 29 out of 32 sprint races in collegiate dual meet competition.

Of those three losses, one was in his first collegiate meet of his career. The second was to Adolph Plummer, who set a world record the following season. And the last was when he appeared to be “just striding” and gave up no points in the loss (to a teammate).

The most remarkable run in his dual meet career was probably in March of 1964, in a home meet against New Mexico. Anchoring the mile relay, he go the baton about 30 yards behind the leader and caught him. He split 46.8 (when the world record was 44.9) in his third event of the day.

Carr’s complete career…

3/18/62 vs Oregon St & Ariz 1st 100y 9.6
2nd 220yS 20.9
4/5/62 vs Colorado 1st 100y 9.5
1st 220yS 20.5
4/18/62 vs New Mexico 1st 100y 9.5
2nd 220yS 20.4e (a)
2nd LJ 22′ 8¾”
1st Mile Relay
5/5/62 vs Arizona 1st 100y 9.4
1st 220yS 20.1
3rd LJ
3/9/63 vs Arizona & Oxy 1st 100y 9.6
1st 220y 20.6
2nd LJ 23′ 3¾”
1st Mile Relay
3/16/63 at New Mexico 1st 100y 9.5
1st 220y 20.6
1st 440y Relay
1st Mile Relay
3/19/63 vs Utah 1st 100y 9.6
1st 220y 20.4 WR
1st LJ 24′ 1¾”
1st 440y Relay
1st Mile Relay
3/23/63 vs Arizona & USC 1st 100y 9.5
1st 220y 20.3 WR
1st LJ 23′ 9″
1st 440y Relay
1st Mile Relay 46.0
4/16/63 at Cal w/ SJ State 1st 100y 9.8
1st 220y 21.5
1st 440y Relay
1st Mile Relay
5/4/63 at Arizona 1st 100y 9.4
1st 220y 20.5
1st Mile Relay
3/7/64 vs Arizona & Oxy 1st 100y 9.4w
1st 210y 19.8
3/14/64 vs New Mexico 1st 100y 9.4
1st 220y 20.8
1st Mile Relay 46.8 split (b)
3/21/64 at Arizona w/ USC 1st 100y 9.5
1st 220y 20.7
1st Mile Relay
3/24/64 vs Oklahoma 1st 100y 9.5
1st 220y 20.7
1st Mile Relay
4/2/64 vs Colorado 2nd 100y (c)
1st 220y 21.3
1st 440y Relay
5/2/64 vs Arizona 1st 100y 9.7
1st 220y 21.0
1st 440y Relay
2nd Mile Relay

(a) lost to Adolph Plummer, who set 440y WR in ’63
(b) made up 30y deficit to win
(c) “appeared to be just striding” in 100y, lost to teammate

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off