The Weekend’s Best Matchups

There’s a lot going on this weekend, as college track takes it up a notch, spring road racing is really getting started, and the IAAF’s World Challenge series begins.

1. Texas A&M at Oregon (women)
Saturday at 12:00pm local (3:00pm ET)
Live webcast from 2:30pm ET

This is actually a quadrangular, as Washington and Washington State are also in the mix, but it’s hard to see any team but the Ducks or Aggies winning this. Since they’re #1 and #3 in the Track and Field News dual meet rankings, the national dual meet championship is on the line.
Meet homepage | Live results

2. LSU at UCLA (women)
Saturday, field events at 9:00am local (noon ET), running events at 12:30pm local
The #1- and #3- ranked women’s dual meet teams may be facing off in Eugene, but the #2 and #12 teams are simultaneously facing off in Westwood, with #16 TCU providing depth. LSU must win this if they’re going to have any chance at the national dual meet title, and they have to look good while doing it.
Meet homepage | Live results

3. Texas A&M at Oregon (men)
Saturday at 12:00pm local (3:00pm ET)
Live webcast from 2:30pm ET

The women’s side of this meet is crucial in determining the dual meet national champion, but the men’s side is almost as important. Texas A&M is ranked #2 and Oregon is ranked #4, so the winner here will probably exit the weekend in the #2 position. If it’s Oregon, then they simply have to beat #1 Arkansas on April 20. If it’s Texas A&M, then they have to hope for an Arkansas stumble and/or to look like a unmistakably better team on paper. And if the winner is #10 Washington or #13 Washington State, the other teams in this four-way meet, then I’ve radically overrated both Oregon and Texas A&M.

4. Dejen Gebremeskel vs Yenew Almirew vs Ibrahim Jeilan
Carlsbad 5000, Carlsbad CA
Sunday, 12:47pm local (3:47pm ET)

Gebremeskel is one of the best 5k runners in the world, winning silver at the 2012 Olympics and 2011 Worlds. Alamirew has been described as “the future of distance running” and none other than Jos Hermans says he’s the heir apparent to Haile Gebrselassie. Jeilan was the surprise World Champion at 10,000 meters two years ago, but missed last year’s Olympics with injury.

There is no shortage of top talent in this race. Beyond those three, there is Hagos Gebrehiwet, the World Junior Record holder at 5k; Collis Birmingham, the Aussie who recently finished eighth at the World Cross Country Championships; and Leo Manzano, the American who won Olympic silver in the 1500 last year and is making his road 5k debut.
Race website | Running USA preview

5. Mitchell Watt vs Greg Rutherford (long jump)
Qantas Melbourne World Challenge, Lakeside Stadium, Melbourne AUS
Saturday, 6:00pm local (2:00am ET)

The IAAF’s World Challenge series, the second tier of one-day invitationals, kicks off in Melbourne this weekend. Undoubtedly the best matchup of the meet is the men’s long jump, which features Watt, Australia’s Olympic silver medalist, and Rutherford, Britain’s Olympic gold medalist. Commonwealth champion Fabrice Lapierre adds depth to the competition.
Meet website | Athletics Australia preview
Live webcast (time TBA)

6. Marvin Bracy vs Mike Rodgers (100 meters)
Florida Relays, Gainesville FL
Friday, 2:40pm ET

Bracy is the Florida State freshman who looked ready to dominate the 60 meters at the NCAA indoor championships until he false-started. Rodgers is one of the USA’s best sprinters and just outside the truly elite level of international sprinting. We’ll find out if Bracy is for real.
Meet website | Live on Flotrack (subscription required) | Live results

7. Bryshon Nellum vs Josh Mance (400 meters)
Florida Relays, Gainesville FL
Friday, 1:50pm ET

Nellum is an Olympian for USC who got a “medical redshirt”, giving him one more year of eligibility. Mance is an Olympian who ran for USC and left (or was forced out), and then recently got into some legal trouble. They’re rated as two of the best 400 runners in the NCAA, and the backstory of these former teammates makes this race a little more interesting.
Meet website | Live on Flotrack (subscription required) | Live results

8. Florida vs Texas (women’s 4×400 relay)
Florida Relays, Gainesville FL
Saturday, 7:20pm ET

Rated #1 and #4 on TFN’s latest NCAA formcharts, these two met at last week’s Texas Relays and were separated by only 0.04 seconds.
Meet website | Live on Flotrack (subscription required) | Live results

9. Zersenay Tadese vs the clock
Saturday, Hervis Prague Half Marathon
Tadese holds the half-marathon world record (58:23, set three years ago in Lisbon) and intends to go after it on Saturday. He’s got 100,000 reasons to do so–that’s the bonus payout in Euros if he does it, worth $130,000 in US funds. Among the most challenging human rivals might be Teklemariam Medhin, who recently won bronze at the World Cross Country Championships.
IAAF Preview

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Weekend’s Best Matchups

  1. Maserda says:

    I don’t know if you wanted to include international dual meet matchups, but Oxford/Cambridge is over in the USA for their track tour, as they competed against Cornell/Penn this past Saturday (Cornell/Penn winning both meets by hefty margins). Oxford/Cambridge will be competing against Harvard/Yale on April 16th.