This weekend has two kinds of big matchups: college meets and road races. Here are the ones to watch.
Mo Farah vs Martin Lel
Sunday’s Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Half Marathon has a lot of star power. Farah is the reigning Olympic champ in the 5k and 10k and just won a high-profile 3000 meter race, but also holds the UK record for the half marathon (1:00:23). Lel is a three-time London Marathon champion and a former winner of the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships. While doubt that either one of these two runners have made this race an ‘A’ priority in their training and racing schedules, it should still be a ding-dong battle. Gebre Gebremariam and Markos Geneti are also running and are good enough to upset the two stars.
The women’s race is expected to go to Meseret Defar, the reigning Olympic 5k champion. There are a lot of other big names in the race, though: Americans Shalane Flanagan and Kara Goucher (prepping for the Boston Marathon) and Berhane Adere, a former IAAF World Half Marathon Champion.
Kenyans vs the clock
The Tokyo Marathon has now become part of the World Marathon Majors circuit, and with it comes a significantly improved elite field. Four men with PRs of under 2:05 are in the field, making this by far the best field ever assembled in Japan.
How to watch online
College Conference Championship Weekend
This is the weekend when most conferences have their championship meets, and it’s great. Many are webcast and the Big Ten Championships will be shown on the BTN (tape-delayed, unfortunately). There’s so much good action that I’m not even going to try to break it down for you. Instead, I’ll let the coaches’ association do it.
Everything you need to know is available at the USTFCCCA’s Conference Championship Central page.
The USTFCCCA’s weekly preview highlights the SEC Championships.
The Big Ten Championships are at a neutral site, the massive indoor complex at the Spire Academy in Geneva, Ohio. Some of the Ohio all-comers’ records (best marks ever made within the state) could tumble. The toughest of those records were set at the long-defunct Cleveland Kinghts of Columbus meets (many of which were held in the old Richfield Coliseum).
Note that no distinction is made between standard (200m) tracks and the state’s four oversized (300m) tracks.
With that caveat, the records:
|60 meters||6.56||Henry Neal||Cleveland, 1995|
|200 meters||20.64||Clement Chukwu||Kent, 1998|
|400 meters||45.37||Clement Chukwu||Kent, 1998|
|800 meters||1:47.89||Mike Inge||Kent, 2004|
|Mile||3:56.56||Jose Abascal||Richfield, 1984|
|3000 meters||7:50.23||Jeff See||Akron, 2011|
|5000 meters||13:58.71||Boaz Cheboiywo||Kent, 2003|
|60m Hurdles||7.57||Greg Foster||Cleveland, 1995|
|4×400 Relay||3:07.29||George Mason||Geneva, 2013|
|Distance Medley||9:39.03||Pittsburgh||Akron, 2007|
|High Jump||2.35||Jim Howard||Cleveland, 1985|
|Pole Vault||5.73||Scott Davis||Richfield, 1989|
|Long Jump||8.37||Sean Robbins||Bowling Green, 1996|
|Triple Jump||16.28||Charles Simpkins||Columbus, 1984|
|Shot Put||21.38||Kevin Akins||Columbus, 1982|
|Weight Throw||25.18||A.G. Kruger||Findlay, 2012|
|60 meters||7.13||Gwen Torrance||Cleveland, 1995|
|200 meters||23.03||Jura Levy||Geneva, 2012|
|400 meters||52.07||Ashley Spencer||Geneva, 2013|
|800 meters||2:04.01||Rebecca Addison||Geneva, 2013|
|Mile||4:37.33||Amanda Eccleston||Geneva, 2013|
|3000 meters||9:06.26||Mary Cullen||Akron, 2006|
|5000 meters||15:50.10||Katie Ishmael||Columbus, 1985|
|60m Hurdles||7.93||Jackie Joyner-Kersee||Cleveland, 1995|
|4×400 Relay||3:36.88||Notre Dame||Geneva, 2013|
|Distance Medley||11:06.99||Connecticut||Geneva, 2013|
|High Jump||1.94||Nicole Forrester||Columbus, 1999|
|Pole Vault||4.63||Jen Suhr||Geneva, 2013|
|Long Jump||6.33||Shameka Marshall||Akron, 2006|
|Triple Jump||13.64||Huana Han||Bowling Green, 1998|
|Shot Put||18.28||Ramona Pagel||Kent, 1996|
|Weight Throw||22.09||D’Ana McCarty||Akron, 2011|
You’d think that an Olympic medalist would have a shot at the high jump record, but Indiana’s Derek Drouin will have to jump a PR to break it. Some of the other records aren’t too shabby, either, having been set by legends such as Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Greg Foster.