The Weekend’s Best Matchups

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 ā€˜nā€™ 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.

Race website

Race preview

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.

Race website

IAAF preview

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.

I’ll be covering the MAC Championships for HustleBelt.com. Check out my meet preview.

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:

Men

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

4Ɨ400 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

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