The Weekend’s Top Matchups

What are the one-on-one matchups to keep an eye on this weekend? I’ve got it all right here for you.

1. #1 Arkansas at #2 Texas A&M (men)
Saturday, 11:00 am local / noon ET, College Station TX
According to the dual meet team rankings I do for Track and Field News, these are the top two teams in the nation, so the winner is virtually guaranteed to win the indoor dual meet national title. This is not to say that it has to be either Arkansas or Texas A&M, because #8 LSU will also be here. Doping this meet out (track lingo for predicting event results to get a predicted team score) is probably more trouble than it’s worth given that the three teams have a grand total of four meets under their belt this season, with many of the top athletes kicking it off right here.

Video will be available at the AggieAthletics website beginning at 10:55 am local time (11:55 am ET), and Flotrack will be on site as well.

Video link | Flotrack coverage | Live results
Meet preview | Meet schedule | Entries

2. #1 LSU at #2 Texas A&M (women)
Saturday, 11:00 am local / noon ET, College Station TX
Everything I said above also applies to the women’s competition. Top two teams, indoor title on the line, #5 Arkansas lurks, live webcast, all the rest. Gotta watch this meet. Bowerman Award winner Kimberlyn Duncan will run the 200 meters.

Video link | Flotrack coverage | Live results
Meet preview | Meet schedule | Entries

3. USA shot putters versus European shot putters (men)
Friday, 6:15 pm local time (12:15 pm ET), Nordhausen GER
Now in its 13th year, the “Internationales Kugelsto├č-Meeting” is a shot put-only competition. They put on a great show here, and this year’s shtick is USA versus Europe. Americans Reese Hoffa, Ryan Whiting and Cory Martin go up against Maksim Sidorov (Russia), Asmir Kolasinac (Serbia) and Ralf Bartels (Germany). I cannot find a meet website, so check out leichtathletik.de and brush up on your German to see how it all comes out.

4. Indiana State at Purdue
Saturday, 10 AM, Lambert Field House, West Lafayette IN
Both Indiana State’s men’s and women’s teams are in the dual meet top ten rankings, and Purdue’s women rank at #13. That’s not what makes this matchup intriguing, though, it’s the history.

The Gene Edmonds Cup is awarded to the combined men’s/women’s team champions of this meet. In all seventeen editions of the meet, the cup has gone to Purdue. That streak could end because Indiana State looks like the favorites. On the other hand, the Boilermaker women showed remarkable improvement from 2012 in last week’s 2-point loss to rival Indiana. Winning this meet would be a very big deal to Indiana State, but doubtlessly new Purdue head coach Lonnie Greene feels that fighting them off is an integral part of a change in attitude necessary for crawling out of the Big Ten’s basement. This is going to be a hard-fought meet.

Meet preview | Meet schedule

5. Dezerea Bryant vs Octavious Freeman
Saturday, 2:40 pm, Crossplex, Birmingham AL (60 meters)
Clemson’s Bryant and UCF’s Freeman are currently #1 and #2 in the 60 meters on the yearly NCAA list, having run 7.19 and 7.20 respectively. They will face off in the Auburn Invitational at the Crossplex facility in Birmingham. #3 and #4 are also running–they are Aurieyall Scott and Dominique Booker, both from UCF.
Meet schedule | Entries | Live results

5. Kimberlyn Duncan vs Kamaria Brown (200 meters)
Saturday, 12:25 pm local (1:25 pm ET), College Station TX
Duncan is the reigning Bowerman Award winner, but Brown is hardly a pushover. These are the two fastest athletes returning from last year’s indoor season. This is a competition-within-the-competition between the Tigers and the Aggies.

See #1 and #2 above for viewing options.

6. Prezel Hardy Jr vs. Aaron Ernest (60 meters and 200 meters)
Saturday, 11:55 am local (60 meters) and 12:25 pm local (200 meters), College Station TX
Hardy and Ernest are sprint stars for Texas A&M and LSU, respectively. I know I keep on coming back to the triangular at Texas A&M, but it’s going to be a great meet. Hardy has been one of the NCAA’s top sprinters for a few years now, but Ernest came on strong last year and won a pair of silver medals at the World Junior Championships. They’re currently #2 and #3 on the yearly NCAA 200 meter list. In a rather unusual move, both are scheduled to run high-level sprint races just half an hour apart.

See #1 and #2 above for schedule and viewing options.

#7. Conseslus Kipruto vs Emmanuel Bett
Sunday, Santiponce ESP
These two will face off in the 31st Cross Internacional de Italica, an IAAF Cross Country Permit meet, just a week after finishing 1st and 2nd at the IAAF Permit race in Elgoibar. The meet’s name a is a bit confusing, as it is held in Spain near ruins of the ancient Roman city of Italica. Kipruto won the steeplechase at last summer’s World Junior Championships and Bett ran last year’s leading 10k time, so these are seriously good runners.

Meet website | IAAF preview

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