The Weekend’s Top Matchups

Bernard Lagat vs Augustin Choge (3000 meters)
British Athletics International Match
Emirates Arena, Glasgow SCO
Saturday, 3:28pm local time (10:28am ET)

The British Athletics International Match, a scored meet between five national teams, is the first high-level pro meet of the year. The men’s 3000 meters matches up the gold and silver medalists from last year’s World Indoor Championships. This early in the year it’s hard to tell what will happen, but it should be a good race.
Meet website | IAAF preview
Note: this will be broadcast live on the BBC; I’ll post a webcast link right here if one becomes available.

Dai Greene vs Duane Solomon (600 meters)
British Athletics International Match – see above
Saturday, 4:07pm local time (11:07am ET)

The 600 meters seems to be the trendy distance this winter. This is the first of three big matchups during the indoor season, the other two being in Moscow on February 3 and at the Millrose Games on February 16. Greene is the 2011 World Champion in the 400 meter hurdles, a man-eater of an event that translates well to the 600. Solomon was last year’s breakout star at 800 meters, taking his PR from 1:45.23 to 1:42.82 and running a 45.98 at 400 meters. Possibly the most interesting part of a 600 meter race is that everyone is a rookie at the distance.

Arkansas vs Florida (men)
Razorback Team Invitational
Randall Tyson Track Center, Fayetteville AR
Friday, 6:00-9:30pm (local time) and Saturday, 2:00-5:30pm (local time)

Despite a loss to Texas A&M last week, the USTFCCCA still has Arkansas ranked #1 because their calculations don’t take wins and losses into account and are based purely on times, heights and distances. Florida comes in ranked #3. Most collegiate meets are not scored but, in a trend on the increase, this one is. It will be interesting to see how it all shakes out. Is Arkansas for real, or do they just look good on paper? What about Florida—are they a national title contender? And will some other team come up and beat them both this weekend?
Meet preview & info | Webcast link

Galen Rupp vs the clock (1 mile)
BU Terrier Classic
Boston University Track and Tennis Center
Saturday, 3:50 PM ET

Galen Rupp, the American record holder and Olympic silver medalist at 10,000 meters, is apparently looking to run fast—maybe even approaching some kind of record, if you believe the hype. I don’t believe it, but it’s still going to be interesting to see just how fast Rupp can run a mile. The rest of the field is made up of B-level talent (the best of which are Riley Masters, Dorian Ulrey, David McCarthy, and Rich Peters) who are capable of making this into a bona fide race. You’ll have to pony up some cash and join Flotrack Pro to see it live, but watching it after the fact is still free.
Preview | Flotrack coverage

Cas Loxsom vs the clock (600 meters)
Penn State National
Horace Ashenfelter III Track, University Park PA
Saturday, 4:45 PM ET

Penn State’s Cas Loxsom is the NCAA leader at 800 meters, the distance at which he won silver at the 2010 World Junior Championships. Here he is reportedly attacking records; the collegiate record is 1:15.60 (Dmitrijs Milkevics, Nebraska, 2005) and the collegiate best by an American is 1:15.86 (Harun Abda, Minnesota).
Meet preview and info

Michigan vs Michigan State
Kelly Family Sports Building, Allendale MI
Saturday, 6:00 PM ET

This is a revival of a dual meet series last held in 1982 (and last held indoors in 1976, and never held between the two women’s programs). It’s an interesting matchup partly because both programs are good and it should be somewhat close, but also because meet management is attempting to make this a fan-oriented affair. It’s being held in a tight 2½ hour time frame, it takes the two statewide-popular programs on the road to the Grand Rapids area, and it will have an undercard meet (a quadrangular between Eastern Michigan, Central Michigan, Hillsdale and Grand Valley State). Even seating is segregated by fan base and special “track-level” passes are available for a few extra bucks.
Meet preview and info

Minnesota vs Wisconsin (men)
Bill Bergen Invitational
Lied Recreational Center, Iowa City IA
Friday and Saturday

Iowa State’s Bill Bergen Invitational is another collegiate meet that will keep score, a welcome trend. The top two men’s teams here, according to the USTFCCCA rankings, also happen to be the second- and third-highest ranked teams in the Big Ten conference, so we could get a good idea of which of these two teams is stronger.

Regina George vs Courtney Okolo (400 meters)
Razorback Team Invitational
Randall Tyson Track Center, Fayetteville AR
Saturday, 12:55 pm local time (1:55pm ET)

Heat sheets have not yet been released, so it’s not certain that this matchup will happen, but if it does it will be the weekend’s only meeting of individuals ranked #1 and #2 on the collegiate list. Arkansas’ George is a two-time NCAA indoor runner-up at this distance, while Texas freshman Okolo is running in her first big-time collegiate meet.
Meet preview and info | Webcast link

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