What to Watch Today

Below is a highlighted schedule of the day’s top competition at the Penn and Drake Relays. First, though, a rundown of yesterday’s action.

American record-holders Jenn Suhr and Brad Walker won the Drake Relays “Pole Vault in the Mall” competition, each with event records. Walker won with a first-attempt clearance at 5.72 meters (18′ 9¼”), and Suhr won with 4.75 meters (15′ 7″) before taking three attempts at a US-record 4.90 meters. Read more from the Des Moines Register.

To get a feel for the atmosphere, take a look at this video from GoDrakeBulldogs.com.


Results…
MEN
1. Brad Walker 18-9¼; 2. Derek Miles 18-0½; 3. Jordan Scott 18-0½; 4. Mark Hollis 18-0½; 5. Scott Roth 17-6¾; 6. Jeremy Scott no height.

WOMEN
1. Jenn Suhr 15-7; 2. Lacy Janson 14-9; 3. Kylie Hutson 14-9; 4. Mary Saxer 14-5¼; 5. Becky Holliday 14-5¼; 6. April Steiner-Bennett 14-0.

In the Drake Relays decathlon, stars Bryan Clay and Jake Arnold used the first four events as training and then withdrew. Michigan State’s Kurt Schneider is the current leader.

A rather lackluster Penn Relays decathlon was won by Christopher Newport’s Richard Roethel. The heptathlon went to Ithaca College’s Emma Dewart. HepsTrack.com has some very good ideas for improving the Penn multi-event competitions.

On to today’s action! Penn event previews have been lifted lock, stock and barrell from Walt Murphy’s fantastic pre-meet writeup. Drake event previews are my own.

PENN RELAYS DRAKE RELAYS
Video link
Live results
Video link
Live results
10:00 AM College Women’s 400-meter hurdles
Pennsylvania native Ryann Krais(1-Kansas State/Methacton,Pa), one of the leading American heptathletes, finished 3rd in the 400-hurdles at last year’s NCAA Championships. She has a best of 55.89 and has run 5823 this year. She won the H.S. event here in 2007 and 2008.
Her main competition could come from Illinois’ Latoya Griffith(2), who ran a personal best of 57.42 earlier this month.
1:00 PM College Women 4×100 Heats
The 8 fastest teams advance to the Championship Final on Friday (Event #338-1:05pm). Recent qualifying cutoffs: 45.20(11), 44.69(10), 45.60(09), 44.66(08), 45.42(07), 45.44(06), 45.46(05), and 45.32(04).
LEADING TEAMS
LSU beat Texas A&M at the Texas Relays(42.99-43.21)
42.99 AB LSU–2nd to A&M the last two years…winner of this event at Penn a record 12 times.
43.21 AA Texas A&M–3-time defending champions..
43.35 AC Central Florida–3rd last year…added hot frosh Octavious Freeman
43.88 AE Ohio State
44.01 AF Texas Tech
44.09 AG Houston…5th last year
44.14 AI Auburn–4th the last two years…2nd in 2009…last win at Penn in this event was in 1993
44.29 AK Oregon….anchor English Gardner is the 2012 NCAA Indoor champ in the 60.
44.29 AJ Illinois
44.31 AD UTech/JAM
44.44 AH Tennessee–8th last year
44.90 AM Pittsburgh
44.96 AN Miami
45.28 AS Kentucky
45.33 AW Virginia Tech
5:20 PM College Women’s Distance Medley
Georgetown(AA) returns Amanda Kimbers(400), Chelsea Cox(800), and anchor Emily Infeld(1600), this year’s NCAA Indoor Champion at 3000-meters, from last year’s winning team.
Villanova(AB), with Sheila Reid on the anchor, is hoping for redemption after finishing a disappointing 13th last year. The Wildcat women haven’t been victorious at Penn since 2006, when they won this event. And Reid, the winner of 4 NCAA individual titles, has never won a coveted Relays watch at Penn.
Other contenders include Conecticut(AC), Tennessee(AD), the winner of this event in 2007, 2009, and 2010), and Oregon(AE), which finished 2nd at last month’s NCAA Indoor Championships.
Even with Hasay as a no-show, the Ducks, who have never won a women’s title at Penn, can present a strong lineup of Megan Patrignelli (4:43.38/mile) Amber Purvis(52.80), Claudia Francis(2:06.90), and Alex Kosinski (4:38.21/mile).
5:45 PM College Women’s 4×400 Relay-Heats
The 8 fastest teams from events 159-162 advance to the Championship Final on Saturday (5:45pm).
Recent qualifying cutoffs: 3:39.77(11), 3:37.10(10), 3:43.71(09), 3:35.38(08), 3:41.24(07-9 teams), 3:35.98(06), 3:42.40(05-cool), and 3:37.17(04).
LEADING TEAMS(i-indoor)
3:30.42 AA LSU–2nd last year…winner of this event in 1987 and 1993…2012 NCAA Indoor Champions
3:31.54i AB Texas A&M(3:35.33)–A dropped baton last year likely kept the Aggies from winning this event at Penn for the first time(wound up 3rd).
3:32.36 AD Texas Tech
3:33.15 AF Illinois
3:33.70i AC Oregon (3:35.04)
3:34.13i AE Tennessee–6th this year’s NCAA Indoor Champs
3:35.43i AG Penn State(3:36.07)–5th last year
3:35.84 AI South Carolina–6-time winner of this event–last time in 2007
3:36.00i AH Pittsburgh
3:37.59 AJ TCU–4th last year
3:38.57 AM Mississippi State–7th last year
3:38.86 AN Virginia Tech”
5:40 PM Women’s 4x1600m Relay Univ/Coll
Defending champion Minnesota has five women who have run between 4:30 and 4:33 (for 1500m) this spring. Other teams with depth include Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa State and Mississippi.
7:30 PM College Men’s Steeplechase
Houston’s Wesley Ruttoh(1) finished 2nd last year, while Lehigh’s Evans Kosgei(2), who might run the 5000, was 6th.
7:50 PM Olympic Development Men’s Steeple
Former Arkansas Razorback Scott MacPherson(1) won the College event in 2009. Best is 8:38.87, has run 8:54.79 this year.
8:00 PM College Women’s Steeplechase
Providence junior Shelby Greany set the American Junior Record of 10:00.88 in 2010. She won the U.S. Junior title that year and finished 6th at the NCAA Championships.
8:30 PM College Women’s 3000-meters
Texas A&M’s Natosha Rogers(1) was only 10th here last year, but she’s having a breakthrough season in 2012. She has set PRs in the 1500(4:17.06, mile(4:45.84i, 3000(9:12.83i, and 5000(15:45.80).
Penn State’s Kara Millhouse was 6th in the 5000 at last year’s Relays. She’s run 9:17.48 for 3000-meters. (also entered in the 10,000).
8:30 PM Women’s 10,000 meters Univ/Coll
Obsiu Birru (Grand View) was the runner-up last year, and sports a PR of 34:49.42.
8:40 PM College Women’s 5000-meters
Top seed is Oregon’a s Bronwyn Crossman(1), who has run 15:56.35 this year.
9:20 PM College Men’s 5000-meters
Indiana’s Andrew Poore(2-13:47.05, Oregon’s Chris Kwiatkowski (6-13:51.96), Central Michigan’s Tecumseh Adams(3-13:53.08i), Indiana’s Zachary Mayhew(7-13:54.95), Villanova’s Ryan
Sheridan(15-13:56.43), and Texas A&M’s Kevin Burnett(1-13:56.47) have all run under 14-minutes this year.
9:10 PM Men’s 10,000 meters Univ/Coll
Brogan Austin is one of Drake’s best hopes for a title, as he was runner-up last year. However, he faces a formidable opponent in Wayland Baptists’ Kennedy Kithuka, who ran 28:18.97 last week at Mt. SAC.
9:40 PM Women’s 5,000 meters Univ/Coll
Leading entries include Katie Moen (Iowa State), Bailey Belvis (Missouri), Susanna Hurst (Utah) and Taylor Petersen (Iowa State).
10:00 PM Olympic Development Men’s 5000
There is an outside chance that Morrocan youngster Mohammed Abid, who just turned 17 on March 18, might arrive in the U.S. in time to compete at Penn.
Abid, who ran 3:42.32(1500) and 7;57.45(3000) last year, is planning to train in New York for 3-4 weeks with veteran coach Mike Barnow of the Westchester Track Club.
10:05 PM Men’s 5,000 meters Univ/Coll
Leading entries include Solomon Haile (Arkansas), Eric Fernandez (Arkansas), Lane Boyer (Arkansas) and Andrew Larsen (Minnesota).
10:15 PM College Women’s 10,000-meters
Iona’s Hollie Rowland(1), a junior from Great Britain, has run 16:19.69 for 5000-meters, but this is believed to be her debut in the 10,000 on the track.
Penn State’s Kara Millhouse(2) was 6th in the 5000 at last year’s Relays. She’s run 33:31.93 for 10,000-meters. (also entered in the 3,000).
10:55 PM Men’s College 10,000 meters
American Internationa’s Glarius Rop(1-29:15.07) has finished 2nd here at Penn the last two years.

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