This final Tech indoor meet has a little different purpose than the previous 2. Most of the teams attending are the usual schools from this region. The only additional schools are Lamar (which has pretty good distance runners) and Louisiana-Monroe, which has a well-founded team. More Tech runners will rest and not compete. The ones who are competing are looking to try to improve times/marks from earlier meets in a low-key setting OR trying to make enough of an impression to warrant traveling to future meets and/or conference.
The list of kids resting is pretty long: Lamont Adams, Jamaal Butler, Anthony Flemons, Nathan Lowry, Omo Osaghae, Brian Porter, Waylon Randolph, Gil Roberts, Justin Turner, Jonisha Boleware, Trudy Clarke, and Terra Evans. Tech will not run a 4X400 for the men or the women.
However, there will be a few kids competing for the first time this weekend, with the headliner being Julius Walker in the 55. Also, Bernard Hammonds in the TJ. Plus, Nick Green is at this very moment, competing in his first ever indoor heptathlon (which takes place tonight and Friday night).
I still think we could see several national qualifying marks this weekend. Some of the kids who have already made provisional marks and who have a good chance of getting automatic marks are: Amanda Alley in the PV, DeDe Carter and Patience Knight in the SP, Ozie Okolie in the Weight throw.
I think the other kids with a good shot at hitting their first qualifying marks of the year include: Markus Henderson in the 200, Bill Lawhorn in te 400, Jamele Mason and Brandon Tucker in the 55H, Julius Walker in his 2009 debut in the 55, Asia Diaz in the mile, Amanda Dowdy in the HJ (this freshman is looking very good), Sandra Iwunze and Tori Smith in the 55H, GLadys Kipsang in the 800 and Sage Lasater in the PV.
Also, don't forget that Gilbert Limo in the mile and Sally Kipyego in the 3,000 are running in Boston this weekend. Sally should run a great time in the 3K and I would be surprised if Gilbert didn't run very close to a 4 minute mile.
Any word on why Plinario has not competed yet? Redshirting? THANKS
Posted on 2/8 2:42 PM | IP: Logged
Nut, Zach is redshirting indoors. He was able to get a redshirt for the last outdoor season (he was injured in his first meet - the UTEP Invitational). Due to some nagging small injuries and sickness, Zach and the coaches decided to redshirt him indoors and "even up" his outdoor and indoor eligibility. He is ready to go for outdoors and ready to run in the 51-52 range on the 400H, which would put him in the thick of the race for conference points in that event.
I will post my thoughts at the #3 meet a little later. Busy Sunday and busy Monday have slowed down my posting.
Posted on 2/9 7:30 AM | IP: Logged
Finally, I have the time to put in my thoughts about the TTU Indoor Invitational #3. This meet had completely different purposes than #1 and #2. Several key people rested this weekend in preparation for the Tyson Invitational next week in Fayetteville. There were also some kids on the bubble - would they get to run at conference or not - who were trying to make a good impression. Considering several people did not run here at all, I thought it was a good weekend.
Here are some highlights:
-Of course, the absolute highlight of the day took place 2000 miles away from Lubbock, in the frigid north, where Sally Kipyego ran the fastest 3K ever run by a collegian with her incredible 8:47.88. The strangest element of this great run is that the time stands as the fastest 3K ever in the history of the NCAA, BUT it can't count as a qualifying time for the national meet since Sally was the only collegian. Count on the NCAA to have a dumb rule for everything!
-Amanda Alley is vaulting terrifically. Her vault of 13-3.75 was a indoor PR and is getting much closer to automatic qualifying height of 13-9.25. She made some very strong vaults at that automatic height as well. She is all the way back from her injury that robbed her of 2008!
-Kelsey Lloyd easily looked the best I have seen her ever high jump for Tech. Her 5-10 jump as a provisional mark and her PR. She barely missed at 5-11.5 and I mean barely! Her jump looked good, with lots of spring and pretty good form. I have been saying for 2 years that Kelsey is ready to break out as a national contender and this weekend, for the first time, she looked like she is ready to do just that.
- Tori Smith looks like a new person this year. She is runnnig with incredible confidence, attacking the hurdles and looking better every week. In the past, Tori seemed to be timid running indoors, but this is a new Tori! She set a PR for the third meet in a row and only missed the provisonal mark by .01 of a second, the slimmest margin possible. Her time of 7.85 was a new school record. I fully expect to see her lower that a few more tenths this year and that makes her a serious conference contender.
-Lillian Badaru and Asia Diaz both ran well in the mile. Asia dropped her PR by about 8 seconds with her 4:52 and it was Lillian's first time to run it to Tech with her 4:54. The provisional time if 4:48, so neither one were too far from it.
Gladys Kipsang doubled up and almost qualfied provisionally in 2 events. Her 2:11 was only 2 seconds off in the 800 and her 4:50 in the mile was only 2 seconds off. When she concentrates on only one race at Tyson or some similar meet, she has an excellent chance of provisionally qualifying and she looks ready to try both events at conference.
Jamie Simanek and Roxie Greve are 2 walkon hurdlers and they both ran well - Jamie running a PR in the 55H with an 8.25 and Roxie a PR with a 8.58. Jamie is looking more and more like she will get to run at conference - she improves every week.
-Sandra Iwunze is another hurdler who is running with great confidence. Indoors is not the ideal settng for Sandra, who is the defending Big 12 400H champ outdoors. But, for the 2nd week in a row, she lowered her PR in the short hurdle sprint, with a 8.01 in the 55H. She also looked strong in winning the 600 yard run with a time of 1:26, only .6 from her PR in that event as well.
-Speaking of the 600 yard run, Shannon Jackson ran well finishing just behind Sandra Iwunze in that race, with a PR 1:26.31. I don't think that Shannon has run particularly well this season, but this week looked more like the Shannon who barely missed the finals in the 800 at conference last year.
-Kearci Jobe ran an indoor PR in the 800 with a 2:15. Last year, Kearci tried to prepare for the indoor pentathlon and it adversely effected her 800. Concentrating on the 800 this year, Kearci looks like she is almost ready to fight for a finals spot at conference in a race that is as strong as any event at the conference meet.
- Freshman Sage Lasater continues to impress me in the vault, tying her PR from the first meet with a vault of 12-7.5. I think she is right at the point of going over 13 feet SOON.
- Freshman Zach Dawson ran extremely well in the 1000, running a time almost exactly equal to the time that Silas Kemboi ran last year in finishing 3rd at the conference meet. Like all distance runners, Zach has had to endure a huge learning process moving from HS to college. It is rare to see the college freshman from an American HS that makes a really big splash (one exception is the Fernandez kid from Oklahoma State who has already run a 3:56 indoors in the mile.) On Saturday, for the first time, I saw Zach run to a level where he could have a legit shot to contribute THIS year.
- Speaking of freshmen, I knew that Tech got 2 really good freshmen hurdlers and frankly, I expected to see Brandon Tucker emerge more quickly as a conference contender this year. But, it is JAMELE MASON who looks really good in the early going. Jamele is only .04 off of a provisional time and he looks smooth and strong over the hurdles. That doesn't mean that Brandon won't contribute before the indoor season is finished, it just looks like right now that Tech has 2 freshmen who may run their way into the conference finals in the 60H.
- Speaking of hurdles, Jansen Hyde looks like an absolute world-beater in the 55H this year, breaking his PR for the 2nd time this year and his PR was good enough for 3rd place at the Big 12 meet last year. The sour note about Jansen's performances is that he is running these times unattached, since his grades have sidelined him for the year. The good thing is that he can still run in 2010 and give Tech FOUR legit contenders in 2010 for the finals in 60H indoors and the 110H outdoors.
- Gilbert Limo ran well in Boston, running a 4:05 in the mile. However, because he ran a 4:06 in Lubbock 2 weeks ago, the slower time is actually the time that provisionally qualifies him for nationals, since you substract time from the longer races due to Lubbock's elevation being over 3000 feet.
- Zach Quinones also ran very well in winning the 3K, but just like Jansen Hyde, he is doing it unattached. Zach laid out a semester due to an illness of a family member and he is just short of the number of hours needed to be eligible this spring. He still has a full year left at Tech in 2009-2010 and his times are beginning to move him closer and closer to contender status for next year.
- Darrell Roddick looked GREAT in the HJ. He has had a tough time with his run-up in the HJ this year, but man, does this guy have spring. He looked like he was leaving the ground about 6 feet from the bar, but he still cleared 6-10 handily and just barely missed at 7 feet. This kid has all kinds of spring - I really think when he gets his run-up cleared up that 7-2 is a very real height that he may clear. He just looks great.
- Julius Walker ran for the first time at this meet - trying to have a low-key debut before running next week in Fayetteville and he looks STRONG. His time was only .12 from a provisional qualifying time and he was not pushed. It was great to see him running and you can just see that he is ready to run a good time this next week.
- Chuck Zavala had a really crazy week. He had set a PR in the indoor heptathlon the week before in Albuquerque and was currently sitting in 6th in the conference. He came to the track on Thursday afternoon planning on just a regular workout and the coaches suggested he compete in the first 2 events in the hep being contested in Lubbock. He barely missed his PR in the 55, then set a new PR in the LJ. So, he just kept competing. He then got a PR in the SP on Thursday night. Due to his missing his PR in the HJ by about 3 inches, he was actually about 80 points behind his first day score in Alb. He went ahead and competed in the 55H on the 2nd day of the hep and got a PR in that event, followed by a PR in the PV. For some reason, the coaches decided to have him only run the first 600 of the 1000 yard run, the final event of the hep. Still, considering that he did not even plan on competing in the hep at all this weekend, he ended up with PR's in 4 events and he looks ready to compete at the Big 12 for some big points!
-Nick Green is a multis guy who was attempting to complete his first ever indoor heptathlon. A no-height in the HJ derailed any chance of him getting a decent score, but in the 55 and 55H this kid showed me a little something. It usually takes a young kid a few years to make an impact in the mulit-events, but I think Nick may have what it takes in contribute in the next year or two.
- Aaron Greer ran his first race of the indoor season in the 3K (9:05.80). But, a solid effort in the race may give him the opportunity to get a few more chances to run this year. If he drops that time below 9 minutes, it might even get him the chance to run at conference.
-Markus Henderson dropped his time a few more tenths this week in the 200 to a 21.46. This is only .23 of a second from provisional time and he looks stronger each week. I expect to see him get a provisional time in the next 1-2 weeks and be a contender at conference.
Well, those are some of the highlights I witnessed. The entry lists for the Tyson INvitational come out tonight, so I hopefully can post something tonight or tomorrow about which Red Raiders will be going to that meet this year. I expect to see a big contingent of Tech runners at that meet - almost as many as will go to conference in just 3 weeks.
Posted on 2/9 12:36 PM | IP: Logged
I watched the Boston meet on ESPN on Sunday.
Sally is spectacular.
There were FIVE Olympians in the race. Sally LAPPED four of them. She was only 2 1/2 seconds behind the ultra talented Goucher.
What an amazing representative she has been for Texas TEch
Posted on 2/9 6:15 PM | IP: Logged
Don't forget that Sally was 17+ seconds below the old American record. That provides an idea of the quality of her 3000 in Boston. She is special!