Wednesday, March 10, 2010
NCAA Indoor Preview - Men's 200 Meters
The World Indoor Championships won't be the only "big meet" taking place this weekend. Half a world away the NCAA will also be holding its indoor championships in Fayetteville Arkansas. Always an exciting meet in it's own right, the NCAA could have one of the hottest races of the weekend - the men's 200.
Top Entrants with their seasonal bests:
20.67 - Calvin Smith (Florida)
20.67 - Charles Clark (Florida St)
20.69 - Curtis Mitchell (Texas A&M)
20.76 - Marcus Rowland (Auburn)
20.77 - Rondell Sorrillo (Kentucky)
This race has 16 entrants with seasonal bests squeezed between 20.67 and 20.97 - talk about a loaded event!
Curtis Mitchell started the season hot running his season's best 20.69 way back in January. But since then the pack has been steadily closing in. During the conference meets held two weeks ago, Calvin Smith (SEC) and Charles Clark (ACC) seemed to be peaking at just the right time as both ran world leading 20.67's.
This race is loaded with talent. The only major players missing are Georgia's Torrin Lawrence (20.80/45.03) and Alabama's Kirani James (20.93/45.24) who appear to be focusing solely on the 400 this meet. Leaving Florida's Smith (20.67/45.61) as the top long sprint doubler in this meet.
Several competitors have international experience. Calvin Smith and Charles Clark have both made US international teams - Smith making the '08 Olympic squad as a 4x4 relay member and Clark the '09 World team finishing 7th in Berlin in the 200. Sorrillo also competed in Berlin as a member of the Trinidadian team - finishing 6th in the semifinals of the 200.
The top five seeds are #1, #2, #3, #5 & #6 in the world this year indoors (Sorrillo's mark was set on an oversized track). The field is so deep that last year's champion, Trey Harts (Baylor), enters as only the 16th seed this year!
But as good as the top five seeds are, there are no locks this year. Not with everyone seemingly improving by the week. With everyone being so close together, it's going to come down to who get hot THIS weekend! It would be no surprise to see a senior like Harts or Tennessee's Evander Wells (20.88 SB)run his way onto the podium. Or an improving frosh like Florida's Tony McQuay (20.84 SB) sneak his way into medal contention.
Throw in the fact that the 200 meter oval in Fayetteville is lightning fast (track record is 20.10) and we have the ingredients for an event that should be exciting from the first gun in the qualifying rounds through the final itself.
After playing a round of "eenie meenie minie mo", and consulting my trusty Ouija board, the favorites show why they are favorites and the medals go to:
G - Curtis Mitchell - Texas A&M
S - Charles Clark - Florida State
B - Calvin Smith - Florida