Sunday, June 6, 2010

NCAA Championships – Final Predictions

Feb 28, 2010; Albuquerque, NM, USA; Ryan Whiting of Arizona State was second in the shot put at 69-0 (21.03m) in the USA Indoor Championships at the Albuquerque Convention Center.

We’re just days away now from the start of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. With no World Championships or Olympics on the slate this year, this meet could be the best championship meet on the schedule this summer.

Both indoor team champions – Florida for the men and Oregon for the women – have arrived at this point in the season looking ready to produce strong efforts to add outdoor titles to their trophy cases. There have been relatively few injuries to the top athletes and squads this year, so we enter Eugene with a full complement of high caliber athletes ready to do battle – making it tough to predict exactly what’s going to happen because the competition should be fierce. None the less here is my attempt to predict how things will look by meet’s end.


Men’s Title – Florida Gators

The Oregon Ducks are strong as always in the distance events – and they have Ashton Eaton in the decathlon and long jump. The Aggies of Texas A&M are strong as always in the sprints and relays. But the Florida Gators bring the most balance – sprints, relays, and several field events including Christian Taylor in the long and triple jumps. I expect Florida to win both relays, the 100, and both horizontal jumps while garnering additional points in the sprints, the triple jump, decathlon, and shot put. They have more strong scoring opportunities than the competition, and if their athletes show up with their “A” game, they will win.


Women’s Title – Oregon Ducks

Every time I close my eyes I see a different outcome – that’s how close I think the competition between Texas A&M and Oregon will be. At the end of the day, I think the battle between the sprint oriented Aggies and the distance oriented Ducks is going to come down to a distance in the middle – the 400 meters. In this case that would be the 4x1, 400, and 4x4, as these two teams will battle it out over “400” three times – and the overall winner will take home the trophy. While the Aggies should easily take the 4x1, Oregon will score big points. On the flip side I believe the Ducks will out place the Aggies in the 4x4. Which leaves the meet in the hands of Keshia Baker (ORE) and Jessica Beard (A&M) and their head to head in the open 400. After careful consideration, I give the edge to Baker, and with it the team title.


Individuals to Watch

This meet will be full of outstanding individuals – which is why I think it will be one of the best meets of the year – and maybe one of the best NCAA championships ever. The Oregon and Florida men will be lead by supermen Ashton Eaton (ORE) and Christian Taylor (FL). Eaton will be competing in the decathlon and long jump, while Taylor will get triple jump, long jump, and possibly 4x4 duty. And while Eaton gets most of the attention at Oregon, look for a strong double effort from teammate Andrew Wheating as he attempts to win double gold in the 800 & 1500 meters. For the women, look for big doubles from Iowa State’s Lisa Koll in the 5000 & 10000 and BYU”s Blessing Okgabare in the 100 & Long jump. And for the best double head to head matchup of the meet watch Ti’erra Brown of Miami and Queen Harrison of Virginia Tech go at it in both hurdle events – 100H & 400H – as they should produce two real barn burners!

The 400 meters could end up being the real star of this meet! I’ve already stated that I think the women’s event could decide the team title, and the women’s 400H will be the second half of a great double head to head battle. But the best head to head matchup of the meet could be the men’s 400 hurdles, where Washington State’s Jeshua Anderson attempts to win his third title in a row. Standing in his way will be South Carolina’s Johnny Dutch, whose recent 48.12 makes him the #4 collegiate performer ever – and a serious threat to dethrone Anderson. Both could end up very close to the 48.00 barrier in what should be a hot final. Keeping to one lap, the deepest finish on the men’s side could end up being in the 400 where world leader Calvin Smith (Fl, 44.81) will go toe to toe with Tavaris Tate (MsSt, 44.86), Demetrius Pinder (Tx A&M, 44.93), Kirani James (Ala, 45.01), Dwight Mullings (MsSt, 45.12) and Joey Hughes (USC, 45.16) – six of the the fastest dozen quarter milers in the world so far this year! Likewise look for a deep and close finish in the 4x4, where Florida currently leads the world at 3:00.31 with Texas A&M (3:01.55), Mississippi State (3:02.10), Baylor (3:02.70) and USC (3:03.26) among the world’s top 10. On the women’s side  the Texas A&M women lead the world in the 4x1 at 42.49. While the Oregon (3:30.23), LSU (3:31.01), Arkansas (3:31.03), and Penn State (3:31.35) women are in the world’s top 12 in the 4x4. There will be some serious competition over one lap in Eugene!

Finally two other individuals to keep an eye on are Florida’s Jeff Demps and Arizona State’s Ryan Whiting. Demps was the indoor champion over 60 meters and has lead the way all season in the 100 meters. He is the high school and co-world junior record holder at 10.01 and could become the first high school record holder over 100 in the auto timing era to win an NCAA title. Whiting has been huge in the shot put all season for the Sun Devils and his season best 71’ 7.5” has him in the #2 position in the world so far this year and #6 all time collegiately. He’s in reach of John Godina’s (UCLA) collegiate record of 72’ 2.25”, and given his consistency this year is a threat to get it in Eugene.

This is one NCAA meet that should provide sterling competition from day one to meet’s close. It should be one outstanding meet. My predictions.



Event Athlete School
100 Meters Jeff Demps Florida
200 Meters Rondell Sorrillo Kentucky
400 Meters Tavaris Tate Mississippi State
800 Meters Andrew Wheating Oregon
1500 Meters Andrew Wheating Oregon
3000 Steeplechase Richard Nelson BYU
5000 Meters David McNeill Northern Arizona
10000 Meters Sam Chalenga Liberty
110 Hurdles Ronnie Ash Oklahoma
400 Hurdles Jesua Anderson Washington State
4 x 100 Relay Rankin, Hall, Wilks, Demps Florida
4 x 400 Relay Anderson McQuay, Taylor, Smith Florida
High Jump Clint Silcock Utah State
Pole Vault Jason Colwick Rice
Long Jump Christian Taylor Florida
Triple Jump Christian Taylor Florida
Shot Put Ryan Whiting Arizona
Discus Mason Finley Kansas
Hammer Marcel Lomnicky Virginia Tech
Javelin Sam Humphreys Texas A&M
Decathlon Ashton Eaton Oregon




Event Athlete School
100 Meters Blessing Okagbare BYU
200 Meters Jeneba Tarmoh Texas A&M
400 Meters Keshia Baker Oregon
800 Meters Phoebe Wright Tennessee
1500 Meters Katie Follett Washington
3000 Steeplechase Mel Lawrence Washington
5000 Meters Lisa Koll Iowa State
10000 Meters Lisa Koll Iowa State
100 Hurdles Queen Harrison Virginia Tech
400 Hurdles Ti’erra Brown Miami
4 x 100 Relay Tarmoh, Lucas, Duncan, Mayo Texas A&M
4 x 400 Relay Thiessen, Purvis, Williams, Baker Oregon
High Jump Amber Kaufman Hawaii
Pole Vault Melissa Gergel Oregon
Long Jump Blessing Okagbare UTEP
Triple Jump Deanna Young New Mexico
Shot Put Mariam Kevkhishvilli Florida
Discus Simone du Toit SMU
Hammer Nicola Lomnicka Georgia
Javelin Anna Wessman UTEP
Heptathlon Brianne Theisen Oregon


  1. Do you know how much of the meet will be streamed online or on tv?

  2. Working on pulling that info together .. Should be able to post something in the next day or so ..