What has been a relatively quiet indoor season began to pick up the pace this past weekend as we begin to see more of the elite athletes taking the stage. This past weekend we saw several in action.
Multi eventers Ashton Eaton (US) and Jessica Ennis (GBR) showed very good early season form. Ennis taking over the world lead in the 60H (8.03) and setting a shot PR of 47’ 11.25”. While Eaton turned in marks of 16’ 8.75” in the pole vault, 7.68 in the 60H and a 1:55.90 in the 800! At this rate both athletes will be forces to recon with in their respective multi events this year.
The word force applies quite well to reigning World shot put champion Christian Cantwell (US) who started out his season with a 69’ 7” toss. Cantwell is in a groove now, and I’m going to hedge my bet early, but if he isn’t injured (knock on wood) he’s going to be real hard to beat.
Another who could end up being a force is Teddy Tamgho (FRA) who three jumped all the way out to 57’ 3.5”. Already the indoor record holder at 58’ 8.75”, he’s the only jumper over 55’ 6.5”. He could so dominate this event if he learns to hold his composure together in big meet situations.
Collegiate competitors also began to flex their muscle this weekend. Texas AM defeated LSU on both the men and women’s side. Giving indication that they will once again be a force on the national scene. Indiana’s Andy Beyer might be giving headaches this year as he took the world lead in the 3000 with his 7:48.35 – school record. And Duke’s Kate Van Buskirk set a Collegiate record in the 1000 of 2:41.00. Not bad for a school not known for track and field excellence!
And US middle distance runners Jenny Simpson (nee Barringer), and Phoebe Wright continued to look good Simpson running a world leading 4:28.60 mile and Wright a world leading 2:00.30 in the 800 at the New Balance Games. A real nice run for Jenny coming off last year’s layoff. And Wright seems to be taking up where she left off last year – one of our top improving middle distance prospects.
Things should really get cracking this coming weekend with the Millrose games on tap and more of Cantwell and Simpson and the debut of Jenn Suhr in the pole vault. I’ll be taking a closer look at Millrose before Friday.