The 104th Millrose Games on Friday evening leads off a action-packed weekend of indoor track that is sure to produce fast times and great match-ups.
Here is a brief event-by-event breakdown of the Millrose fields:
Women’s 60 meters:
Veronica Campbell-Brown improved her start a great deal in 2010 and the improvement will be tested in the 60 meters against three Americans known for their fast starts: Lauryn Williams, Lisa Barber, and Miki Barber.
Women’s 400 meters:
Natasha Hastings is the favorite against two-time Olympian Dee Dee Trotter given her 52.29 second win at the New Balance Games last weekend.
Women’s 1500 meters:
Sara Hall has experienced two narrow losses at Millrose and will against be in contention for the win against Canadian Carmen Douma-Hussar and Heidi Dahl.
Women’s 60 meter hurdles:
Bowerman award winner Queen Harrison makes her 2011 debut against indoor veteran Perdita Felicien, the silver medalist at last year’s World Indoor meet.
Women’s pole vault:
The world’s best pole vaulter in 2010 Fabiana Murer of Brazil was added to the field in recent days to face off against American record holder Jenn Suhr.
Men’s 60 meters:
Ivory Williams and Mike Rodgers, two of America’s best indoor sprinters, face off against a contingent of Jamaicans led by 9.78 100 meter man Nesta Carter.
Men’s 600 yards:
This odd race distance fits perfectly for Bershawn “Batman” Jackson, a small guy who has mastered navigating the sharp turns of the Madison Square Garden banked track. Trinidad and Tobago’s Renny Quow, the 2009 World bronze medalist over 400 meters, should challenge Batman.
Bernard Lagat is back in the Big Apple as he goes for his ninth Wanamaker Miler title. Ethiopia’s Deresse Mekonnen and his PR of 3:48.95 won’t make things easy for Lagat. Also watch out for the Bay Area Track Club’s David Torrence, who is making his debut at Millrose.
Men’s 2 mile:
With the help of rabbit Liam Boylan-Pett, Galen Rupp will be going for a fast time without too much competition to push him. Rupp dropped out of a mile race at Boise State due to an asthma attack.
Men’s Multi Challenge:
Four of America’s best multi-event athletes have been invited along with Curtis Beach, a future star in the event. Ashton Eaton set big personal bests last week at Princeton while Clay, Hardee, and Arnold have been relatively quiet on the competition front. The athletes will compete in the 60 meter hurdles, high jump, and shot put.
Men’s Shot Put:
Christian Cantwell was as dominant as it comes in the shot put last year and has already thrown 21.21 meters (69 feet, 7 inches) last week in Nordhausen, Germany. Former Arizona State All-American Ryan Whiting is making his professional indoor debut.
Find the entire field for the Millrose Games here.
The UW Invitational at the Dempsey Indoor Facility in Seattle looks to be living up to its reputation with loaded distance fields for the two day competition.
Meet announcer Paul Merca reports Shalane Flanagan is entered in the women’s mile along with Oregon Track Track members Bridget Franek, Geena Gall, and Nicole Blood. Flanagan is using this race as a tune-up for next week’s USA Cross Country Championships in San Diego.
Franek and Blood are also entered in the 3000 meters along with former UNC All-American Brie Felnagle and Oregon sophomore Jordan Hasay.
2008 Olympian and Nike Oregon Project member Matt Tegenkamp will make his 2011 debut in the men’s mile and will face Oregon distance standout Matt Centrowitz.
Find Merca’s entire UW Invite meet preview here.
Five Nations Match
David Oliver and Lolo Jones headline Team USA as it heads to Glasglow, Scotland for the Five Nations Match. The American squad will be facing off against Great Britain & Northern Ireland, Germany, Sweden, and select Commonwealth athletes.
Find the entire American roster for the event here.
Other meets on the docket
The Texas A&M Challenge this week features the Big 12 teams Texas A&M, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Texas Tech against their SEC rivals Florida, Georgia, Ole Miss, and South Carolina. The match-up between sprint powers A&M and Florida should be intriguing.
The Penn State National Meet always features a fast mile race that has produced several sub-4 performances in recent years and will feature the season debut of World Junior silver medalist Cas Loxsom.
Many northeast schools will be heading to the Terrier Invite at Boston University where the top-notch indoor facility has been resurfaced.