Sprints & Hurdles Preview
NOTE: All rankings referenced in this section are FAT and wind-legal, unless otherwise indicated.
We always hope that much of the top talent from Texas will travel to Greensboro, but that's not always realistic. There are only a handful of girls from the Lone Star State entered this weekend, and all of them are set to make a major impact on the meet. That's certainly the case for Kaylor Harris (Mesquite TX), who is currently US #4 in the 100. She shoud face home-town favorite and US #9 Tamara Clark (High Point Central NC) in the finals, as well as US #17 Twanisha Terry (Miami Northwestern FL).
Although there are no athletes entered who are currently in the top 10 in the US, the field should be extremely competitive. Clark will be the top seed and currently sits at US #11 in the event, with fellow Tar Heel State star Anna Cockrell (Providence Day NC) at US #18. Lauren Ghee (Grassfield VA) sits between them at US #14, and you can include US #21 Daija Lampkin (Middletown DE) among the contenders.
This is one of the must-see events of the weekend! 5th-ranked Sterling Lester (Marietta GA) leads a group of 10 athletes that have run 54.05 or faster this season; her PR of 52.69 is the best by almost half a second, making her a strong favorite. US #7 Chloe Abbott (Northville MI) is hoping to break 53 for the first time, as are Julia Hall (Arapahoe CO, US #10) and McKinley McNeill (Parkland NC, US #12). There are 6 more runners entered who are currently in the top 30 in the country, and that means a very good chance of a sub-54 getting left out of the final!
Did we say something about "must-see events?" The girls' high hurdles is arguably the single most loaded race in the entire meet, with 13 of the nation's best 19 entered - including the top four in the country! That means national leader Tonea Marshall (Arlington Seguin TX) will have her hands full with US #2 Brandee' Johnson (Nansemond River VA), US #3 Chanel Brissett (Cheltenham PA), and US #4 Tia Jones (Walton GA). It's worth noting that Jones has the top all-conditions time in the country, a 13.03 with no wind indicated that barely edges Marshall's wind-legal 13.04. Cockrell, who is US #9 in this event, does have a victory over Marshall under her belt - the two squared off indoors at the David Oliver Classic. Do NOT miss this event.
The US leader and defending champion at this distance, Union Catholic (NJ) junior Sydney McLaughlin, will race against the top three 300 Hurdlers in the country. Cockrell is the returning and current US #2 in the 400H as well as the 2016 national leader in the 300H, and if anyone can take down the monster it will be her. Jurnee Woodward (Vacaville CA, US #2 300H) joins Cockrell in breaking 41 this spring, but this will be her first 400H of the year. Johnson is US #3 in the 300 and US #5 in the 400, and we also have the #3 and #4 in the longer race entered: Brooklyn Broadwater (Springside Chestnut Hill PA) and Alyssa Sandy (Paul Robeson NY). If you factor in the two athletes that are right on the cusp of breaking one minute, we could see 6 or more sub-60's in the final!