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Thursday, April 29, 2010

What's On: The Weekend

The biggest event on the pro circuit this weekend is the Jamaica International Invitational in Kingston on Saturday. Expect 35,000 or so Jamaican fans to be anything but laid back, as Usain Bolt will run his first non-relay event of the year. The sprints and hurdles are the headline events, which I’ve already previewed here and here.

There are other pro-level invitationals, led by the 7th Annual Meeting de la Region du Guadeloupe in Baie Mahault on Saturday, which will have most of the US/Canadian and Caribbean sprint/hurdle stars not at Jamaica. Others include the Mikio Oda Memorial in Hiroshima on Thursday, and South American Grand Prix meets in Venezuela on Friday and in Argentina on Sunday.

In college track, this is “rivalry weekend” and a lot of dual meets are on tap. Washington goes to Washington State, Arizona State and Northern Arizona go to Arizona, and Nebraska goes to Texas Tech. By far the best rivalry and the best meet will be USC at UCLA in their 77th meeting. Flotrack will be covering it live beginning at 3:45 EDT. They will be utilizing a brilliant two-camera setup (you can set your audio to either one), with camera 1 covering the track events and camera 2 covering field events and interviews. The meet schedule is here; running events go from 4:00 to 8:00 EDT, with the meat of the meet beginning at 5:07 PM.

Some conference championships are this weekend as well.
Big East Championships (preview) Friday thru Sunday at Cincinnati, live video at (subscription fee required)
Colonial Championships (preview) Friday & Saturday at George Mason
Ohio Valley Championships (preview) Friday & Saturday at Tennessee Tech
Atlantic Ten Championships (preview) Saturday & Sunday at UMass, live video at UMass All-Access (subscription fee required)
America East Championships (preview) Saturday & Sunday at New Hampshire

The big domestic invitationals are the Oregon Relays in Eugene and the Cardinal Invitational at Stanford. Both are centered around distance races and both will have a heavy professional presence. Some record attempts are rumored; Oregon’s Andrew Wheating will go after the collegiate 1500 record at Hayward Field on Friday. The OTC’s Galen Rupp will go after the 10,000 meters American record in the same meet on Friday night, unless the weather turns sour in which case he’ll go to Stanford instead. The Oregon Relays will be streamed live at (subscription fee required). Featured events and their elite entries (times EDT):
10:05 PM - Women's 1500 - Sarah Bowman, Jemma Simpson, Jordan Hasay
10:15 PM - Men's 1500 - Andrew Wheating, Matt Centrowitz, Lee Emmanuel, Russel Brown, Stephen Pifer, AJ Acosta, Ben True, Ian Dobson, Christian Smith
11:40 PM - Men's 10k - Galen Rupp record attempt
4:05 PM - Men's 800 - Andrew Wheating, Matt Scherer, Elijah Greer, Christian Smith
4:15 PM - Women's 800 - Sarah Bowman, Jessica Pixler, Zoe Buckman

The Cardinal Invitational features some pretty deep fields in the men’s and women’s 5k and 10k races even if Rupp doesn’t come, and the meet will be streamed live at (some sources say it’s going to be free and others say not). The schedule of the top races at Stanford and their outstanding entries (Saturday night, times EDT):
11:34 PM - Women's elite 5k - Amy Begley, Angela Bizzari, Shalane Flanagan, Lauren Fleshman, Bridget Franek, Sara Hall, Lisa Koll, Shannon Rowbury
11:52 PM - Men's elite 5k - Abdi Abdirahman, Bolota Asmerom, Michael Coe, Kyle King, Haron Lagat
12:08 AM - Women's elite 10k - Desiree Davila, Katie McGregor, Jen Rhines, Benita Willis
12:45 AM - Men's elite 10k - Mike Aish, Simon Bairu, Scott Bauhs, Shadrack Biwott, Adrian Blincoe, Boaz Cheboiywo, Sam Chelanga, Alistair Cragg, Bobby Curtis, Anthony "Fam" Famiglietti, Brett Gotcher, Tim Nelson, Patrick Smyth, Chris Solinsky, and maybe Galen Rupp

Arkansas’ Twilight Invitational will be on Friday and will be streamed live at RazorVision (subscription fee necessary). The 25th edition of the Jesse Owens Classic will be held at Ohio State on Friday and Saturday, and will be on the Big Ten Network on a tape-delay show at 5:30 PM on Saturday, May 8. Mississippi State's Tavaris Tate could possibly take down the 23-year-old 400m meet record of 44.10 set by Butch Reynolds.

The main road racing action is in Spokane on Sunday where 50,000 participants are expected for the Lilac Bloomsday 12k run. Another stop on the IAAF Race Walking Grand Prix tour takes place on Saturday in Sesto San Giovanni, Italy.

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