While the West Coast and lower East Coast topped the calendar last weekend, this weekend meets in the Heartland, Northeast and upper South lead the way. Starting Friday night, the Kansas Relays, Volunteer Track Classic and New York Relays assemble some of the finest fields around. Numerous top-flight individuals will take part in each meet and MileSplit will keep you up-to-date on all the weekend's top results.
Weekend Preview (4/18 - 4/20)
MileSplit On-Site Coverage
We'll be bringing you numerous on-site coverage the rest of the season, with the Volunteer Track Classic being the best meet we're covering this weekend.CO - Thornton Invitational IL - Wheaton South ABC Meet MS - District 5-4A Meet, District 5-5A Meet OH - Mason Comet Relays TN - Volunteer Track Classic
Kansas Relays (KS)
The annual Kansas Relays bring together many of the top high school, collegiate and professional track and field talent in the heartland. This year a bevy of prep talent from Missouri, Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska take to the event to prove who is the best in the region and perhaps post a few U.S. top five marks.
Leading the way are the girl throwers. Four athletes return from last season that threw 44-08 or farther in the shot put. Brittany Borman (Festus, MO) and Jacquelyn Leffler (Northern Heights, KS) are the two favorites in the event, however, Kansas throwers Alex Hartig (Great Bend, KS) and Micah Wesley (Topeka, KS) could challenge for the win as well. Meanwhile, while all four are entered in the shot put and discus, Megan Collins (Lee's Summit North, MO) brings her talents to just the discus throw and will be one to watch.
While the shot and discus are always events to watch, the talent in the girls javelin is perhaps the strongest event up top. The U.S. #3, 4 & 6 returnees from '07 are entered in the event. Heather Bergmann (Concordia, KS), Roxi Grizzle (Tonganoxie, KS) and Borman should each challenge for a top U.S. #3 mark.
The top two individuals on the track for girls are Alishea Usery (McCluer South-Berkeley, MO) and Emily Sisson (Millard North, NE). Usery is entered in the 400m dash and could run under 54 seconds, while she also helps her team in the 4x400m relay. Sisson is entered in the 1600m run and 3200m run, coming back from her stellar 3200m run last weekend out at the Arcadia Invitational (CA), and will receive challenges from Laura Roxbery (OP-Blue Valley, KS) and former teammate Kelli Budd (Marian Central, NE).
The boys side is equally as loaded, starting with Maurice Mitchell (Raytown South, MO) in the 100m dash. Mitchell is the U.S. #5 returnee in the event from '07, and will be looking to match some of the impressive performances already put up in the event across the nation. Along with Mitchell, Andre' McDonald (Park Hill, MO) will shine on the track. McDonald is one of the top all-around athletes in the country and is entered in the 110m hurdles, 300m hurdles, high jump and long jump. In in the long jump he will be challenged by Richard McCoy (OP-Blue Valley, KS), as both athletes have a shot to crack the 25 foot barrier. McCoy is also entered in the triple jump.
The distance events will be a site to see as well. Led by middle-distance star Andrew Perkins (Watertown, WI) and Foot Locker finalist Kevin Williams (D'Evelyn, CO), all three distance races should be fun to watch. Perkins is entered in the 800m dash and 1600m run, where he'll face a challenge from Rick Elliott (Kickapoo Nation, MO). In the 3200m run, Williams is the heavy favorite, but Elliott and Phil Bascio (Christian Brothers, MO) will provide a challenge for much of the race.
As many fans focus their attention on the track, some heavy hitters will be off the track showcasing their talents in the field events. In the boys pole vault, Corey Shank (Fort Wayne Northrop, IN) and Chase Cooper (Smoky Hill, CO) will both be looking to push the 17-00 barrier, each hoping to become the second athlete nationally to break the mark. In the throwing events, John Talbert (KC E. Christian, KS) and James Coleman (Marquette, MO) will battle in the discus throw, each being one of the top national returnees in the event.
The talent at this year's Kansas Relays is as strong as ever on the high school side. Athletes from around the Heartland and Midwest will create competition not seen nearly anywhere else this weekend. We'll keep you posted as the results flow in.
New York Relays (NY)
Led by the entries of Chanelle Price (PA) and Charlene Lipsey (NY) in the 800m dash, the NY Relays brings together many of the top teams in the state to square off in a weekend of intense competition. While the relays tend to be the focus, the addition of Price to the field this year makes the event one of the top events to watch. Price has been quiet since her strong indoor campaign, so all eyes will be on New York this weekend to see how she does.
In the relays, teams such as Boys & Girls (NY), Warwick Valley (NY), Colt's Neck (NJ) lead the way, while Brian McGovern (NY) should vie for the pole vault win on the boys side and push the 16-00 barrier.
In-depth meet coverage click here (ArmoryTrack.com)
Volunteer Track Classic (TN)
Some great weekend match-ups take place this weekend at the University of Tennessee. Leading the list is another great re-match between Jacquelyn Coward (TN) and Jasmine Stowers (SC) in the girls 100m hurdles and 300m hurdles. Both athletes have pushed each other to the brink both indoors and outdoors, so expect some good times to come out of these races.
In the distance events, '06 Foot Locker champion Kathy Kroeger (TN) kicks-off her big invitational outdoor season by competing in the girls two mile run. Middle distance star Dylan Ferris (NC) is entered in the boys 800m dash, while Foot Locker finalists Peter Dorrell (VA), Sean Keveren (TN) and Ryan Hill (NC) all square off in the boys mile run.
In-depth meet preview click here (TennesseeRunner.com)
Downers Grove South Invitational (IL)
Downers Grove South Invitational: Meet Page
After his monster performance last weekend in the Arcadia Invitational (CA) boys 5k, Chris Derrick (Neuqua Valley, IL) looks to do a trial run of the state meet weekend as he doubles in the 1600m run and 3200m run Friday evening at the Downers Grove South Invitational. Last weekend Derrick explained he was going for some very fast times in both events while he faces some stiff competition.