Thursday, February 14, 2008

PRJ Insider: Tyson Invitational Preview

Spearman has personal best time of 19.65 in outdoor 200-meters

The Tyson Invitational typically draws big crowds. This year is no exception. In a mere seven years, the meet has developed a reputation for exceptional indoor races.

The Tyson Invitational is set to run Friday, February 15 at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville. The first event begins at 8 p.m. The meet is to be televised February 17th from 5:00 to 7:oo p.m (ET) on ESPN .

Not only is Adam Nelson worth watching, but so is the men’s shot put. Nelson shook up the shot put world in New York heaving 72 feet, 5 inches. Current indoor and outdoor world champion Reese Hoffa, as well as Christian Cantwell and Dan Taylor will want to avenge their losses. The event should be a ruckus.

Carmelita Jeter has been coming on strong by narrowly winning the 60-meters at the finish line. Miki Barber has had trouble holding off Jeter, but you can rest assure Barber has been tweaking her workouts to adjust accordingly. Sanya Richards, a 400-meter specialist, is making a surprise appearance in the race.

Getting her first Visa Championship Series start of her career is Natasha Hastings. The 2007 NCAA 400-meter champion from University of South Carolina competed professionally outdoors last year after the collegiate season and is debuting indoors at 200-meters.

Jenn Stuczynski, who lost to Jillian Schwartz on misses two weeks ago in New York, is back to confirm her status as the queen of pole vault. Schwartz, Chelsea Johnson, Lacy Jansen, and Arkansas alum April Steiner certainly have plans to spoil the campaign. The line up is hot!

Might want to watch Wallace Spearman this week. He is coming off a superb 2007 outdoor season, running 19.82 at the Reebok Grand Prix meet in New York and winning bronze at world championships in Osaka. This race is ‘must-watch TV’. PRJ announced that Wallace is looking to break the current 200-meter world indoor record of 19.92.

Speaking of great races, the men’s and women’s collegiate 4 x 400 meter relay races are stacked. Five of the top 10 ranked teams populate this week’s race. The LSU Tiger women come in with the nation’s second fastest time and Arkansas, Miami, Penn State and South Carolina are all ranked in the top 10. Whew!

Likewise, reigning NCAA indoor and outdoor champion 1,600-meter relay team, Baylor University, will be defending their title against stiff competition. Baylor could not have chosen a more challenge field to defend their title. Kentucky, LSU, Georgia and Texas Tech are all top ranked teams and will push this to be a hotly contested race.

By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist

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