Updated on January 26, 2017!
The 2017 New Balance indoor Grand Prix is one of my favorite meets of the year. It is also how I start the indoor season most years! The four thousand plus fans in the Reggie Lewis Center shake and rattle the facility as three hours of fantastic track and field impress and inspire track fans, both young and old!
Here are Five Questions that I want to see answered at the 2017 NB Indoor GP!
1. Who will win the women's pole vault? Jenn Suhr, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist (and 2008 Olympic silver medalist) has a PB of 5.03 meters, or 16'-6". Ekaterina Stefanidi, 2016 Olympic gold medalist, has a PB of 4.90 meters, or 16'-0.75". Suhr just set the WL with her 4.81m clearance and has the Reggie Lewis Center MR of 4.88 meters, or 16 feet even. Both vaulters are fascinatingly competitive and focused. We shall have to wait and see who competes the best!
2. Can Hagos Gebrhewit win three times over 3000 meters at Reggie Lewis? The Ethiopian star, who has scored bronze medals in 2015 World Champs and 2016 Rio Olympics. Hagos has the MR in 7:32:87. I watched Hagos take down Mo Farah in Doha in 2015. This man has serious speed and can run a mean last 200 meters! Let's see what he can do in this always exciting event at the Reggie Lewis Center? Hagos won in 2014, and 2013, and in 2012 placed 4th over 3000 meters.
Revised answer: Well, NO is the answer, Hagos is running the mile! He told me he was very fit and he should be in the thick of it. Dejan Gebrmeskel, the man who won in 2011 without a shoe and won the silver in the 5000 meters in 2012, bronze in 2011 Daegu 5000 meters and silver in 2014 Sopot for 3000 mters. Dejan does not race unless he is ready.
3. How fast can Candace Hill go over 300 meters? Candace Hill has run the 300 meters just once, in 36.86. That was on January 7, and Candace was second to Quenara Hayes, who set a new AR of 35.71! The Reggie Lewis' banked 200 meter Mondo track is perfect for the one and one half lap race! Candace Hill is the World Under 18 Champion at 100 meters and 200 meters (2015) and the World Under 20 Champion (2016) at 100 meters. Candace is also the ONLY American high schooler to break 11 seconds (10.98) for 100 meters!
4. Who can beat Matthew Centrowitz over the mile at Reggie Lewis? You are going to bet against Matthew Centrowitz? The 2016 Rio Olympic champion ended a 108 year drought for American men winning the Olympic 1,500 meters. Centrowitz has, it is suggested, eyes in the back of his head. He seldom makes mistakes when he is in the lead! Watch the NB Mile! It should be a battle! Matt is battling Ben True, Hagos Gebrhewit and some surprises!
5. How fast will the New Balance team go in the Women's Distance Medley? In 2015, in a dramatic race with the Central Park Track Club, Brenda Martinez outleaned Nicole Tully to take the race, AR, MR and WR! 10:42.57! Brenda Martinez will be joined by Jenny Simpson and Emma Coburn in the DMR. This should be crazy fast! And, it will be the final event! Sydney McLaughlin is running the 400 meters, Brenda Martinez is in 800 meters, Jenny Simpson in the 1600m and Emma Coburn in the 1200 meters.