Updated March 2, 2017. Special thanks to the sharp eyes of Alan Shank.
This is an unusual year for the USATF indoor Championships. There is not world indoors, so some athletes have chosen to compete and some have not. The athletes who have committed are a fascinating crew and there are key races to watch over the weekend. Here are some of the questions I believe that will be answered this coming weekend on the women’s side in Albequerque this weekend.
1. Who will win the 60 meter hurdles at the USATF Indoors?
Kendra Harrison, the WR at 100 meter hurdles and Sharika Nelvis, will battle over the 60 meter hurdles in Albequerque. The altitude will not adversely affect the hurdlers. The best part of oru sport is the competition between athletes. Nelvis and Harrison could have epic races at the USATF Indoors?
Kendra Harrison is getting faster and faster. Her mastery of the indoor race, a race with six hurdles and over in less than eight seconds for the best, makes any mistake fatal in such a race. Sharika Nelvis is fast, and accurate.
2. Can Ajee’ Wilson lower her AR for 600 meters?
Ajee’ Wilson has run very fast over 600 meters. She owns the 800 meters indoor AR, which she ran at the Millrose Games. At her high level of fitness, will Ajee’ Wilson be able to go after the AR at the Indoor Championships? Alysia Montano set the AR for 600 meters, 1:23.59, at the Millrose Games way back in 2013. Is that record ripe for breaking?
Ajee’ Wilson races from 600 meters to 1000 meters. Her perfect distance, at this time is the 800 meters, and she showed her prowess at the Millrose Games. Let’s see how Ajee’ Wilson performs in the 600 meter national championships.
She will obviously have competition, and Ajee’ Wilson is amazingly fit right now. The fast track, the supportive crowd and a challenging field could really push Ajee’.
Shannon Rowbury will double in the mile and 2 mile, can she win both? Nope, as it looks as if Shannon has pulled out of both the mile and 2 mile. Just checked the entry sheets. Updated March 2, 2016.
3. The pole vault wars, Sandi Morris and Jenn Suhr are not going to give up one centimeter without a battle.
Jenn Suhr and Sandi Morris. The 2008 and 2012 Olympic silver and gold medalist is Jenn Suhr. Sandi Morris is the 2016 Olympic silver medalist. They are tough competitors and this is a USA Indoor Championships. Both will be vaulting for the win, and Jenn Suhr has had some injury problems. Watch these two take the vault up to some serious heights.
Sandi Morris has PB outdoors of 5.00 meters (16’5″) and indoors, 4.95 meters (16’3″). She also has silver medal from 2016 World Indoors and silver medal from Rio Olympics. Jenn Suhr has PB outdoors of 4.92 (16’2″), and indoors, 5.03m (16’5″, WR), as well as silver from Beijing Olympics and gold in London Olympics. Jenn also has won gold at World Indoors 2016 and silver in Moscow World Championships. Yep, Sandi and Jenn both want to win this one!
4. The weight throw has a fine field, Gwen Berry, Deanna Price and Amber Campbell, who can take the victory?
The weight throw is a peculiarly indoor event, but quite similar to the hammer throw. It has a long history in indoor athletics. The athletes who pursue the hammer throw, or the weight throw, do not get rich from their pursuit, but that, dear friends, is not why the athletes pursue the event.
Gwen Berry, Deanna Price and Amber Campbell are three of the finest weight throwers in the event. Take the time to watch them put their mastery of the event to the test.
5. How will Candace Hill fare in her double at the USATF Indoors?
Candace Hill is entered in the 60 meters and the 300 meters. The finest sprinter of her generation is putting some serious racing in at the indoors. It is quite a smart double for a racer of her talent and development level.
We interviewed Candace at the end of 2016 (Candace Hill interview), and were quite impressed. Candace has raced sparingly so far in 2017, so lets see how she can do in the 60 meters (get a good time) and in the 300 meters (be in the thick of the battle).