January 6-8, 2011
HISPANIC GAMES, Friday-Saturday
The Armory, New York, NY
Overview: The meet of the weekend is highlighted with a great girls mile (a Millrose Games qualifier), featuring four of the best girls in the country: 4:43.92 1600 runner (and 800 megastar) Ajee Wilson NJ, frosh class 1500 record setter (4:17.84) Mary Cain NY, defending Millrose champ Samantha Nadel, and 4:43.91 miler (2010) Kelsey Margey NY. That’s only the beginning of the list of talent assembled at The Armory. The numerous other US leaders or stars from 2011 getting their 2012’s under way include long sprinters Najee Glass NJ, Eric Futch PA and Kadecia Baird NY (both US#1 300), dashers Myasia Jacobs NJ (2011 NBIN 60 champ) and Ronald Darby MD (2011 NBIN 200 champ), distance runners Dan Lennon NY and Brianna Nerud (current US#1 miler, but in the 3k), US#1 long jumper Shakeela Saunders VA, and many others.
LSU CLASSIC, Friday-Saturday
Carl Maddox Fieldhouse, Baton Rouge LA
Overview: While the advent of the Texas A&M meet the same weekend has cut down on the Texas crowd a bit, this is still a huge season-opening meet for (primarily) schools in the South and Southeast regions. Multi-event superstar Kendell Williams GA is entered in the HJ, LJ, and 55H; she won two of those in 2011. Dasher Jeryl Brazil LA (6.34 55 in ’11), quarter miler Michael Newton GA (48.79 in, 47.15 out in ’11), and sprinter Jada Martin TN (24.36i in ’11) are just a few of the elites entered.
TEXAS A&M CLASSIC, Friday-Saturday
Gilliam Indoor Stadium, College Station TX
Overview: Lots of elite Texans plus a few from surrounding states converge on this still-new facility with its fast 200 banked track, most making their seasonal debuts. It will be interesting to see how the boys and girls 200s and 400s stack up with the Hispanic Games in New York; World Youth finalist Aldrich Bailey TX and 46.79 400 runner (outdoors) Richard Gary are among the boys entries, while 53.03 (outdoor) 400 star Courtney Okolo TX is among the girls’ best while Aaliyah Brown is coming down from Illinois. In the jumps, USATF Junior and Pan Am Junior champ Devin Field TX – still just a junior – will be opening.
DARTMOUTH RELAYS, Friday-Sunday (Preps are Fri.-Sat.)
Leverone Fieldhouse, Dartmouth NH
Overview: This long-standing fixture (this is 43rd annual) draws from many northeastern and New England states, and also includes collegiate, open and masters competition. Some top entries include long sprinters Kyle Plante NY (38.87 300 in ’11), Precious Holmes (US#5 53.16 400 out in ’11) and the Hillhouse CT relays (US#2 3:59.87 outdoor SMR in ’11), the Molly Keating-led LaSalle RI distance crew and the Lizzie Predmore-led Shenendehowa NY distance crew, sprinter/jumpers Carla Forbes MA (US#2 in out TJ in ’11, NBIN LJ champ) and Mollie Gribbin VT (4 state titles in ’11), and long sprinter Andre Rolim MA (current US#1 600).
MONTGOMERY INVITE, Saturday
PG Sportsplex, Landover MD
Overview: Generally the biggest invite of the year at the former home of the Nike Indoor Nationals, the meet is a magnet for Virginians and other nearby athletes in addition to the home state. The meet typically has impressive distance and 500 fields, and Virginian Foot Locker All-Americans Ahmed Bile VA (mile), Sean McGorty VA (2-mile), and Sophie Chase VA (2-mile) are entered. Old Mill MD sr Alexis Franklin (55H) and Archbishop DC sr Kiah Seymour (500) are threats to win big. Mtn View VA sr Kim Ficenec could take both the girls mile and HJ.
SOUTHEASTERN INVITE, Friday-Saturday
Boo Williams Sportsplex, Hampton VA
Overview: One of two large meets and a few somewhat smaller ones pulling in Virginia’s deep indoor corps, this one will feature the likes of US#1 putter Kiara Howell (46-7) and 55 dasher Ayo Raymond (6.43), super soph 55 hurdler Chantel Ray (US#2 8.04), veteran 500 specialist Genamarie McCant (top 10 US all four years), and versatile combo sprinter Justin Burke.
CHRISTOPHER NEWPORT SHOWCASE, Friday-Saturday
Freeman Center, Newport News VA
Overview: Another of the slew of strong Virginia meets this weekend, this one features Foot Locker Finalist and 4:48 1600-runner Megan Moye and short/long sprinter Kenneth Williams (6.45 55, 49.97 400 this winter), among others.
RHODY CLASSIC, Saturday
Mackel Fieldhouse, Kingston RI
Overview: Attracting mostly in-state and Connecticut athletes to the University of Rhode Island, some of the top entries include Hope RI sr jumps/sprints/hurdles star Royal Cheatham and US#1 weight thrower and Classical RI sr Joe Velez.