SEC track meet features top talent
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama coach Harvey Glance has good reason to regard the Southeastern Conference outdoor track championships as "a mini-NCAA championship."
Last year, the men's teams comprised three of the Top 10 teams at the NCAA event, including runner-up LSU. The Auburn women, meanwhile, won their first national title to lead four Top 10 finishers from the SEC.
The Crimson Tide hosts this year's event running Thursday through Sunday at the Sam H. Bailey Track and Field Stadium. Arkansas has won four consecutive men's SEC outdoor titles and 13 of the last 15 since joining the conference in 1991-92.
Georgia won the women's championship last year by one point over Auburn.
There are five SEC men's teams ranked in the Top 10 of the Trackwire Online Top 25, including No. 3 LSU, No. 5 Auburn, No. 6 Tennessee and No. 8 Florida.
"I certainly expect to see some records broken this year," Glance said. "Top to bottom in almost every area, we have unbelievable talent. This is the toughest conference in the nation and any coach in America would tell you that.
"I've had guys finish 10th in an event at the SECs and when the day ends they're one of the top 20 athletes in the country and I expect it to be no different this week."
Auburn's men have several of the top field event competitors. Donald Thomas is the current world leader this season in the high jump and won the NCAA indoor title in that event.
Cory Martin and Jacob Dunkleberger are ranked 1-2 in the NCAA in the hammer throw.
No. 1 LSU leads four SEC Top 10 women's teams: No. 3 South Carolina, No. 4 Auburn and No. 7 Georgia.
Despite winning the national title, the Auburn women have never won an SEC indoor or outdoor championship.
The Tigers' Kerron Stewart has the NCAA's best times in both the 100-meter and 200-meter runs.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
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