Simplot Could Be Deeper than '11
Stars include Trinity Wilson, Devin Field, Chyna Ries, Kendall Baisden, Dallin Farnsworth, Shawn Barber, Throw 1 Deep throwers, and CA and NY sprinters
by Doug Binder
Last year, the "thud" of Ryan Crouser's shot put hitting the artificial turf and reverberating
throughout Holt Arena joined the list of memorable moments in the 33-year history of the
Crouser's 77-foot howitzer broke the national indoor record and was the second-longest throw inside or out in U.S. prep history. Two more 2011 US#1 performances came out of the 2011 meet: Trinity Wilson's 8.28-second win in the 60-meter hurdles and Ciarra Brewer's mark of 42-3.50 in the triple jump.
What highlights await in 2012?
On paper, this weekend's meet on the Idaho State University campus in eastern Idaho looks like it might be even deeper than 2011. The meet begins Thursday evening and continues Friday and Saturday.
Trinity Wilson again
And at the top of the list is Wilson, the talented senior from St. Mary's College (Oakland, Calif.), who may have her sights set on the meet record of 8.16 set by Jacquelyn Coward in 2008. That's an important measuring stick for Wilson, who aims, like Coward in 2008, to compete in the U.S. Olympic Trials.
Wilson has run 8.34 this season and ran her lifetime best at Simplot last year. Sensational sophomore Dior Hall of George Washington (Denver, Colo.) could push Wilson every step of the way. Hall has run 8.38 and 8.42 so far this winter and her matchup with Wilson could be best showdown of the weekend at Simplot. Last year, Hall had a ragged race in the finals, finishing sixth in 8.83 seconds as Wilson won easily. They also had one meeting outdoors in 2011, going head-to-head at the U.S. Junior Championships in Eugene (June 25). Wilson ran 13.15 for the win and Hall was second in 13.53.
Hall's big moment of 2011 came when she ran 13.18 at Great Southwest in New Mexico on June 4.
Super soph Chyna Ries, California sprinters and Kendall Baisden
Another of the big headliners is Hall's high school teammate and fellow sophomore Chyna Ries, who broke the sophomore class national record in the long jump on Sunday in Boulder, Colo. Ries PR'd by a foot, going 20-5.75 and matching the longest jump in the country since 2009.
In the girls 400, there is an intriguing matchup between junior Chimere Ezumah of Junipero Serra (Gardena, Calif.), the 2010 California state champion, and Sage Watson, one of the top junior athletes in Canada and a Florida State signee.
Junior Kendall Baisden of Country Day (Detroit, Mich.) is the top entrant in the 200 meters. Last year, Baisden won the New Balance Outdoor Nationals title in the 400 meters.
Throw 1 Deep throwers from Georgia
Georgia's Throw1Deep Track Club will also have a strong contingent at the meet, led by seniors Torie Owers (Athens Academy), Avana Story (Woodward Academy) and Monica Phillips (Pope High School).
The boys' fields are elevated by an infusion of star power from Texas and New York.
The headliner is Devin Field of Lancaster (Lancaster, Texas), a junior who is one of the top jump-hurdle combo athletes in the country. Field is currently ranked US#1 in the long jump (25-5.75), US#2 in the 60 hurdles (7.91) and US#3 in the triple jump (49-8.25). He is the reigning U.S. Junior and Pan Am Junior champion in the long jump.
Fellow Texan Shawn Barber from Kingwood Park (Houston, Texas) has vaulted 17-6.50 this winter and may have his sights on the 26-year-old meet record of 17-6.25 set by Coloradoan Pat Manson (1986).
Strymar Livingston of Christopher Columbus (New York, N.Y.), who competed in last week's Millrose Games, is stepping up his distance to 800 meters at Simplot. He may be trying to collect another US#1 to go with his 500 and 600 national leads. Livingston currently sits at US#2 on the 800 list with a time of 1:52.94.
In the triple jump, junior Jaelen Spencer of Sultana (Hesperia, Calif.) could be setting his sights beyond 50 feet. Spencer jumped 50-4.50 last year and won the World Youth Trials in South Carolina. He was also third at the California state meet. (Field is not entered in the triple jump).
Hometown hero Dallin Farnsworth of Highland (Pocatello, Idaho) is entered in the 3,200 and may be in position to threaten Josh Rohatinsky's 12-year-old meet record (9:11.05). Another Pocatello resident, freshman Elijah Armstrong, could be his biggest competition. Running in separate classes, Farnsworth and Armstrong ran the top two times in Idaho's state cross country championships last October.
Xavier McAllister, US#5 in the high jump, leads a strong contingent from Newburgh Free Academy (Newburgh, N.Y.). Newburgh has several relays entered among the top seeds in the 4x200, 4x400, 4x800 and 1,600-meter sprint medley.
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