Five Things to Watch
Men’s 4x100m relay (5:32 p.m.)
This is always one of the most exciting races of the entire meet, and it is likely to set the tone for the team championship race. Florida and Houston were the top qualifiers in Wednesday’s semifinal and they rank 1-2 in the team projections compiled by Track & Field News. The Gators, who are seeking a third straight NCAA men’s outdoor title, clocked the fastest time at 38.49, while the Cougars were a step behind at 38.53.
Men’s 1,500 meters (5:42 p.m.)
New Mexico junior Josh Kerr is the reigning NCAA champion and prohibitive favorite. Earlier this season, he broke the collegiate record with a time of 3:35.01 at the Bryan Clay Invitational. The old mark of 3:35.30 was set by Sydney Maree in 1981. Kerr is also a two-time NCAA Indoor mile champion. Oregon’s Sam Prakel and Mick Stanovsek will be looking for a boost from the hometown crowd.
Men’s 110-meter hurdles (6:12 p.m.)
Florida’s Grant Holloway is the defending champion and he stamped himself as one of the best collegians of all-time with a 13.15 clocking earlier this year. That mark stands second on the all-time list behind Renaldo Nehemiah’s 13.00 record set in 1979. Rueben Walters of Alabama and David Kendziera of Illinois placed second and third, respectively, at last year’s NCAA meet.
Men’s 400 meters (6:32 p.m.)
USC sophomore Michael Norman is undefeated this year in the 200m and 400m. He set a world record in winning the NCAA Indoor 400m title this year at 44.52, and comes into this meet with a personal best of 44.40. Auburn’s Nathon Allen, the collegiate outdoor leader at 44.28, leads a talented field of contenders, all of whom have personal bests under 45 seconds.
Men’s 400-meter hurdles (6:57 p.m.)
A quality field is led by USC sophomore Rai Benjamin, who placed second in this race last year as a UCLA Bruin. Benjamin clocked his PR of 47.98 at the NCAA West Preliminary Round, which stands fourth on the all-time collegiate list. Arkansas senior Kemar Mowatt, North Carolina senior Kenny Selmon and Illinois senior David Kendziera were all finalists in this event in 2017.