February 16, 2018
MOTrackFanatic @ outlook.com
The 2018 USA Track and Field Indoor Championships got underway today in Albuquerque, New Mexico, almost a mile above sea level. This year’s meet is not only the annual national championship, but the qualifier for the IAAF World Championships that are held every-other year. This year’s world championships will be March 1-3rd in Birmingham, England.
For the most part, the top two finishers at the US Championships who have met the World Championships qualifying standard will earn berths on Team USA for the meet. Not all events at the US meet are held at the World meet, including the 3k Race Walk, and the Weight Throw. Each event at Worlds has a target number of entries for each event, and they aren’t equal for each event, which means the IAAF will accept only a certain number of athletes per event from the descending world performance list. However, with the US, that’s not usually a problem as American athletes are usually high enough in most events to qualify.
Two weeks after edging new training partner Kate Grace to win the prestigious Wanamaker Mile at the Millrose Games in New York City, 4:30.05 to 4:30.08, St. Louis native Colleen Quigley will look to make her fourth US Team, and first-ever indoor squad. In that mile race, Quigley clocked a 4:13.78 1500-meters en route to the win in the mile. Quigley, a former state champion for her dad Gaylerd at Nerinx Hall High School, and an NCAA Champion in the steeplechase at Florida State will be looking to make it back to the world stage for the first time since last August’ World Outdoor Championships in London.
Quigley took an impressive eighth-place in the steeplechase at the 2016 Rio Olympics in her first professional year. In 2017 she showed she had world-class 1500-meter speed with a 4:03 clocking in winning a race in Belgium last July. That made seemed to show that Quigley was ready to contend for a medal in the steeplechase at the World Championships. Unfortunately, Quigley was disqualified after the prelims, having been ruled that she ran on the line after the water jump. That line was not marked with cones like it should have been, but a protest was unsuccessful.
Quigley will face a field of 13 in the 1500m, and will have a tough battle that includes training partners Shelby Houlihan and Kate Grace of the Nike Bowerman Track Club, based in Portland, Or. Grace, isn’t from St. Louis like Quigley, but has a STL and Missouri connection. Her father Stephen is a Webster Groves, MO. native and attended St. Louis University High School before graduating from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Quigley’s brother, Dan, had a great career at Mizzou after running at CBC in St. Louis. Grace just moved to Portland after last season to join the Bowerman Track Club after running at Yale then training with the NorCal Distance Project. Grace is the fifth seed in the 1500.
Unfortunately for St. Louis area natives Gwen Berry and Deanna Price, weight throw competition is almost exclusively held in the United States, and isn’t a World Championship events. If so, the two Southern Illinois University grads could be adding to their list of US Teams made.
Berry was an All-State triple jumper at McCluer High School before trying the multi-events and then finding success in the throws in Carbondale. Berry set the World Record at last year’s USA championships with her 25.60m/84-0. The three-time US Champ Berry, made the 2016 Olympic team in the hammer throw and won the 2017 US hammer title to make the World Outdoor team, but came up short of the finals at both. Her American Record toss of 76.77m/251-10 last May put her third on the 2017 world outdoor performance list. Berry is the top seed with a mark of 25.27m/82-11.
Price, has made the last three outdoor global championships. She won the hammer throw at the NCAA Division I meet in 2015 and 2016. She missed the final at the 2015 World outdoor championships, but mad the finals and took 8th at the Rio Olympics in 2016. Last year in London she took ninth. Price set a personal best in the weight throw February 1st in New York with a 22.61/74-2.25.
Two Missouri hurdlers will race in Albuquerque. Kansas City, Kansas native and former Missouri state champion at Pembroke Hill High School, Tiffani McReynolds is still at it after an All-American career at Baylor. McReynolds has a seed time of 8.05 in the 60-meter hurdles, which would put her eighth, but it’s listed as 15th, so her mark may be converted from a 55-meter race or at altitude and thus considered less respectable.
St. Louis native Aaron Mallett just finished his collegiate career at Iowa last year where he was one of the top high hurdlers the last few years in Division I. The multi-time All-American at Iowa was a state champion for McCluer North High School. Mallett is seeded fifth with a 7.70 clocking.
Two Missouri men will run in the 60-meter dash at USA’s. Two-Time Olympian and former World Indoor 60-meter medalist Michael Rodgers may be on the back end of his career, but he can still fly. The 2003 Berkeley High School state champ and NAIA national champion at Lindenwood and Oklahoma Baptist Universities is the three seed with a 6.52.
Blake Smith, a 2011 Jackson High School graduate took his game to a new level at Southeast Missouri State. Smith became a standout long jumper and short sprinter, qualifying for multiple NCAA Division I national meets. He is tied for the ninth-seed with a 6.62 time.
Cal Lane was a state champion for Sikeston High School back in 2009. He spent a year at Coffeyville Community College and has been seen in competition results on and off since. He eventually became a 25-foot long jumper. He enters USA’s as the 13th seed with a 23-8.25 mark.
Tony Carodine was a USATF Jr medalist in the triple jump as a freshman at Mizzou. The Colorado native became an NCAA qualifier before finishing his MU career in 2016. Carodine is the 8th seed with a 51-6.5.
New York native Devin Cornelius was an NCAA Division III All-American at St. John Fisher University before heading for a final year of eligibility at The University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg. Cornelius added NCAA DII All-American honors in the multi-events for Coach Kip Janvrin. He is the seventh seed in the heptathlon with 5,263 points.
Two former NAIA national champion race walkers at Missouri Baptist University for former Coach Tish Hanna, will look to add to their USA medal collections in Albuquerque. Nick Christie is a San Diego, Ca. native who has been one of the top American race walkers over the last half-dozen years. Christie is the top seed in the 3k racewalk with a 11:50.06 time. Christie’s former teammate Molly Josephs arrived to St. Louis from the opposite coast as Christie. Josephs is a Long Island, New York native and like Christie, has made several USA teams. Josephs is the 3k racewalk’s seventh seed with a 14:15.36. Unfortunately for the pair, spots on Team USA for the World Indoor Championships aren’t up for grabs in Albuquerque as the event isn’t held at Worlds, however the pair’s outdoor performances could land them on the IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships in China in May.
The last Missouri qualifier for the USA Indoor Track and Field Championships is the youngest of the bunch. In fact he’s still in high school. Lee’s Summit native and Lee’s Summit High School senior KC Lightfoot signed to compete at Baylor University last November. The 2017 Missouri Class 5 State Champion pole vaulter has improved his indoor personal best to 17-7 this indoor season, putting him fourth on the national high school list. Lightfoot didn’t make the qualifying standard of 17-10.5, but was accepted into the meet to fill the field. Lightfoot is the 16th seed.
Also of note:
St. Charles native and US Indoor pole vault record holder Jeff Hartwig retired after his second Olympic Games in 2008, and his since become an agent. The MICDS pole vault coach has three clients competing this weekend. Sam Kendricks captured the World Outdoor Championship in the pole vault last August in London, after an Olympic medal in Rio in 2016. Kendricks is the top seed with a 5.78m/18-11.5. Sandi Morris just missed her own world title last year, taking the silver in London in the pole vault. Morris is the top seed on the women’s side with a 4.90m/16-0.75 clearance. Like Hartwig, Sharika Nelvis is an Arkansas State University alum. She’s the third seed in the 60-meter hurdles with a 7.80.
East St. Louis, Illinois native and Olympic gold and silver medalist in the 100-meter hurdles Dawn Harper-Nelson has scratched out of the 60-meter hurdles.
Two former Southern Illinois University All-American men will compete. Josh Freeman is the fifth seed in the shot put, while Kyle Landon is tied for sixth going in to the high jump. Two Pittsburg State University (Kansas) Alums will compete. Former NCAA DII National Champs Emilyn Dearman is the top seed in the pentathlon, while Grant Appier, son of former Kansas City Royals star Kevin Appier, is the seventh seed in the shot put.
Several University of Kansas grads are scheduled to compete, including Zach Zarda for the Kansas City Smoke club, Kyle Clemons in the 400, and Andrea Geubelle in the Triple Jump. Kansas State Alum and Olympic medalist Eric Kynard is the top seed in the high jump.
Meet Press Release: USATF link
Meet Info: USATF link
Entries: USATF link
Schedule: USATF link
Live Results: USATF link
Start lists: USATF link
For those following along at home, the 2018 USATF Indoor Championships feature live commercial free-coverage on NBC Sports Gold, as well as an additional three and a half hours of broadcast coverage on NBCSN. Immediately following Sunday’s broadcast, The Cool Down will air on Facebook Live featuring exclusive interviews and highlights.
Broadcast and Webcast Coverage (all times ET)
|Saturday, Feb. 17||2:45pm – 7:00pm||NBC Sports Gold|
|5:30pm – 7:00pm||NBCSN|
|Sunday, Feb. 18||2:00pm – 7:00pm||NBC Sports Gold|
|5:00pm – 7:00pm||NBCSN|
2018 USATF Indoor Track & Field Championships Missouri Qualifiers
Albuquerque, New Mexico February 16-18, 2018
1st Row: Name, Event, Seed, Mark, Qualified or Accepted,
2nd Row: Affiliation(s), Hometown, High School, College
Colleen Quigley, 1500m, 4th, 4:30.05 mile, qualified
Nike/Bowerman Track Club, St. Louis, MO. Nerinx Hall HS ‘11, Florida State ‘15
Tiffani McReynolds, 60 Hurdles, 15th, 8.05*, accepted
Kansas City, KS. Pembroke Hills HS ‘10, Baylor University ‘15
*Time puts her 8th, but mark may be converted, dropping her seed
below unconverted marks?
Molly Josephs, 3k Racewalk, 7th 14:15.36, qualified,
Walk USA, Long Island, New York, Missouri Baptist University ‘16
Gwen Berry, Weight Throw 1st, 25.27m/82-11, qualified
Nike/New York Athletic Club, Florissant, MO. McCluer HS ‘09, Southern Illinois ‘13
Deanna Price, Weight Throw, 4th-22.61m/74-2.25, qualified,
New York Athletic Club, Old Monroe, MO. Troy HS ‘11, Southern Illinois ‘16
Michael Rodgers, 60m, 3rd, 6.52, qualified
Florissant, MO. McCluer South Berkeley HS ‘03, Lindenwood ’06, OBU ’07
Blake Smith, 60m, T9th, 6.62, qualified,
Jackson, MO. Jackson HS ’11, Southeast Missouri State ‘15
Aaron Mallett, 60 Hurdles, 5th, 7.70, qualified
St. Louis, MO. McCluer North HS ’13, Iowa ‘17
Nick Christie, 3k Racewalk, 1st, 11:50.06, qualified
San Diego, CA. Missouri Baptist University ‘15
Cal Lane, Long Jump, 13th, 7.22m/23-8.25, accepted
Sikeston, MO. Sikeston HS ’09, Coffeyville CC ‘10
Tony Carodine, Triple Jump, 8th, 15.71m/51-6.5, qualified,
Colorado Springs, Co. Widefield HS ’12, Missouri ‘16
KC Lightfoot, Pole Vault, 16th, 5.36m/17-7, accepted
Lee’s Summit, MO. Lee’s Summit HS ’18, Just Vault PV Club, Baylor ‘22
Devin Cornelius, Heptathlon, 7th, 5,263 pts, accepted,
Deansboro, NY. Clinton HS, St. John Fisher U ’16, Central Missouri ‘17