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Armory Track Invitational Kicks Off USATF Championship Series


NEW YORK CITY -- The two-day Armory Track Invitational beginning on Friday welds together one of the country’s largest collegiate meets with a high-quality high school segment and superstar pro lineup – and has a two-hour live TV window starting at 4:30 p.m. ET Saturday. has live coverage of the Armory Track Invitational beginning at 10:30 a.m. ET Friday and Saturday. NBCSN will pick up coverage at 4:30 p.m. ET Saturday with’s The Cool Down starting at 6:30 p.m. ET.


Men's Invitational 2-Mile

Olympic silver medalist Galen Rupp makes his return to The Armory for a 2-mile run that will serve to begin his 2015 season. It’s hard to tell whether the world record is really in play here. Rupp said it takes “perfect conditions” for something like that, so it could depend on how he feels. The world record is 8:04.35 by Kenenisa Bekele (2008). Rupp broke the American record in 2014 with 8:07.41.


Women's Invitational 800

Any time that Mary Cain steps to the starting line with Ajee Wilson, that’s a headline-making event. Just a couple of years ago, these two were Armory regulars in high school. Now they are two of the brightest young middle-distance talents in the world. Cain, who won the gold medal in the 3,000 meters at World Juniors last summer in Eugene, hails from Bronxville although she is now a student at the University of Portland, where she has daily access to coach Alberto Salazar and the Nike Oregon Project. Wilson, from Neptune, N.J., attends Temple University and trains with Derek Thompson in Philadelphia. Wilson was the world leader in the 800 meters last year and is just 20 years old. The American record is 1:58.71 by Nicole Teter back in 2002.


Men's Invitational DMR

This event isn’t staged very often, so the chances for driving down the all-time world best time of 9:25.97 are actually pretty good. That time was achieved by the University of Texas in 2008.

But this special Armory event includes world-class teams from the U.S., Kenya, Ireland and NJ-NY Track Club. The American team consists of Mike Berry (400), Erik Sowinski (800), Matthew Centrowitz (1200) and Patrick Casey (1600). Also entered are some college teams with firepower – Mississippi, Princeton, Duke and Columbia.


Women’s 2-Mile

Jordan Hasay and Abbey D’Agostino are two of the most popular college distance runners of their generation and they went head-to-head many times in their careers at Oregon (Hasay) and Dartmouth (D’Agostino). D’Agostino usually got the better of Hasay but the two have great respect and admiration for one another. New pro Marielle Hall, last year’s 2014 NCAA 5,000 meters champion at Texas, enters the mix as well. Ethiopian Buze Diriba adds a dash of international flair as well.


Men's TJ

Will Claye jumped a facility record 55-11 when he came to The Armory last year for the New Balance Games. This time the Olympian will face off with Omar Craddock, among others. Two weeks later, Claye is due back to compete in the long jump at the NYRR Millrose Games.


Junior Boys 300

Keep your eye on Heat 2 of this race. It is sure to produce a US#1 and the national record could be on the line as well. The four guys in this race are all capable – Armory regulars Anton Porter, Taylor McLaughlin and Rai Benjamin against Michigan’s Jaron Flournoy (US#1 in the 400).  


Women’s College 800

One of the best races in the college portion of the meet is Section 7 of the women’s 800 meters. With 11 women from a variety of schools going at 2:05 pace this is a chance for someone to stake a claim to a major victory. This one will not be tactical.


Men's Elite Pole Vault

Keep in mind that no one has ever made a 19-foot bar in the pole vault at The Armory. Now consider that Shawn Barber from Akron has already done that (19-0.25) this month and Ole Miss graduate Sam Kendricks, a first-year pro, has already gone 19-3.


Men’s College 60 Meters

Jalen Miller of Mississippi has run 6.56 already this month and that’s good for No. 3 currently in the NCAA. Last year as a freshman he finished eighth at the NCAA Indoor Championships.


Women’s College Shot Put

A high quality field includes Missouri duo Kearsten Peoples and Jill Rushin, Kelsey Card from Wisconsin and Maine native Becky O’Brien (unattached), who threw 58 feet here a couple of weeks ago at the Gotham Cup.


Women's Weight Throw

Julia Ratcliffe of Princeton is the NCAA champion in the hammer throw. She currently sits 19th in the NCAA this winter, and Peoples and Card are both in the top 10.


Men’s College 500

NCAA 800 meters champion Brandon McBride of Mississippi State will blast through two and a half laps on The Armory oval on Friday. Could he become the first man to run the distance in less than a minute?


Men’s College Long Jump

Rutgers standout Corey Crawford was the NCAA runner-up last year. But he is returning this weekend to scene of his huge 26-11.75 (8.22m) jump that touched off a celebration at The Armory last February when he won the American Athletic Conference title.


Men’s College Weight Throw

Michael Lihrman of Wisconsin is the only athlete in the NCAA with a mark over 80 feet. He got that last week in the Wisconsin-Minnesota dual meet to take over No. 1. He is the reigning NCAA indoor champion in the weight and placed third last June in the NCAA hammer.


Girls Junior 4x400 Relay

This event brings together some of the top girls relay teams in the U.S. Benjamin Cardozo of Queens, already US#1, takes on Virginia power Western Branch, Michigan power Oak Park, New Jersey power Union Catholic, plus Medgar Evers and Paul Robeson from NYC.


Girls Junior 300

Check out Heat 2 of this race. It could get very fast. Four lanes and four high school stars here – Arianne Strunkey NY (US#3 38.70), Zola Golden NY (New Balance Outdoor 400 champion), Sydney McLaughlin NJ (US#1 38.52) and Anna Jefferson MI.


Boys Junior 1,000

This race features an enticing lineup of East coast mid-distance talents. Virginia junior Andrew Hunter, third at Foot Locker in December, will come down in distance and try to keep up with Jeremy Spiezio, Sam Ritz (US#3), Luke Gavigan, Conor Lundy (US#11), Mike Brannigan (US#8), PJ Garmon (US#6), James Asselmeyer (US#2 2:27.60) and James Burke (US#1 2:26.75).


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