Friday, March 1, 2013

Judgement Day

The day has finally come for the Alex Wilson Invitational to judge the quick and the dead.  No, Alex Wilson is not  the Lord Almighty and college distance medley teams are not (necessarily) souls capable of sin, but this chaotic last chance meet will almost singlehandedly decide the makeup of the DMR field lining up next Friday at Nationals in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Tonight's DMR field will be split into 3 heats and judged.
The top twelve teams ranked by their season's best time will qualify.  Last year the 12th time was Oregon's 9:31.91, in 2011 it was Villanova's 9:33.50, and in 2010 it was Duke's 9:34.29.  There's a nice pattern going on there that parallels every other distance running event in the NCAA... it's getting more fastah.

The Texas distance medley relay has survived more than a month atop the NCAA performance list with our 9:31.82.  A time that would make the national meet every year since trilobites were around.  Week after week on Sunday I've hurriedly checked through results, breathing a sigh of relief when I know our time is once again safe.  But tonight I will be super nervous because we've chosen to experience Alex Wilson on our butts at home in front of the TV, pass the chips, please.  Yeah, we're taking a risk not going to improve our time.  But if it sticks - if less than twelve teams run 9:31.82 or better  tonight, we'll be some of the freshest fish in the field, not having raced and traveled the previous two weekends.

A team's decision to leave the DMR effort to last chance weekend is totally up to them, but I'm surprised more teams haven't gotten together and gone for it throughout the regular season.  It's not easy to get a relay team firing on all cylinders early, but the caliber of the mile is once again super high this year, meaning the legs are out there.  It all comes down to priorities.  Guys want their individual qualifying performances, so the DMR gets put on the back burner until this weekend.  Making for a crazy Notre Dame meet.  And it will be obnoxious.  Just look at the heat sheets... teams that certainly are ready to fast: Penn State, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Oklahoma, Princeton, Arkansas, Stanford, Wisconsin, Villanova, Indiana, Georgetown, and Kansas.  At this point, all us here at Texas can do is sit and watch the action unfold - and hope we come out alive.

A great breakdown of tonight's DMR by Flotrack

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