Walter Dix of Florida State and Trindon Holliday of LSU will face off at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational at the Armory Feb. 8-9.
They were 1-2 in the NCAA 100-meter final last spring in California. Dix also won the 200 and ran on the winning 4x100 relay team, leading the Seminoles to the NCAA team championship. He has lifetime bests of 9.93 in the 100 and 19.69 in the 200 and is a contender for this year’s U.S. Olympic team.
For the 2007 season worldwide, only Tyson Gay, Asafa Powell and Derrick Atkins – the three medalists at the World Championships last summer in Osaka – ran faster in the 100. In the 200, only Gay, who ran 19.62, ran faster.
Holliday has run 10.02, and was a running back on LSU’s national-championship football team this past season.
The men’s sprint fields are loaded with talent, including such other NCAA finalists as Rubin Williams and Evander Wells of Tennessee, Michael Ray Garvin and Charles Clark of Florida State and Michael LeBlanc of Syracuse.
The women’s dash fields are also outstanding, led by Sherry Fletcher, the NCAA 100 champion for LSU, and Simone Facey, who anchored the winning 4x1 team for Texas A&M. They will be challenged by a terrific freshman class that includes Shayla Mahan and LaKya Brookins of South Carolina and Gabby Mayo of A&M.
Fletcher and Facey both competed at the World Championships last summer. Fletcher represented Grenada in the 100 and 200. She holds the Caribbean nation’s national records, 11.18 and 22.67. She was bronze medalist in the 200 at the 2007 Pan-Am Games.
Facey ran a leg on the Jamaican 4x1 in the WC, winning a silver medal. She was 2nd in last year’s NCAA 200 and was 2nd in the World Juniors 200 in 2002. Her best times are 11.16/22.49.
In last year’s New Balance meet, Facey defeated Fletcher in the 60, 7.34-7.37. In the 200, Facey was beaten by Kelly-ann Baptiste of LSU, 23.37-23.47. Baptiste, who missed part of last season with injuries, also returns this season. She competed in the 2004 Olympic Games for Trinidad and has a 100 best of 11.08.
Freshman Mayo, who is from Raleigh, N.C., won a gold medal in the 4x1 for the U.S. in the 2006 World Juniors. She has run 11.14w/22.88. Mahan (Detroit) has run 11.29w, Brookins (Seneca, S.C.) 11.30w. Also in the field is Gloria Asumnu (11.19/22.70) of Tulane.
In the men’s dashes, three-fourths of last year’s championship 4x1 team will be running for Coach Bob Braman’s Florida State Seminoles – Dix, Garvin and Clark. The leadoff runner on that squad, Greg Bolden, has graduated. Bolden won last year’s NB 60 after Dix false-started. The next finishers a year ago were J-Mee Samuels of Arkansas, who returns in 2008; Thompson of LSU and Wells and Williams of Tennessee.
Thompson, a native of Trinidad, has run 9.95 and was a member of Coach Dennis Shaver’s 2006 4x1 NCAA champions.
Tennessee’s Williams made every NCAA sprint final last season – the indoor 60 and 200, the outdoor 100 and 200 – and teamed with his freshman teammate, Wells, to place 3rd in the NCAA 4x1 for Coach Bill Webb.
Syracuse’s LeBlanc was 4th in the NCAA 100 last year, running 10.17, the fastest time by a Canadian in 2007 and making him a contender for a trip to Beijing.
Also in the mix are Marcus Pugh and Jacobi Mitchell of Oklahoma. Mitchell ran for the Bahamas in Osaka.
PHOTO COURTESY USATF.ORG