A few days ago I said that this is flat-out the best week of track in the United States. There are multiple huge festivals of track at Penn, Drake and Stanford. But this is also college track’s Rivalry Week. Time for some good old-fashioned sports hate.
This one is almost always a tight battle, and it’s very hard to say how it will all come out. So watch it and watch the score–and if you don’t have a dog in this fight, pick one. USC is higher in the national rankings, but UCLA is built for one purpose only: beating USC in this meet. It really does matter that much.
On Friday and Saturday, Wichita State hosts the Track-It Buster Invitational, a team-oriented event designed to crown the best mid-major in the country.
The others teams are Oral Roberts, Stephen F. Austin, Texas-?Arlington, Tulsa, and Missouri-?Kansas City. As described by John Wise, Wichita State’s assistant director of track & field:
This is our answer to the big relay carnivals – which we like but we can’t take our whole team to. Last year the team title came down to the 4×400 between 3 teams – it was wonderfully exciting because of the quality and depth of bringing together good total TEAMS. It was the closest thing to a conference championships I’ve ever been part of. We’re also gonna webcast it and try to keep team scores scrolling on top of the screen during the meet.
The meet is timed nicely to begin pretty much right after the Penn Relays are over and as the Drake Relays are winding up. The projections have SFA winning rather easily on the men’s side, but show a real battle looming on the women’s side.
Another bitter rivalry happens on Saturday: Washington at Washington State, a meet that has been going since 1900. There will be no live webcast and no live results, but the best place to get info is from Paul Merca’s website, the king of all things track in the state of Washington.
A less intense rivalry is the Arizona Double Dual, as the Wildcats host Arizona State and Northern Arizona. The dual between Arizona and Arizona State has been going since 1908, and a third party has been involved for several decades.
A newer series sees its annual revival when UC Davis goes to Sacramento State on Saturday for the Causeway Cup. The track meet is part of a larger all-year, all-sport competition between the two rivals, started in 2005.