It’s Day 3 of the 2019 NCAA Division I outdoor track and field championships. There are jumping and throwing events on tap today and a few women’s events. But many eyes will likely be on the men’s races with a national championship on the line.
We’ll see relays, long distance, sprints and hurdles. Records could fall, and team positions in the leaderboards might shift.
Here’s three races you should keep an eye on for Day 3.
110 meter hurdles
This one should be a fun race between two top SEC hurdlers in Florida’s Grant Holloway and Kentucky’s Daniel Roberts. Holloway is the defending champ, but Roberts qualified with a time that was just 0.01 seconds faster at 13.06, which broke the NCAA Championships 110-meter hurdles record. That could be the difference and these two hurdlers could push each other to potentially break the college record of 13 seconds flat, set by Maryland’s Renaldo Nehemiah in 1979.
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400 meter hurdles
Rai Benjamin of USC set the college best in this event at last year’s championships in 47.02. The Trojans have a chance to defend that title this year, but not with Benjamin, as the eight-time All-American is now competing professionally. USC’s Cameron Samuel qualified with the second best time this week, checking in at 49.09.
That’s not enough to best Benjamin’s mark, but it might be good enough to keep the 400 hurdles title at USC. Samuel will have to beat South Carolina’s Quincy Hall, who qualified with the top time of 48.54. Texas Tech’s Norman Grimes wasn’t far behind Samuel in qualifying either, checking in at 49.11.
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4x400 meter relay
This is the last event on Friday with a scheduled start time of 9:51 p.m. ET. The 4x400 meter relay can often be the most entertaining race. Sometimes, the difference between first and second can be by less than a second. Places can be decided by the perfection of a handoff.
USC set the college best in this event last year with a time of 2:59.00, but the Trojans didn’t qualify for the championships this year. In qualifying, Texas A&M had the best time at 3:01.26, with Iowa just behind them at 3:01.99. North Carolina A&T was next up with a time of 3:02.45.
Among the teams in the top 10 on the leaderboard heading into Friday, only Houston qualified to compete in the 4x400 finals with a time of 3:02.61. A high finish for the Cougars could shake up the leaderboards. The Cougars won the 4x100 at last year’s championships.
Mitchell Northam is a graduate of Salisbury University. His work has been featured at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Orlando Sentinel, SB Nation, FanSided, USA Today and the Delmarva Daily Times. He grew up on Maryland's Eastern Shore and is now based in Durham, N.C.