NCAA Preview - USA Athletics Scholarships

NCAA Preview

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NCAA indoors is here and please see below our athlete by athlete preview of the 12 strong British and Irish contingent who will be competing in Birmingham, Alabama.

MEN

200 – Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake (LSU) – The world number 3 for 2016 is having an absolutely superb season thus far. Unbeaten over 200m so far, the SEC winner will have aspirations to continue this form in Birmingham where he will be aiming for his first NCAA title.

Previous NCAA indoor experience: N/A

200 – Sam Watts (TCU) – Fourth a year ago in Fayeteville, the second Brit in the mens 200m was runner up in the Big 12 recently and has also this season set a new lifetime best in the event of 200m. He will be aiming as a minimum to match last years performance.

Previous NCAA indoor experience: 2015: 200m 4th.

5000 – Marc Scott (Tulsa) – Now firmly established amongst the top tier of endurance men in the NCAA, the Tulsa athlete has improved his indoor school record down to 13.37. A mile, 3000, 5000 triple at his recent conference championship hopefully hasn’t taken too much out of him, though he does now have some good experience to draw upon at this championship level.

Previous NCAA indoor experience: 2015: 5000m 5th.

PV – Jax Thoirs (Washington) – Whilst not jumping quite as high as last year yet, Jax Thoirs has once again qualified for an NCAA meet and his season highlight so far has been a runner up finish in the MPSF conference. 8th and 4th in the last two seasons, can this be the year where the senior finally cracks the top 3?

Previous NCAA indoor experience: 2014: PV 8th, 2015: PV 4th

TJ- Ben Williams (Louisville): A quiet season so far for the Louisville man, though in each of the three meetings he has done has shown significant improvement from the last. Two excellent finishes in previous years at this meeting shows that he knows how to peak at the right time. Williams is the ACC champion for 2016

Previous NCAA indoor experience: 2014: TJ 4th, 2015: TJ 3rd

WOMEN

800 – Siofra Cleirigh-Buttner (Villanova) – From 2.05 outdoors last year to 2.03 indoors this year, the Irish athlete has made huge improvements to qualify for her first NCAA event.

Previous NCAA indoor experience: N/A

Mile – Iona Lake (Virginia) – The City of Norwich athlete had the double sweet success recently of not only winning the ACC title, but in the process she also smashed her personal best in the mile. That 4.36 effort was good enough to qualify her for her first NCAA track event.

Previous NCAA indoor experience: N/A

Mile – Sophie Connor (New Mexico) – The Mountain West champion qualified for this championship by virtue of an altitude converted time. She has only competed on her home track this season but has been in excellent form to qualify for her first NCAA indoors.

Previous NCAA indoor experience: N/A

3000 – Calli Thackery (New Mexico) – A member of the all conquering UNM cross country team, Thackery ran very close to 9 minutes for the event up in Seattle to book her place in Alabama. She will be looking for significant improvement from last years 13th place finish in the same event.

Previous NCAA indoor experience: 2015: 3000m 13th

3000 – Bethan Knights (California) – Only two competitive outings in 2016, the second being a high quality 9.08 3k to finish runner up in the MPSF and book her place in Birmingham. This will be her debut at an NCAA indoor meeting.

Previous NCAA indoor experience: N/A

Sarah Collins (Providence) – A solid return to form this year for the Irish athlete after not competing collegiately on the track in 2015. She will be hoping to transfer some of her past cross country pedigree to the longest indoor track distance.

Previous NCAA indoor experience: N/A

Cindy Ofili (Michigan) – The recently declared Brit has competed a lot in 2016 over 60, 200, and hurdles. She has experience in the NCAA meet before, with her best effort being a 6th place finish in 2014.

Previous NCAA indoor experience: 2015: 60hd DNF, 2014 60hd 6th.

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