Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Battle Royale: Matt Centrowitz to make pro debut in Boston this weekend

Centro is back
There are two big indoor meets next weekend, the USA Track and Field Classic in Fayetteville, AR and the Millrose Games in New York City. It's a shame they are both held on the same day, but let's face it, that's unfortunately kind of how Track and Field operates. This week, it's all about beantown. Boston is one of my favorite cities and potentially where I'll be for the next year or so (I'll know in the next six weeks). I'll also be running the marathon again in April, if I can stay healthy of course. Cross your fingers for me.

Saturday will be the professional debut of Mr. Matt Centrowitz. After executing a near-perfect race in Daegu to gain a bronze medal in the World Championship 1500, he'll have his hands full. He's racing a stacked Men's 3000 with US Open Mile Champ and Daegu 1500 Silver Medalist, Silas Kiplagat, British miling superstar (representing New Balance), Andy Baddeley, USA Running Circuit Champ, Ben True, jack of all distances, Ben Bruce and last year’s 3000 winner (over Mo Farah), in a race he ran with only one shoe, Ethiopia’s Dejen Gebremeskel. If Centro can pull this one out, we'll know he's in top form early. Update: Southern Utah's Cam Levins will be joining the fun as well!

Matt Scherer, pacing with the stars
There are two other featured distance events at the meet; the first being the Women's 800. This will feature New Balance's Maggie Vessey, Georgetown star Maggie Infield, US Open 800 Winner, Fantu Magiso, Canada’s Nicole Sifuentes and high school star, Ajee Wilson, who will be competing against the pros for the second straight week. No telling what kind of shape Vessey is in yet, but she is the class of the field.

The final featured distance event of the night is the New Balance Men's Mile. This event is the one that's gonna put butts in the seats. American superstar and 10,000 record holder, Galen Rupp, will likely receive top billing, but the man whose name you will hear non-stop in the promotion of the London Olympic Games will be Mo Farah. Farah is coming off a career year that culminated with a Gold in the 5000 in Daegu, and will be looking to build off that in Boston. Not to be forgotten is New Englander, Russell Brown, who came to Boston last year and won in front a gathering of friends and family. Also in the field is rising star and "bullet with the mullet," Ireland's Ciaran O'Lionaird. O'Lionaird burst onto the scene last year after a slew of 1500 PR's that landed him in the World Championship final. He's now training with Farah and Rupp in Portland, with Alberto Salazar. He could surprise everyone. Just announced were Kenya's Haron Keitany and Daniel Kipchirchir Komen to further add spice. Finally, Matt Scherer will be doing the pacing, as it looks like he's trying to fill the rabbiting void that David Krummenacker has held over the past few years. No word on if Krum is retiring or just waiting for outdoors, but Scherer better be ready to stay in front of these horses!

Some highlights of the non-featured, but still very exciting events will be Tirunesh Dibaba in the Women's 2-Mile, Anna Pierce vs. Morgan Uceny in the Women's 1000 and Shannon Rowbury taking on Meseret Defar and New Balance poster girl, Jenny Simpson, in the Women's 3000. Not sure why they don't combine the 3k and 2 Mile, but that's how it goes!

All the information you could need on the event is at http://NBIndoorGrandPrix.com. The meet starts Saturday at 5pm eastern and will be shown on tape delay on ESPN2 this Sunday at 2pm eastern. Flash Results will have the live results if you don't want to wait for the broadcast.

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