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On Friday and Saturday, more than 100 universities and colleges spanning the nation will be coming to The Armory to compete in the 2013 Armory Collegiate Invitational — now 12 years old. Here are some of the men's athletes worthy of your attention:
Spencer Adams — Clemson
Senior · Charlotte, N.C.
A former football player, Adams is now concentrating on the hurdles and his 7.62 — which he ran at the Auburn Invitational in Birmingham, Ala. — is currently the top time in nation. Entered in hurdles at the Collegiates, he will try to top that at The Armory.
Michael Atchoo — Stanford
Sophomore • Troy, Mich.
As one the nation's sub-four milers, Atchoo might well be the class of the field in the mile at the Collegiates. Earlier this year he competed in the 800 at the Washington Preview Meet, finishing second to Olympian Matthew Centrowitz.
Aldrich Bailey — Texas A&M
Freshman • Mansfield, Texas
A year ago, Bailey was a conquerer on the national high school scene, running 45.19 at the Texas state championships and earning three medals at the World Junior Championships. He won the 200 and was second in the 400 at the NB Nationals here in March. Bailey has clocked 21.00 and 47.28 this year.
Hayden Baillio — Texas
Senior • Whitesboro, Texas
Baillio has long been a threat in the shot put at the Collegiate Invitational and 2013 looks to be more of the same. Last weekend at the Razorback Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark., he pushed his season best to 62-10 1/4, which is in the top 10 nationally.
D'Angelo Cherry — Mississippi State
Senior • Jonesboro, Ga.
The Armory track is hardly unfamiliar grounds to this senior, who was a National Scholastic champion (and American Junior record breaker) here as a prep. This winter Cherry has run 6.64 for 60m, which he will run at the Collegiates.
Wayne Davis II — Texas A&M
Junior • Raleigh, N.C.
Davis was an Olympic semifinalist for Trinidad & Tobago in the 110m hurdles at the London Games last summer. He'd also been the runner-up at the NCAA Championships earlier in the summer. He set a personal-best 7.74 last year at the Collegiates and looks to better that in 2013.
Sam Ellison — Villanova
Junior • Dresher, Pa.
Ellison — who is entered in the 500m dash — emerged as one of the nation's top half-milers last year and did little to lose that distinction at Penn State over the weekend when he popped 1:48.62. He has also run low-1:01 in the 500, which is near college record levels.
Aaron Ernest — LSU
Sophomore • New Orleans, La.
Just a sophomore, Ernest has already run on an NCAA relay champion and claimed two individual silver medals at the World Junior Championships in Spain last summer. He has stopped the clock in 20.79 this year in the 200m, which he will run at the Collegiates.
Damar Forbes — LSU
Senior • Decatur, Ga.
Forbes won both the long and triple jumps at the Collegiates last year. What do you do when you are the first guy to do that? How about try it again as he is entered in both events. A two-time NCAA runner-up in the long jump, he competed for Jamaica at the London Olympics. He has measured out at 27 feet in that event.
Davis Fraker — Illinois
Sophomore • Peachtree City, Ga.
A former New Balance national champion in the shot put, Fraker was something of an Illini trailblazer as a freshman in 2011. He was the first Illinois athlete to advance to the NCAAs in the weight throw and he crushed the school record. He redshirted last indoor season and is entered in the weight throw this weekend.
Eric Futch — Houston
Freshman • Lansdowne, Pa.
Coming from the hometown of UH coach Leroy Burrell, it isn't a surprise that the talented freshman would wind up in Houston. Futch came to The Armory early in last winter and recorded a season-best Armory time in the 300-meter dash, in spite of a broken arm. He will try his hand in the 200 at the Collegiates.
Prezel Hardy, Jr. — Texas A&M
Junior • Killeen, Texas
The junior is entered to run the 60- and 200-meter dashes after earning the Big XII Conference Performer of the Year last spring as he swept to conference titles in the 100 (10.03w) and 200. Hardy has run 6.64 and 20.78 already this season.
Raymond Higgs — Arkansas
Junior • Freeport, Bahamas
Higgs — who is also a seven-foot high jumper — leads the nation with a 26-1 long jump. He competed in the London Olympics for the Bahamas and has twice leapt beyond 27 feet (but both times were wind-aided).
Edward Kemboi — Iowa State
Junior • Eldoret, Kenya
Kemboi has run the 800 meters in the 1:46s both indoor and outdoor as a Cyclone. He currently stands second nationally after clocking 1:47.43 at the Bill Bergan Invitational in Ames last weekend. His indoor best (1:46.64) came as an unattached runner last year.
Henry Lelei — Texas A&M
Senior • Kapsabet, Kenya
Entered in the 3,000m this weekend, Lelei had great performances last year at the Collegiates. He broke the school record in the mile (4:01.49) and ran on the winning distance medley relay which ran an Armory record 9:29.71. Lelei was named the athlete of the meet.
Deon Lendore — Texas A&M
Sophomore • Arima, Trinidad & Tobago
Lendore was named the national athlete of the week by the USTFCCCA when he posted a 400m time of 45.91 early in the season. That time has held up as the nation's best entering the Collegiates. That time is also under the all-time Armory record of 46.01.
Brycen Spratling — Pittsburgh
Junior • Webster, N.Y.
Spratling had one of the surprising moments of the indoor season in 2012 when he broke the collegiate record in the 500m dash (1:00.63) at the Big East Championships at The Armory. Entered in the 200m and 400m dashes this weekend, he enters as the nation's No. 2 in the quarter after posting 46.25 at Penn State last weekend.
David Verburg — George Mason
Senior • Lynchburg, Va.
A finalist in the 400m dash at the U.S. Olympic Trials, Verburg has posted an outdoor personal best of 45.06. He was named as the track athlete of the year in both his conference (the Colonial) and his region. Verburg will run both the 200 and 400 at the Collegiates.
Ryan Waite — BYU
Senior • St. Helens, Ore.
Waite had a sensational 2012 indoor season, breaking school records in both the 800m run (1:48.56) and the distance medley relay (9:29.00). He'd run in the 1:46s outdoor as a sophomore. He'd originally attended the University of Oregon before transferring to BYU. He graduated from high school back in 2006.
Nico Weiler — Harvard
Senior • Stuttgart, Germany
Last June at the NCAA Championships, Weiler became the first New England collegian to clear 18 feet in the pole vault. He finished fourth in the event, his second All-America performance. Weiler also became the second Ivy Leaguer to clear 18 (joining Penn's Mamadou Johnson).