5 district athletes to watch at NCAA D-I Indoor Track & Field | TribLIVE.com
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Bill Beckner

The NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships will be contested Friday and Saturday in Birmingham, Ala.

Here are five district athletes to watch at the meet:

Jordan Geist, So. Arizona (Knoch) — A record-breaker and bona fide “stud” in his sport growing up, Geist drew crowds away from the glamour events on the track to watch him in the throwing pits. He is doing the same at Arizona. He is the No. 2 seed in the shot put with a throw of 69 feet, 4.75 inches, seventh-best in the world. He finished fifth in the outdoor and indoor finals as a freshman.

North Dakota State’s Payton Otterdahl will be his top challenger. He has the nation’s top throw, at 71-6.75.

Bridget Guy, RS-Senior, Virginia (Hempfield) — Guy is seeded eighth in the pole vault as she makes her debut at the national indoor championships. She has broken the Virginia record at three consecutive meets. She cleared a season-best 14 feet, 7.5 inches at the Tiger Paw Invitational. Guy won the ACC outdoor title in the pole vault last spring and finished fourth at NCAAs.

Maddie Holmberg, Sr., Penn State (Hempfield) — Holmberg will be busy again this weekend, bouncing from event to event at the Birmingham CrossPlex. The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Mid-Atlantic Field Athlete of the Year, ranks sixth in the pentathlon (4,219 points). She placed seventh in the five-event competition last year and was an All-American.

Ayden Owens, Fr., USC (North Allegheny) — Owens, a multi-event athlete who also runs hurdles, will compete in the heptathlon. He won his first competition in the seven-event contest by scoring a school-record 5,642 points to win the Texas Tech Shootout. The former Pennsylvania Gatorade Track & Field Athlete of the Year is seeded 14th out of 16 entries in the “hep.”

Dom Perretta, Jr., Penn State (Beaver Falls) — A former three-time PIAA Class AA champion in the 1,600- and 800-meter runs, Perretta is the 17th seed in the 800 this weekend (1 minute, 48.09 seconds). He took 11th at the Big Ten Indoor Championships.

ESPN3 will stream the championships live starting at 3:30 p.m. (PT) Friday and 2 p.m. (PT) Saturday.

The schedule of events can be found here.

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