The meet is the culmination of the 1995 Grand Prix indoor circuit and the top two finishers in each of the 25 events _ except for the men's 35-pound weight throw _ will qualify for the U.S. team that will compete in the World Indoor Championships at Barcelona March 10-12. The weight event is not conducted in the world indoors.

Torrence, ranked No. 1 in the world in the outdoor 100 and 200 meters, swept the 60- and 200-meter indoor dashes last year, setting the American record of 22.74 seconds in the longer race. She will attempt to sweep those events again.

Going into this weekend, Torrence also was the women's overall Grand Prix leader, just ahead of fellow sprinter Carlette Guidry and Joyner-Kersee.

Joyner-Kersee also set an American record in last year's meet, taking the long jump at 23 feet, 4 3/4 inches. However, she crashed into the hurdles during the 60-meter final and was beaten by Michelle Freeman of Jamaica, the 1994 Grand Prix women's overall winner. Freeman will defend her hurdles title when the two-day meet concludes Saturday.

The men's overall Grand Prix leader is Lance Deal, holder of the world best in the weight throw. He also won the Grand Prix title in 1993, and a repeat victory in the nationals would virtually assure him of another overall title.

Last year's men's overall Grand Prix winner, Marcus O'Sullivan of Ireland, heads the mile field, which also includes Steve Holman, Niall Bruton of Ireland and Terrance Herrington.

The meet's most compelling event could be the men's 400, featuring Michael Johnson.

Johnson, ranked No. 1 in the world, set the world indoor record of 44.97 seconds at Reno, Nev., this month.

He will face second-ranked Derek Mills, No. 3 and 1991 world champion Antonio Pettigrew, 1992 Olympic gold medalist Quincy Watts, No. 9 Jason Rouser, No. 10 and defending champion Darnell Hall, Mark Everett and Derrick Adkins.

Everett, ranked third in the world in the 800, also is entered in that event.

Maria Mutola of Mozambique, unbeaten since 1992, tops the women's 800 field, which also has Olympian and two-time winner Joetta Clark and Olympian Meredith Rainey.

Other top men's entries include Henry Neal, Dennis Mitchell and Jon Drummond in the 60; 1995 world leader Allen Johnson, three-time world indoor champion and U.S. record-holder Greg Foster and defending champion Tony Dees in the 60 hurdles; defending champion Chris Nelloms in the 200, and U.S. outdoor record-holder Bob Kennedy, U.S. outdoor 5,000 champion Matt Giusto and Reuben Reina in the 3,000.

Also, 1991 world champion Charles Austin in the high jump; U.S. record-holder Scott Huffman and defending champion Kory Tarpenning in the pole vault; defending champion and second-ranked Kareem Streete-Thompson in the long jump; 1992 Olympic gold medalist and 1993 world champion Mike Conley and 1991 world champion Kenny Harrison in the triple jump, and world indoor and outdoor record-holder Randy Barnes in the shot put.

The other leading women's entries include 1993 world champion Jearl Miles and defending champion Maicel Malone in the 400; 1994 runner-up Gina Procaccio in the mile; defending champion Kathy Franey in the 3,000; U.S. indoor and outdoor champion Angie Bradburn in the high jump; U.S. indoor and outdoor record-holder Sheila Hudson-Strudwick in the triple jump, and defending champion Ramona Pagel in the shot put.