Lalang’s Collegiate Mile Record Headlines National Athletes of the Week
NEW ORLEANS – Too many all-time performances, too few awards. Not even newly minted all-time top-10 performers among the collegiate ranks or in their respective NCAA Divisions could crack USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week status with such a glut of historic showings.
The indoor mile collegiate record fell to Arizona’s Lawi Lalang at the Millrose Games for the Division I men’s National Athlete of the Week, while the women’s honor went to Dartmouth’s Abbey D’Agostino at the same meet for yet another all-time performance, this time at 3000 meters.
Lalang wasn’t the only one breaking records this weekend: Ashland’s Drew Windle in Division II smashed the all-time DII indoor best at 800 meters to earn the Division’s men’s honors. Though Barbara Szabo of Western State didn’t notch a Division II record in the high jump, she did earn the top spot on the collegiate leaderboard and this week’s top individual women’s honors in Division II.
Ashante Little of Wheaton (Mass.) came oh so close to Division III records of her own at 400 meters and 200 meters to earn the Division III women’s award, while John Crain of North Central (Ill.) turned in a historic run at 3000 meters.
Find out more about each student-athletes’ performances below or by clicking their name above to go directly to their section.
National Athletes of the Week are announced each Monday throughout the season, with male and female awards for all three NCAA Divisions. Nominations are open to the public and can be completed here. Two honorable mention selections will be made for each gender per NCAA Division.
Lawi Lalang, Arizona
Lalang said during the The Bowerman Trophy Award Show at the end of 2013 that his goal for the 2014 collegiate season would be to break the indoor mile record. After this weekend he can check that one off his to-do list as he finished runner-up in the Wanamaker Mile at the Millrose Games in 3:52.88
He edged past the one-year-old record of 3:52.98 set by Tulsa’s Chris O’Hare at last year’s Millrose games, where Lalang ran what is now the fourth-fastest mile in collegiate history.
Excluding the rabbit, Lalang led the pack for all but 50 meters of the race ahead of a field that included two former Olympics silver medalists in Nick Willis (2008) and Leo Manzano (2012); the past two collegiate record holders in O’Hare and Miles Batty; and American mile record holder Alan Webb in his final track race.
The only man to beat Lalang was defending American indoor mile champion Will Leer.
Lalang now owns four of the top eight mile performances in collegiate indoor history, and is the 2014 collegiate leader in both the mile and at 3000 meters.
Sam Kendricks, Mississippi – Defeated last week’s pole vault collegiate leader Shawn Barber of Akron at New Mexico with a new collegiate-leading vault of 18-8¼ (5.70m), which equals the No. 9 spot on the all-time indoor collegiate performers list.
Abbey D’Agostino, Dartmouth
More collegiate distance running history was made in The Armory at the Millrose Games as Dartmouth’s Abbey D’Agostino ran the fourth-fastest indoor 3000 ever by a collegian in 8:51.91 to finish fourth overall and top among collegians.
She ran in second place for much of the race, dueling with old collegiate rival Betsy Saina nearly every step of the way. D’Agostino, the defending national champion at 3000 meters, was ultimately passed by Saina on the final lap and edged out at the line by Italy’s Margherita Magnani to finish fourth, but not before recording a four-second personal record.
Her former personal best of 8:55.41 was set on the oversized track at Washington last season, as opposed to t he standard 200 meter track at The Armory.
The senior is now the collegiate leader in the mile, 3000-meter and 5000-meter events, and for her career is ranked among the top four individuals on the all-time indoor collegiate performers list for each.
Ashley Spencer, Texas – Won her season-debut 400 meters at the Tyson Invitational in 52.44 for the No. 2 collegiate time in 2014 and ran a 51.66 anchor leg of the Longhorns’ collegiate-leading 3:30.12 4×400 relay.
Drew Windle, Ashland
The duration between defending indoor and outdoor 800 meters national champion Drew Windle’s first and second races in his signature event was lengthy – three weeks – but it was worth the wait.
The junior burned up Grand Valley State’s oversized track with a 1:46.52 performance at the GVSU Big Meet for the fastest indoor time ever recorded by a Division II student-athlete, regardless of track size. He surpassed by almost a full second the previous fastest all-conditions mark of 1:47.34 set by Salasi Lumax of Southern Connecticut in 2012.
Including outdoor performances, he is now the ninth-fastest performer in comprehensive indoor and outdoor history for Division II.
His time was fast enough to temporarily place him atop the 2014 collegiate descending order list, before he was knocked down to second among all collegians on Saturday.
Among those he defeated in his race was GVSU’s Ethan Barnes by three seconds back in third. Barnes had been the Division II leader entering the weekend.
Kevin Batt, Adams State – Outdueled Oregon’s Trevor Dunbar, runners from Division I cross country champion Colorado and The Bowerman Watch Lister member Anthony Rotich of UTEP to win the second section of the 3000 meters invitational at the Washington Husky Classic in 7: 52.15, giving him the second fastest all-conditions indoor time in Division II history.
Jeron Robinson – Won the high jump at the Texas Tech Red Raider Open with a Division II-leading clearance of 7-3 (2.21m).
Barbara Szabo, Western State
Speaking of Division II student-athletes who made their way to the top of the collegiate leaderboards this weekend, Szabo took the national lead in the women’s high jump with her winning clearance of 6-3¼ (1.91m) at the Washington Husky Classic.
The senior face little resistance in the first four heights she faced. She cleared both 1.82m and 1.85m on her first attempts, and needed only two each for 1.88m and 1.91m. Three attempts at 6-4 (1.93m) came up unsuccessful.
Her nearest competitor, Tiana Willis of San Francisco State, bowed out of the competition at 6-¾ (1.85m). The next closest jumper on the collegiate list for 2014 is South Carolina’s Jeannelle Scheper at 6-2¾ (1.90m)
If not for her 2013 indoor personal best of 6-3½ (1.92m), the mark would equal the No. 4 position on the comprehensive indoor and outdoor all-time performers list for Division II.
Kristen Hixson, Grand Valley State – Became the fourth woman in Division II history to clear 14 feet either indoor or outdoor with her winning vault of 14-1¼ (4.30m) at the GVSU Big Meet.
Jessica Bridenthal, Ashland – Improved on her nation-best weight throw mark with a winning heave of 67-8¼ (20.63m) at the GVSU Big Meet.
John Crain, North Central (Ill.)
Having already posted top-five Division III marks in the mile (No. 5) and at 5000 meters (No. 4) earlier this season, Crain split the distance and posted another Division-leading time at 3000 meters that found its way into the record books.
His winning time of 8:11:42 on the non-banked track at North Central (Ill.) not only gave him the Division lead (converted to 8:05.77 for a banked track) by about seven seconds, but it put him at No. 6 all-time in on the Division III all-time list.
His victory came by nine seconds over teammate Troy Kelleher and 12 seconds over Division II’s Andrew McClain of Lewis.
Victor Banjo, Wittenberg – Won the 60 meters and 200 meters titles at the All-Ohio Division III Championships in personal-records 6.85 (No. 4 in DIII) and 21.76 (No. 3, converted from 22.15)
Ashante Little, Wheaton (Mass.)
Numerous times an honorable mention selection for National Athlete of the Week, Little left little doubt this past weekend that she would earn the full award with historic performance at both 400 and 200 meters at the Boston University Scarlet and White Invitational.
Her runner-up performance at 400 meters in 54.82 extended her national DIII lead in the event to now more than a second, and put her firmly at No. 2 all-time in the Division III indoor performers list. Not since former Wheaton (Mass.) runner Amber James in 2004 (54.48) had any DIII woman gone as fast indoors.
She also finished eighth overall at 200 meters in 24.80, giving her the second spot on the qualifying list but the fastest raw time of the 2014 season in Division III. The time was quick enough to put her at No. 5 on the all-time Division III performers list in the event indoors.
She also remained No. 2 in the 60-meter hurdles.
Tricia Serres, Luther – Making her career debut at 3000 meters, she ran 9:35.28 at the Iowa State Classic for the eighth-fastest time in Division III history. She finished 12th of 24 as the only non-DI or non-professional in the field.
Lexie Sondgeroth, UW-Whitewater – Claimed the top qualifying spot at 200 meters in 24.71 (25.09 raw without accounting for flat-to-banked conversion) and is No. 2 in the long jump at 19-½ (5.80m) after wins in both events at the WIAC Quad.