Oregon Women Lead Packed NCAA Title Chase

Oregon Women Lead Packed NCAA Title Chase

EUGENE, Oregon – A close women’s team title and podium race at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships has long been projected in our National Team Computer Rankings and various formcharts around the internet.

After the first day of women’s-only competition – the very first in meet history, by the way, outside the conclusion of the men’s decathlon – a close women’s races is precisely what we have.

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS CENTRAL | USTFCCCA Notes

Check out the projected standings below, based on the points already scored and our projections in the remaining events, which will be contested Saturday from 5pm ET/2pm PT through 7:30pm ET/4:30pm PT on ESPN2.

TEAM
POINTS
1. Oregon 57
2. Texas A&M 45
3. Southern California 44
4. Arkansas 42
5. Florida 40
6. Georgia 39
7. Texas 38
8. Kentucky 34
9. Kansas State 26
10. LSU 22

 

We’ve broken down each of those ten teams below.

The men’s finals are Friday (7:30pm ET/4:30pm PT through 10pm ET/7pm PT on ESPN), so get up to speed on an equally close team race here.

Now, our analysis.

1st – Oregon (#1)

Projected now: 57 points
Pre-meet projected: 60 points, 1st place
Remaining entries: 7

Beating projections:
Brittany Mann, 4th in shot put
Molly Grabill, 4th in 10k

Meeting projections:
Women’s 4×100, made final
Jillian Weir, 4th in hammer
Raevyn Rogers, made 800 final
Jenna Prandini, made 100 and 200 final, 2nd in long jump
Jasmine Todd, 5th in long jump
Waverly Neer, 5th in 10k

Below projections:
Sasha Wallace, missed 100H final
Jasmine Todd, missed 100 final

Saturday outlook: Beyond the force of nature that is Jenna Prandini, the Ducks had some very high points (Mann in the shot put, Neer and Grabill in the 10k) and some very low points (collegiate leader Todd missing the 100-meter final and Wallace not making it to Saturday in the 100-hurdles), the Ducks ended their first day in roughly the same position as when they began.

Going into Saturday as the projected winners (they have the day one lead plus the third-most entries of any team in the field), they’ll have Prandini contending for titles in the 100 and 200, Prandini and Todd in the 4×100, Rogers in the 800, Lauren Crockett in the high jump, Grabill at 5000 meters and Nikki Hiltz at 1500 meters.

2nd – Texas A&M (#4)

Projected now: 45
Pre-meet projected: 46 points, T3rd place
Remaining entries: 8

Beating projections:
Jena Hemann, 6th in heptathlon
Jennifer Madu, made 100 final

Meeting projections:
Women’s 4×100, made final
Women’s 4×400, made final
Aaliyah Brown, made 100 and 200 final
Shamier Little, made 400 hurdles final
Kamaria Brown, made 200 final

Below projections:
Maggie Malone, 9th in javelin

Saturday outlook:  How hard will the new schedule be on sprint doublers and triplers? No one cares more about the answer to that question that Texas A&M.  On Saturday, they can somewhat safely bank on ten points from Shelbi Vaughan in the discus.  The rest of their points will come from women with a heavy, heavy workload in the sprints, hurdles, and relays.  Based on the lineups they ran at the SEC championships, Shamier Little will be doubling in the 400 hurdles and 4×400, Jennifer Madu will be doing the relatively (operative word) easy 100/4×1 double, and the unrelated Kamaria and Aaliyah Brown will be doing tough triples.  Kamaria will likely run both relays plus the 200 final, and Aaliyah qualified for both short sprint finals and will likely run the 4×1.  The shorter relay starts the day, and the last two years, A&M has started the final day with a win in the event.

3rd – USC (#5)

Projected now: 44
Pre-meet projected: 49 points, second place
Remaining entries: 8

Beating projections:
None

Meeting projections:
Women’s 4×100, made final
Women’s 4×400, made final
Dior Hall, made 100 hurdles final
Ky Westbrook, made 100 final

Jaide Stepter and Amalie Iuel, made 400 hurdles final

Below projections:
Vanessa Jones, missed 400 final
Ky Westbrook, missed 200 final


Saturday outlook: The Women of Troy have work to do on Saturday but have the firepower to do it with eight entries in Saturday’s events, tied for the most with Kentucky. They only advanced one of their four women at 100 meters – frosh Westbrook, who will look to replicate her runner-up indoor 60-meter performance – and neither of their 200-meter runners, but they will be well-represented in the hurdles with Stepter and Iuel both making the 400-meter hurdles final and Hall qualifying through in the 100-meter hurdles.

The sprinters will have a chance for redemption as they go for titles and/or big points in the 4×100 and 4×400 relays, which are loaded with podium and team title contenders. In the field, big-point contender Tera Novy is one of two Southern Cal women in the discus.

4th – Arkansas (#2)

Projected now: 42 points
Pre-meet projected: 46 points, T3rd place
Remaining entries: 4

Beating projections:
Desiree Freier, 5th in pole vault
Ariel Voskamp, 7th in pole vault

Meeting projections:
Women’s 4×400, made final
Taylor Ellis-Watson, made 400 final
Chrishuna Williams, made 800 final
Sandi Morris, 2nd in pole vault

Below projections:
Alex Gouchenour, 9th in heptathlon
Jessica Kamilos, DNS steeplechase
Dominique Scott, 2nd in 10k

Saturday outlook: Arkansas’s path to the team title indoors involved big wins from Dominique Scott and Sandi Morris.  Both performed well on Wednesday night, but in a crowded and crazy women’s team race, getting sixteen points out of two women tipped for twenty hurts.  The Razorbacks are tied with Georgia and Kansas State for the least entries among top ten teams on Saturday at four each.  Scott (5k), Taylor Ellis-Watson (400), Chrishuna Williams (800), and their 4×4 are all Razorbacks fans need to pay attention to. It’s going to take at least forty points to crack the podium; if all four of those finalists finish fourth, Arkansas has forty-two points.

5th – Florida (#6)

Projected now: 40
Pre-meet projected: 48 points, third place
Remaining entries:
7

Beating projections:
Claudia Francis, made 800 final

Meeting projections:
Women’s 4×100, made final
Women’s 4×400, made final
Bridgette Owens, made 100 hurdles final
Kyra Jefferson, made 200 final

Below projections:
Robin Reynolds, missed 400 final
Fawn Miller, 8th in javelin

Saturday outlook:  Florida could very well win four or five events on Saturday—a quarter or a third of the whole schedule—and still lose this meet. That’s how fat Oregon’s point cushion is.  To be in contention for the win, they’ll need big finishes from both sprint relays, hurdler Bridgette Owens, sprinter Kyra Jefferson, and triple jumper Ciarra Brewer.  Their room for error comes in the form of 800 meter runner Claudia Francis—guaranteed at least a point in the final—and high jumper Taylor Burke.

6th – Georgia (#7)

Projected now: 39
Pre-meet projected: 43 points, 6th place
Remaining entries: 4

Beating projections:
Quintunya Chapman, 3rd in heptathlon
Freya Jones, 5th in javelin

Meeting projections:
Kendell Williams, 2nd in heptathlon

Below projections:
Keturah Orji and Chanice Porter, 7th & 8th in long jump

Saturday outlook: The Bulldogs were the lone team above the sprints fray on Thursday, but they’ll have a lot of work to do in the field on Saturday. They’ll need big points from defending high jump champ No. 2 Leontia Kallenou – plus high finishes from Tatiana Gusin and Chanice Porter – and collegiate triple jump leader Keturah Orji to be in contention. Between those two events, we’ve projected 18 points (Orji winning the TJ and Kallenou finishing runner-up), so Gusin and Porter may be the difference between the team podium or not.

7th – Texas (#9)

Projected now: 38
Pre-meet projected: 41 points, 7th place
Remaining entries: 7

Beating projections:
None

Meeting projections:
Women’s 4×100, made final
Women’s 4×400, made final
Morolake Akinosun, made 100 and 200 final
Ashley Spencer and Kendall Baisden, made 400 final

Below projections:
Morgan Snow, missed 100 hurdles final

Saturday outlook: The Longhorns suffered just one hiccup en route to seven entries on Saturday, as Snow did not advance to the 100-meter hurdles finals. Akinosun has so far redeemed herself from her indoor NCAA meet, advancing to the final both at 100 and 200 meters in events where literally anything can happen. The 400 is UT’s bread and butter, and in the absence of defending champ Courtney Okolo the Longhorns will be relying even more heavily on Kendall Baisden and two-time champ Ashley Spencer. Some combination of those sprinters will also be significant for Texas’ 4×100 and 4×400 relays – events that are congested with team contenders. Dark horse points could come from Sandie Raines in the 5000. She snuck in for a point at the indoor championships.

8th – Kentucky (#3)

Projected now: 36 points
Pre-meet projected: 34 points, 8th place
Remaining entries: 8

Beating projections:
Keilah Tyson, made 100 final

Meeting projections:
Kendra Harrison, made 100H final
Dezerea Bryant, made 100 and 200 final
Kendra Harrison and Leah Nugent, made 400 hurdles final
Sha’Keela Saunders, 3rd in long jump

Below projections:
DQ’ed 4×100

Saturday Outlook: Only USC matches Kentucky in terms of entries in Saturday’s finals, but few other teams have as much ground to make up as the Wildcats. UK will enter the day with six points from Sha’Keela Saunders in the long jump, and look to build from there. Thursday only had a few minor hiccups – the 4×400 and 4×100 relays not making the finals in those crucial events, for example – but they didn’t do anything to hurt themselves, either. The success of stud sprinters Harrison in the 100- and 400-hurdles and Bryant in the 200 will be critical. Kentucky will also have some potential points to gain in the field, with two entries in the discus.

9th – Kansas State (#10)

Projected now: 26 points
Pre-meet projected: 25 points, 9th place
Remaining entries: 4

Beating projections:
Akela Jones, won heptathlon
Dani Winters, 4th in shot put

Meeting projections:
None

Below projections:
Sara Savatovic, fouled out of hammer

Saturday outlook: Kansas State has one of the biggest breakout stars of the meet so far in Akela Jones, but Jones and a few other jumpers—that’s all they have left on Saturday—won’t be enough to vault the Wildcats from their current fifteen points to the somewhere in the thirties that will be the bare minimum to grab a trophy. Still, they’ve got Jones for another year, and that’s more than any other team can say.  Her 6371 points in the heptathlon were the most by an underclassman in over thirty years, and the most ever by a non-senior with the new javelin implement.

10th – LSU (#8)

Projected now: 22 points
Pre-meet projected: 20 points, 10th place
Remaining entries: 6

Beating projections:
Daeshon Gordon and Chanice Chase, made 100 hurdles final
Aleia Hobbs, made 100 final
Rebekah Wales, 5th in javelin
Jada Martin, made 200 final

Meeting projections:
Women’s 4×100, made final

Below projections:
Daeshon Gordon, missed 400 hurdles final
Tori Bliss, 3rd in shot put
Women’s 4×400, missed final

Saturday outlook: LSU didn’t have a bad day on Thursday in Eugene.  They had four low-seeded sprinters guarantee themselves points by making finals in the 100 hurdles, 100, and 200, and Rebekah Wales grabbed a surprising fifth in the javelin.  But the Tigers didn’t get what they needed in order to have podium hopes:  an outright bad day from one of their SEC rivals.  Everyone else gunning for trophies got enough of their athletes through to Saturday that top ten is now a much more realistic goal for LSU than the top four that finish on the podium.