FRIDAY RECAP: A Day for the Record Books
Friday saw its fair share of historic collegiate track & field performances. We run through the all-time distance performances that kicked off the weekend – plus a bonus pentathlon performance – below.
Be sure to stay tuned throughout Saturday for much of the biggest match-ups of the weekend at the Arkansas Razorback Invitational and the distance races at Penn State, Camel City and Boston.
DISTANCE MEDLEY RELAY
Penn State Men Edge Stanford in Fastest Head-to-Head DMR Showdown in History
It took a phenomenal, come-from-behind anchor leg – capped by a lean at the line past Sean McGorty – from 1000-meter collegiate record holder Brannon Kidder, but the Penn State men defended their home track over Stanford in historic fashion. Kidder’s 3:55 and lean gave the Nittany Lions a 9:27.20 clocking for the fourth-fastest time in collegiate history, and they needed ever millisecond of it as Stanford ran 9:27.27 for the No. 5 time in college history.
It marked the first time two teams have ever broken 9:28 in the same race on a regulation-sized track (200 meters). Though not victorious, the Cardinal men still managed to break their school record.
It was a quick race for each of the top four teams as Georgetown came through in 9:29.78 and early leader Mississippi ran 9:30.48.
Stanford Women Take Down Georgetown for PSU National DMR Crown
Before the men’s DMR finish one event later, the women’s offering at the Penn State National seemed a no-brainer for best race of the night in College Town. The Stanford women – running without typical anchor Elise Cranny as she recovers from a cross country injury – ran 10:54.58 for the eighth-fastest time in collegiate history, just barely enough to defeat Georgetown’s ninth-fastest all-time clocking of 10:54.77.
In Cranny’s absence, it was unheralded Rebecca Mehra who stepped into the spotlight. Trailing the decorated Katrina Coogan through much of the anchor 1600-meter leg, she made her move with 200 meters to go and outdueled the Hoya down the stretch for a 4:36 split – much faster than her indoor PR 4:44.04. For the Hoyas’ part, they established a new school record.
Oregon Men Overcome Mid-Race Stumble to Win at Arkansas
Though the Ducks didn’t run an all-time performance at the Razorback Invitational, it’s easy to play the “what if” game in this scenario. After Blake Haney brought them through the opening 1200 leg in third place, 400 runner Ben Thiel was tripped up right at the start of his leg and only managed a 50.65 – a time inferior to his 400-meter hurdles PR – to hand off in sixth-place for the 800 leg.
Niki Franzmair moved the Ducks up to fifth after the half-mile, leaving two-time Bowerman Finalist Edward Cheserek with a nearly two-second deficit to leader UCLA. Then the King did what the King does. He made up the gap within one lap and then made his winning move with 800 meters to go, running 3:55 on the anchor when all was said and done as the Ducks ran 9:30.95 to take down Oklahoma State by more than four seconds.
ALLIE OSTRANDER MAKES HISTORY IN FIRST-EVER 5000 ON THE TRACK
After the incendiary cross country campaign she had in 2015, no one should be surprised that Boise State frosh Allie Ostrander is once again making headlines, this time on the track. In her first 5000-meter race on a track ever, the Alaskan ran a blistering 15:21.85 at the Washington Invitational to not only take the 2015 collegiate lead, but also notch the eighth-fastest indoor 5k (regardless of track size) in collegiate history.
The mark is good enough to meet the Olympics qualifying standard, and it was the fastest-ever in both school and Mountain West Conference history. Coincidentally, this marks the second year in a row the NCAA cross country runner-up has run an early-season, low-15:20 time at 5k: Wisconsin’s Sarah Disanza ran 15:20.57 just weeks after the 2014 NCAA meet.
KENDELL WILLIAMS COMES UP SHORT IN COLLEGIATE PENTATHLON RECORD CHASE; ADDS ANOTHER ENTRY TO THE ALL-TIME TOP-10 LIST
Just one week after Kansas State’s Akela Jones nearly toppled Kendell Williams’ collegiate pentathlon record, it was Williams’ turn, herself, to take aim at the mark at the Razorback Invitational. Through three events she was ahead of the pace she set during her 4678-point record at the NCAA Championships thanks to third-attempt successes in both the high jump (co-collegiate leading 1.87m) and shot put (12.51m). But a 6.36m long jump and 2:24.96 800 meters were only good enough to net her 4558 points at the end of the day – still good for the No. 8 score in collegiate history.
She now owns the collegiate record, and all-time college scores Nos. 3, 4 and 8.