The Golden Age Of Collegiate Indoor Track & Field
This is truly the golden age of collegiate indoor track & field.
Think about this: Twenty-seven of the 34 current collegiate records in events contested at the NCAA Championships were established between 2010 and 2019, with a staggering 18 of those coming in the past three years combined.
From The USTFCCCA InfoZone: Records & Lists
After what was thought to be an unsustainable pace in 2017 where seven current collegiate indoor records were either set or tied, they one-upped themselves in 2018 with eight, of which included two all-time world bests in the Men’s 400 Meters (Michael Norman, 44.52) and the Men’s 4×400 Relay (Southern California, 3:00.77).
Things simmered a bit last year as only three current collegiate records hit the books, but they were remarkable in their own right. None loomed larger than Florida superstar Grant Holloway’s blistering 7.35 in the 60 Meter Hurdles, which broke the American record and made him the third fastest performer with the fourth fastest performance in world history.
READ MORE: Grant Holloway Wins The Bowerman In 2019
The current season got off to a hot start last month when top finishers from the cross country season took aim at the near five-year-old standard in the Women’s 5000 Meters held by Emily Sisson of Providence. Sisson went 15:12.22 inside the Armory at the 2015 BIG EAST Indoor Championships.
Katie Izzo of Arkansas and Weini Kelati of New Mexico both gave it an honest effort as they both clocked sub-15:15.00 times. Izzo finished runner-up to unattached teammate Taylor Werner in 15:13.09, which stands as the second fastest performance in collegiate history. Kelati ended up third in 15:14.71, the fourth fastest mark in collegiate history, less than one second faster than the time she turned in last year at the same meet.
READ MORE: Meet Recap – Boston University Season Opener
There is reason to believe the two-year-old record in the Women’s 3000 Meters could be under siege as well. Just a few years ago, Karissa Schweizer of Missouri turned in an 8:41.60 at the NYRR Millrose Games to unseat former record holder Jenny Barringer.
We’ll see a loaded field in the Women’s 3000 Meters at the NYRR Millrose Games next month as the aforementioned Kelati and Werner line up against Alicia Monson of Wisconsin, among others. Monson won the 3000 at this meet last year in 8:45.97, making her the third fastest performer with the third fastest performance in collegiate history.
Staying with the women, it is very possible that Southern California could better its own mark in the 4×400 Relay. The Women of Troy went 3:27.03 to win the NCAA title three years ago and have a strong quartet headlined by the top-2 returners in the open 400 (Kyra Constantine and Kaelin Roberts) in addition to the reigning 400 Meter Hurdles champion (Anna Cockrell). Don’t rule out Texas A&M, either, as it won the NCAA outdoor title in the event this past June.
Finally, could Devin Dixon take down Paul Ereng from the top of the chart in the Men’s 800 Meters? Many have tried to topple Ereng’s 1:44.84 over the years and none came closer than his pupil Michael Saruni two years ago in a winning effort at the NCAA Championships (Saruni hit 1:45.15 for the No. 2 mark). Dixon currently sits as the third fastest performer with the fourth fastest performance at 1:45.27 and has plenty of motivation to cement his legacy and go out on top.
By the conclusion of the 2020 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships on March 14 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, we’ll know exactly how many athletes etched their names in the annals of history. We, like many of you, can’t wait to see it.