WEEKEND IN REVIEW: January 17-19, 2019

The collegiate indoor track & field season has already brought us our first collegiate record of the brand-new decade as the season churns early in just the third weekend of January.

From The USTFCCCA InfoZoneMeets & Results

Here is a glimpse at some of the biggest moments from the weekend.

Virginia Tech Invitational

The Rector Field House has a fast track. Last year in his first race as a Hokie, Jacory Patterson covered 300 meters in this meet in 32.49, second-fastest only to the 32.32 collegiate record set by Torrin Lawrence of Georgia on this same track in 2010.

Patterson – now a sophomore and still a teenager for a couple more weeks – moved up a notch to claim the collegiate record after his blazing 32.28 Friday night that also makes him the No. 6 American all-time.

The meet saw more heat on Saturday when Tennessee’s Darryl Sullivan scaled 7-7 3/4 (2.33) in the high jump, the fourth-highest ever by a collegian.

Washington Indoor Preview

Olivia Gruver, who set a national outdoor pole vault record last year at 15-6 1/4 (4.73), became the year’s first 15-footer this year with a 15-3½ (4.66) clearance Saturday night at the Dempsey Indoor Center. That matches the fourth-highest ever indoors for the Washington senior and is a height only she, Demi Payne (15-7 in 2015), Alexus Jacobus (15-4 1/4 last year) and Sandi Morris (15-3 1/2 in 2015) have ever accomplished undercover. Gruver’s indoor best is actually 15-3 3/4 from 2018 when she was at Kentucky.

On the track, Stanford’s Jessica Lawson clocked the year’s fastest mile at 4:37.64, and teammate Ella Donaghu did likewise in the 3000 meters at 8:58.31.

Texas Tech Corky Classic

“Corky” is the nickname of one of Texas Tech’s most beloved in any sport, Gerald Oglesby, who passed away in 2017. Home of the reigning national outdoor champions, Lubbock also owns one of the best indoor facilities in the country.

LSU’s Tonea Marshall found a nice homecoming for the Texas native’s first-ever entry to the sub-8 club of 60-meter hurdlers, and at 7.86 she is now the No. 3 collegian ever and the fastest since Brianna Rollins (now McNeal) rocked 7.78 back in 2013. Another Tiger, Bowerman Watch List member  JuVaughn Harrison, opened up in the high jump with a 7-5 (2.26) victory, and the home team saw a nation-leading 20.76 by freshman Ashton O’Conner.

Arkansas Invitational

The defending women’s team champion indoors and outdoors saw two members of the recent cross country champions post the top two of the fastest times in the mile, led by Carina Viljoen at 4:37.78. She was nearly two seconds ahead of Katie Izzo (4:39.64), as both were paced early by Taylor Werner, who is redshirting the indoor season. Izzo and Werner are both members of the preseason Watch List for The Bowerman.

Ted Nelson Invitational

This meet is named for the Texas A&M coach who as a quartermiler also owned or shared 13 school records. Deborah Acquah joined the club and gave the home crowd a treat as she long jumped a nation-leading 21-6¾ (6.57) for the national lead. The mark broke the A&M school record of 21-2¾ (6.47) by Adrien Sawyer that had stood since 1998.

In the women’s high jump Kentucky’s Ellen Ekholm took the national lead with a leap of 6-0 3/4 (1.85).

Lumberjack Team Challenge

Arizona State’s Samantha Noennig, defending national indoor and outdoor champion in the shot put, traveled north to Flagstaff, Arizona, and took over the national lead in her specialty at 56-0½ (17.08). Noennig is a member of the preseason Watch List for The Bowerman. Her stay as the leader was taken away by Indiana’s Khayla Dawson, who threw 57-3 3/4 (17.47) later in the day at the Vanderbilt Invitational.

Northern Arizona is a popular destination for distance runners, and the home team saw defending national indoor mile champ Geordie Beamish win in 4:07.15 over teammates Luis Grijalva (4:07.68) and Tyler Day (4:08.22). The NCAA conversion factors for altitude and track size put all three of those marks in the sub-4 orbit.

Vanderbilt Invitational

Several national-leading marks were turned in at the Vanderbilt Invitational in Nashville, Tennessee, including three men’s events – 6.57 in the 60 meters by Raheem Chambers of Miami, 1:47.84 in the 800 by Cooper Williams of Indiana and 3:57.03 in the mile by Waleed Suliman of Ole Miss.

There was a women’s national leader registered by Indiana’s Khayla Dawson at 57-3 3/4 (17.47) in the shot put.

UCS Spirit National Pole Vault Summit

The largest collection of vaulters annually meet in Reno, Nevada, and a special spotlight is on Friday night’s Global Elite competitions, which this year produced a pair of national collegiate leaders. LSU’s Lisa Gunnarsson won the women’s competition at 14-9 (4.50), just shy of her collegiate indoor best of 14-9½ (4.51). She won on the countback over recent Arkansas grad Lexi Jacobus, but her stay at the top of the national list only lasted one day as Washington’s Olivia Gruver jumped 15-3½ (4.66) Saturday in Seattle.

Three-time NCAA outdoor champ Chris Nilsen of South Dakota finished third in the men’s field at 18-8¼ (5.70) behind Jacob Wooten (Texas A&M grad) and defending champ Matt Ludwig (Akron grad), both of whom cleared 19-0¼ (5.80). Nilsen’s national leader was matched later on Friday by Baylor’s K.C. Lightfoot at the Larry Wieczorek Invitational in Iowa City, Iowa.