2021 NCAA DI Indoor T&F Championships – Day 3 Recap
Champions were crowned on Saturday at the 2021 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships inside the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas!
Keep reading to find out what happened on Championship Saturday!
Oregon Wins Men’s Team Title With All-Time Effort
Oregon entered Day 3 with a chance to score 87 points if it would “shoot the moon” and score max points out of each of its eight entries. Well, the Ducks came pretty close to that as they put up 79 points for the most team points since Arkansas amassed a staggering 94 in 1994.
It is Oregon’s fifth indoor national title in program history.
The Ducks got it done across the board as it won event titles in the triple jump (Emmanuel Ihemeje), mile (Cole Hocker), 60 (Micah Williams), 800 (Charlie Hunter) and 3000 (Cole Hocker, again) on the final day – not to mention the DMR on Friday. They also added more scorers in the mile (Reed Brown, fifth), 60 (Gaston Boucherau, fifth) and 3000 (Cooper Teare, second).
Oregon had company at the top in the guise of LSU, which kept pace until the 3000. The Ducks led the eventual runner-up Tigers by just three points after the 60H and then again after the 200, which meant the eventual winners had to score at least seven points in the 3000 to be assured a share of the national title. Oregon received 18 in that event from Hocker and Teare to blow it open.
Men Of Oregon Set Another Mile Record
Cole Hocker left the competition standing still in the mile.
Hocker used a blistering last lap of 25.81 to finish in 3:53.71, more than two seconds ahead of runner-up Eliud Kipsang of Alabama at 3:55.93. That time by Hocker broke an eight-year-old meet record formerly held by Lawi Lalang of Arizona.
Reed Brown, Hocker’s teammate, took fifth to give Oregon four more points.
Whatever You Can Do, I Can Do Better
Randolph Ross of North Carolina A&T laid down the gauntlet in Heat 1 of the 400-meter final when he dropped a 44.99 to become the eighth-fastest performer in collegiate history.
Noah Williams of LSU answered in a big way and helped the Tigers keep pace with Oregon in the team standings with his 44.71 winner to move up to No. 3 on the all-time collegiate chart and No. 4 on the all-time world list.
An Incredible Finish In The 200
Just 0.01 seconds decided the national title in the Men’s 200 Meters.
When the dust settled, Matthew Boling of Georgia sprinted away with the NCAA crown in 20.19 to equal the fifth-fastest performer in collegiate history. Terrance Laird of LSU finished in 20.20, which makes him the seventh-fastest performer in collegiate history.
Arkansas Women Go Back-To-Back
Arkansas‘s women weren’t everywhere Saturday – it just looked that way. The Razorbacks started the day with 10 points but scored in seven of the day’s nine finals to repeat as team champions with 68 points.
Sealing the top trophy for Arkansas was a 2-4-5 finish in the 3000 meters – worth 17 points – with Lauren Gregory, Katie Izzo and Abby Gray. Arkansas had 62 points at the stage, enough to clinch the team title.
Texas A&M finished second with 57 points, while LSU (39), Southern California (35) and Georgia (31) rounded out the top 5.
Nelson Shocks With CR 7.05 In 60
Kemba Nelson of Oregon made the 60-meter final by lowering her PR from 7.19 to 7.13 in the prelims on Friday, but that improvement paled to her performance in the final.
With a great start, Nelson rocketed to a time of 7.05 seconds to beat Twanisha Terry of Southern California, the 2019 champ who had PRed at 7.09 in the prelims. Nelson’s 7.05 took down the collegiate record of 7.07 shared by Hannah Cunliffe of Oregon in 2017 and LSU’s Aleia Hobbs in 2018.
Steiner Ties 200 CR At 22.38
Abby Steiner of Kentucky continued her blazing season, winning the 200 meters in 22.38 to tie the CR set by Gabby Thomas of Harvard in 2018.
Steiner was challenged by Alabama’s Tamara Clark, whose 22.45 moved her up to a tie for No. 7 on the all-time collegiate list.
Miller Runs Away With 800
The pace looked crazy from the start, but Aaliyah Miller of Baylor showed she was serious in the 800 meters. After an opening 200 of 27.71, Miller added to her big lead with splits of 56.90 at the 400 and 1:27.46 at the 600.
She cruised home to win in 2:00.69. That time broke the meet record of 2:01.09 set by Oregon’s Raevyn Rogers in 2017 and tied her for No. 2 on the all-time collegiate list.
Laurie Barton of Clemson (2:01.21) edged Arkansas’s Shafiqua Maloney (2:01.22) as the pair moved to Nos. 7 and 8, respectively on the all-time list.
Meet Record Tied Twice In Triple Jump
An exciting triple jump saw three women over 46 feet as the meet record was tied twice.
Deborah Acquah of Texas A&M got the excitement started in Round 2 by bounding to 14.27m (46-10) to tie the MR set by three-time champ Keturah Orji of Georgia in 2018. The PR by over a foot lifted the Aggie into a tie for No. 3 on the all-time list.
Florida State’s Ruta Lasmane moved into second place in Round 4 with a jump of 14.12m (46-4) that made her =No. 7 all-time, then improved in the final round to 14.15m (46-5¼).
However, Lasmane’s improvement was only good for third place, as seasonal leader Ruth Usoro of Texas Tech had gone 14.21m (46-7½) in Round 5, which at that point was only good for second place.
Usoro took the lead on her last jump, tieing the MR at 46-10 and earning the title over Acquah based on better second attempt (Usoro 46-7½ compared to 13.82m/45-4¼ for Acquah).
Roberts Holds Off Mu In 400
A highly anticipated 400 meters found most of the attention on seasonal leader Athing Mu of Texas A&M, but defending champ Kaelin Roberts of USC showed she still owns the event.
Running in lane 3, Roberts beat Mu to the pole position as the runners broke from their lanes to finish the first lap and then held Mu at bay for the remainder of the race to PR in 50.84. Mu, who had run 50.52 earlier this year, finished second in 51.03.
The two met again in the final event of the meet as anchor legs on 4 x 400 relay. Mu won that contest with a 49.54 split as Texas A&M set a meet record of 3:26.68. USC was second in 3:27.71 with Roberts splitting 51.17.