MEET RECAP: 2021 NCAA DI East & West Preliminary Rounds

Competition is underway at the 2021 NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round in Jacksonville, Florida, and the 2021 NCAA Division I West Preliminary Round in College Station, Texas.

NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round – LIVE RESULTS
NCAA Division I West Preliminary Round –
LIVE RESULTS
From The USTFCCCA InfoZone
: Meets & Results | Records & Lists

We are going to find out which athletes will make it through to the reimagined Hayward Field, which is the final site of the 2021 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships. The meet is scheduled to take place two weeks from now – June 9-12.

Allow us to take you through some of the biggest moments from each of the four days.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021 – Men’s Day 1

NCAA DI East Preliminary Round

Sindri Gudmundsson of Mississippi State got it started in the javelin with a collegiate-leading toss of 79.83m (261-11), which also happened to be the second-best effort in prelim history behind former Bulldog standout Anderson Peters back in 2019 (80.06m/262-8). Gudmundsson wasn’t alone, though, as teammates DJ Jonsson and Tyriq Horsford landed the fourth- and fifth-best marks in prelim history, respectively, at 78.51m (257-7) and 75.51m (247-9).

After that, it was off to the races as several other all-time prelim marks were recorded.

  • JuVaughn Harrison of LSU was the top qualifier in the long jump at 8.14m (26-8½), which came into a 1.4 m/s headwind and took down the all-time prelim best. Not to be outdone, Carey McLeod of Tennessee also topped the former all-time prelim best with his 8.08m (26-6¼) effort on his second attempt of the afternoon.
  • Alex Masai of Hofstra led a calvary of athletes under the former all-time prelim best in the 10,000 meters. Masai went 28:29.97, as Adriaan Wildschutt of Florida State (28:37.77), Vincent Kiprop of Alabama (28:39.90), Aaron Bienenfeld of Cincinnati (28:42.45) and Robert Brandt of Georgetown (28:48.12) were all under the previous standard of 28:51.11.
  • Eliud Kipsang of Alabama was the fastest through to Friday’s quarterfinals in the 1500 meters at an all-time prelim best of 3:37.17.
  • Trevor Stewart of North Carolina A&T was fastest through to Friday’s quarterfinals in the 400 meters at 44.55, tying an all-time prelim best that he set two years ago.

NCAA DI West Preliminary Round

Wesley Kiptoo of Iowa State took out the 10,000 meters in 60.80.

Read that again: Kiptoo split the first 400 meters of a 25-lap race in 60.80.

Kiptoo settled into a rhythm soon after and left the field in the dust as he won by 20 seconds in 28:50.11, which bettered the former all-time prelim best of 28:59.43 set by Rory Linkletter of BYU two years ago.

Turner Washington of Arizona State has been on another level himself in the shot put and discus. Washington competed in the shot put on Wednesday and launched the third- and fourth-best marks in prelim history of 20.74m (68-0½) and 20.70m (67-11). He will compete in the discus on Friday, an event in which he owns each of the top-10 best marks this season.

Thursday, May 27, 2021 – Women’s Day 1

NCAA DI East Preliminary Round

Autavia Fluker of South Alabama went big in the hammer.

Fluker launched the implement 70.02m (229-9) on her final attempt of the competition to not only tally the top qualifying mark, but set an NCAA DI East Preliminary Round all-time best and hit an Olympic qualifier.

Here are some other moments from Day 2 in Jacksonville, Florida.

  • Tonea Marshall of LSU was the top qualifier in the 100H at a wind-aided 12.49 (+3.0). That gave Marshall, who is among the top-10 performers in collegiate history regardless of conditions, the third-fastest wind-aided mark in collegiate history.
  • Mercy Chelangat of Alabama continued her record-breaking season. Chelangat was the top qualifier in the 10,000 meters in 33:06.83, which bettered the former NCAA DI East Preliminary Round all-time best by 1.07 seconds. She also took down longstanding SEC Outdoor Track & Field Championships meet records earlier this month.

NCAA DI West Preliminary Round

Preliminary Round history is cool – but world history is better.

Ackera Nugent of Baylor clocked the fastest all-conditions U20 mark in history on Thursday during the first round of the 100H. Nugent covered 100 meters and cleared 10 hurdles in 12.63 (+3.3). Later in the meet, Nugent returned to the track and notched a huge PR in the 100 of 11.09 (+1.6), which also set the facility record for the time being (Twanisha Terry of Southern California later went a wind-legal 10.99).

Here are some other moments from Day 2 in College Station, Texas.

  • Camryn Rogers of California set an NCAA DI West Preliminary Round all-time best in the hammer with a 72.16m (236-9) effort on her second throw of the competition. Rogers added a mark of 71.54m (234-8) in Round 3 for the third-farthest effort in prelim history.
  • Kemba Nelson of Oregon nearly became the fourth-fastest performer in collegiate history in the 100 with her 10.91 on Thursday. If you want to know why we say “nearly,” it’s because the wind was +0.1 m/s over the allowable +2.0 m/s limit (2.1). Instead, it was the ninth-fastest all-conditions mark in collegiate history.
  • Tyra Gittens of Texas A&M hit a windy 6.95m (22-9¾) in the long jump to land the third-farthest wind-aided mark in collegiate history. Gittens was the top qualifier out of the prelim, ahead of Tara Davis of Texas.
  • Alysah Hickey of Oregon set an NCAA DI West Preliminary Round all-time best in the long jump of 6.81m (22-4¼).

Friday, May 28, 2021 – Men’s Day 2

NCAA DI East Preliminary Round

Eliud Kipsang of Alabama doesn’t mind singing solo.

Kipsang went out hard from the start of his 1500-meter quarterfinal and didn’t let up until he crossed the finish line in 3 minutes, 35.49 seconds, more than one second ahead of Yared Nuguse of Notre Dame.

If that mark looks fast, it’s because it is.

Kipsang clocked the fourth-fastest performance in collegiate history and did so remarkably consistent – 41.80, 58.23, 58.76, 56.72.

Later in the meet, North Carolina A&T blitzed the track for the third-fastest performance in collegiate history in the 4×400 relay – 2:59.21. Trevor Stewart anchored the Aggies in 43.70.

NCAA DI West Preliminary Round

Inclement weather forced track events to be postponed to Saturday.

Turner Washington of Arizona State took down Julian Wruck’s all-time West Preliminary Round best in the discus with a 64.87m (212-10) effort on his third and final attempt of the competition.

Saturday, May 29, 2021 – Women’s Day 2

NCAA DI East Preliminary Round

So much happened that we’ll just have to list it out.

  • Tonea Marshall of LSU went 12.44 (+0.8) in the 100H to become the fourth-fastest performer in collegiate history. Marshall now sits behind record-holder Brianna Rollins (12.39), Janeek Brown (12.40) and Jasmine Camacho-Quinn (12.40) on the all-time chart.
  • Cambrea Sturgis of North Carolina A&T was the fastest qualifier in the 100 at 10.92 (+1.4). Sturgis matched the fifth-fastest performer in collegiate history in the process (She would have had the top time of the day, if it weren’t for Twanisha Terry of Southern California going 10.89 at the NCAA DI West Preliminary Round).
  • Tamara Clark of Alabama covered 200 meters in 22.13 (+0.5) to become the fourth-fastest performer in collegiate history. Clark now sits behind record-holder Kyra Jefferson (22.02), Dawn Sowell (22.04) and Deajah Stevens (22.09) on the all-time chart.
  • Twelve women went sub-2:03 in the 800, led by Michaela Meyer of Virginia. Meyer turned two laps in 2:00.40 to become the ninth-fastest performer in collegiate history.

NCAA DI West Preliminary Round

Saturday was a long day in College Station, Texas.

After inclement weather postponed all of Friday’s track events to Saturday, competition began at 11:30 am CT and nearly went straight through until 8:35 pm CT. That’s almost nine consecutive hours of high-octane action!

Above all, the highlight was Athing Mu of Texas A&M breaking the collegiate record in the Women’s 400 Meters. Mu went 49.68 to shave 0.03 seconds off the five-year-old all-time best established by Courtney Okolo back in 2016.

  • Cole Hocker made it through unscathed in both the 1500 and 5000, giving him an opportunity to become the only man in collegiate history to win both events at the NCAA DI Outdoor Championships. Hocker was the fastest qualifier in the 1500 at 3:38.29 and was ninth in the 5000 at 13:57.02, finishing second in Heat 1.
  • Twanisha Terry of Southern California became the fourth-fastest performer in collegiate history in the Women’s 100 Meters with her 10.89 (+1.3) effort. That came one heat after Kemba Nelson of Oregon, the collegiate record holder in the indoor 60, went 10.98 (+0.1).
  • If Saturday is any inclination of what we can expect in two weeks at the reimagined Hayward Field, the discus competition is going to be exhilarating. Jorinde van Klinken of Arizona State hit a collegiate-leading mark of 64.44m (211-5) to become the seventh-best performer in collegiate history, while Laulauga Tausaga went 63.28m (207-7) for a PR and cement her spot at No. 10 on the all-time chart.