Meet Recap: 2022 NCAA DII Outdoor T&F Championships

NEW ORLEANS – Champions were crowned at the 2022 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan!

From The USTFCCCA InfoZoneNational Championships Central

Pittsburg State‘s men captured its first outdoor national title in program history and West Texas A&M‘s women won the program’s second outdoor crown, joining the Lady Buffs’ 2017 national championship squad.

2022 NCAA DII Outdoor T&F Championships – Final Standings

Men’s Team
Women’s Team
#4Pittsburg State
#2 West Texas A&M
#1 West Texas A&M
#3 Grand Valley State
#2 Grand Valley State
#4 Minnesota State
#3 Texas A&M-Commerce
#7 Academy of Art
#12 Ashland
#8 Lincoln (Mo.)

Keep reading to find out what happened in the season finale of a memorable and record-breaking year for NCAA DII athletes.

Men’s Recap

Pittsburg State held a seven-point lead over West Texas A&M and ahead of Grand Valley State by 10 points going into the final event of the meet.

Nothing is safe because, you know, it’s track & field. Anything can happen at any moment and we saw that plenty of times throughout the course of meet.

3:06.31 later and the rest was history.

Pittsburg State captured its first outdoor national title in program history after the quartet of Sam Tudor, Bailey Stone, Nizar Alarahshun and Braylen Brewer finished second in the Men’s 4×400 relay. Their runner-up finish sealed the deal as the Gorillas finished ahead of the Buffs and Lakers, who finished third and fifth, respectively, in the event.

The Gorillas top-scoring event came in the 110-meter hurdles with 15 point. Louis Rollins led the way with a national title in the event, winning the two-section final in 13.65 to become Pittsburg State’s first champion in the event. Another important six points came from TJ Caldwell’s third-place finish of 13.89.

The second event crown for the Gorillas this weekend came from Brewer in the 400 meters. Brewer crossed the line first in a blistering time of 45.77, also bringing home the first event title in program history.

West Texas A&M finished second in the team standings, buoyed by their sprinter and hurdlers, and scored 49 of the team’s 61 points across six events. The Buffs’ victorious 4×100 relay led the stampede in an impressive 39.27, moving to No. 3 in meet history and DII history.

Grand Valley State placed third with 56 points. Brandon Miller led the Lakers by capturing the 200 meters in a windy 20.20 (+2.5) for the fastest all-conditions mark in meet history. Miller also completed the sweep of the indoor and outdoor crowns.

Texas A&M-Commerce rounded out the podium in fourth with 48 points in. The Lions had three event champions: J.T Smith won the 100 meters in 10.44; Ushan Perera repeated as a national champion in the high jump with a clearance of 2.22m (7-3¼); Moaz Ibrahim set a meet record in the discus with a winning toss of 61.21m (200-10). It was the final DII Championship meet for Texas A&M-Commerce as they will begin to transition to the Division I level in 2022-23.

Women’s Recap

The team title came down to the 5000 meters.

West Texas A&M had no more scoring opportunities with two events left, while Grand Valley State had four potential scoring opportunities in the final distance race of the meet. The Lady Buffs held a 77-62 advantage over the Lakers and neither team had a 4×400 relay.

When the dust settled, the Lady Buffs held on to win their second outdoor national title in program history, while the Lakers finished as the national runner-up for the second-straight year.

West Texas A&M was spearheaded by Zada Swoopes, who scored 25 points in the final meet of her incredible career. Swoopes completed the shot put-discus double for the second consecutive year to become just the second female athlete in NCAA DII history to accomplish the feat – Janet Hill of Cal St. LA was the first to do so from 1993-94. She won the discus in 56.84m (186-6) to become the No. 3 performer in meet history, while her winning heave of 16.70m (54-9½) in the shot put locked up her third national crown in the event. Swoopes also placed fourth in the hammer in a PR 58.35m (191-5).

The Lady Buffs also captured two individual event crowns, both being firsts in program history: Eleonora Curtabbi won the steeplechase in 10:07.77; Leah Belfield clocked a blistering 23.30 (+1.5) in the 200 meters to complete a sweep of the indoor and outdoor crowns.. Belfield also placed third in the 100 meters and toted the baton on their second-place 4×100 relay.

West Texas A&M scored a total of 36 points in the 100, 200 and 4×100 relay, with 14 of those points coming in the 200 meters. Belfield’s title and a fifth-place finish by DeOndra Green gave the Lady Buffs a 15-point lead heading into the 5000 meters.

Second-place Grand Valley State, third-place Minnesota State and fourth-place Academy of Art each had at least one event champion: Ellianne Kimes won the pole vault and Judith Essemiah captured the hammer throw for the second-straight year to lead the Lakers; the Mavericks saw Makayla Jackson top the podium in the 100 and Denisha Cartwright claim the 100-meter hurdle crown, in addition to both running on Minnesota State’s victorious 4×100 relay; the Urban Knights were led by Marie Jeanne-Ourega’s long jump title as she completed the indoor and outdoor sweep.