Which Indoor Collegiate Records Could Fall In 2017?
NEW ORLEANS — With some big marks and times already turned in by collegians during the current indoor track & field season, it’s only right to look ahead and see which indoor collegiate records could fall in 2017.
Looking back to last year, four indoor collegiate records were either tied or broken — three by women and one by a man.
Kendell Williams established a new standard in the pentathlon for the third consecutive season. Williams pushed her total to 4703 at the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships and owns six of the top-10 marks in collegiate history.
It was also in Birmingham, Alabama where Akela Jones tied Destinee Hooker’s high-water mark in the high jump of 1.98m (6-6). Jones did so during the pentathlon.
Earlier in the season, Raven Saunders toppled the collegiate record in the shot put by one centimeter. A few months later, she shattered the outdoor record in that event.
Not to be outdone, Ryan Crouser tied Ryan Whiting’s record in the shot put with a heave of 21.73m (71-3½) at the Big 12 Indoor Track & Field Championships.
Of those four athletes, two are back for more in 2017: Saunders and Williams. There is no reason to doubt they’ll improve upon their marks as a junior and senior, respectively, but what other athletes could send records by the wayside?
Cameron Burrell, Houston
Men’s 60 Meters
Last year Cameron Burrell finished runner-up in the fastest 60-meter final in the history of the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships. Burrell crossed the finish line in 6.48, while Ronnie Baker took the win in 6.47.
Those times left Baker and Burrell 3rd and 4th on the all-time collegiate list, respectively. Leonard Myles-Mills still holds the collegiate record at 6.45A, set in 1999.
Burrell returns for his senior year and will look to rebound after a disappointing end to his outdoor season, comparatively to what happened indoors. He finished 4th in the 100 at the NCAA Outdoor Championships and then 26th at the U.S. Olympic Trials.
Competition buoyed Burrell — and Baker, for that matter — indoors last year, so it will be imperative for a new crop of sprinters to climb into the ranks of the elite.
Raevyn Rogers, Oregon
Women’s 800 Meters
Raevyn Rogers took aim at this record last year and came up agonizingly short.
It was at the Millrose Games where Rogers went toe to toe with Ajee’ Wilson, Brenda Martinez, 2014 The Bowerman Award winner Laura Roesler, among others. Rogers took 4th place in the elite section of the 800 with a time of 2:00.90, 15 tenths of a second shy of Nicole Cook’s record of 2:00.75 that she set in 2005.
If Rogers gets another shot at the Millrose Games or strong competition at another invitational, there is very little reason to doubt she’ll turn Cook’s 11-year-old mark to dust.
Rogers opens up her season this weekend at the Washington Indoor Preview.
Edward Cheserek, Oregon
One of the knocks against King Cheserek is that he doesn’t run for quick times.
Who needs to run fast when you just need to run faster than second place and win as many NCAA track titles (12) as he has in the past three years?
Well, that could change in 2017 according to him and Oregon coach Andy Powell.
Powell mentioned during the cross country season — and in the weeks leading up to the indoor season — that Cheserek is in the best shape of his career. And during The Bowerman Award Presentation, Powell said it might finally time to unleash Cheserek’s true potential.
We saw a glimpse of it last year at the Millrose Games and then at NCAAs. Cheserek ran in the Paavo Nurmi 3000 and clocked the second fastest time in collegiate history over that distance (7:40.51). About one month later, Cheserek guided Oregon’s DMR team to a come-from-behind victory with a blistering anchor leg (3:52).
King Ches has yet to crack the indoor top-10 list in the mile or 5000, but we don’t expect that to be the case come the end of the 2017 season. His PRs leave him a little more than one second off the mile chart and right in the running if you use his outdoor PR from his freshman year in the 5000.
Every men’s distance record will be on notice when Cheserek steps on the track.
Molly Seidel, Notre Dame
Women’s 5000 Meters
Notre Dame put the NCAA on notice when it announced Molly Seidel would return for one final year on the track.
When Seidel runs her first race, it might be time to notify the collegiate record book.
Seidel ran well last year, notching two top-10 times over 5000 meters. She ran what was the 5th fastest time (15:19.64) at the ACC Indoor Championships and then pushed that down to 6th when she ran the 3rd fastest time at NCAAs (15:15.21) in a solo effort.
Emily Sisson set the current benchmark of 15:12.22 two years ago.
Seidel will be pushed this indoor season by Erin Finn, though, as the Michigan standout clocked the 10th fastest time in collegiate history last year (15:23.16) in a runner-up effort at NCAAs. Don’t forget about Boise State’s Allie Ostrander (if she returns to pre-injury form) or Missouri’s Karrisa Schweizer (2016 NCAA XC champ) either.
Keturah Orji, Georgia
Women’s Triple Jump
Keturah Orji is as dominant as they come outdoors.
Orji owns the American and collegiate records in the triple jump and posted four of the top-10 marks in collegiate history (1st, 2nd, 7th and 8th).
Under a roof, Orji has yet to assert herself in the manner that she’s done outdoors.
Look for that to change in 2017.
Right now Orji has the 5th, 6th and 7th best marks in collegiate history indoors. Her PR of 14.14m (46-4¾) — which she recorded at the final indoor meet of 2016 (IAAF World Championships) — is 11 centimeters shy of Suzette Lee’s standard of 14.25m (46-9).
But after an incredible outdoor season, confidence is squarely in Orji’s corner.
Orji breaking Lee’s record is a matter of when, not if.