Collegiate Outdoor T&F Championships See Fireworks In First Few Days

EDITOR’S NOTE: Scroll to the bottom for updates from Day 3.

The first two days of the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships saw fireworks.

We’re not just talking about the First Round of the NCAA DI Outdoor Championships, either. Athletes from NCAA Division II and NCAA Division III brought the boom, too.

From The USTFCCCA InfoZoneMeets & Results | Records & Lists

Division records stand out the most, so we’ll start with what UW-La Crosse did on Thursday in the prelims of the Men’s 4×100 Relay. Ryder Smith, Sam Blaskowski, Spencer Reichart and Luke Schroeder got the baton around in 39.86 to shatter the 17-year-old standard established by New Jersey City back in 2006. This wasn’t the first time the Eagles flew around the track, though (UW-La Crosse barely missed the record earlier this season with its 40.07 clocking).

Speaking of close, West Texas A&M added another blistering mark to its ledger in the same event in Pueblo, Colorado. Joseph Manu, Jerry Jakpa, Jalen Purcell and Isaac Botsio went 38.96 for the third-fastest mark in NCAA DII history and just 0.05 seconds short of the 38.91 standard set by Saint Augustine’s at the 2013 NCAA DII Championships. WTAMU went faster at 38.92 back in April at the Texas Relays, though, so it’s on the right track.

Four meet records fell between the first two days of the NCAA DII and NCAA DIII Outdoor Championships, counting UW-La Crosse’s triumph: Cordell Tinch of Pittsburg State flew 8.16m (26-9¼) in the long jump at the former; then Kassie Parker and Alex Phillip smashed their respective genders’ 10,000-meter bests in Rochester, New York, and added another all-time top-5 mark to their ledgers (Parker went 33:02.53, while Phillip turned 25 laps in 28:37.89).

And while it’s not an NCAA all-time mark, Lindsay Cunningham of Winona State made history in her own right. Cunningham clocked the fastest 10,000-meter run on a track on Colorado soil last night to win the event crown at the NCAA DII Outdoor Championships (33:55.79).

You probably already know this by now, but ten regional records met their maker in the First Round of the NCAA DI Outdoor Championships. You can check those out in another post.

UPDATE (5/26/2023, 2:28 PM) – Cheyenne Williamson of Saginaw Valley State became the first athlete in NCAA DII history to win three consecutive outdoor heptathlon titles. Williamson amassed 5861 points in Pueblo, Colorado, which made her the No. 4 performer in NCAA DII history and shattered a 37-year-old meet record.

UPDATE (5/26/2023, 2:43 PM) – Meet records are falling like dominos on the final day of the NAIA Outdoor Championships in Marion, Indiana. Princess Kara of host Indiana Wesleyan launched the disc 52.77m (173-2) for a meet record in that event. Then, Jason Bowers of Cumberland (Tenn.) started things off on the track with his 3:47.24 winner in the 1500 meters. Salieci Myles of William Carey (Miss.) followed suit in the 100-meter hurdles at 13.28. Not to be outdone, Hannah Antkoviak of Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) clocked 56.71 in the 400-meter hurdles.

All-Time Lists Battered In NCAA Division I First Rounds

Advancing to Austin for the Final Site NCAA DI Championships was the primary goal, and the all-time collegiate list took a beating in the process of the First Round competitions held at Jacksonville (East) and Sacramento (West).

Advancing to Austin for the Final Site NCAA DI Championships was the primary goal. Still, the all-time collegiate list took a beating in the process of the First Round competitions held at Jacksonville (East) and Sacramento (West). In addition, 21 meet records were tied or broken – some multiple times.

Britton Wilson of Arkansas made statements in two events Saturday – consisting of only women’s events – with very little time in between. Wilson won her 400-meter quarterfinal of the West First Round in 49.51 – faster than any other collegian has ever run – and returned some 35 minutes later to win her 400-meter hurdle quarter in 53.73. Her combination of doubles in these two events has been mind-boggling this spring. No other collegian has run sub-55 in the 400H this year even on fresh legs.

Wilson wasn’t the only Lady Razorback running fast – especially in the 400. Arkansas advanced an impressive five athletes to the Final Site meet in Austin, with Rosey Effiong fastest among them at 50.17.

Julien Alfred of Texas was similarly dominant in the sprints, especially the 100. She blasted a 10.83 time that was the No. 4 performance in collegiate history. She now owns three of the top-5 such performances in collegiate history.

Alfred started the day leading off the Longhorn 4×100 team in 42.15 – fastest ever in First Round history – and finished with an easy 200 quarter win in 22.45. She was joined by three other Longhorns in advancing in both the 100 and 200 – Ezinne Abba, Kevona Davis and Lanae Thomas. The Texas sprint group enjoyed additional success as Rhasidat Adeleke (a member of the 4×100 team) moved to No. 2 all-time in the 400.

Friday was the final qualifying day for the men, and Duncan Hamilton of Montana State nearly made it a one-man show. He bolted out to the steeplechase lead in his quarterfinal of the West First Round and ran faster than any collegian besides the legendary Henry Rono. Hamilton – runner-up in last year’s NCAA DI Championships – pushed the whole way in crossing the finish in 8:16.23 in becoming No. 2 collegian all-time behind Rono, who set the 8:05.4 collegiate record while at Washington State in 1978.

Persistent strong winds caused havoc in many events at the East First Rounds, but Florida’s Robert Gregory took advantage like few collegians ever have. With a 4.8 meter-per-second wind reading, Gregory stormed his 200 quarterfinal in 19.60 – the =No. 3 collegiate performance ever. Only Kenny Bednarek of Indian Hills (Iowa) CC (19.49w in 2019) and Andre De Grasse of Southern California (19.58w in 2015) have ever run fastest among all collegians under all conditions.

Mykolas Alekna of California continued to add to his collection of all-time collegiate marks in the men’s discus, leading the West First Round with a heave of 67.75m (222-3). That’s the No. 11 performance in collegiate history – Alekna has eight of the nine marks that are farther (seven from this year).

Stephanie Ratcliffe of Harvard moved to No. 5 collegian all-time in the women’s hammer, sending the ball and chain out to 73.11m (239-11) on her final effort in the East First Round.  Greta Karinauskaite of California Baptist also rose to No. 5 all-time in the steeplechase at 9:26.88.