NOTABLE MARKS GALORE as the NCAA rushes towards its indoor climax. Topping the bill, a pair of new Collegiate Records and a world best.
Ducks Medley Their Way To 9:24.52
Oregon put together a clutch 9:24.52 to win the distance medley at the Razorback Invitational, slicing more than a second off the CR in the process. Outdoors, only 5 schools have e
ver run faster.
British senior James West, taking the lead over host Arkansas after three laps of the opening 1200, kicked it off with a 2:53.33. After that, it was a solo effort. Soph Jacob Miller (47.47) and Aussie junior Charlie Hunter (1:48.08) followed. By the time anchor Cooper Teare got the stick, the lead was a huge 25m, but the Ducks were 1.06 behind the CR pace set by a Leo Manzano-anchored Texas squad in ’08. Teare, a junior with a mile best of 3:59.21, clicked off a stunning 3:55.45 (Manzano had finished in 3:57.96). Said West, who had turned 24 the day before, “This year I got the best birthday present ever.”
Nilsen’s 19-5½ Takes Record Away From Mondo
The Nebraska Tuneup was a small affair, unless you’re talking about the men’s pole vault. Then it was very, very big.
Chris Nilsen, the defending NCAA outdoor champ, won with a second-try clearance of 19-5½ (5.93), adding a centimeter to the CR 19-5 that Mondo Duplantis set in winning the SEC last year for LSU.
That the bar got that high at all was a surprise, given the rough morning the South Dakota senior had had. “I came in at a higher height than I usually do,” he said, “because I wanted to wait out the competition as long as possible to make my stomach kinda chill.” On his second attempt, Nilsen says he got lucky. “I hit it a lot. It bounced a good amount and landed back on the pegs. “It was one of those lucky ones where you hit it pretty hard with your chest as you’re coming down.” By the time he landed in the pit, he had moved to =4 among Americans indoors. One try at an American Record 19-9 (6.02) and he called it a day.
Mpoke Runs Fastest 600y Ever
There was a time when 600y was one of the most popular events on the indoor circuit, but with the metrication of the sport it has largely disappeared. So much so that it no longer merits true “record” status, but there’s no question about who the world’s fastest-ever is: Moitalel Mpoke. You can be forgiven if the name doesn’t ring a bell, as the 19-year-old Kenyan ran just 51.11 in the 400H last year and was 3rd in the national JC meet. Running at the Texas Tech Shootout, the South Plains soph destroyed the field with his 1:06.93, 2nd being a far-back 1:09.11.
The old best on a legal-sized track was 1:07.53 by Mark Everett in ’92. Butch Reynolds had a 1:06.87 on East Tennessee’s oversized oval in ’87. Said Mpoke, “I need to train harder and start preparing for nationals. I want to run fast times at the national meet in several races, and my training for those races will only increase.”
Fast Times Galore In Boston
At the Hemery Valentine’s Invitational, Penn senior Nia Akins produced the No. 2 time in collegiate 800 history with her 2:00.71. She needed all of it to beat France’s Cynthia Anais (2:00.76) and Ce’Aira Brown (2:01.18). The quick BU track delivered other notable performances in longer distances. Northern Arizona soph Luis Grijalva won the 3000 in 7:43.73, the No. 6 collegiate time ever. Teammate Geordie Beamish in 3rd moved to No. 7 with his 7:44.67, while Lumberjack Tyler Day in 5th ran 7:45.70 to go to No. 4 ever among American collegians.
In the women’s 5000, Jenny Simpson won in a world-leading 14:58.67 to become the No. 3 American ever. “The clock was like a love note from running,” she said. “Back under 15 felt really good.” Runner-up Dani Jones of Colorado clocked 15:17.11 to become the No. 9 collegian ever.
Harrison Back In Doubling Mode
He’s the reigning NCAA outdoor champ in both the HJ and LJ and warming up for another twofer, LSU’s JuVaughn Harrison did double duty at the Tyson Invitational, winning the long jump with a U.S.-leading 26-7¼ (8.11) and coming back the next day for the high jump at 7-5¾ (2.28). Teammate Abigail O’Donoghue produced a 6-2¼ (1.89) jump for an American collegiate leader on the women’s side.
The sprint events, as expected, skewed towards hot, as LSU’s Terrance Laird ripped 200 in a world-leading 20.43.
Cambrea Sturgis of North Carolina A&T took the 60 in 7.17 and frosh teammate Thelma Davies the 200 in 22.80. The men’s 4×4 squad became the No. 8 school ever with its 3:04.12, anchored by frosh Randolph Ross in 45.08.
Kansas State’s Taishia Pryce leaped 21-10 (6.65) for the collegiate lead.
More Medleying At Notre Dame
Host Notre Dame served notice at the Wilson Invitational that it has every intention of defending its NCAA distance medley title against all challengers, Duck or otherwise.
Running on their big 352y track, the Irish clocked 9:25.80, the No. 2 collegiate time ever on any track. Wisconsin led through the first leg with Jackson Sharp running a 2:56.4 to the 2:57.9 of Notre Dame’s Dylan Jacobs. Colin Enz maintained the Badger lead with his 47.7, though Notre Dame’s Edwards Cheatham made the race a lot closer with his 46.9. Sam Voelz produced a big 1:46.5 to overtake Wisconsin’s Hudson Kugel (1:47.6) on the third leg. After Wisconsin’s Oliver Hoare went back into the lead, Yared Nuguse (3:54.5) stormed down the final stretch to nip the Badgers at the line. Hoare clocked 3:54.1 as his team finished just 0.04 behind at 9:25.84, the No. 3 all-tracks collegiate time ever.