NCAA Women’s Steeple — Wayment Romps In Rain

After 7.5 laps of splashing and dashing Courtney Wayment had a new Collegiate Record of 9:16.00. (MIKE SCOTT)

BESIDES A STEADY RAIN, there must have been something in the air that the steeplers sensed, but pre-race favorite Courtney Wayment, whose 9:23.09 from last year’s Olympic Trials was by far the best of the field, had only one thing on her mind… winning. The race itself may have been a runaway, but the bevy of lifetime bests it produced was remarkable.

The BYU senior was content to let Auburn’s Joyce Kimeli set the early pace before taking over after 2½ laps. Already on MR pace, Wayment seemingly proceeded to extend her lead with every step, having built a 12m lead with 4 laps remaining.

Yale junior Kayley Delay, formcharted only No. 7 coming in, was the only one who dared to chase the leader, separating herself from a pack that still included New Mexico’s Elise Thorner, Colorado’s Madie Boreman, Ceili McCabe from West Virginia, Wisconsin’s Alissa Niggemann, Notre Dame’s Olivia Markezich, Oregon State’s Kaylee Mitchell and Kimeli.

With 3 laps to go Wayment’s lead was 15m over Delay, who, in turn, had a 25m gap over the main chasers.

The lead grew to 30m with 2 laps left over Delay and 60m over the rest of the field, leaving little doubt who the champion would be. The only question that remained was how fast she could finish and would it be enough for the Collegiate Record.

Wayment saved the best for last as she motored her final lap in 70.27 to finish 60m clear of Delay in a CR 9:16.00, in addition to becoming the No. 5 performer in U.S. history. Delay’s runner-up finish of 9:25.08 was a large 16.5-second improvement over her previous best.

Behind Delay came McCabe (9:31.14 PR), Boreman (9:33.02 PR), Thorner (9:33.99) and Mitchell (9:34.59 PR). In total, 10 of the 12 came away with their all-time best.

Talking about her race strategy, Wayment said, “The plan was rely on my fitness, and all the things that I have done to get to this moment. If anyone’s going to come with me, I’ll just put my foot on the gas a little bit more.”

With her win, Wayment was reminded that in one race she had scored an outdoor title, the CR, a WC qualifier and No. 5 on the U.S. all-time list. When asked what she thought was her best achievement of the day, she summed it up perfectly, saying, “Winning is the best one of all of them.”


WOMEN’S STEEPLE RESULTS

FINAL (June 11; interior water jump)

1. Courtney Wayment (BYU) 9:16.00 CR (old CR 9:24.41 Courtney Frerichs [NM] ’16) (AL) (5, x A)

(38.60, 73.93 [1:52.53], 76.81 [3:09.34], 74.73 [4:24.07], 74.53 [5:38.60], 73.36 [6:51.96], 73.22 [8:05.18], 70.82) (70.82, 2:24.04, 3:37.40, 4:51.93);

2. *Kayley Delay (Yale) 9:25.08 PR (3, 3 C, NCAA) (72.27, 2:28.55);

3. **Ceili McCabe’ (WV-Can) 9:31.14 PR (7, 11 C; 6, 7 NCAA) 72.47, 2:28.80);

4. *Madie Boreman (Co) 9:33.02 PR (9, x AmC) (10, x NCAA) (73.24, 2:30.38);

5. **Elise Thorner’ (NM-GB) 9:33.99 (73.10, 2:30.75);

6. *Kaylee Mitchell (OrSt) 9:34.59 PR (73.67, 2:30.92);

7. Logan Jolly (Ar) 9:34.76 PR (72.53, 2:29.06);

8. Adva Cohen’ (NM-Isr) 9:35.60 PR (72.98, 2:30.70);

9. **Olivia Markezich (NDm) 9:35.80 PR; 10. *Grace Fetherstonhaugh’ (OrSt-Can) 9:37.56 PR; 11. Alissa Niggemann (Wi) 9:39.96 PR; 12. Joyce Kimeli’ (Aub-Ken) 9:41.48.

(best-ever mark-for-NCAA-place: 1–3, 5–12)

SEMIS (June 09)

I–1. Jolly 9:38.13; 2. Markezich 9:40.81; 3. McCabe’ 9:41.10; 4. Wayment 9:41.21; 5. Fetherstonhaugh’ 9:45.17; 6. Cohen’ 9:45.18; 7. *Emily Cole (Duke) 9:57.09; 8. **Laura Taborda’ (EnKy-Por) 10:03.13; 9. **Sasha Neglia (NC) 10:15.44; 10. Kayla Schiera (SnIl) 10:29.58; 11. **Lexy Halladay (BYU) 10:31.38; 12. Annie Boos (Syr) 10:35.61.

II–1. Mitchell 9:41.51; 2. Boreman 9:41.95; 3. Kimeli’ 9:42.27; 4. Niggemann 9:42.75; 5. Thorner’ 9:43.00; 6. Delay 9:43.86; 7. Kayla Windemuller (Mi) 9:47.36; 8. **Carmen Riano (M/O) 9:48.81; 9. *Perri Bockrath (Ky) 9:57.58; 10. *Gabrielle Orie (Co) 10:04.28; 11. **Helena Lindsay (Va) 10:14.78; 12. *Malia Pivec (Or) 10:23.96.

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