NCAA Championships: Here’s what happened on Day Four

Day Four of the NCAA outdoor track and field national championships proved to be an exciting day right to the end. Just as it did Friday with the men’s team race, Saturday’s race for the women’s team title came down to the final event: the 4×400-meter relay.

In the men’s relay, Florida needed to finish fourth to beat Texas A&M in the overall points. But in the women’s relay, Oregon needed to win for the Ducks to earn the title and the first ever triple crown (cross country, indoor and outdoor national champions) in women’s NCAA history. Emma Childs covered the Ducks’ triumph for Run Blog Run.

Sisters Danielle and Christina Aragon of Billings, Montana, finished 12th and seventh in the 1,500 meters, and the two managed to spend time together off the track while in Eugene. Sierra Webster has the story for 406 Montana Sports.

Also competing in the 1,500 was Nikki Hiltz, who finished second by .02. Linden Moore has the story for the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

Texas A&M sprinter Aaliyah Brown set the goal of running in the 100 and 200 at the NCAAs, and she did just that, finishing seventh in the 100 and fourth in the 200. Isaac Gibson has the story for the Houston Chronicle.

In a dramatic 200 in which the favorite to win, Oregon’s Deajah Stevens, fell with 15 meters to go, Harvard’s Gabby Thomas finished third for the second year in a row. Shawn Medow has the story for Thomas’ hometown newspaper, the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

The women of Oregon were not the only athletes to get a triple crown on Saturday as Missouri runner Karissa Schweizer earned the distance triple crown with a win in the 5,000 meters. Maverick Pallack has the story for Run Blog Run.

An American junior record was set by Colorado’s Madie Boreman, who finished second in Saturday’s steeplechase. Abigail Winn has the story for RunBlogRun.

Close NCAA team victory gives Oregon women the sport’s first-ever triple crown

By Emma Childs

It was tough for the No. 1 ranked Oregon Ducks after having zero points heading into the final day of competition at the NCAA outdoor track and field championships, but the Oregon women proved that they are “tougher together” after they made NCAA history Saturday.

The Ducks became the first women’s team to caputure the triple crown with team titles in cross country, indoor track and field and now outdoor track and field. They won with 64 points, just 1.8 ahead of Georgia.

“All around the country you hear about Bowerman and ‘the men of Oregon,’” said Raevyn Rogers, who won the 800 meters and anchored the winning 4×400 relay. “But now it’s like. … I wouldn’t say it’s ‘Johnson and the women of Oregon,’ now it’s like the women of Oregon themselves. … It’s all building up to what it is now.”

The win did not come about easily for the Ducks. Sprinter Deajah Stevens fell 15 meters from the finish line while leading the 200-meter dash, costing her the NCAA title and the Ducks basically eight team points because Stevens and Ariana Washington were predicted to finish 1-2. Hayward Field was silent.

Stevens brushed off her scrapes and frustration to race in the team’s 4×400 meter relay later on. Rogers outkicked USC’s fourth runner to win the Ducks a collegiate record, 3:23.13, and the national title.  

“We all depend on each other in the 4×4,” Stevens said. “We all have to do our part, and having Raevyn on the anchor leg we were very confident. We knew she was going to fight.”

Oregon had to fight for that triple crown. Georgia, which scored all of its points in field events, took the team lead right before the last event, so the Ducks needed to win the 4×400 relay in order to win the entire meet.

Stevens was disqualified after her fall, making her eligible to race again. Georgia claimed Stevens shouldn’t have been eligible to race in the relay and protested the win.

The Oregon women stood nervously on the infield waiting for the official results, and when their win was confirmed, they embraced and Hayward Field erupted. (more…)

Missouri’s Karissa Schweizer Wins NCAA Distance Triple Crown

By Maverick Pallack

Missouri distance runner Karissa Schweizer won the 5,000-meter triple crown after winning the 5,000 meters Saturday at the NCAA track and field championships at Hayward Field with a time of 15 minutes, 38.93 seconds, besting her third-place finish last year in the same meet.

Schweizer won the 6,000-meter NCAA cross country championship on Nov. 19 with a time of 19:41.70, won the NCAA indoor championship on March 11 with a time of 15:19.14 and on Saturday ended her season with another win.

She became the first female athlete to achieve the triple crown since Texas Tech’s Sally Kipyego in 2008, the same year Kipyego set the record for the 5,000 meters at the NCAA outdoor meet.

Schweizer knew what was at stake before the race and knew exactly what she had accomplished when she crossed the finish line.

“Truly unbelievable,” Schweizer said. “I never would have thought that would happen. It means so much to me, my team, my school and my coaches. It’s just an awesome feeling.” (more…)

Freshman Madie Boreman finishes second in NCAA steeplechase with U.S. junior record

By Abigail Winn

Madie Boreman wasn’t even thinking about qualifying for the NCAA championships this season. But she did that and more. She took second place in the 3,000-meter steeplechase final and set a new American junior record.

“I don’t think it’s really hit me yet,” she said. “It’s feels really surreal right now.”

The Colorado University freshman took second with a time of 9 minutes, 46.48 seconds, around five seconds behind the winner, Boise State freshman Allie Ostrander, at 9:41.31. Penn State senior Tori Gerlach took third.

Fourth-place finisher Elinor Purrier said she didn’t really see Boreman and Gerlach pass her in the last 100 meters for the podium. “It was kind of a blur,” she said.

(more…)

NCAA Championships: Here’s what happened on Day Three

By Shawn Medow

Day Three of the NCAA Championships was action-packed as the men’s championship came down to the final event of the day: the 4×400 relay. Texas A&M won the relay, but Florida finished in fourth, which was just enough for the Gators to win the national championships with 61.5 points to Texas A&M’s 59.5. (Oregon finished ninth with 19.5 points.) Isaac Gibson covered the Aggies throughout the men’s meet for the Houston Chronicle.

Tennessee sprinter and 100-meter collegiate record holder Christian Coleman is the 2017 NCAA national champion in both the 100 and 200. Read Maggie Vanoni’s story for the Knoxville News Sentinel on Coleman’s double here.

In the men’s 800-meter final, Penn State’s Isaiah Harris finished second after a collision on the final lap between UTEP runners Michael Saruni and Emmanuel Korir. Read Gus Morris’ story for the Sun Journal in Lewiston, Maine.

Gonzaga steeplechaser Troy Fraley became the school’s first track All-American in the steeplechase, and Colorado’s Zach Perrin finished 11th in the 5,000 meters. Read Jack Butler’s story on the two Kalispell alums for 406mtsports.com.

New Mexico’s Josh Kerr took the 1,500-meter race in 3 minutes, 43.03 seconds, 0.47 seconds ahead of Michigan State’s Justine Kiprotich. Gus Morris wrote about the race for Run Blog Run.

Texas A&M senior Fred Kerley won the 400-meter race in 44.10 seconds after out-kicking the field in the final 100 meters. Kim Holm has the story for Run Blog Run. 

Florida junior Christoff Bryan reached a season-high in the high jump at 7 feet, 3 inches, beating Texas Tech junior Trey Culver to win the NCAA title. Becky Hoag wrote the story for Run Blog Run.

Florida freshman Grant Holloway was instrumental for the Gators’ team national championship, winning the 110-meter hurdles and anchoring the 4×400 relay at the end of the meet to help clinch the title. Ariel Sax has the story for Run Blog Run.

Favorite Josh Kerr takes NCAA title in tightly contested 1,500

By Gus Morris

While many considered New Mexico’s Josh Kerr the favorite to win the men’s 1,500 NCAA title on Friday, he wasn’t having it. He actually considered himself an underdog.

Even though he ran the sixth-fastest time in collegiate outdoor history this year — 3 minutes, 35.99 seconds at the Bryan Clay Invitational, which also ranks as the fastest time in college this year — Kerr still felt that anyone in the field could win the 1,500 NCAA title.

In a field that boasted the top five 1,500 runners in college this season, it’s easy to understand why Kerr might think that.

But he was considered the favorite for a reason.

Kerr won the 1,500 in 3:43.03 at the NCAA Track and Field Championships on Friday to win his first NCAA outdoor title. Justine Kiprotich of Michigan State finished second in 3:43.50, edging out Ole Miss’ Craig Engels in the final 20 meters. Engels took third in 3:43.54.

“Brilliant,” said Kerr, a native of Edinburgh, Scotland. “I was able to compete with these guys and go when I wanted to go.” (more…)

Bryan reaches new season best to win NCAA high jump

By Becky Hoag

By the time the bar in the men’s high jump at the NCAA championship reached 7 feet, 3 inches, the 23 competitors had been reduced to just two: Florida junior Christoff Bryan and Texas Tech junior Trey Culver.

Culver, a two-time indoor NCAA champion and three-time USTFCCCA All-American, was the statistical favorite of the two.

Bryan was determined to improve his season best, succeeding when he cleared 7-3 after two tries. Culver cleared it, but it took him three. And when neither cleared 7-4 1/4, Bryan won.

“I got pretty nervous, I’m not going to lie, but I knew once I had just a couple misses, that was all that mattered,” Bryan said. “I knew me and someone would jump the same height; I just focused on clearing bars early.”

(more…)

Texas A&M senior Fred Kerley wins NCAA 400-meter title

By Kim Holm

It didn’t look like Texas A&M senior Fred Kerley was going to win the 400-meter dash on Friday at the NCAA Championships. Until he came off the Bowerman curve—where he outkicked the field and won with a time of 44.10.

“My goal coming in this season is to win every race I was in,” said Kerley. “At the end of the day it’s track and field—you never know what’s going to happen.”

Back in May at the NCAA West Regional meet, Kerley ran a time of 43.70, breaking the collegiate record that was set 25 years ago by Olympian Quincy Watts with a time of 44.00. Kerley had met him just before the race. (more…)

Freshman Holloway helps Gators win NCAA National Title

By Ariel Sax

Friday was not a bad day for Florida freshman Grant Holloway. He helped usher the Gators all the way to win the 2017 NCAA Men’s Outdoor National Championship.

He won the 110-meter hurdles and he anchored the 4×400 relay that finished fourth and clinched the team title for the Gators, who needed to finish fourth in the relay to beat Texas A&M. On Wednesday, he finished second in the long jump.

“I had a remarkable first outdoor NCAA season,” said Holloway. “I took it upon myself just to work hard and just come out to this outdoor season prepared and ready to go.” (more…)

NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS DAY TWO: WHAT HAPPENED ON THURSDAY

By Linden Moore

Highlights from the second day of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Thursday, the first day of the women’s competition, included Kent State senior Danniel Thomas winning the shot put title with a throw of 62 feet, 10 inches, and sisters Christina and Danielle Aragon, of Stanford and Notre Dame, respectively, securing spots in the 1,500-meter finals in only their second race competing against each other.

Abigail Winn wrote about Thomas for Run Blog Run, and Sierra Webster covered the Aragon sisters for 406mtsports.com

Also for 406.mtsports.com, Isaac Gibson has the story on all five competitors from Montana, including Alyssa Snyder, who finished fourth in the 5,000 meters with a personal best of 32 minutes, 58.31 seconds.

Harvard sophomore Gabby Thomas used her pre-practice meditation twice before qualifying for the final of the 200 meters. Shawn Medow spoke to Thomas for the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

Senior Danielle Waldner finished fourth in the shot put  in her first and only NCAA outdoor championships on Thursday. Her teammate, senior pole vaulter Emily Grove, placed 15th after clearing only one height. Emma Childs recounted their bittersweet performances for the Yankton Daily Press and Dakotan.

Maverick Pallack wrote about Texas A&M’s Lindon Victor, who defended his NCAA decathlon title, for Grenada Sports, which covers athletics in Victor’s home country of Grenada.

Former Duck Nikki Hiltz qualified second overall for the 1,500-meter final in 4 minutes, 10.08 seconds. Linden Moore has the story on the Arkansas runner’s return to Hayward Field for the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

And the heavily favored Oregon women performed less well than they had hoped, but they are still on track to contend for the team title Saturday. Morgan Sudduth has the story on the Ducks’ day for Run Blog Run.

 

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