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NCAA

June 6, 2020

Calling for Excellence: An Open Letter to Brown University President Christina Paxson

An open letter to Brown University President Christina Paxson, Athletic Director Jack Hayes and the Board of Trustees regarding the cutting of the men’s track and field program.

November 24, 2019

A Saturday In Hell

In 1976, Danish filmmaker Jørgen Leth documented the Paris-Roubaix cycling race in a film titled En Forårsdag I Helvede (A Sunday in Hell). Considered the greatest cycling film ever made, it shows the challenge of the sport’s most difficult race from the perspective of the riders, organizers, and fans.


Likewise, Saturday’s NCAA Cross Country Championships were held in a steady rain in weather barely above freezing. The difficulty of the race, the mud (and mud, and more mud), and the environment combined to make it a Saturday in hell. And that’s exactly as it should be.

WOMEN’S RACE: A YEAR LATER, THE FAVORITES WIN

There are about as many NCAA championships predictions as there are websites that cover it, and I’m pretty sure that Arkansas was a unanimous pick to win yesterday’s meet. The Razorbacks knew that meant bupkis because last year they were a consensus pick for a top-four podium finish – Citius Mag’s own Isaac Wood picked them to win – and ended up thirteenth.

This time the team carried the attitude of champions. Arkansas had pulled off upset wins at both the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Championships in March and June, and the confidence earned by those made it easier to execute a plan. “They followed the race plan and never lost composure,” said coach Lance Harter. “The plan was to just to try to be in position at 4k.” BYU led the race at the 2-kilometer mark over Arkansas and Stanford, then the Razorbacks moved up to a 9-point lead at 4k, and held on for a 6-point victory over BYU.


Just because they were the favorites doesn’t mean they weren’t excited. Our Citius Mag photographer overhead two unidentified Razorbacks scream “you know what this means? We’re gonna have to get tattoos on our butts!”

Similarly, the favorite to win the individual title was New Mexico’s Weini Kelati, but nothing was guaranteed. Last year Isaac Wood told us you could “sharpie” her in for the win, but she was outrun by Colorado’s Dani Jones. She surged away from a leading group just past halfway, as she did last year, but this time her lead was for good.

MEN’S RACE: WUT?

Northern Arizona was going for their fourth straight championship and was widely considered essentially unbeatable. We don’t remember when the “unbeatable” teams win championships, but we sure do remember when they don’t. ’85 Georgetown basketball, 2007 Patriots Super Bowl, and now the 2019 Northern Arizona Lumberjacks.

I and our two photographers positioned ourselves just before the 1000 meter mark for the men’s race. At the Lavern Gibson course it’s at the end of a very long straightaway and a series of downhills, and we were at a hard right-hand turn. It’s not easy to pick out uniforms in a mass of 256 runners moving at about 14 miles per hour, but it sure did look to us like Northern Arizona was too far back. But hey, there’s another 9k of running to go, right?

At 3000 meters the scoreboard showed that NAU was too far back, and while in second place they were still 57 points behind BYU. At 5000 meters BYU still led by 46.

Two of us had remained at our original spot and waited for the men to come by a second time, at roughly 5500 meters. A lone man came down the hill in a Virginia Tech uniform with a 60-yard lead, and we turned to each other and said “who the f**k is that?”

His name is Peter Seufer, and I should have known who he was. Running on grass slows everyone down but some less than others, and the same goes for running on mud. Seufer is one of those guys. He was 16th at last year’s championship and won his second ACC championship in October. However, not one thing he’s done during track season matches those accomplishments, and that’s why he was off my radar.

By the 8000 meter checkpoint, Seufer still led but by just a step. BYU still led NAU, the gap remained 46 points, and Colorado had moved up to tie NAU for second. Soon after, Iowa State’s Edwin Kurgat took the lead and kept it, eventually building a lead big enough that he could celebrate the win before the finish line. Behind him, Seufer surged past Colorado’s Joe Klecker and BYU’s Connor Mantz to move back into second, but didn’t have the gas to hold it to the finish and ended up fourth.

On the scoreboard, BYU’s lead widened over the last 2 km and the Cougars took their first national championship in a race that was shockingly never close. Colorado was third, just a point behind Northern Arizona, and Iowa State took the last trophy in fourth.

Was it a stunning upset? Yes and no. Northern Arizona was head and shoulders above everyone else all season, but by itself that means nothing. BYU was third two years ago and second last year, and it’s the norm that a championship team has a recent history like that. It should come as no surprise to observe that improvement at the highest levels of long-distance running is gradual and takes years to accomplish.

THE END…FOR NOW

The Lavern Gibson course at Terre Haute has a shoe tree. When it’s all over for you, either a season or a career, you throw your spikes up into this tree behind the start line.

The NCAA cross country championships come at a time of year when you really know it’s all over. Everyone’s serious fall running season is done, no matter whether you’re a high schooler or a college stud or a pro or a middle-aged has-been, the year’s outdoor spectator sports are basically done too, and real winter is beginning to set in.

I’ve been to the NCAAs for 16 of the last 17 years, including all 12 held in Terre Haute. I do it with some of my best friends, guys I suffered with on other cross country courses decades ago. I’m firmly of the opinion that Indiana State does this event better than anyone else. Their facility is at least as good as anyone else’s, their athletics communications takes it very seriously, and the town embraces the event like nowhere else. ISU pioneered the video board, live broadcasting, live scoring, and even had a fighter jet flyover back in 2002.

I and my friends won’t be at either of the next two championships since they won’t be in our part of the country, and some of them have other responsibilities they’ve been able to shirk only because the meet was easy for us to get to.

On the way home I listened to a Lake Wobegon story from an old episode of A Prairie Home Companion, one looking at the other end of this long, cold spell of Midwestern winter and then still-kind-of-winter that we’re about to endure. Carl Krebsbach was out on the first day of fishing season, a cold and rainy day with water dripping down the back of his neck, eating damp sandwiches and drinking bad lukewarm coffee from a thermos. The scene felt awfully familiar to me.

Garrison Keillor said that you go out in these miserable conditions because you’re not alone, you know that everyone else is suffering just as much as you are. It’s interesting, it gives you something to talk about, and it’s actually a happy thing to know we’re all going through the same misery. You feel sorry for those who never know difficulty, because they never know true happiness.

Was Saturday heaven or hell? In cross country, they are one and the same.

April 19, 2019

Collegiate Runner Anna Shields Finds Success The Second Time Around

The person with the most steps would win a free week of groceries…and then maybe revitalizes their love for track.

April 18, 2019

CITIUS College Cup: First round men’s scores and qualifiers

A few weeks ago I introduced the CITIUS College Cup, a season-long knockout tournament in the style of British soccer’s FA Cup.

Every Division I team was seeded into a “virtual” quadrangular meet and scores are determined by marks recorded in various parts of the season. The first round was the outdoor season up through April 8. It took a little while to calculate all the scores and they are below. Scroll all the way to the bottom to see the resulting 192-team (!) quadrangular-meet bracket.

UPSETS

The best thing about any knockout tournament, be it the FA Cup or March Madness or anything else like them, is the upsets. We had a few! The biggest upset was Syracuse, the #29 seed in the East region, finishing dead last in their quadrangular and failing to be one of the 96 teams making it to the second round.

The scores in the East region (teams in bold advance to the second round):
#1 Florida 162, #90 Bucknell 106, Oakland 46, St. Bonaventure 0
#2 LSU 127, #89 Appalachian State 71, Campbell 65, UNCW 47
#3 Alabama 93, #93 William and Mary 89, #88 Yale 77, Temple 6
#4 Indiana 125, #87 Cornell 115, Stony Brook 42, Duquesne 26
#5 Florida State 124.5, #86 Saint Francis University 91.5, #95 East Carolina 73, Alabama A&M 2
#96 Northeastern 145, #6 Virginia Tech 114, Morehead State 18, Hofstra 0
#7 Tennessee 153, #84 VCU 90, Iona 39, Nicholls State 6
#8 Georgia 130, #83 Rider 98, Florida A&M 63, Furman 32
#9 Purdue 144, #82 Samford 64, Coastal Carolina 58, High Point 47
#10 Ohio State 123, #100 Western Kentucky 60, South Florida 59, Evansville 44
#11 Penn State 140, #170 Troy 102, Belmont 39, Maryland-Eastern Shore 15
#79 South Alabama 110, #12 N. Carolina A&T 109, Binghamton 36, Tulane 28
#13 Michigan 152, #168 Maryland 57, New Hampshire 55, La Salle 29
#14 Ole Miss 115, #77 Western Carolina 109, South Carolina St. 51, St. Francis (N.Y.) 21
#15 Kentucky 180, #76 Rhode Island 75, Boston College 33, American 14
#16 South Carolina 139.5, #75 Connecticut 127.5, Bryant 34, Tennessee St. 19
#17 Miss State 137, #74 Kennesaw State 115, Lipscomb 47, George Washington 5
#18 Akron 118, #73 UL-Lafayette 100, #108 McNeese State 82,UNC-Greensboro 11
#19 Mid. Tenn. State 150, #109 Milwaukee 99, Colgate 28, LIU Brooklyn 27
#71 Central Michigan 113, #20 North Carolina St. 110, Vermont 49, Sacred Heart 25
#21 Princeton 167, #70 Jackson State 99, Delaware State 16, Illinois-Chicago 16
#22 Rutgers 138, #69 Monmouth 108, Lehigh 55, Canisius 0
#23 Charlotte 184, #68 Louisiana Tech 63, East Tenn. St. 48, Davidson 21
#24 Clemson 117, #67 Butler 71, Coppin State 54, VMI 50
#25 Eastern Michigan 132, #115 UL-Monroe 80, #66 Wake Forest 72, Lafayette 40
#65 George Mason 110, #26 Missouri 100, North Florida 61, Mount St. Mary’s 52
#64 Alabama State 106, #27 Virginia 104, Howard 58, Wagner 31
#63 Dartmouth 134, #28 Notre Dame 117, Mississippi Valley 44, St. Peter’s 8
#119 Charleston Southern88, #62 Buffalo 80, Detroit Mercy 72, #29 Syracuse 44
#30 Penn 183, #61 Morgan State 65, Manhattan 45, UNC-Asheville 17
#60 UMass Lowell 161, #31 Harvard 113, Xavier (Ohio) 28, Southern 0
#59 Pittsburgh 129, #32 Albany 82, Fordham 58, UMBC 35
#58 Youngstown St. 135, #33 Hampton 65, UMass Amherst 64, Hartford 33
#57 Northwestern St. 121, #34 Kent State 90, New Jersey Institute 62, Alcorn State 14
#35 Cincinnati 170, #56 Norfolk State 54, USC Upstate 51, Wofford 51
#55 Miami (Ohio) 149, #36 Auburn 117, Holy Cross 27, FIU 25
#54 Navy 221, #37 Villanova 54, Fairleigh Dickinson 20, IUPUI 11
#53 Indiana State 130, #38 Michigan State 119, Savannah State 43, Siena 23
#39 Army West Point 195, #52 Liberty 75, N.C. Central 32, Marist 19
#51 Bethune-Cookman 134, #40 Georgia Tech 120, Valparaiso 47, Northern Kentucky 22
#50 North Carolina 129, #41 Columbia 103, Central Connecticut 38, Winthrop 37
#42 Duke 123, #49 Miami (Fla.) 85, Providence 54, Tennessee-Martin 10
#48 Southern Miss. 90, #133 Boston University 86, #43 SE Louisiana 74,St. Joseph’s (Pa.) 57
#47 Louisville 142, #134 Citadel 71, Eastern Kentucky 52, Maine 45
#46 Brown 91, #45 Georgetown 88, #135 New Orleans 76, Grambling 8

And in the West region:
#1 Houston 147, #54 Eastern Washington 92, #55 New Mexico 57,Pepperdine 15
#2 Stanford 153, #56 UT-Arlington 112, #53 Oral Roberts 34, Santa Clara 20
#3 Texas Tech 171, #57 Arkansas State 80, #52 North Texas 58, Loyola Marymount 11
#4 Oregon 114.5, #58 Grand Canyon 105, #51 Tulsa 44, #105 CSU Bakersfield 41.5
#5 BYU 220, #50 Rice 40, #104 UC Riverside 36, #59 Wyoming 31
#6 Arkansas 127, #49 South Dakota 83, #60 Texas State 61, #103 UC Irvine 53
#7 Nebraska 151.5, #61 Stephen F. Austin 77.5, #48 Southern Utah 60, #102 Cal Poly 29
#101 UC Santa Barbara 140, #8 Iowa State 88, #62 Boise State 65, #47 Lamar 29
#46 Abilene Christian 122, #100 UC Davis 101.5, #9 Wisconsin 55.5, #63 Bradley 38
#10 Texas A&M 185.5, #45 Utah State 92.5, #64 Idaho 39, Fresno State 5
#11 Kansas 130, #98 Cal St. Fullerton 116, #44 Marquette 39, #65 Eastern Illinois 35
#12 Iowa 166, #66 UT-Rio Grande Valley 56, #43 Cal St. Northridge49, Seattle U. 25
#42 Air Force 155, #13 Northern Arizona 91, #67 Southern Illinois 68,Portland State 4
#14 UCLA 159, #68 Incarnate Word 75, #41 Northern Iowa 46, #95 Chicago State 27
#15 Washington 149, #40 Long Beach St. 123, #69 Idaho State 36, Western Illinois 10
#16 USC 119, #39 Illinois State 98, #70 UTEP 53, #93 San Jose St. 28
#71 Texas A&M-CC 110, #17 Oklahoma State 109.5, #92 Sacramento St. 75.5, #38 Portland 28
#18 Texas 145, #37 Colorado St. 132, #91 DePaul 38, Drake 3
#19 Colorado 119.5, #36 Memphis 61, #90North Dakota 50, #73 Weber State 47.5
#35 UTSA 144, #20 South Dakota St. 102, #89 Gonzaga 36, San Francisco 21
#21 Arizona 149.5, #75 Northern Colorado 68, #88 Prairie View 63.5, #34 Montana State 43
#22 Minnesota 142.5, #33 Washington St. 128, #76 SE Missouri 19.5,Saint Louis 18
#23 California 163.5, #32 TCU 86, #77 Montana 42.5, SIU Edwardsville 25
#24 Baylor 122, #31 Wichita State 114, #85 Houston Baptist 54, #78 Central Arkansas 29
#30 North Dakota State 124, #25 Sam Houston St. 90, #79 Utah Valley 70, #84 Texas Southern 26
#26 Oklahoma 117, #29 Arizona State 106, #80 Loyola (Ill.) 52, #83 Arkansas-Pine Bluff 39
#28 Kansas State 126, #27 Illinois 117, #82 UMKC 50, Arkansas-Little Rock 20

SECOND ROUND

The 192 qualifying teams are now reseeded into the bracket below. Scores will be determined using marks made between April 9 and April 30. Scoring is five-deep for individual events (6-4-3-2-1), three-deep for the 4×100 and 4×400 (6-3-1), and two-deep for the 4×200, 4×800, 4xmile, and medleys (3-1).

Winners plus the eight highest scoring second-place teams in each region advance to the quarterfinals.

April 10, 2019

CITIUS College Cup: Women’s first round scores and qualifiers

A few weeks ago I introduced the Citius College Cup, a virtual season-long tournament of quadrangular meets involving every NCAA Division I track and field team. Eventually men’s and women’s CITIUS Cup champions will be crowned.

Teams were seeded into first-round matchups using results of the indoor season. The first round used marks made through the end of last weekend to produce team scores via “virtual” meets. Below are the scores from the women’s first round. The 192 teams in bold have qualified to the second round.

EAST REGION

Ohio State 195, Tennessee St. 70, Evansville 16, Purdue Fort Wayne 15
Florida 121, Oakland 90, Richmond 60, Nicholls State 25
Alabama 152.5, Rhode Island 82, Louisiana Tech 49.5, UNC-Greensboro 16
LSU 138, Manhattan 67.5, North Florida 61.5, Niagara 21
Miami (Fla.) 128, Rutgers 58, Boston College 52, St. Bonaventure 0
Florida State 150, Buffalo 59, Yale 46, Mercer 35
Virginia Tech 97, Rider 84, Ohio 84, UNCW 43
Kentucky 159, Elon 68, William and Mary 61, Duquesne 19
Georgia 127, Albany 88, Delaware 81, VMI 7
Indiana 170, Murray State 90, Col. of Charleston 43, Maryland-Eastern Shore 16
Tennessee 150, UMass Amherst 96.5, Quinnipiac 53, Colgate 14.5
Louisville 170, Howard 74, UL-Lafayette 36, American 15
SE Missouri 103, Villanova 98.5, Appalachian State 63.5, Lafayette 22
Alabama State 117, Auburn 109, SE Louisiana 61, St. Francis (N.Y.) 4
Duke 216.5, N.C. Central 36.5, Loyola (Md.) 30, Lipscomb 14
North Carolina St. 132, Austin Peay 102, Florida Atlantic 50, Bryant 23
Michigan State 154, George Mason 117, UMass Lowell 42, UNC-Asheville 3
Penn State 162, Towson 94, Xavier (Ohio) 30, Winthrop 19
Michigan 146, Wofford 99, Coppin State 39, George Washington 8
N. Carolina A&T 106, Georgia State 91, Dayton 72, Holy Cross 34
Penn 180.5, Miami (Ohio) 97, Belmont 22, Tennessee-Martin 8.5
Clemson 135, South Alabama 116, Binghamton 30, Gardner-Webb 15
Cincinnati 184.5, Morgan State 83, Davidson 37, New Jersey Institute 2.5
Central Michigan 124, Bowling Green 90, Milwaukee 66, USC Upstate 27
Notre Dame 151, South Carolina St. 35, Furman 33, St. Peter’s 14
Ole Miss 176, Lehigh 84, Stony Brook 39, Providence 26
Virginia 165, VCU 90, Chattanooga 23, Radford 23
North Carolina 154, UAB 94, Iona 33, Canisius 7
Troy 131, UL-Monroe 70, Mississippi Valley 48, Syracuse 44
Purdue 171, Georgetown 43, Eastern Kentucky 39, Wagner 33
East Tenn. St. 121, Wake Forest 104, Fordham 44, Saint Francis University 39
South Carolina 159, Northeastern 64, Bucknell 62, Butler 32
South Florida 106, Boston University 93, Connecticut 85, La Salle 25
Georgia Tech 140.5, Marshall 110.67, Georgia Southern 42, Hartford 13.83
Maryland 122, Harvard 101, Southern 35, Robert Morris 24
Eastern Michigan 107, Ball State 92, SIU Edwardsville 46, Central Connecticut 33
Kennesaw State 122, UCF 117, Wright State 50, Sacred Heart 27
Army West Point 139.67, Monmouth 73.33, Norfolk State 47, Northern Kentucky 37
Akron 132, Columbia 97, Campbell 37, Vermont 25
Indiana State 189, Western Carolina 68, UMBC 32, Morehead State 6
Charlotte 161.5, Youngstown St. 71.5, Eastern Illinois 71, Citadel 4
Liberty 138, Northwestern St. 89, Charleston Southern 55, Coastal Carolina 28
Navy 139, Dartmouth 105, Temple 55, New Hampshire 14
Miss State 138, FIU 110.5, Detroit Mercy 23, Savannah State 16.5
Florida A&M 150, West Virginia 93, Grambling 40, LIU Brooklyn 39
Cornell 146, Pittsburgh 113, Jackson State 26, Cleveland St. 7
East Carolina 176, Brown 87, Jacksonville St. 32, Fairleigh Dickinson 24
Kent State 107, Mid. Tenn. State 98, James Madison 78, St. Joseph’s (Pa.) 23
Princeton 171, St. John’s 104, Illinois-Chicago 11, Siena 10
Southern Miss. 125, Samford 113, New Orleans 19, IUPUI 12
Toledo 155, Tulane 112, Alcorn State 25, Delaware State 15
Hampton 112, Mount St. Mary’s 77, Vanderbilt 75, Tennessee Tech 50
Memphis 111, High Point 95, Western Michigan 91, Marist 27
Jacksonville 137, Bethune-Cookman 114, Alabama A&M 29, Maine 21

WEST REGION

Arkansas 156, Illinois 86, Northern Iowa 54, CSU Bakersfield 21
USC 130, Idaho State 66, Cal Poly 39, Loyola Marymount 7
Texas A&M 205, Nevada 119, Iowa State 84, Prairie View 54
Texas 201, South Dakota 110, Southern Illinois 81.5, Eastern Washington 52
Texas Tech 196.5, UC Santa Barbara 105, North Dakota 75, Loyola (Ill.) 48
Colorado St. 136, New Mexico St. 67, Lamar 41, Arkansas-Little Rock 9
Kansas State 161, Missouri 91.5, Northern Arizona 62, San Francisco 24
Stanford 147, South Dakota St. 80, UT-Arlington 48.5, San Jose St. 18
Iowa 153, Grand Canyon 85.5, DePaul 52, Seattle U. 19
Wisconsin 115, Utah 64, Montana State 32, Chicago State 2
Oregon 154, UCLA 86, Marquette 52.5, Santa Clara 19
Kansas 148.5, Oregon State 81, Tulsa 49, Bradley 19
Colorado 140, TCU 75, Texas Southern 48, Nebraska-Omaha 15
Nebraska 185.5, Weber State 104.5, SMU 70, Texas A&M-CC 42
UNLV 140, Abilene Christian 74, Northern Illinois 46, Gonzaga 12
Arizona 159, Cal St. Fullerton 91, Boise State 61, Missouri State 23
Washington 168, Washington St. 92, Wyoming 64, Western Illinois 33
Minnesota 169, Arkansas State 99.5, Hawaii 65, Cal Baptist 39
Arizona State 139.5, UTEP 69, Incarnate Word 41, San Diego 12
BYU 180, Stephen F. Austin 103, Montana 67, Portland State 40
Oklahoma State 119, UTSA 64.5, Idaho 37, Pepperdine 4
Baylor 151, Fresno State 84, UC Irvine 50, Saint Louis 19
North Dakota State 155.5, Southern Utah 86, North Texas 54, Houston Baptist 21
UC Davis 112, Cal St. Northridge 59, Western Kentucky 32, Drake 2
Houston 126, Northern Colorado 65, Portland 37, Valparaiso 5
Oklahoma 158, McNeese State 88, New Mexico 58.5, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 21.5
California 129, UC Riverside 66, Oral Roberts 38, St. Mary’s (Cal.) 6
San Diego St. 146.5, Rice 79, Utah Valley 48.5, Northwestern 16
Wichita State 174, Illinois State 102, UT-Rio Grande Valley 67, Central Arkansas 40
Long Beach St. 158.5, Sacramento St. 90, Texas State 60, UMKC 22
Utah State 117, Air Force 64, Sam Houston St. 35, Pacific 2

SECOND ROUND

The second round results will be determined by marks made from now until May 2. Only the winners plus 16 highest-scoring second place teams will qualify to the third round (a total of 64 teams).
Scoring is 6-4-3-2-1 for standard individual events, 6-3-1 for 4×100 and 4×400, 3-1 for 4×200, 4×800, 4×1500, sprint medley, and distance medley, and 1 for shuttle hurdles.

And here is your Citius College women’s bracket for the remainder of the tournament (click for larger version):

March 25, 2019

On This Date in College Track & Field History: March 25

The track and running world has come to a screeching halt in an effort to battle the spread of COVID-19. In an effort to fill the void I’m taking a deep dive into my various archives and pulling up what I find in the history of college track and field.

2000, Tuscaloosa, AL: South Alabama’s David Kimani won the 5000 meters at the Alabama Relays with a time of 13:25.37, which put him #9 on the all-time collegiate list. The next day he ran a 3:52.7 anchor leg on in the distance medley, roughly equivalent to 3:54.0 for a full mile. He later transferred to Alabama, and in 2003 he collapsed and died while eating lunch in a university dining hall.

1989, Austin, TX: Baylor’s Michael Johnson won the 200 meters in a wind-aided time of 20.06 as Tennessee won a quadrangular over Baylor, Texas, and Indiana. Indiana freshman Bob Kennedy finished third in the 1500 meters. The pair went on to star in the 1996 Olympics, where Johnson won the 200-400 double and Kennedy finished sixth in the 5000.

1978, Glasgow, SCO: Providence’s John Treacy, running for his native Ireland, won the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in “a sea of mud” and “blinding rain”. Four months earlier he was runner-up at the NCAA Cross Country Championships, 17.5 seconds behind Washington State’s Henry Rono.
AP wire story

1978, San Jose, CA: The above-mentioned Rono opened his outdoor track season by winning the 5000 at the San Jose Relays in 13:31.8, more than 20 seconds ahead of second place.
AP wire story

1978, Long Beach, CA: Oregon easily defeated Long Beach State, 100-54. The Ducks went 1-2 in the 1500 with Rudy Chapa (3:42.3) and Matt Centrowitz (3:43.6) and in the 5000 with Alberto Salazar (14:35.7) and Bill McChesney (14:36.0). The shot put was won by Oregon’s Jeff Stover, who went on to play defensive line for the great San Francisco 49ers teams of the 1980s, and third place went to teammate Vince Goldsmith, whose total of 130.5 sacks is still fifth-best in CFL history.
Eugene Register-Guard article

1972, Bakersfield, CA: Oregon’s Steve Prefontaine ran his first-ever 6 mile race in 27:22.3, worth roughly 28:30 for 10k. His last quarter-mile was 59.9 and he broke the stadium record co-held by Olympians Frank Shorter and Jack Bacheler.
Eugene Register-Guard article

1967, Westwood, CA: Kansas’ Jim Ryun opened his outdoor season with a 4:05.1/1:48.1 double but UCLA easily defeated the Jayhawks, 88-55.
AP wire story

1967, Lewiston, ID: Washington State dominated the Banana Belt Relays behind Gerry Lindgren’s 4:07.3 and 4:11.2 anchor legs on the 4xmile and distance medley relays.
Spokane Spokesman-Review article

1961, Stillwater, OK: Kansas’ Billy Mills scored a pair of wins at the Cowboy Relays. He won the 2 mile (9:17.4) and anchored the winning distance medley relay (10:18.0). Three years later he stunned the world by winning the Olympic 10,000 meters.
Lawrence Journal-World article

March 22, 2019

On This Date in College Track & Field History: March 22

The track and running world has come to a screeching halt in an effort to battle the spread of COVID-19. In an effort to fill the void I’m taking a deep dive into my various archives and pulling up what I find in the history of college track and field.

1997, Dallas, TX: SMU’s Marika Tuliniemi put the shot 58-10/17.93 at the Dallas Dr. Pepper Invitational to move to #7 on the all-time women’s collegiate list.

1986, Baton Rouge, LA: LSU’s team of Cheryl Wilson, Carlette Smith, Alicia Bass and Schowonda Williams bettered the world record in the shuttle hurdles at their own Paper-Tiger Invitational. Their time of 56.2 could not gain official recognition, though, since it was hand-timed.

1986, Westwood, CA: UCLA’s Gail Devers won five events in a 102-33 dual meet romp over Stanford. Her efforts were 23.89 (200 meters), 13.24 (100 hurdles), a wind-aided 20-6.5 (long jump), 40-11.5 (triple jump), and a leg on the 4×400 relay.

1980, Palo Alto, CA: Arizona’s Meg Ritchie broke her own collegiate discus record with a throw of 210-11 at the Martin Luther King Freedom Games.
AP wire story

1969, San Jose, CA: 400 meter world record holder and Olympic champion Lee Evans got some overdistance work in an easy 110-34 dual meet victory over Washington. He was second in the 880 yards (1:52.8) and ran an easy 48.1 anchor on the mile relay. Olympic 200 meter silver medalist John Carlos won the 100 and 220 yards in wind-aided times of 9.3 and 20.7.

1958, Victorville, CA: From Track and Field News:
“Rink Babka, University of Southern California senior, may have made the first 200 foot discus throw in track and field history, but no one will ever know for certain.
“Throwing in the first Apple Valley Relays, the 6’5″, 245 pound strong man threw as far to the left of the sector as possible to take advantage of a strong cross wind. This was fine, except that there wasn’t enough room for a tosser of Babka’s ability and his throw sailed clear across the track, across another 8 or 10 feet of land, and then plopped in the middle of a small drainage ditch.”
It was 201 feet to the point of impact but the ditch was significantly lower than the ring and could not be counted as a record.

1952, San Diego, CA: USC’s Sim Iness broke the American and collegiate discus records with a heave of 182-5 in a 115-16 win over San Diego State.

March 21, 2019

On This Date in College Track & Field History: March 21

The track and running world has come to a screeching halt in an effort to battle the spread of COVID-19. In an effort to fill the void I’m taking a deep dive into my various archives and pulling up what I find in the history of college track and field.

1998, Fresno, CA: Fresno State’s Melissa Price broke her own collegiate pole vault record with 13-6.25/4.12, and Washington’s Aretha Hill went to #9 on the collegiate discus list with 199-4/60.76. The final score in the women’s meet was Washington 227, Fresno State 211, South Dakota State 81, San Francisco State 59. Now known by her married name of Aretha Thurmond, she is currently USATF’s Managing Director of International Teams.

1987, Houston, TX: Houston’s Joe DeLoach defeated pros Carl Lewis and Kirk Baptiste to win the invitational 100 meters at the Texas Southern Relays. The following year, DeLoach upset Lewis to win Olympic 200 meter gold. Sandie Richards of San Jacinto Junior College broke the national junior college 400 meter record with 51.79.

1981, Eugene, OR: Oregon’s Dean Crouser highlighted the Oregon Invitational by improving his lifetime best in the shot put by over 26 inches. He attributed it to his switch from the glide style of throwing to the spin. His nephew Ryan also used the spin to win Olympic gold in 2016.
Eugene Register-Guard article

1970, Fresno, CA: Oregon freshman Steve Prefontaine made his outdoor collegiate debut with an 8:40.0 in a triangular win over Stanford and Fresno State. It made his second-fastest in Duck history.
AP wire story

1964, Albuquerque, NM: Led by Clarence Robinson’2 25-2.5, New Mexico put three long jumpers beyond the 24-foot mark in a quadrangular win over Utah, Texas Tech, and UTEP.

1959, Odessa, TX: Abilene Christian’s Bobby Morrow defeated Dave Sime over 100 yards in a matchup of Olympic stars. Morrow was the 1956 Olympic champion, where Sime was unable to compete due to injury. The win evened their career head-to-head matchup at 2 wins each.
AP wire story

1953, Tucson, AZ: USC opened its dual meet season with the Trojans’ 57th straight win, pummeling Arizona 101-30. Co-captain Sim Iness came within two feet of the discus world record.

March 20, 2019

On This Date in College Track & Field History: March 20

The track and running world has come to a screeching halt in an effort to battle the spread of COVID-19. In an effort to fill the void I’m taking a deep dive into my various archives and pulling up what I find in the history of college track and field.

1999, Sacramento, CA: UCLA swept the men’s and women’s competition in the first USTFCCCA-supported quadrangular of the season. The men’s scores were UCLA 225, Cal 206, Washington 168, UC Irvine 65 and the women’s scores were UCLA 227, Washington 179, Cal 176, UC Irvine 70. From 1998 to 2001, the USTFCCCA used funds provided by the USOC to offer travel grants to teams competing in dual, triangular, and quadrangular competition. It led to a massive increase in those kinds of meets, which once again fell off the radar once the money dried up.

1993, Houston, TX: Blinn Junior College was the dominant team at the Texas Southern Relays, winning twelve men’s events. The two-day attendance total was announced as 16,000, likely driven up by the appearance of a Santa Monica Track Club 4×100 relay team featuring Olympic and World champions Joe DeLoach, Leroy Burrell, Mike Marsh, and Carl Lewis. Burrell is now the head coach at the University of Houston and Lewis is one of his assistants.

1987, Houston, TX: TCU won the men’s 4×200 at the Texas Southern Relays with a time of 1:20.59, which put the Horned Frog squad #8 on the all-time world list.

1982, Brownwood, TX: Abilene Christian’s Billy Olson broke the American outdoor pole vault record at the Bluebonnet Relays with 18-8.75/ 5.70. While officially an AR, Olson’s own indoor AR of 18-10/5.74 was better.
AP wire story

1971, Eugene, OR: Steve Prefontaine tied the collegiate 2-mile record of 8:33.2 at Oregon’s home opener. That the sophomore tied the record was a big deal to the 3,200 in attendance, but how he did it was more impressive. “He was supposed to stay behind the first mile,” said coach Bill Dellinger. “But we told him he could run the second mile as fast as he wanted to.” Pre followed those directions and ran a ridiculous negative split: 4:28, then 4:05. His second mile was faster than the day’s winning time in the mile.
Eugene Register-Guard article

1965, Santa Monica, CA: UCLA’s Bob Day broke the collegiate 2-mile record with 8:35.3 in a triangular with UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly.
AP wire story

1965, Pullman, WA: Washington State freshman Gerry Lindgren broke the one-and-a-half mile record with a run of 6:34.0 at the 23rd annual Indoor Invitational. 3,000 fans crowded into Hollingbery Fieldhouse for the meet.
Spokane Spokesman-Review article

1937, Indianapolis, IN: Michigan won the 4th annual Butler Relays but a Buckeye was the star. Ohio State’s Mel Walker broke the world indoor high jump record with 6-9.75.

March 20, 2019

Citius College Cup: Men’s Seeds and Pairings

On Monday I introduced the Citius College Cup, a season-long online tournament between all NCAA Division I college track teams. “Virtual” quadrangular meets will be held and scored using marks produced during various parts of the outdoor season.

By May there will be only 64 teams still standing, then a sweet 16 going into the NCAA East and West Preliminaries (aka “regionals”), then a final four at the NCAA Championships where men’s and women’s champions will be crowned. Today I’m announcing the men’s seeding and pairings.

Seeding was determined by results of the 2018-19 indoor season. The first round is scored using marks made outdoors through April 8, so the results of this round won’t be known for several weeks yet. Fans can keep up with their favorite team by going to the TFRRS.org outdoor qualifying page and using the “Compare 2+ Teams” tab to enter the appropriate teams.

Scoring is 6-4-3-2-1 for standard individual events and 6-3-1 for the 4×100 and 4×400 relays. Meets like the Texas, Florida, and Raleigh Relays are a big part of the early season so there will be an additional 3-1 scoring for the 4×200, 4×800, sprint medley, and distance medley relays.

All in all, 192 teams will advance to the next round (96 in each region).

EAST REGION

45 meets
All 1st and 2nd places plus 6 highest-scoring 3rd place teams advance

1 Florida vs 90 Oakland vs 91 Bucknell vs 180 St. Bonaventure
2 LSU vs 89 Appalachian State vs 92 Campbell vs 179 UNC-Wilmington
3 Alabama vs 88 Yale vs 93 William & Mary vs 178 Gardner-Webb
4 Indiana vs 87 Cornell vs 94 Stony Brook vs 177 Duquesne
5 Florida State vs 86 Saint Francis (Pa.) vs 95 East Carolina vs 176 Alabama A&M
6 Virginia Tech vs 85 Hofstra vs 96 Northeastern vs 175 Morehead State
7 Tennessee vs 84 VCU vs 97 Iona vs 174 Nicholls State
8 Georgia vs 83 Rider vs 98 Furman vs 173 Florida A&M
9 Purdue vs 82 Samford vs 99 High Point vs 172 Coastal Carolina
10 Ohio State vs 81 South Florida vs 100 Western Kentucky vs 171 Evansville
11 Penn State vs 80 Belmont vs 101 Maryland-Eastern Shore vs 170 Troy
12 N. Carolina A&T vs 79 South Alabama vs 102 Binghamton vs 169 Tulane
13 Michigan vs 78 New Hampshire vs 103 La Salle vs 168 Maryland
14 Ole Miss vs 77 Western Carolina vs 104 South Carolina St. vs 167 St. Francis (N.Y.)
15 Kentucky vs 76 Rhode Island vs 105 Boston College vs 166 American
16 South Carolina vs 75 Connecticut vs 106 Tennessee St. vs 165 Bryant
17 Miss State vs 74 Kennesaw State vs 107 Lipscomb vs 164 George Washington
18 Akron vs 73 UL-Lafayette vs 108 McNeese State vs 163 UNC-Greensboro
19 Mid. Tenn. State vs 72 LIU Brooklyn vs 109 Milwaukee vs 162 Colgate
20 North Carolina St. vs 71 Central Michigan vs 110 Vermont vs 161 Sacred Heart
21 Princeton vs 70 Jackson State vs 111 Illinois-Chicago vs 160 Delaware State
22 Rutgers vs 69 Monmouth vs 112 Lehigh vs 159 Canisius
23 Charlotte vs 68 Louisiana Tech vs 113 East Tenn. St. vs 158 Davidson
24 Clemson vs 67 Butler vs 114 Coppin State vs 157 VMI
25 Eastern Michigan vs 66 Wake Forest vs 115 UL-Monroe vs 156 Lafayette
26 Missouri vs 65 George Mason vs 116 North Florida vs 155 Mount St. Mary’s
27 Virginia vs 64 Alabama State vs 117 Wagner vs 154 Howard
28 Notre Dame vs 63 Dartmouth vs 118 Mississippi Valley vs 153 St. Peter’s
29 Syracuse vs 62 Buffalo vs 119 Charleston Southern vs 152 Detroit Mercy
30 Penn vs 61 Morgan State vs 120 Manhattan vs 151 UNC-Asheville
31 Harvard vs 60 UMass Lowell vs 121 Southern vs 150 Xavier (Ohio)
32 Albany vs 59 Pittsburgh vs 122 UMBC vs 149 Fordham
33 Hampton vs 58 Youngstown St. vs 123 UMass Amherst vs 148 Hartford
34 Kent State vs 57 Northwestern St. vs 124 New Jersey Institute vs 147 Alcorn State
35 Cincinnati vs 56 Norfolk State vs 125 USC Upstate vs 146 Wofford
36 Auburn vs 55 Miami (Ohio) vs 126 FIU vs 145 Holy Cross
37 Villanova vs 54 Navy vs 127 IUPUI vs 144 Fairleigh Dickinson
38 Michigan State vs 53 Indiana State vs 128 Siena vs 143 Savannah State
39 Army West Point vs 52 Liberty vs 129 N.C. Central vs 142 Marist
40 Georgia Tech vs 51 Bethune-Cookman vs 130 Valparaiso vs 141 Northern Kentucky
41 Columbia vs 50 North Carolina vs 131 Central Connecticut vs 140 Winthrop
42 Duke vs 49 Miami vs 132 Tennessee-Martin vs 139 Providence
43 SE Louisiana vs 48 Southern Miss. vs 133 Boston University vs 138 St. Joseph’s (Pa.)
44 Eastern Kentucky vs 47 Louisville vs 134 Citadel vs 137 Maine
45 Georgetown vs 46 Brown vs 135 New Orleans vs 136 Grambling

WEST REGION

27 meets
1st, 2nd, and 3rd place teams plus 15 highest-scoring 4th place teams advance

1 Houston vs 54 Eastern Washington vs 55 New Mexico vs 108 Pepperdine
2 Stanford vs 53 Oral Roberts vs 56 UT-Arlington vs 107 Santa Clara
3 Texas Tech vs 52 North Texas vs 57 Arkansas State vs 106 Loyola Marymount
4 Oregon vs 51 Tulsa vs 58 Grand Canyon vs 105 Cal St. Bakersfield
5 BYU vs 50 Rice vs 59 Wyoming vs 104 UC Riverside
6 Arkansas vs 49 South Dakota vs 60 Texas State vs 103 UC Irvine
7 Nebraska vs 48 Southern Utah vs 61 Stephen F. Austin vs 102 Cal Poly
8 Iowa State vs 47 Lamar vs 62 Boise State vs 101 UC Santa Barbara
9 Wisconsin vs 46 Abilene Christian vs 63 Bradley vs 100 UC Davis
10 Texas A&M vs 45 Utah State vs 64 Idaho vs 99 Fresno State
11 Kansas vs 44 Marquette vs 65 Eastern Illinois vs 98 Cal St. Fullerton
12 Iowa vs 43 Cal St. Northridge vs 66 UT-Rio Grande Valley vs 97 Seattle U.
13 Northern Arizona vs 42 Air Force vs 67 Southern Illinois vs 96 Portland State
14 UCLA vs 41 Northern Iowa vs 68 Incarnate Word vs 95 Chicago State
15 Washington vs 40 Long Beach St. vs 69 Idaho State vs 94 Western Illinois
16 USC vs 39 Illinois State vs 70 UTEP vs 93 San Jose State
17 Oklahoma State vs 38 Portland vs 71 Texas A&M-CC vs 92 Sacramento St.
18 Texas vs 37 Colorado State vs 72 Drake vs 91 DePaul
19 Colorado vs 36 Memphis vs 73 Weber State vs 90 North Dakota
20 South Dakota St. vs 35 UTSA vs 74 San Francisco vs 89 Gonzaga
21 Arizona vs 34 Montana State vs 75 Northern Colorado vs 88 Prairie View
22 Minnesota vs 33 Washington St. vs 76 SE Missouri vs 87 Saint Louis
23 California vs 32 TCU vs 77 Montana vs 86 SIU Edwardsville
24 Baylor vs 31 Wichita State vs 78 Central Arkansas vs 85 Houston Baptist
25 Sam Houston St. vs 30 North Dakota State vs 79 Utah Valley vs 84 Texas Southern
26 Oklahoma vs 29 Arizona State vs 80 Loyola (Ill.) vs 83 Arkansas-Pine Bluff
27 Illinois vs 28 Kansas State vs 81 Arkansas-Little Rock vs 82 UMKC

March 19, 2019

On This Date in College Track & Field History: March 19

The track and running world has come to a screeching halt in an effort to battle the spread of COVID-19. In an effort to fill the void I’m taking a deep dive into my various archives and pulling up what I find in the history of college track and field.

1994, College Station, TX: Texas A&M’s men and Kansas State’s women won the team titles at the College Station Relays.

1994, Westwood, CA: UCLA picked up a pair of wins in dual/triangular competition. The final scores for the men were UCLA 84, Texas 64, Cal 55, and for the women it was UCLA 91, Cal 44. Notable names among the winners were Bruins John Godina (men’s discus) and Amy Acuff (women’s high jump), who combined for eleven Olympic appearances.

1988, Houston, TX: Texas Southern’s women’s 4×200 ran 1:34.53, good for #9 on the all-time collegiate list, at their own Texas Southern Relays.

1983, Tempe, AZ: Arizona State defeated Kansas State, Kansas, and the Los Angeles Track Club in a women’s quadrangular, but the big news was made by the Sun Devils’ Leslie Deniz. She broke the American discus record on her first throw with 64.10/210-4, fouled four times, and then broke it again on her final throw with 64.34/211-1. On the men’s side, Arizona State defeated Kansas State and New Mexico.
AP wire story

1977, Eugene, OR: The Oregon Ducks entered five men in the 10,000 meters at their own Oregon Invitational and four of them earned NCAA championships qualifiers. Two freshmen led the way: Alberto Salazar (29:03.44) and Rudy Chapa (29:03.47).
Eugene Register-Guard article

1977, Tempe, AZ: USC (76 points) defeated Arizona State (60) and BYU (54) in a triangular meet. BYU’s Henry Marsh won the steeplechase (8:50.7) and was second in the 5000 (14:18.0). At the end of the year Marsh was ranked in the world’s top ten steeplechasers by Track & Field News and stayed in the top ten for eleven more years, with #1 rankings in 1981, ’82, and ’85.
AP wire story

1977, Palo Alto, CA: Stanford football star James Lofton won the long jump (25-11¼) and ran on the winning 4×100, 4×200, and 4×400 relays at the Stanford Relays.
AP wire story

1966, Manhattan, KS: Kansas freshman Jim Ryun anchored two record-setting relays at the Kansas State Indoor Relays. His 4:02.2 run on the Kansas freshman distance medley team brought them across the line in 9:51.3, a new national collegiate freshman record. (In case you didn’t know: college freshmen were ineligible for varsity competition until 1969 and most “major” colleges had freshmen teams.)
Lawrence Journal-World article

1960, Odessa, TX: USC broke seven meet records at the West Texas Relays and scored 102 points to second-place Baylor’s 66.

1960, Manhattan, KS: Kansas broke three indoor school records at the Kansas State Indoor Relays and Billy Mills was involved in two of them. He ran a new 3000 meter record (8:33.7) and ran third leg on the distance medley (10:04.6).
Lawrence Journal-World article

1955, US Postal Service: Kansas’ freshman team defeated Notre Dame’s frosh unit, 54-50, in an indoor “postal” dual meet. Teams ran time trials, sent the results through the mail, and scores were tabulated. Listed among “also winning” was a thrower from Long Island named Al Oerter, who won the first of his four Olympic discus gold medals the following year.
Lawrence Journal-World article

March 19, 2019

Citius College Cup: Women’s Seeds and Pairings

Yesterday I introduced the Citius College Cup, a season-long tournament between all NCAA Division I college track teams. “Virtual” quadrangular meets will be held and scored using marks produced during various parts of the outdoor season.

By May there will be only 64 teams still standing, then a sweet 16 going into the NCAA East and West Preliminaries (aka “regionals”), then a final four at the NCAA Championships where men’s and women’s champions will be crowned. Today I’m announcing the women’s seeding and pairings.

Seeding was determined by results of the 2018-19 indoor season. The first round is scored using marks made outdoors through April 8, so the results of this round won’t be known for several weeks yet. Fans can keep up with their favorite team by going to the TFRRS.org outdoor qualifying page and using the “Compare 2+ Teams” tab to enter the appropriate teams.

Scoring is 6-4-3-2-1 for standard individual events (the ones held at the NCAA Outdoor Championships) and 6-3-1 for the 4×100 and 4×400 relays. Meets like the Texas, Florida, and Raleigh Relays are a big part of the early season so there will be an additional 3-1 scoring for the 4×200, 4×800, sprint medley, and distance medley relays.

Due to the way the semifinal round of the playoff is scored, teams are seeded into the same East and West regions used for the NCAA Preliminaries (aka “regionals”). There are 216 women’s teams in the East but only 122 in the West, so the advancement procedures is different in each region. 96 teams in each region will qualify to the next round (192 total).

EAST REGION

54 meets
Winners plus 42 highest-scoring second place teams advance

1 Ohio State vs 108 Purdue Fort Wayne vs 109 Tennessee St. vs 216 Evansville
2 Florida vs 107 Richmond vs 110 Oakland vs 215 Nicholls State
3 Alabama vs 106 Louisiana Tech vs 111 Rhode Island vs 214 UNC Greensboro
4 LSU vs 105 North Florida vs 112 Manhattan vs 213 Niagara
5 Miami vs 104 Boston College vs 113 Rutgers vs 212 St. Bonaventure
6 Florida State vs 103 Yale vs 114 Buffalo vs 211 Mercer
7 Virginia Tech vs 102 Rider vs 115 Ohio vs 210 UNC Wilmington
8 Kentucky vs 101 William and Mary vs 116 Duquesne vs 209 Elon
9 Georgia vs 100 Albany vs 117 VMI vs 208 Delaware
10 Indiana vs 99 Murray State vs 118 Maryland-Eastern Shore vs 207 Charleston
11 Tennessee vs 98 UMass Amherst vs 119 Quinnipiac vs 206 Colgate
12 Louisville vs 97 UL-Lafayette vs 120 Howard vs 205 American
13 Villanova vs 96 Appalachian State vs 121 SE Missouri vs 204 Lafayette
14 Auburn vs 95 Alabama State vs 122 SE Louisiana vs 203 St. Francis (N.Y.)
15 Duke vs 94 N.C. Central vs 123 Lipscomb vs 202 Loyola (Md.)
16 North Carolina St. vs 93 Florida Atlantic vs 124 Austin Peay vs 201 Bryant
17 Michigan State vs 92 George Mason vs 125 UMass Lowell vs 200 UNC-Asheville
18 Penn State vs 91 Towson vs 126 Xavier (Ohio) vs 199 Winthrop
19 Michigan vs 90 Wofford vs 127 Coppin State vs 198 George Washington
20 N. Carolina A&T vs 89 Georgia State vs 128 Dayton vs 197 Holy Cross
21 Penn vs 88 Miami (Ohio) vs 129 Belmont vs 196 Tennessee-Martin
22 Clemson vs 87 South Alabama vs 130 Binghamton vs 195 Gardner-Webb
23 Cincinnati vs 86 Morgan State vs 131 Davidson vs 194 New Jersey Institute
24 Central Michigan vs 85 Bowling Green vs 132 Milwaukee vs 193 USC Upstate
25 Notre Dame vs 84 Furman vs 133 South Carolina St. vs 192 St. Peter’s
26 Ole Miss vs 83 Providence vs 134 Stony Brook vs 191 Lehigh
27 Virginia vs 82 VCU vs 135 Chattanooga vs 190 Radford
28 North Carolina vs 81 UAB vs 136 Iona vs 189 Canisius
29 Syracuse vs 80 Troy vs 137 UL-Monroe vs 188 Mississippi Valley
30 Purdue vs 79 Georgetown vs 138 Eastern Kentucky vs 187 Wagner
31 Wake Forest vs 78 East Tenn. St. vs 139 Fordham vs 186 Saint Francis University
32 South Carolina vs 77 Butler vs 140 Northeastern vs 185 Bucknell
33 Connecticut vs 76 South Florida vs 141 La Salle vs 184 Boston University
34 Georgia Tech vs 75 Marshall vs 142 Georgia Southern vs 183 Hartford
35 Harvard vs 74 Maryland vs 143 Southern vs 182 Robert Morris
36 Eastern Michigan vs 73 Ball State vs 144 SIU Edwardsville vs 181 Central Connecticut
37 UCF vs 72 Kennesaw State vs 145 Wright State vs 180 Sacred Heart
38 Monmouth vs 71 Norfolk State vs 146 Northern Kentucky vs 179 Army West Point
39 Akron vs 70 Columbia vs 147 Vermont vs 178 Campbell
40 Indiana State vs 69 Western Carolina vs 148 UMBC vs 177 Morehead State
41 Charlotte vs 68 Youngstown St. vs 149 Eastern Illinois vs 176 Citadel
42 Liberty vs 67 Northwestern St. vs 150 Coastal Carolina vs 175 Charleston Southern
43 Dartmouth vs 66 Temple vs 151 New Hampshire vs 174 Navy
44 Mississippi St vs 65 FIU vs 152 Savannah State vs 173 Detroit Mercy
45 Florida A&M vs 64 West Virginia vs 153 Grambling vs 172 LIU Brooklyn
46 Cornell vs 63 Pittsburgh vs 154 Cleveland St. vs 171 Jackson State
47 East Carolina vs 62 Brown vs 155 Jacksonville St. vs 170 Fairleigh Dickinson
48 Mid. Tenn. State vs 61 Kent State vs 156 James Madison vs 169 St. Joseph’s (Pa.)
49 Princeton vs 60 St. John’s vs 157 Illinois-Chicago vs 168 Siena
50 Samford vs 59 Southern Miss. vs 158 New Orleans vs 167 IUPUI
51 Toledo vs 58 Tulane vs 159 Delaware State vs 166 Alcorn State
52 Vanderbilt vs 57 Tennessee Tech vs 160 Hampton vs 165 Mount St. Mary’s
53 Western Michigan vs 56 Memphis vs 161 Marist vs 164 High Point
54 Bethune-Cookman vs 55 Jacksonville vs 162 Alabama A&M vs 163 Maine

WEST REGION

31 meets
1st, 2nd, and 3rd place teams plus 3 highest-scoring 4th place teams advance

1 Arkansas vs 62 Northern Iowa vs 63 McNeese State
2 USC vs 61 Northern Illinois vs 64 UC Santa Barbara
3 Texas A&M vs 60 Incarnate Word vs 65 Air Force vs 122 Pepperdine
4 Texas vs 59 Sacramento St. vs 66 Montana State vs 121 Pacific
5 Texas Tech vs 58 UTSA vs 67 Tulsa vs 120 Loyola Marymount
6 Colorado St. vs 57 Southern Illinois vs 68 Arkansas State vs 119 St. Mary’s
7 Kansas State vs 56 Texas State vs 69 Abilene Christian vs 118 Santa Clara
8 Stanford vs 55 Illinois vs 70 Northern Arizona vs 117 Gonzaga
9 Iowa vs 54 North Dakota vs 71 Southern Utah vs 116 San Diego
10 Wisconsin vs 53 South Dakota St. vs 72 Loyola (Ill.) vs 115 Hawaii
11 Oregon vs 52 Oregon State vs 73 Missouri State vs 114 UC Irvine
12 Kansas vs 51 Oral Roberts vs 74 Weber State vs 113 Chicago State
13 Colorado vs 50 Rice vs 75 Montana vs 112 CSU Bakersfield
14 Nebraska vs 49 Marquette vs 76 Idaho State vs 111 Seattle U.
15 UNLV vs 48 DePaul vs 77 Cal St. Northridge vs 110 Portland State
16 Arizona vs 47 Nevada vs 78 Portland vs 109 Valparaiso
17 Washington vs 46 Stephen F. Austin vs 79 Western Kentucky vs 108 Saint Louis
18 Minnesota vs 45 Washington St. vs 80 North Texas vs 107 Drake
19 Arizona State vs 44 Illinois State vs 81 Lamar vs 106 Arkansas-Pine Bluff
20 BYU vs 43 UCLA vs 82 Idaho vs 105 Arkansas-Little Rock
21 Oklahoma State vs 42 Fresno State vs 83 Central Arkansas vs 104 Texas Southern
22 Baylor vs 41 South Dakota vs 84 Sam Houston St. vs 103 UMKC
23 North Dakota State vs 40 TCU vs 85 UT-Arlington vs 102 Houston Baptist
24 Iowa State vs 39 UC Davis vs 86 Cal St. Fullerton vs 101 San Jose St.
25 Houston vs 38 UTEP vs 87 Eastern Washington vs 100 UT-Rio Grande Valley
26 Oklahoma vs 37 Utah vs 88 Bradley vs 99 Cal Poly
27 Missouri vs 36 California vs 89 Texas A&M-CC vs 98 Utah Valley
28 San Diego St. vs 35 SMU vs 90 Grand Canyon vs 97 Nebraska-Omaha
29 Boise State vs 34 Wichita State vs 91 San Francisco vs 96 UC Riverside
30 New Mexico vs 33 Long Beach St. vs 92 Western Illinois vs 95 Northern Colorado
31 Utah State vs 32 Wyoming vs 93 New Mexico St. vs 94 Prairie View

Come back tomorrow to see the men’s seeds and pairings!

March 18, 2019

On This Date in College Track & Field History: March 18

The track and running world has come to a screeching halt in an effort to battle the spread of COVID-19. In an effort to fill the void I’m taking a deep dive into my various archives and pulling up what I find in the history of college track and field.

2000, Tuscaloosa, AL: Alabama wons a men’s quadrangular over Georgia, Mississippi State, and LSU. The long jump was won by the Crimson Tide’s Miguel Pate, who two years later jumped over 28 feet. The shot put was won by Georgia’s Reese Hoffa, who was an Olympic bronze medalist 12 years later. Georgia won the women’s quadrangular.

1995, Berkeley, CA: UCLA’s men and women both beat Cal in a dual meet. The Golden Bears’ Richie Boulet won both the 1500 and 5000, narrowly defeating the Bruins’ Meb Keflezighi in the shorter race. UCLA freshman Suzy Powell broke her own American junior record in the discus with 57.96/190-2, and won the javelin too.

1988, Houston, TX: Odessa Junior College won the men’s 4×200 meter relay at the Texas Southern Relays with Jon Drummond on the anchor leg. Drummond is still serving out an eight-year coaching ban based on information Tyson Gay gave to USADA after Gay’s positive drug test in 2014.

1978, Eugene, OR: Speaking of coaches serving out bans, Oregon’s Alberto Salazar won the 10,000 meters at the Oregon Invitational. His time of 29:55.4 qualified for the NCAA Championships and put him #3 on the all-time Duck rankings. Sophomore Rudy Chapa ran 3:59.9 to anchor Oregon’s wining distance medley relay.
Eugene Register-Guard article

1972, Fresno, CA: Oregon defeated Fresno State by the score of 138 to 59. Steve Prefontaine won the 2 mile by more than ten seconds, but his time of 8:55.3 left him unsatisfied. Citing the windy conditions, he said “I’ll never run in this hole again”.
Eugene Register-Guard article

1967, Tempe, AZ: USC trounced Arizona and Arizona State in a triangular. The score was USC 102, Ariuzona 41, ASU 38. O.J. Simpson won the 100 yards, was second in the 220, and ran third leg on the winning 4×110 relay.
AP wire story

1950, Tempe, AZ: USC defeated Arizona State, 95½ to 35½.

1933, Los Angeles, CA: Despite arranging golf-style handicaps for the opponents, USC defeated Occidental by the score of 83⅓ to 57⅔.

1933, Berkeley, CA: Cal defeated the San Francisco Olympic Club, 75⅔-55⅓.

1929, Los Angeles, CA: USC’s Daily Trojan newspaper opened its “dope sheet” prediction contest for the USC vs Stanford dual meet on April 6. Local merchants offered up prizes for the top three students in the contest.

March 18, 2019

Introducing the Citius College Cup

March Madness is upon us, and it’s a blast. It is one of the best sporting events on the calendar, possibly the best one that does not involve track and field. The single-elimination format and the combination of superpowers and underdogs means anything can happen.

There is another similar event mostly unknown to American sports fans that follows the same knockout format but is even crazier. I’m speaking of the Football Association Cup. It’s a single-elimination tournament among 737 of England’s professional, semi-pro, and amateur football teams held over the course of the season, starting in August and culminating in a championship final in May. I’ve always thought it would be fascinating and fun to export the FA Cup format to American sports, such as professional baseball. In fact, I’ve decided to adapt it to NCAA Division I track and field.

This is actually easier than it sounds, because the times and distances and heights we record in track and field act as a sort of competition by proxy. Teams treat it that way, and the USTFCCCA’s national and regional rankings do so explicitly. In the internet age, competing online in this manner can and should be done.

Over the course of the 2019 outdoor season, teams will be seeded into brackets for a series of quadrangular meets which will be scored using data available from TFRRS.org. Multiple teams will qualify from each meet in the early rounds, but only winners will advance in the later rounds. Eventually one team will be crowned the champions of the Citius College Cup.

Here’s the nitty-gritty on how it all works…

FIRST ROUND

Scored using marks made outdoors through April 8
All Division I teams are entered, seeded using results from indoor season
Scoring is 6-4-3-2-1 for standard individual events, 6-3-1 for 4×100 and 4×400, and 3-1 for 4×200, 4×800, sprint medley, and distance medley

SECOND ROUND

Scored using marks made between April 9 and May 2
48 quadrangulars between 192 teams qualifying from the first round (half in west region, half in east)
Winners plus 16 highest-scoring second place teams qualify to third round
Scoring is 6-4-3-2-1 for standard individual events, 6-3-1 for 4×100 and 4×400, 4-2-1 for 4×200, 4×800, 4×1500, sprint medley, and distance medley, and 1 for shuttle hurdles

THIRD ROUND

Scored using marks made at conference championship meets
16 quadrangulars between 64 teams qualifying from second round (half in west region, half in east)
Winners advance to semifinals
Scoring is 6-4-3-2-1 for standard individual events, 6-3-1 for 4×100 and 4×400

SEMIFINALS

Scored using places achieved at NCAA preliminary rounds (aka “regionals”)
4 quadrangulars between 16 teams qualifying from third round (half in west region, half in east)
Winners advance to finals
Scoring is 6-4-3-2-1 for standard individual events, 6-3-1 for 4×100 and 4×400

FINALS

Scored using places achieved at NCAA Championships
Four qualifiers (two from west region, two from east)
Scoring is 6-4-3-2-1 for standard individual events, 6-3-1 for 4×100 and 4×400

Come back tomorrow to see the women’s seeding and first round matchups!

March 15, 2019

On This Date in College Track And Field History: March 15

Recalling when Jim Ryun nipped Marty Liquori in a near-dead heat to win the mile at the NCAA Indoor Championships.

November 19, 2018

2018 NCAA Cross Country Championships Gallery

Photos by John Jarvis for Citius Mag

November 18, 2018

NCAA Championships Recap and Analysis: Upset, Not Upsets, and a Rockin’ Good Time

The 80th NCAA Cross Country Championships in Madison, Wisconsin, had one race go totally against form and the other totally hold form, all on a classic Midwestern late fall day in a fantastic atmosphere. It was the most fun I’ve yet had at an NCAAs.

COMPLETE RESULTS

WOMEN’S RACE – ALL UPSETS


The women’s team favorites were New Mexico and Oregon. They were #1 and #2 in the coaches’ poll, and 87% of NCAA champions came from the top two since the advent of the women’s poll. They both won their conference meets, the Mountain West and Pac-12 respectively, and 35 of the 37 women’s NCAA champions since 1981 won their conference meets. It looked pretty clear-cut as a two-team race.

The team standings shown at the 2k mark of the 6k race showed Oregon leading with 157, Colorado second with 185, Arkansas third with 183, and New Mexico fourth with 251. That score for New Mexico was a little concerning given the Lobos had three women in the top twenty, but it was early going and there was plenty of time for their 4th and 5th runners to move up.

At 4k the scores showed that Colorado had taken the race by the horns: 80 points for the Buffaloes, 140 for New Mexico, 147 for Oregon. Coach Mark Wetmore’s teams have a reputation for finishing strong, and this team underlined that reputation. At the finish it was Colorado 65, New Mexico 103, Oregon 160.

65 points is a very low score for an NCAA Championships, the third-lowest women’s score under the current 31-team championship format. Colorado’s dominance was so complete that their sixth runner finished before anyone else’s fourth. That sixth runner, Val Constien, finished 30th overall and was only a step behind 4th-place Michigan’s first runner.

New Mexico, the defending champions and #1-ranked team in the final poll, could hardly be accused of underperforming. Their 103 points was only 13 more than last year’s winning total, and the lowest runner-up score ever in the 31-team format. More often than not it is good enough to win, and coach Joe Franklin said he was “over the moon” with their performance and that “there was nothing else we could have done”.

The individual race is easier to follow visually, and that one was similarly thrilling with a hard finish. A large lead pack of 11 women never really broke up until New Mexico’s Weni Kelati surged away from the field with about a mile to go. That stretched it out and only five were able to remain in the chase: Anna Rohrer (Notre Dame), Erica Burk (BYU), Dani Jones (Colorado), Jessica Hull (Oregon), and Alicia Monson (Wisconsin).

Kelati maintained her lead until the last quarter-mile, when Burk led the charge to close the gap. Jones followed and unleashed a massive kick on the final uphill stretch to the finish. She flew past Kelati and her lead became so large that she looked over her shoulder and eased off to the finish.

Colorado pulled off the double victory, both using the classic cross country strategy: get into position, be patient, strike when ready. It is a simple plan, but not an easy one.

MEN’S RACE – NO SUPRISES


Just like in the women’s race, the men’s race was expected as a two-team battle, this time between #1 Northern Arizona and #2 BYU. 90% of men’s champions since the advent of the coaches’ poll were ranked in the top two. All of the last 44 men’s champions also won their conference meet; NAU won the Big Sky and BYU won the West Coast over #3 Portland. 26 of the last 31 men’s champions had finished in the top four the previous year (and the other five missed it by unusually small margins), and last year’s top four were NAU, Portland, and BYU.

NAU led the team scoring at every checkpoint of the 10k race, always in double digits while the rest were in triple digits. BYU was back in eighth at 2k, but moved up to third at 4k and 6k and into second at 8k. Portland was second until being bumped back to third by BYU in the late stages. The only surprise of any kind in the men’s team race was that #4-ranked Wisconsin finished eighth despite running on their home course.

Neither was there a surprise in the men’s individual race, though it was still dramatic. Last year the NAU duo of Tyler Day and Matthew Baxter made a hard push from early in the race and they were rewarded with second and third place. Baxter warned in Friday’s press conference that a repeat of that strategy was unlikely, and they held to it. A lead pack of a dozen men did not lose anyone until the final mile.

Coming around the final turn to the 300-meter straightaway finish, the first to go to the lead was Iowa State’s Edwin Kurgat, who later admitted “I think I went too early”. He was caught by Stanford’s Grant Fisher, one of the pre-race favorites, but the man with a full head of steam was Wisconsin’s Morgan McDonald. The Badger didn’t take the lead until very late but it was a clear win, and the pro-Wisconsin crowd lost their minds.

A WINNING ATMOSPHERE

Old friends have “guy weekends”. Some go on fishing trips, some go to Vegas. My friends and I go to track meets. This was the sixteenth NCAA cross country I’ve attended with John, including the last fifteen in a row. If you’ve never been to one of these you’re missing out. Overall, I’d say this was probably the best one yet — it was a rockin’ good time.

It was the first NCAA Championships ever held at Wisconsin’s Thomas Zimmer Championship Course. If I understand correctly, the facility was first planned as a golf course but the developer ran out of money, so the university bought it and turned it into a permanent cross country course on the model of Indiana State’s Lavern Gibson course. Purpose-built cross country facilities such as these two are likely to host nearly all future NCAA Championships.

As a facility I think UW’s Zimmer course is second only to ISU’s Gibson course. The latter is striking in its vastness and open layout, which allows the less-than-speedy fan to observe the entire race from the finish area. The Zimmer course is on a smaller footprint and portions go through wooded areas, so one needs to be either swift and energetic to see the race, or stay put by the video boards near the finish. Another small drawback is that the Zimmer course has insufficient parking so fans are bussed in from remote lots, which means there is no pre-meet tailgating action.

As far as the course itself goes, it has its own special challenges. There are a couple of sharp upslopes but I still wouldn’t call it hilly. The difference between the highest and lowest points are less than at ISU. But the course never levels out, it’s always either going up or down. There are more turns, and more changes in footing, and it goes into the woods and out into the open. It never allows a runner to become comfortable (if there is such a thing at a national championship race) and this would be doubly true on a windy day.

But in terms of the overall atmosphere, Madison is the best host in a very long time. It’s bigger than Terre Haute or Ames or Greenville so hotel space is not as challenging to find, yet smaller than Louisville so the meet breaks into the public consciousness. Madison is a major college sports town, which means it’s a fun place to go.

And it’s the home of the Wisconsin Badgers, the most consistently excellent cross country program of the last half century.

The crowds appeared the best I’ve ever seen at an NCAA Championships, and they were the most energetic. A roar went up every time PA announcer Mike Jay mentioned Wisconsin, and they really went crazy when McDonald made his final push to victory.

The weather? My opinion is that if you’re thinking about the weather then you’re not thinking about racing. It snowed a bit and the footing got a little dicey, but warmer weather has produced worse footing. It was cold (28 degrees) but with very little wind, and the 36F/20mph wind at the 2016 championships felt much colder. All sport includes the classic conflict of man versus man, and endurance sports add in the conflict of man versus self. Cross country is special among these because it requires the additional conflict of man versus nature. Like Yuki Kawauchi said of this year’s Boston Marathon, “for me these are the best conditions possible”.

As it has for more than a hundred years, the collegiate cross country season drew to a close less than a week before the best holiday of the year.

November 16, 2018

The Leading Runners at Every College National Championship Ever

Here is something cool to peruse the night before the NCAA Cross Country Championships.

Over the last year I’ve put together a more-or-less complete listing of the top individuals at every collegiate cross country national championship (the NCAA Division I Championships and its various predecessors). You can access them below:

MEN

WOMEN

The number of competitors I included is a reflection of how deep the competition was at the time. I have the top 15 finishers from 1971 to present (1990 to present for women) and gradually reduce as the years go back. Cross country is a national sport now, but was mostly a midwestern and northeastern sport from its inception through the 1950s.

I included the home nation of each competitor because cross country is among the most international sports in the NCAA. Forty-four different nations are represented in these results: Australia, Belarus, Belgium, Botswana, Burundi, Canada, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, England, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Lithuania, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Scotland, Serbia, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Sweden, Taiwan, Tanzania, Trinidad & Tobago, Uganda, United States, Venezuela, Wales, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

DID YOU KNOW?

Virtually every important US distance runner makes an appearance somewhere. Olympic champions Frank Shorter and Bob Schul do not: Shorter’s best NCAA finish was 19th (he went on to win four USA cross country championships) and Schul’s best was 20th.

However, relatively few Americans who later won an Olympic or World Championships medal were an NCAA cross country champion first. Galen Rupp, Shalane Flanagan, Meb Keflezighi, and Mary Decker are notable exceptions. Alberto Salazar and Craig Virgin are two other NCAA cross country champions who made major international impacts, by winning the NYC Marathon and and World Cross Country Championships respectively.

Shockingly, two top finishers from the 1997 championships were part of the elite field at last week’s NYC Marathon: Abdi Abdirahman and Bernard Lagat.

While cross country is obviously a training ground for future champion marathoners and long-distance runners, milers such as Lagat, Joe Falcon, Kevin Sullivan, or Suzy Favor sometimes make an impact too. The only international champion 800 runner who ever finished in the top end of an NCAA cross country championships is Dave Wottle. He took 12th in 1971, less than a year before his world record and Olympic victory.

GOVERNING BODIES

What do those acronyms at the top of each result mean?

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) first held its championship meet in 1938. For at least its first decade it was considered a national championship rather than the national championship. Western teams rarely competed until the 60s. The regional qualifying system was put in place in 1972; prior to that it was an “open” championship.

The Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America (IC4A) has organized collegiate championships since 1908. Now exclusively Northeastern colleges, it was national in scope through the 1940s, although generally only a few Midwestern colleges attended.

The Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) was the governing body for women’s college sports from 1969 until a hostile takeover by the NCAA in 1982. Both the AIAW and NCAA held women’s championships in 1981; the talent was essentially evenly split between the two meets and no one ran in both.

The Central Collegiate Conference (CCC) was a track & cross country conference for Midwestern colleges. Its first cross country championships were in 1926, initially a triangular between the major independent powers of Michigan State, Notre Dame, and Marquette. The NCAA Championships were an outgrowth of this meet; the early NCAAs were so midwestern-oriented that the CCC was held concurrent with it for its first decade or so.

The Western Intercollegiate Conference (WIC) is now known as the Big Ten. It held an “open” cross country championships from 1908 to 1925. The CCC was created when the Big Ten closed its championship meet to members only in 1926. Another alternate name was the Intercollegiate Athletic Association (ICAA).

The Intercollegiate Cross Country Conference (ICCC) was the first collegiate governing body for the sport, eventually transferring power to the IC4A.

November 10, 2018

This one is for the walk-ons, the guys who just want a chance to run

This one is for the walk-ons, the guys who just want a chance to run. Bowling Green finished top 10 in their region. Thank you for making us proud once again.

November 8, 2018

The Wood Report: Projected NCAA Qualifiers, Individuals (Men)

The Wood Report has released its list of projected men’s teams and individuals who will qualify for the NCAA Cross Country National Championships.

October 12, 2018

WOOD REPORT: WOMEN’S CROSS COUNTRY INDIVIDUAL TOP 100 RANKINGS

Ranking the top 100 individual women for the 2018 cross country season.

September 4, 2018

Feast Your Eyes On The Best Cross Country Roster Portraits – Part X

The return of our hit series. We round up the best cross country headshots and portraits and roast them just a little.

September 3, 2018

PHOTO DAY FOR GEORGETOWN TRACK AND FIELD

It’s picture day for the 2018-2019 Georgetown Hoyas track and field day. Here’s a Behind the Scenes look by Spencer Brown.

August 27, 2018

Jacob Thomson: An Open Letter Ahead of Cross Country Season

Former Kentucky distance star Jacob Thomson shares advice for his former teammates and all runners before the start of cross country.

August 1, 2018

The Athlete Special: Epic Long Run Progression

Spencer ‘The Athlete Special’ Brown takes us on a 14-mile progression long run as he gears up for the 2018 NCAA cross country season.

July 12, 2018

The Athlete Special: SUMMER RELAY COURSE RECORD

The Athlete Special is back with the summer vlogs and returns in course-record fashion with a fun summer relay race with friends.

June 20, 2018

What Did The Division II Experience Mean To Me? (An Essay by David Ribich)

David Ribich looks back at his time competing for Western Oregon on the Division II scene and how dreams are greater than any label put on a group.

June 13, 2018

Predicting The Next Wave of Olympians from The NCAA Championships

Jesse Squire makes a bold move of trying to predict Olympians for 2020 from the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

June 9, 2018

What to Watch on Saturday at the NCAA Championships

Today is Day 4 of the NCAA outdoor track and field championships and the wommen’s champions will be crowned. This is the last meet ever held in the historic version of Hayward Field. On Wednesday I helped Chris Chavez preview the meet on the CITIUS podcast, and below is everything you need to know about today’s action.

HOW TO WATCH

2:20pm EDT (11:20am PDT) at ESPN3.com — separate feeds for heptathlon and each field event
6:30pm EDT (3:30pm PDT) on ESPN2, switches to ESPN at 7:00

You’ll also want to follow the live results and use our handy visual schedule:

The USTFCCCA’s National Championships Central is a treasure trove of information.

Here is a fun and useful team scoring tracker with several different ways to project team scores–you can even customize it. It will be updated after each semifinal and final.

TEAMS TO WATCH

Any of five teams is capable of winning this meet.
Georgia has four chances at first or second in the heptathon, triple jump, and 400 and 200. The downside of this is that they have little room for improvement.

Stanford is depending on the discus and distance events. Those are relatively volatile events where they could score a lot or not much at all.

Kentucky is in a solid position with heavy favorites in both hurdles and dependable relays too. The Wildcats have upside potential in a few other events as well.

As with their men’s team, USC is going to score a boatload of points in the sprints, relays, and 400 hurdles.

Oregon is the team with the most potential to outscore the projection, though they are favored to win the 800 with Sabrina Sutherland and the 4×400.

Below are my projections for today. A blank means no qualifiers, a zero means qualifiers who are not expected to score.

EVENT PREVIEWS

LSU already broke the 4×100 relay collegiate record earlier this year, so another record is quite possible. This first race of the day has three of the five team contenders and will be a game-changer right out of the gate.

The sprints have a pair of stars who will not meet head-to-head. LSU’s Aleia Hobbs is capable of breaking the collegiate record. Harvard’s Gabby Thomas is a long-sprint specialist, and she may have her hands full with Georgia’s Lynna Irby.

It is not hyperbole to say that Kentucky has two of the world’s best in the 100 hurdles and 400 hurdles. Both Jasmine Camacho-Quinn and Sydney McLaughlin are the current world leaders in their events and a PR by either would be a collegiate record. McLaughlin has a very real chance at a world record.

USC’s Kendall Ellis is only the second collegian to ever run under 50.00 for the 400 meters, but Georgia freshman Lynna Irby isn’t that far off either. Oregon has two finalists and needs big points.

The 1500 meters and 800 meters are unpredictable events that have major team implications for Stanford and Oregon. There probably isn’t a strong favorite in either race. The sentimental favorite in the 1500 is Toledo’s Janelle Noe, who survived life-threatening burns to make an improbable run to the final.

The long-distance races, the steeplechase and 5000 meters, could be interesting. Boise State’s Allie Ostrander has never lost a steeplechase final, which is a far more meaningful stat than her fast times. She’ll try to come back later in the day and run the 5000; she did so last year and took 1st and 4th. Many of the women who went to the wall in Thursday’s 10,000 are also in this 5k, so it’s anyone’s guess how it will turn out. Stanford and Oregon have scoring chances here.

The 4×400 is always the best race of any meet, and this could be one of the classic races of all time. The team championship will almost assuredly be in play, and two of the three fastest collegians of all time are running for USC and Kentucky. It will be a wild and wooly conclusion to the last meet ever held in the historic version of Hayward Field.

June 9, 2018

NCAA Championships Day 3 Recap

What happened at yesterday’s NCAA Championships? Here is your short summary of the conclusion to the men’s competition.

Complete results

GEORGIA WINS IN UPSET

The Georgia Bulldogs won the team title in an upset. They never trailed on the scoredboard at any time during the meet. It was their first men’s championship; their previous was sixth (last year and 2014).

The Dawgs did it by exceeding expectations in the field events. Denzel Comenentia won a hammer-shot double on Wednesday, Karl Saluri and Johannes Erm finished 2nd and 3rd in the decathlon on Thursday, and Keenon Laine and Antonios Merlos took 3rd and 5th in the high jump yesterday. Those alone were enough points to win, and eight more points in the 100 and 200 gave Georgia a comfortable ten-point margin.

The Florida Gators had been the pre-meet favorites, but did not score as much as expected in the long jump, high jump, and triple jump. Their second-place finish is their tenth straight trip to the podium for one of the trophies awarded to the top four teams.

Houston and USC rounded out the top four. The Cougars represent the first mid-major university on the podium since 2005, and it is just the second time they’ve ever done it (the other was 1959). This is USC’s 48th top-four finish but just the third time they’ve done it this century.

RECORDS DESTROYED

The evening was cool and rainy, so record expectations were dampened. But the records fell and in amazing fashion.

Houston got the meet off to a rousing start with a collegiate record (and Hayward Field record) in the 4×100 by running 38.17. Ohio State surprised everyone with a second-place finish, pushing traditional sprint powerhouses Florida and Arkansas to 3rd and 4th. It should be noted that first and second were the champions of the Penn and Drake Relays respectively, and the winners of Arkansas’ “National Relay Championships” were not, in fact, national champions.

The next record to fall was in the 400 meters, one I mentioned as a possibility in the CITIUS Mag podcast. USC’s Michael Norman ran a stunning 43.61, but what was even more stunning was that he had to work to win the race. Auburn’s Akeem Bloomfield and Nathon Allen were close as the trio came off the turn before Norman powered away down the homestretch. Norman broke the Hayward Field record held by Michael Johnson, which puts it all in perspective. Bloomfield ran 43.94, also under the old record, and Allen was third with 44.13.

Without a doubt the performance of the night came in the 400 hurdles and from another USC Trojan. Rai Benjamin was already the only collegian to ever run sub-48.00 before the NCAA Championships, so you figured he might kick it up a notch at the NCAAs. Did he ever. He ran 47.02, the second-fastest ever run. Anywhere. Ever. It wasn’t just a collegiate record or Hayward Field record, it was a record for the entire western hemisphere.

So with those two record runs you figured USC might be decent at the 4×400, and they did not disappoint. When USC handed off to Norman with a lead at the last exchange everyone thought it was over, but Texas A&M’s Devin Dixon closed the gap over the first 300 meters before Norman pulled away as he did in the open 400. USC ran 2:59.00, breaking LSU’s collegiate record from 2005, and Texas A&M slipped under 3:00 as well.

DISTANCE UPSETS

Two middle distance races featured similar upsets. New Mexico’s Josh Kerr (1500) and UTEP’s Michael Saruni (800) both set collegiate records this year and both won their events at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Both put themselves in difficult situations they couldn’t bail themselves out of.

Kerr had mentioned that he might attack his own collegiate record, but he was not able to get to the lead in the first 100 meters of the race and instead settled into the middle of the pack. The pace was very slow and that meant a lot of runners all trying to occupy the same space. Kerr found himself seventh at the bell and worked hard to get out of a box and did more work to get to the lead with 200 to go. Kerr faded down the homestretch, as did everyone else except Wisconsin’s Oliver Hoare. The Badger ran his last lap in 53.01.

In the 800, Saruni similarly found himself back in the pack but not because the pace was slow. Texas A&M’s Devin Dixon led through a 51.09 first lap and Saruni was a well-situated fourth. His fatal mistake was making a too-aggressive move and doing it too soon. He overtook the lead with 200 to go and was fading by the homestretch, where he was passed by Penn State’s Isaiah Harris. Both struggled over the last 50 meters, but Harris held on for the national championships win that had eluded him for so long. He had twice been a runner-up and twice more he finished fourth.

The men’s 5000 feature three men who have won NCAA championships in Syracuse’s Justyn Knight, Stanford’s Grant Fisher, and Northern Arizona’s Andy Trouard. None of them won, instead the title went to Stanford’s Sean McGorty. The pace wasn’t painfully slow as in the 1500 but it still wasn’t eliminating many runners. McGorty got to the lead at the right time (700 meters to go), took charge of the race, and repelled the challengers. In many ways it is an unsurprising upset, if such a thing is possible; he was the NCAA runner-up in this event two years ago but spent much of the time from then until now dealing with an Achilles injury.

HOUSTON HAS EACH OTHER’S BACKS

The Houston Cougars were rated as having a small chance at the championship if they had extraordinary results. They got off to a great start with a win and a record in the 4×100. Next up was the steeplechase, where Brian Barraza was one of many contenders for the win. He ran from the front and built a large lead – and then disaster struck with 300 meters to go. His lead leg didn’t make it over the barrier and he took a hard fall. Dazed and hurt, he got back to his feet but finished tenth and out of the scoring.

Two events later came the 100 meters, where Houston had three finalists. Cameron Burrell and Eli Hall finished first and second to put the Cougars back into contention. And then Burrell said this to ESPN’s Jon Anderson:

UPSETS IN THE FIELD

Field events are full of as much drama as running events, though you’d never know that from the “oh here’s the winner” field event coverage on ESPN’s broadcasts. All three were upsets.

The high jump went to Kansas State freshman Tejaswin Shankar. The 19-year-old from New Delhi became just the third Indian to ever win an NCAA championship. He flew under the radar because he missed the NCAA indoor championships in favor of going to the Commonwealth Games. He had no misses through his first four heights and was the only man to clear 2.24 meters (7′ 4¼”).

Memphis’ Luke Vaughn was staring elimination in the face when he sat tenth in the third round of the discus. His next throw not only rescued him but put him in first for good.

It wasn’t much of an upset for Texas A&M’s Tahar Triki to win the triple jump, but he did beat the reigning NCAA indoor and outdoor champions and did it in his first full season of NCAA competition. He took the lead on his first jump and never relinquished it.

June 8, 2018

Ben Flanagan’s NCAA 10,000m Victory Illustrated

Michigan’s Ben Flanagan kicked his way to the NCAA 10,000 meter title. CITIUS MAG artist Luke McCambley illustrated the final stretch.

June 8, 2018

What to Watch on Friday at the NCAA Championships

New Mexico’s Josh Kerr has won the last three NCAA championships in the 1500 meters or mile and looks invincible. He gets started in Eugene.

June 8, 2018

NCAA Championships Day 2 Recap

Sharon Lokedi won her first NCAA win and a long time coming; seven other times she’s finished between third and tenth. Karissa Schweizer finished 3rd.

June 7, 2018

What to Watch: Thursday at the NCAAs

All indications are that Missouri’s Karissa Schweizer will win the 10,000 meters despite the fact that it’s only the third time she’s ever run this distance

June 7, 2018

NCAA Championships Day 1 Recap: Ben Flanagan Unleashes A Kick, Twitter Goes Wild

Jesse Squire breaks down all the action from the first day of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships including Ben Flanagan’s monster close.

June 6, 2018

What to Watch: Wednesday at the NCAAs

Jesse Squire breaks down the first day of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships which features the 10,000m finals + field events.

May 23, 2018

The Joggler: A Story on Zach Prescott – (CITIUS MAG’s First Mini Documentary)

Watch CITIUS MAG’s first-ever mini-documentary on Zach Prescott, the Boston University runner who ran a 4:43.2 mile while juggling three balls.

April 30, 2018

Ten Parting Thoughts from Drake Relays & Penn Relays Weekend

Ten reactions by Jesse Squire on the last three days of the Penn Relays, Drake Relays and National Relays as outdoor season is now in full swing.

April 28, 2018

WHAT2WATCH on Saturday at the Penn, Drake, and National Relays

Today is the final day of competition at the Penn Relays, Drake Relays, and National Relays. It’s an all-day party of track and field!

April 27, 2018

WHAT2WATCH Friday at the Penn and Drake Relays

Friday marks Day Two for the Penn and Drake Relays and the debut of Arkansas’ new National Relay Championships.

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