This past weekend provided one of the most fun NCAA Track and Field Championships in recent memory, as Florida swept the men’s and women’s team titles and we saw a flurry of surprise individual champs rise to the occasion.
On Friday, the Gator men won their fifth national title and their first since 2017. They closed it out in grand fashion with an NCAA championship record of 2:58.88 in the 4x400m relay. A day later, head coach Mike Holloway was back on top of the podium to celebrate the Gator women’s first outdoor team title.
If you missed any of the action from this weekend, I’ve pulled together a list of my top ten favorite moments:
10. Boise State’s Kristie Schoffield Shocks The 800m Field
It’s hard to top the NCAA Championships when it comes to upsets and surprises. And Boise State’s Kristie Schoffield pulled off one of the biggest when she won the 800m in a personal best of 2:01.09. She also had the best post-race interview of the weekend with ESPN’s John Anderson, where she underscored the importance of visualizing your goals in practice.
“I wanted to win so bad!"
Watch her awesome interview with ESPN’s John Anderson here… pic.twitter.com/RsfdgnhX0G
— Chris Chavez (@ChrisChavez) June 11, 2022
9. Camryn Rogers, Adelaide Aquilla Wow With Big Throws
Cal’s Camryn Rogers moved into No. 9 on the all-time world list with a 77.67m heave in the women’s hammer throw.
Ohio State’s Adelaide Aquilla made history on the first shot put throw of her final meet as a Buckeye with a 19.64m toss to break the collegiate record previously held by Maggie Ewen (19.46m) from 2018.
8. Talitha Diggs Unleashes Her Ta-Lethal Kick In The 400m
Florida’s Talitha Diggs swept the indoor and outdoor 400m titles by kicking to a personal best of 49.99 to just beat out Texas A&M’s Charokee Young (50.65). Diggs, who also won the 400m title indoors, is a master of peaking at the right time as her season’s best in the event was only 51.22, which she lowered to 50.08 and then sub-50 over the course of three days at the championship.
7. Long-Awaited Titles for Olin Hacker and Katelyn Tuohy
“Just to win was so unbelievable,” Olin Hacker said. “I’m still in shock but it means so much. This program has given me so much. It’s just the fairytale ending that I knew was a possibility and I knew this could be an amazing day. It’s just unreal to me.”
On the women’s side, NC State’s Katelyn Tuohy captured her first NCAA track title with a 15:18.39 win as she pulled away from Florida’s Parker Valby (whose runner-up finish in 15:20.10 secured the women’s team victory for the Gators) in the final 600 meters. Tuohy, a 20-year-old true sophomore, had a pair of runner-up finishes during the indoor season in the 3000m and 5000m so her moment has been coming for a while.
A huge credit to coach Laurie Henes for creating a program and team culture built to last. Tuohy is the second consecutive women’s 5000m from NC State as Elly Henes won this title last year. The team had quite the presence in the 2022 race as Marlee Starliper (9th), Samantha Bush (10th), Hannah Steelman (11th) and Savannah Shaw (20th) were all representing the Wolfpack as well.
6. Courtney Wayment Smashes The NCAA steeplechase record
BYU’s Courtney Wayment was unfazed in the pouring rain as she clocked the fifth-fastest time in American history to run 9:16.00 and beat Courtney Frerichs’s NCAA record of 9:24.41 by eight seconds. Behind her, Kayley DeLay of Yale knocked a whopping 16 seconds off her PB to finish second in 9:25.08, which is now No. 3 all-time in the NCAA.
Wayment is the fastest American of the year (No. 5 all-time) and looks to make her first U.S. team next weekend. She was fourth at the most recent U.S. Olympic Trials, and two of her potential rivals, Courtney Frerichs and Emma Coburn, have not yet performed up to their 2021 form this season.
5. Trey Cunningham Scares The NCAA Record
Florida State’s hurdle star finished his NCAA outdoor season undefeated as he won the men’s 110m hurdles in a personal best of 13.00 to tie with Daniel Roberts and Renaldo Nehemiah for No. 2 on the all-time NCAA list. Grant Holloway’s record of 12.98 from 2019 survives, but we’ll see him race against Holloway head-to-head at the U.S. Championships next week.
The U.S. men’s 110m hurdles is the deepest it’s ever been. Holloway has his spot for Worlds assured with his bye as the reigning world champion. This weekend, Devon Allen ran the third-fastest time in American history with a 12.84 victory at the NYC Grand Prix, where he beat Holloway (13.06). Cunningham will head into the championships with the second-fastest time in the world, ahead of big names like Olympic gold medalists Hansle Parchment and Omar McLeod.
4. Abby Steiner Gets Her Title, Record and World Lead But Her 4×400 Split…
Kentucky’s Abby Steiner was on a tear to start the season but did take losses to LSU’s Favour Ofili in the 100m and 200m along the way at the SEC Championships. However, she’s proven she knows to peak at the right time and proved it at the NCAA Championships by winning her specialty event with a 21.80 sec (+1.3 m/s wind) for 200 meters. She shattered the previous record of 21.96 by Ofili, who finished second in the race, but the victory was never in doubt as Steiner dominated the race from the gun. Steiner also finished third in the 100m in 11.08 behind Texas’ Julien Alfred and Oregon’s Kemba Nelson.
If the NCAA record and world lead weren’t impressive enough for you, she came back and split 48.92 on her 4x400m leg to help Kentucky get the win in 3:22.55. In her specialty event, she is a real threat to make the U.S. team for the World Championships. She missed last year’s U.S. Olympic Trials due to an Achilles injury so we’ll get our first meeting between her and Olympic bronze medalist Gabby Thomas in Eugene.
3. Jasmine Moore Scores Long Jump, Triple Jump Wins For 20 Points
Jasmine Moore made history this past weekend as the first woman in the NCAA to win four conference and four national titles in the horizontal jumps in the same calendar year. On Thursday, she won the long jump with a 6.72m jump, and then came back Saturday to dominate the triple jump with a 14.32m winning leap.
Moore represented the U.S. in Tokyo last year after finishing third in the 2021 Trials, but she had a disappointing Olympic performance and finished 23rd overall in the triple jump. She’ll likely be aiming to come back stronger this time around by making the World final.
2. Joseph Fahnbulleh Is Your New Sprints King
It’s rare that you see a sprinter kick to victory in the short sprints but Florida’s Joseph Fahnbulleh did just that with come-from-behind victories in the 100m and 200m. He notched personal bests and Liberian national records in both races. His first race on Friday was anchoring the Gators to a runner-up finish in the 4x100m. He was charging hard but just couldn’t reel in the final USC runner, and Florida was forced to settle for silver by only .003 seconds.
He won the 100m in 10.00 sec. (0.6 m/s wind), reeling in Tennessee’s Favour Ashe in the final few meters. Oregon’s Micah Williams, who entered with the fastest time of the season (9.86), finished seventh.
In the 200m, he managed to get out to a good start and beat his SEC rival Matthew Boling of Georgia. Fahnbulleh’s 19.83 is the fourth-fastest in collegiate history behind Walter Dix, Divine Oduduru and Terrance Laird.
We unpacked the whole weekend on the latest episode of The CITIUS MAG Podcast. I’ve also transcribed some of the best parts of the conversation here.
1. Anna Hall Is Superwoman
No one was busier in Eugene than Florida’s multi-events star Anna Hall. She posted 6385 points to win the women’s heptathlon by 446 points. The most impressive part of the weekend was the fact that she finished second in the 400m hurdles in 54.76 and then got back on the track 21 minutes later to run 2:21.23 for the 800m and seal her victory. She accounted for 18 of Florida’s total 74 points.
After her grueling weekend, she told the ESPN broadcast, “I would definitely say: ‘Don’t try this at home.’”
Here’s a rundown of how her weekend went:
7:30 p.m. | 400m hurdles semifinal – 54.48, first qualifier
1:00 p.m. | Heptathlon 100m hurdles – 13.15, third place
2:00 p.m. | Heptathlon high jump – 1.81m, first place
4:00 p.m. | Heptathlon shot put – 13.54m, third place
7:43 p.m. | Heptathlon 200m – 21.13, first place
10:30 a.m. | Heptathlon long jump – 6.27m, first place
11:45 a.m. | Heptathlon javelin –42.87m, fourth place
3:57 p.m. | 400m hurdles final – 54.76, second place
4:13 p.m. | Heptathlon 800m – 2:21.23, tenth place
Hall will be back at Hayward Field next month representing her country as the U.S. heptathlon champion. Her points total of 6458 to win the USATF Combined Events Championships last month puts her at No. 2 on the NCAA all-time list.
Coming up next: The CITIUS MAG team will head to Philadelphia this weekend for the 2022 New Balance Nationals Outdoor. High school stars like Shawnti Jackson, Gary Martin, Cade Flatt and some of the top high school relay teams in the country will showcase their talent at Franklin Field. We’ll bring you live updates all throughout the weekend. We’ll also have a special edition of After The Final Lap on the CITIUS MAG YouTube channel on Saturday and Sunday featuring U.S. Olympian Brenda Martinez as our guest host.
🙏 Thanks again for reading and sharing. Follow along on Twitter: @chrischavez and Instagram: @chris_j_chavez. Tell your friends to sign up for the newsletter to stay in the know on what and how to watch the best track and field action.