While the outdoor season is right around the corner, we wanted to take one last look at the incredible winter season in the NCAA. Mainly, the NCAA Indoor Championships.

There was some clamor discussion about the championship meet being held in Albuquerque, New Mexico. For the uninitiated, ABQ sits about 5,100 feet above sea level.

Now, that’s not quite ideal for fast middle-distance or distance running. “Would the races become tactical,” some asked. Yes, probably, since it was a championship meet after all. But the main query was whether the athletes could still run fast.

In a sense, yes, they could.

New Mexico’s Sports Information Director Michael Mulcahy did some conversions for the men’s and women’s middle-distance and distance races and sent them over to us. Again, thanks to ABQ and New Mexico for hosting two fantastic championships (USAs and NCAAs) this season.

The adjusted results, when compared to the NCAA Indoor meet records, are impressive. But before we continue with the hype, let me point out a few caveats.

1) I didn’t convert any past marks that were run at altitude. This was mainly due to lack of resources and partly due to laziness.
2) Before 1981, the distance medley relay was run in yards, not meters. I did convert any all 1500m and two-mile times to their respective mile and 3,000-meters marks, but I ain’t got time for the imperial system right now.
3) The women’s NCAA Indoor Championship wasn’t established until 1983, so, of course, some of these marks will be skewed because the meet simply hasn't been around for too long.

That being said, the men’s NCAA Indoor Championship was created in 1965, and here’s how this year’s [adjusted] meet stacks up against history. Who says you can’t run fast* at altitude?

You can view the all-time men's and women's list here and here, respectively.

Event Winner Winning Time Altitude Adjusted Time All-Time Rank
Men’s 800m Brandon McBride 1:48.17 1:47.57 16th
Men’s Mile Anthony Rotich 4:02.54 3:57.26 5th
Men’s 3k Edward Cheserek 8:11.59 7:59.49 31st
Men’s 5k Edward Cheserek 13:46.67 13:24.81 1st
Men’s DMR Stanford 9:37.63 9:28.89 3rd
Women’s 800m Laura Roesler 2:03.85 2:03.16 9th
Women’s Mile Emily Lipari 4:38.82 4:32.75 7th
Women’s 3k Abbey D’Agostino 9:14.47 9:00.82 9th
Women’s 5k Abbey D’Agostino 16:20.39 15:54.46 18th
Women’s DMR Arkansas 11:05.83 10:55.76 3rd

We had to double check, but the men's mile, men's DMR, women's DMR, and especially the men's 5k would have been among the meet's all-time best marks, if the championship had been run at sea level.

Last note before we list 
Mulcahy's data. In the men's mile semifinal, Oregon's Mac Fleet made it through in 4:04.13. When that's adjusted, it's worth 3:58.82. Is that the fastest time ever recorded in a men's mile preliminary? This isn't a rhetorical question, I'm just wondering.

The Raw Data
MEN'S 800
FINALS               RAW        ADJ.
McBride, Brandon     1:48.17    1:47.57
Kemboi, Edward       1:48.54    1:47.94
Rono, Patrick        1:49.04    1:48.43
Squella, Tomas       1:49.23    1:48.62
Schnulle, Ryan       1:49.31    1:48.70
Ellison, Samuel      1:50.13    1:49.52
Watkins, Za'Von      1:50.25    1:49.64
Jorgensen, Jesse     1:50.33    1:49.72

PRELIMS              RAW        ADJ.
Kemboi, Edward       1:48.37    1:47.77
Schnulle, Ryan       1:51.36    1:50.74
McBride, Brandon     1:48.71    1:48.11
Watkins, Za'Von      1:51.82    1:51.20
Squella, Tomas       1:49.00    1:48.40
Rono, Patrick        1:51.97    1:51.35
Ellison, Samuel      1:49.53    1:48.92
Jorgensen, Jesse     1:50.79    1:50.18
Chav ez, Alvaro      1:50.83    1:50.21
Arroyo, Andres       1:51.17    1:50.55
Obinwa, Sean         1:51.36    1:50.74
Rutto, Eliud         1:51.98    1:51.36
Kidder, Brannon      1:52.02    1:51.40
Lahbi, Jacopo        1:56.07    1:55.43
Ledder, Billy        1:56.44    1:55.79
Smith, Andrew        1:58.06    1:57.40

MEN'S MILE
FINALS               RAW        ADJ.
Rotich, Anthony      4:02.54    3:57.26
Lalang, Lawi         4:02.81    3:57.52
Fleet, Mac           4:02.96    3:57.67
Peters, Rich         4:03.49    3:58.19
Geoghegan, Will      4:04.17    3:58.86
Gregorek, John       4:04.68    3:59.35
Penzenstadler, Sam   4:04.77    3:59.44
Williamsz, Jordan    4:04.79    3:59.46
Rae, Jeremy          4:05.07    3:59.74
Hillenbrand, Matt    4:08.01    4:02.61

PRELIMS              RAW        ADJ.
Fleet, Mac           4:04.13    3:58.82
Lalang, Lawi         4:04.27    3:58.95
Gregorek, John       4:04.36    3:59.04
Rae, Jeremy          4:04.37    3:59.05
Hillenbrand, Matt    4:04.67    3:59.34
Penzenstadler, Sam   4:04.86    3:59.53
Presson, Isaac       4:04.93    3:59.60
Engholm, Elmar       4:05.04    3:59.71
Peters, Rich         4:09.65    4:04.22
Geoghegan, Will      4:09.94    4:04.50
Rotich, Anthony      4:10.09    4:04.65
Williamsz, Jordan    4:10.18    4:04.73
Mangan, Steve        4:10.22    4:04.77
Williams, Michael    4:13.07    4:07.56
Yorks, Izaic         4:13.17    4:07.66
Gillespie, Matthew   4:13.69    4:08.17

MEN'S 3000
FINALS               RAW        ADJ.
Cheserek, Edward     8:11.59    7:59.49
Erassa, Kirubel      8:13.08    8:00.94
Saarel, Ben          8:13.45    8:01.30
Ward, Jared          8:13.73    8:01.57
Dunbar, Trevor       8:14.13    8:01.96
Simons, John         8:14.40    8:02.23
Olson, Erik          8:14.77    8:02.59
Shrader, Brian       8:14.84    8:02.65
Connor, Reed         8:15.17    8:02.98
Gillespie, Matthew   8:15.38    8:03.18
Stinson, Parker      8:15.81    8:03.60
Hurysz, Jake         8:18.57    8:06.29
Rhynard, Caleb       8:19.80    8:07.49
Korolev , Maksim     8:28.55    8:16.03

MEN'S 5000
FINALS               RAW        ADJ.
Cheserek, Edward     13:46.67   13:24.81
Lalang, Lawi         13:52.83   13:30.81
Stinson, Parker      13:54.46   13:32.39
Ward, Jared          13:54.93   13:32.85
Rosa, Joe            13:55.84   13:33.74
Caldwell, Luke       13:56.66   13:34.54
Tiernan, Patrick     14:00.83   13:38.60
Connor, Reed         14:09.20   13:46.74
Bitchell, Adam       14:10.36   13:47.87
Pearson, Morgan      14:15.78   13:53.15
Shrader, Brian       14:21.11   13:58.34
Olson, Erik          14:34.40   14:11.28
Korolev , Maksim     14:34.41   14:11.29
Ahmed, Mohammed      14:50.11   14:26.57
Parrish, Mark        14:54.99   14:31.32

MEN'S DMR
FINALS               RAW        ADJ.
Stanford             9:37.63    9:28.89
Oregon               9:40.47    9:31.69
Indiana              9:41.23    9:32.44
Notre Dame           9:41.90    9:33.10
Columbia             9:42.48    9:33.67
Virginia Tech        9:42.82    9:34.00
Arkansas             9:43.19    9:34.37
Washington           9:44.75    9:35.91
Villanova            9:51.63    9:42.68
Georgetown           9:57.85    9:48.81
Penn State           9:57.88    9:48.84
Oklahoma State       10:01.56   9:52.46