2023 DI NCAA Outdoor Championships

Georgia Freshman Will Sumner Blazes To 800m Title At NCAA Championships

Georgia Freshman Will Sumner Blazes To 800m Title At NCAA Championships


Jun 10, 2023 by Joe Battaglia
Georgia Freshman Will Sumner Blazes To 800m Title At NCAA Championships

AUSTIN --- Freshman Will Sumner showed no first-time jitters, blazing to victory in a personal-best and new facility record in the 800m at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Mike A. Myers Stadium.

Sumner's time of 1:44.26 is the second-fastest in meet history, a collegiate leader, broke the stadium record of 1:44.91 set in 2019 by Bryce Hoppel of Kansas and currently ranks No. 3 in the world this year.

"It was just a matter of trusting my training, trusting my coach," Sumner said. "All the work we've been putting in throughout the fall, the winter and the spring, it just all comes together at the end of the season and for moments like this, and it's really just an honor."

Subscribe FloTrack For More NCAA Track and Field coverage

2023 NCAA Track & Field Championships Live Updates

All nine runners went through the first half in under 54 seconds with Sumner leading the way with a 53.12 at the bell. He timed his kick perfectly, pouring on the pace of the final 400m to finish with a 51.15 negative split.

"I wasn't surprised," Sumner said of the early pace. "I didn't really expect anyone to take it, so that's why I wanted to go position myself in the front. I could have done a little more to make it a little more honest, but I just wanted to be as relaxed as I could be, and 53 ended up being the number, I guess.

"A lot of the work I've been doing has been pushing through and learning how to extend the 800 pace for more than just 200m or so, and really working on my finish. That's really all it's been, and I feel like I put it together well today."

Yusuf Bizimana of Texas finished second in 1:45.74, Handal Roban of Penn State was third in 1:45.95, and Abdullahi Hassan of Wisconsin was fourth in 1:46.30.

The race was close throughout, with Sumner, Bizimana, and Roban leading the pack for most of the race. Sumner made his move with about 200 meters to go and pulled away from the field to win by a comfortable margin. 

Bizimana and Roban battled for second place, with Bizimana ultimately edging out Roban. 

Hassan finished fourth, followed by Conor Murphy of Virginia, Mehdi Yanouri of Oklahoma State, Aidan McCarthy of Cal Poly, Tiarnan Crorken of Ole Miss, and Crayton Carrozza of Texas.