Yusuf Bizimana, Shawnti Jackson And Aidan Troutner Set Tone For 2024

Yusuf Bizimana, Shawnti Jackson And Aidan Troutner Set Tone For 2024

These three NCAA stars made their season debuts, setting records and world leads along the way.

Jan 16, 2024 by Maxx Bradley
Yusuf Bizimana, Shawnti Jackson And Aidan Troutner Set Tone For 2024

While some states battled winter storm warnings and others endured temperatures of negative-30 degrees Fahrenheit, the nation's top NCAA track stars showed up and showed out this weekend, leaving record-setting performances in their wake.

From meets in Louisville to Fayetteville and over to Provo, here are my picks for the three biggest performances of the weekend.


Texas' Yusuf Bizimana Takes Down NCAA 1K Record 

In the NCAA, 1,000 meters is not a distance that is commonly ran. The 800m and mile get all of the fun, while the lesser-known middle-distance earns respect every so often. 

Saturday was one of those instances, because Texas' Yusuf Bizimana broke the previous record that was set back in 2016 by Penn State's Brandon Kidder. 

Bizimana clocked a time of 2:18.1, which not only nipped Kidder's record off by just over 15-hundredths of a second, but it was also good enough to shatter the longstanding Longhorn record of 2:21.19 that was set in 1986 by Pablo Squella.

Bizimana really had nothing to prove this indoor campaign, primarily because he's the reigning indoor national champion over 800m, but a NCAA record definitely wasn't too shabby, either.

With one middle-distance record down, signs are pointing toward Bizimana going after another. 

Perhaps Paul Ereng's indoor 800m record of 1:44.84? Granted, not one collegian has ever joined Ereng under 1:45 on the indoor track, but Bizimana's momentum and turnover could at least move him up the NCAA all-time list.


Shawnti Jackson Nabs 400m World Lead in Razorback Debut

A college debut may be a tad stressful and daunting for any first-year ... unless your name is Shawnti Jackson. 

On her home track in Fayetteville at the Arkansas Invitational, the true freshman opened up her collegiate career with an incredible performance.  

Jackson hauled down the indoor oval in a time of 52.10 seconds, which was more than enough to pick up the fastest time by nearly a second. 

And yet, not only was that a huge improvement from her previous indoor best that came as a senior in high school, but it also marked her fastest quarter-mile time ever, surpassing the 52.13 she picked up last spring. 

Jackson's accolades don't simply end with a 'W.' She also leads all collegians so far this season and is the NCAA leader by over a quarter of a second. 

But wait, again, that's not all. Jackson also took down the No. 1 time in the world -- 53.18 -- set by Ireland's Phil Healy.

After just one race, Jackson sits at 11th all-time on the Razorback's coveted 400m list.

Jackson also anchored one of the two Arkansas 4x400m relay teams, bringing her squad home in 51.71 for the win, which is a new NCAA and world lead.

Not bad for MileSplit's No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2023


Aidan Troutner Sets NCAA Lead At Altitude

Breaking four minutes in the mile is one of the most coveted running achievements that an athlete can achieve. But it's nowhere close to an easy feat. 

That's why only 733 American men have ever done so, indoors or outdoors.

Well, BYU's Aidan Troutner -- a former Nike Cross Nationals champion -- decided to join that tight-knit list and check off a good amount of historical boxes along the way.

For starters, Troutner was the first-ever sub-four performance in the Smith Fieldhouse, a facility that sits at 4,553 feet of elevation and has had more than a few star athletes shoot their shot. 

Troutner ran 3:59.2, which converts to a NCAA lead of 3:54.51 and a new Cougar program record. 

It also marked the first sub-four indoor mile in Utah history. Without the conversion, Troutner sits seventh all-time in BYU history, and fourth in the nation. Once he takes a trip down to sea level, expect Troutner to easily surpass  his converted time.


This is the beginning of a weekly column on FloTrack by intern Maxx Bradley. If you have any story tips, please email him at