Takeaway Central: Nico Young, Jasmine Jones And Carley Thomas Shine

Takeaway Central: Nico Young, Jasmine Jones And Carley Thomas Shine

This trio of NCAA record holders, national champions and All-Americans made for one of the fastest weekends we've seen this season.

Feb 20, 2024 by Maxx Bradley
Takeaway Central: Nico Young, Jasmine Jones And Carley Thomas Shine

This weekend at Notre Dame and Boston University, fans of the distance medley relay were in for a treat, while some of the top times in world in the the 60mH were dropped in Albuquerque, NM at U.S. Indoors.

Nico Young, Jasmine Jones and Carley Thomas all played their part in yet another historically fast weekend in the NCAA.

Nico Young Outlasts Parker Wolfe, Leads NAU To No. 3 All-Time DMR

It only made sense for Northern Arizona to run the fastest distance medley relay since the collegiate record was set a year ago. 

Time and time again, Mike Smith continues to have his athletes ready for the biggest stages in the sport, as well as in prime shape to run the fastest times. Sure, the Alex Wilson Invitational wasn't necessarily the biggest stage, but it remained a huge stepping stone.

After a busy freshman year that required transitioning from high school to college objectives, Colin Sahlman, the former Newbury Park (CA) superstar, has now seemingly found his sweet spot.

Sahlman led the way for NAU this weekend, bringing them through the opening 1,200m split in 2:49.9, before handing off the baton to Trenton Givens, who clocked 47.3 for his 400m leg.

Theo Quax, the redshirt senior who has proved vital to this distance squad, churned out a noteworthy 1:47.8 as he made his away around the Loftus Center track a few times.

With 1,600m to go, Quax passed it off to Nico Young, who has established himself as one of the top distance runners in the collegiate realm this winter.

Young, who ran 3:57.33 at nearly 7,000 feet, returned with a ridiculous a 3:52 1,600m anchor leg. The junior started off in third, behind North Carolina's Parker Wolfe and Wisconsin's Jackson Sharp -- who had maybe 10 meters of open track behind him and the chase pack.

With a lap to go, the bell rang as Young, Wolfe, Sharp and Michigan's Nick Foster were all in a position to win, with Young ultimately winning the kick to the finish over Wolfe, 9:17.43 to 9:17.92.

The pair will almost certainly see a rematch at NCAA's next month in Boston.

Jasmine Jones Establishes Herself As NCAA's Top Hurdler

Out in Southern California, the USC Trojans continue to have a tremendous 2024 campaign and star hurdler Jasmine Jones has consistently set the tone.

Just over a mile above sea level, some of America's best went toe-to-toe at the U.S. Indoor Championships, with qualifying spots to the World Indoor Championships on the line. 

When the lights were the brightest, Jones didn't shy away or succumb to the pressure. She battled with adidas athlete Tia Jones in the 60mH final, as the pair clocked 7.68 and 7.78. 

Heading into the collegiate postseason as the No. 4 athlete in the world and No. 3 in NCAA history, Jones undoubtedly the favorite as the lone collegian under 7.9.

Additionally, Jones did earn one of the two coveted spots on the national team, but as of now, she's set to focus on NCAA's instead of World Indoors due to the short turn around that accompany a potential double.

Washington Women Break Own DMR Record, Lead Providence, BYU Under Previous Mark

Ever since Maurica Powell took the helm of Washington's women's program, the caliber of the team has only increased and now they're national contenders from the 1,500m to the DMR year-after-year.

Over the weekend, quite a dew distance blue-bloods made their way to Boston University for the seventh and final meet at the historic venue.

The Terrier DMR Challenge was a distance runner's dream, with just a DMR, 200m, 400, 800m and mile on the docket. 

Despite the shorter schedule, plenty of top distance programs polished their relays up, with the likes of Providence, BYU and Stanford all making the trek.

Coming into the race, no one had ever ran faster than Washington, who owned the collegiate record of 10:46.62 from just last year. 

As the gun went off, Chloe Foerster had the baton in her hand, tasked with setting both the tone and the pace for the Husky women. The sophomore handed off to Anna Terrell after running 3:15.29 for her 1,200m leg. 

Terrell blazed through 400m with a 54.74, before letting Marlena Preigh take over for the next 800m. Preigh proceeded to clock 2:03.34, nearing her PB of 2:03.2.

Just like that, there was just 1,600m between anchor leg Carley Thomas and a potential collegiate record.

Over the course of the next eight laps, Thomas battled Providence's Kimberley May and BYU's Riley Chamberlain, as the trio hammered out a 4:30.02, 4:25.84 and 4:29.69, respectively. 

In terms of the greatest women's DMR battles I've seen, this one is sitting alone at the top. The three fastest times in NCAA history and crazy anchor legs make for a truly historic showdown. 

After the dust settled, the Huskies, Friars and Cougars ran 10:43.39, 10:44.07 and 10:44.67, as Washington's Preigh and Thomas both broke the DMR record for the second time in the last year.