2024 Bryan Clay Invitational

Best NCAA Track And Field 2024 Outdoor Performances (So Far)

Best NCAA Track And Field 2024 Outdoor Performances (So Far)

These eight collegiate stars have been attacking the outdoor record books this spring.

Apr 11, 2024 by Lincoln Shryack

We’re only a month removed from the NCAA Indoor Championships and nearly two months out from the outdoor championships, but that being said, plenty of collegiate stars have already been attacking the outdoor record books so far this spring.

Here are the top performances of the 2024 NCAA outdoor season so far.

Jaida Ross, Oregon Track And Field

19.71m shot put (Collegiate record)

The first women’s collegiate record of the 2024 outdoor season belongs to Oregon’s Jaida Ross, who heaved a 19.71 meter shot put to break Adelaide Aquilla’s 19.64 mark from 2022.

The record is a huge breakthrough for Ross, who had never eclipsed 19 meters before Saturday. The junior now holds both the top NCAA mark all-time and an early season world leader.

Sam Whitmarsh, Texas A&M Track And Field

1:44.46 800m (No. 7 NCAA All-Time)

The Aggie didn’t qualify for NCAA Indoors in March (he missed out by one spot) and that has obscured an otherwise spectacular 2024 so far. 

Whitmarsh won the SEC 800m in late February and then scored his first big outdoor breakthrough two weeks ago with a jaw-dropping 1:44.46 at LSU— the time is good for No. 7 on the all-time NCAA leaderboard.

Whitmarsh had never broken 1:46 before his big PB in Baton Rouge.

Nico Young, Northern Arizona Track And Field

26:52.72 10,000m (Collegiate record)

These next two performances are among the greatest by collegiate athletes in NCAA history and yet they don’t even count for championship qualifying purposes.

Hitting the 2024 Olympic 10,000m standard (27:00) was Nico Young’s top goal on March 16 at The TEN and yet he did so with relative ease while running 26:52.72 to smash Sam Chelanga’s 2010 mark (27:08.39) by nearly 16 seconds. 

Since the mark isn’t an NCAA qualifier, don’t expect Young to run this event come June at NCAAs, but the 3K/5K NCAA champ nonetheless took a huge step toward booking a spot on the Paris start line as only he, Grant Fisher and Woody Kincaid currently have the Olympic standard in the U.S.

2024 The TEN, Paris Men's 10k - Fisher, Young

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Habtom Samuel, New Mexico Track And Field

26:53.84 10,000m (No. 2 NCAA All-Time)

Young was the first collegiate ever to break 27:00 in the 10,000m and it only took 1.12 seconds for Habtom Samuel of New Mexico to become the second.

The 20-year-old Eritrean has been quietly superb since arriving in Albuquerque this past fall, finishing second at NCAA XC in November before finishing fourth (5,000m) and seventh (3,000m) at the NCAA Indoor Championships last month.

But as he reminded us at The TEN, Samuel’s strengths are best suited for the 10,000m distance, an event for which he had already run 27:20 as an 18-year-old. His 26:53 virtually guarantees his spot in Paris, and without Young running the event at NCAAs, he’ll be the big favorite later this season in Eugene if he decides to run it.

Jordan Davis, Southern Connecticut Track And Field (DII) 

83.77m Javelin (DII record, No. 9 NCAA All-Time)

Welcome to the NCAA Division II portion of this article, as the next two athletes are representing for the small schools. 

Southern Connecticut’s Jordan Davis threw his javelin 83.77 meters at the Texas Relays to obliterate the previous Division II record by over 15 feet. His mark is good for the No. 9 spot across all divisions in NCAA history 

Brynn King, Roberts Wesleyan Track And Field (DII) 

4.68m Pole Vault (DII record, No. 5 NCAA All-Time)

King transferred in from Duke this season and being coached by Olympic champion Jenn Suhr is already paying huge dividends as King has completely re-written the DII record books in 2024.

Her 4.65m clearance at the NCAA Indoor Championships marked her third time setting the DII mark in 2024; King promptly cleared 4.68m outdoors three weeks later to set a new personal best and another DII record.

4.68m stands as No. 5 all-time across all divisions.

Leo Neugebauer, Texas Track And Field

8,708 pts Decathlon (No. 3 NCAA All-Time)

It may have been short of his 8,836-point NCAA record from 2023, but Leo Neugebauer’s 8,708 outdoor opener at the Texas Relays was still good for his second best decathlon ever and the No. 3 performance in NCAA history. Among collegians, only he and Georgia’s Kyle Garland have eclipsed 8,700 points.

The Texas senior set personal bests in the shot put (17.26m) and javelin (58.99m) en route to his 8,708 total on March 30.

Maddy Elmore, Oregon Track And Field

15:15.79 5,000m (No. 9 performer NCAA All-Time)

It was evident that Oregon sophomore Maddy Elmore was due for a 5,000m breakthrough (she had yet to break 16 minutes before this season) after her indoor season culminated with an eighth-place finish in the NCAA 3,000m last month.

Elmore held her cards close to the vest with her controlled 16:13 season opener at the Oregon Preview, but one week later she went full bore, winning the Stanford Invitational in 15:15.79. That time makes her the No. 9 performer in NCAA outdoor history.

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