2024 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships

Florida's Parker Valby Scores 10K Title At NCAA Outdoor Championships

Florida's Parker Valby Scores 10K Title At NCAA Outdoor Championships

Florida's Parker Valby owned the final 1K of the 10,000 meter final on Thursday at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

Jun 7, 2024 by Cory Mull

EUGENE -- Parker Valby waved to the crowd and offered a healthy mix of smiles as she soaked in the 10,000 meter final on Thursday at Hayward Field, finishing with a new meet record of 31:46.09 as she moved away from the field with a little over 1,000 meters left at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

Maybe it wasn't easy, but the University of Florida superstar made the run look like hers to take, authoring a final 1,600m split of 4:49.37 as she lost Alabama's Hilda Olemomoi and Oklahoma State's Taylor Roe over the second half of action. 

"It was a hot one, it kind of felt like Florida out there, tbh," Valby said. "We went out in a very pedestrian pace, which is a little unusual for me, at least. But it was a fun one." 

The win marked Valby's fourth straight outdoor national title and her fifth outright counting her win at the NCAA Cross Country Championships in November. She's got one more event on the docket on Saturday, and the 5,000m could be her best event overall. Valby currently stands as the fourth-best in NCAA history with her 15:07.86 from the SEC Championships.

But as for those wave over the first 1,600m? 

"I'm not going to lie, I don't really remember," she said. "But I literally think it was myself. I was waving to myself. Or it was to my parents and the Gator people."

Valby's performance wasn't a personal best -- that came in April at the Bryan Clay Invitational in 30:50.43, a performance which set a new NCAA record and was the first collegian under 31 minutes -- but it was the seventh best effort overall in the NCAA. 

What's more, Valby added to Florida's crucial team haul, netting 10 points on a day that also saw the Gators claim second- and fourth-place tallies in the long jump. She will likely add another 10 on Saturday from the 5K.

On Thursday, she wore custom-made shoes which Nike sent to her ahead of the NCAA Championships.

"Nike made them for me, yes," Valby said. "Very lovely people." 

Valby's win in the 10K is her first in a Florida uniform and it follows her 2023 title in the 5K. While she currently stands as the second-fastest American at the 10K distance over 2024, she does not have the Olympic standard of 30:40. 

Still, Valby did not even consider going after it.

"Absolutely not," she said. "I have a race on Saturday." 

She claimed a distance double over the indoor campaign, claiming wins in the 3K and 5K at nationals. She set an indoor national record in March, pocketing a time of 14:52.79 at nationals.

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