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Day One Champions:
10K: Marc Scott (Tulsa)
Hammer: Rudy Winkler (Cornell)
Pole vault: Matthew Ludwig (Akron)
Long jump: KeAndre Bates (Florida)
Javelin: John Kyriazis (Texas A&M)
Shot put: Filip Mihaljevic (Virginia)
Scott's kick (which has been documented on this website several times) was too good for the rest of the field. His 55.44 last lap sealed the first NCAA title for the Tulsa senior, and it was a rout. Scott won by one and a half seconds over BYU's Rory Linkletter, who closed about as fast as Scott (55.77) but started the last lap of the race a full second behind.
After the race, the 23-year-old Brit told reporters that it had been a dramatic build-up to the race. Earlier this week, Scott suffered a seizure on the fourth mile of a 10-mile run in Eugene. He completed the run and was hospitalized after:
Linkletter, Erik Peterson of Butler, and Arsène Guillorel of Samford rounded out the top four. Other quick hits:
-Don't blame Edward Cheserek for slow men's championship races. In excellent conditions tonight, the pace mostly dawdled until the last 1600 meters, which Scott covered in 4:15. Cheserek's three NCAA 10K titles were won in 29:09, 28:58, and 28:30.
-Tulsa was the only school with two first-team All-Americans, as Scott's teammate and countryman Luke Traynor finished eighth.
-Kenyans Alfred Chelanga (Alabama), Jacob Choge (Middle Tennessee State), and Antibahs Kosgei (Alabama) led most of the race, but ended up 11th, 14th, and 16th.
-Up next for Scott is a showdown with Justyn Knight and Grant Fisher in the 5K on Friday night. Knight and Fisher are the favorites, but Scott has been known to out-kick Knight before:
Team Battle: A&M and Florida hold serve
It was a rollercoaster day for the Gators, who started off losing major points by unexpectedly missing the 4x100 final--the first time they did so in a decade. But they kept gaining and gaining, as KeAndre Bates and Grant Holloway went 1-2 in the long jump and Andres Arroyo made the 800m final. Texas A&M had a slightly worse day, as Mylik Kerley missed the 400 final and the Bates/Holloway duo knocked down Will Williams by one slot in the long jump.
Holloway is crucial for the Gators' title hopes, as he ran 4x100, 4x400, and the 110 hurdles and long jumped today. Friday's finals will actually be easier as Holloway only has the hurdles and 4x4.
At the beginning of the meet, we had A&M projected to beat Florida 65-63 and sweep the 2017 indoor and outdoor titles. Now the Gators are projected to defend their outdoor title and win their fourth NCAA outdoor championship in the last six years. With a margin this thin, though, all sports cliches apply. Friday night is going to be fun.
Field Finals: Four favorites and a stunner
There were four unsurprising winners in the field tonight: A&M's John Kyriazis (javelin), Florida's KeAndre Bates (long jump), Virginia's Filip Mihaljevic (shot put) and Cornell's Rudy Winkler (hammer). Kyriazis had the best regular season mark by over 10 meters and won by five meters today. Bates was the indoor champ and the top returner from outdoors. (He also has the triple jump on Friday, where he'll go for a rare sweep.) Winkler was the top returner and 2016 Olympic Trials champion. And Mihaljevic fouled out at indoors, but was the defending outdoor champion.
None of that applies to Akron sophomore Matthew Ludwig, who won in a huge upset on a windy night. As a freshman at Missouri, Ludwig was just third at the SEC outdoor meet and tenth at NCAA outdoors. He was third at NCAA indoors this year, and while he did have a 5.70m personal best, his second best jump was a full 10 centimeters below that. His win is Akron's second men's pole vault title in three years.