NCAA Weekend Recap: Sydney McLaughlin, Sammy Watson Debut & More

Errol Anderson Sammy Watson

Track is back! Several top NCAA athletes made their season debuts this weekend after a long offseason to shake off the cobwebs before the holiday break. Below, we recap some of the top moments.

Sydney McLaughlin Debuts With U.S. No. 2 All-Time 300m

University of Kentucky freshman Sydney McLaughlin made her collegiate debut in the 300m at the University of Indiana, clocking a swift 36.12 to shatter Candace Hill's world junior best of 36.56.

McLaughlin's time ranks No. 2 all-time in American history behind only Quanera Hayes' 35.71, set in January of this year; McLaughlin is the seventh-fastest performer in world history. She also ranks No. 3 all-time in the NCAA behind two marks by Merlene Ottey, 35.83 and 35.96, both of which were recorded at altitude in 1981. The Olympian's prior best was 36.82.

Watch McLaughlin's race below:

Other standout marks from the Hoosier Open included the 5Ks. The women's race saw Indiana's Katherine Receveur win in 15:48.1 over Charlotte Imer of Eastern Kentucky, who ran 16:09. The men's race also saw a winner from Indiana, as redshirt freshman Ben Veatch ran 13:57.27 over a group of Portland Pilots, with Jeff Thies (14:00.55) taking second place and Middle Tennessee State duo Kigen Chemadi and Jacob Choge placing third and fourth in 14:01 and 14:05.

According to USATF, the 19-year-old Veatch's time broke the American indoor junior record for 5K by 11 seconds. The listed record is Louis Luchini's 14:08.37 from 2000, though fellow Stanford Cardinal Chris Derrick actually ran 13:48.26 as a 19-year-old freshman in 2009. We have reached out to USATF for clarification.

Watch the men's 5K at the Hoosier Open:

Other noteworthy marks from Indiana include the men's 500m, where Indiana's Daniel Kuhn clocked 1:01.35, and the men's 300m, where Kentucky freshman Dwight St. Hillaire ran 32.83 to defeat Tennessee All-American Nathan Strother (33.16).

Sammy Watson Runs NCAA No. 7 All-Time 1K

Middle-distance star Sammy Watson has clearly adjusted well to training in the South, as the New York native made her Texas A&M debut with a 2:42.12 1K. The mark broke the Aggies' school record and ranks No. 7 all-time in NCAA history. According to, her splits were 30.33, 32.51 (1:02.83), 33.72 (1:36.54), 33.12 (2:09.66), and 32.46. Watson's PB of 2:40.72, which set the national high school record last March, is faster than the NCAA record of 2:40.79 set by Kaela Edwards of Oklahoma State this year.

After her 1K run, Watson split 55.41 on the Aggies' "A" 4x400m relay. 

Another nice double at Texas A&M's Reveille Invitational came from former Aggie Donavan Brazier, who became the 493rd American to break four minutes in the mile with a 3:59.3 win ahead of Leo Manzano. He also came back with a strong 4x4 split of 46.0.

Watch Brazier's first sub-four mile below:

Charlotte Taylor Leads Great Britain To Win European XC Championships

San Francisco's Charlotte Taylor, third at NCAA XC last month, helped Team Great Britain win the team title at the women's senior European XC Championships on Sunday in Slovakia. She was the top finisher for Team GB in sixth place with a time of 27:23 over the 8.23K course.

Several of Taylor's teammates also competed, but in the U23 race: Isabelle Brauer was sixth overall for Sweden in 21:09 and Weronika Pyzik was eighth for Poland in 21:18. 

Washington's Amy-Eloise Neale, the NCAA XC runner-up in Louisville, placed fourth in the U23 race to aid Great Britain to the team title.


Other NCAA athletes who compted in Slovakia include Jasmijn Lau of Portland (fourth in the U20 race), Sophie Murphy of Iona (10th in the U20 race), Emmanuel Roudolff-Levisse of Portland (fourth in the U23 race), and Sean Tobin of Ole Miss (15th in the senior race).

Christian Coleman Crushes 60m World Record In His Season Opener


Today, in his first meet of the year, Christian Coleman set the bar for his season incredibly high and put the world on notice. 

Vincent Crisp Runs Fastest Collegiate Time Ever For 600 Yards

Kirby Lee VincentCrisp.jpg

Texas Tech junior Vincent Crisp posted the fastest indoor collegiate mark of all time over 600 yards on Friday. Competing at the Texas Tech Red Raider Invitational in Lubbock, Texas, Crisp ran 1:08.16 and held off TCU’s Derrick Mokaleng, who ran 1:08.18.

Austin, Texas, Chasing History With Olympic Trials Bid


Austin, Texas, has hosted the NCAA track and field championships and currently stages one of the largest track meets of the calendar, the Texas Relays. The city has a robust road racing scene, bolstered by the presence of elite athletes and high-level training groups. But Austin has never hosted a USA track and field championship event — not for any distance on the roads, cross country or track and field. And certainly not the Olympic Trials. 

Justin Gatlin Switches Coaches After Investigation Uncovers Doping Scandal


Justin Gatlin has officially begun his career after Dennis Mitchell. Reuters reported on Friday that Gatlin is being coached by Brooks Johnson in Orlando, Florida. Gatlin fired Mitchell in December after Mitchell was implicated in a doping sting facilitated by the British newspaper the Daily Telegraph. 

Robert Kigen, Felix Kandie Headline Napoli City Half Marathon


Nobert Kigen and Felix Kandie of Kenya headline a men’s pro field aiming for a sub-60 minute performance at the fifth Napoli City Half Marathon in Naples, Italy.

Olympians, Top Collegians Clash At Larry Wieczorek Invitational


The Larry Wieczorek Invitational this Friday and Saturday at the University of Iowa has it all: top professional athletes like Fred Kerley, Olympic champions and world record holders like Aries Merritt, and defending NCAA champions like Mikiah Brisco of LSU. 

Centro Passing On Indoors In 2018

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports CentroWillis.jpg

Olympic 1500m champion Matthew Centrowitz is skipping the indoor season and instead will race outdoors in Australia. 

20 Events You Cannot Miss at The VA Showcase!

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Tyrese Cooper

The 2017 VA Showcase saw 11 U.S. No. 1 performances, two national records, and its alumni went on to win a staggering 33 indoor national titles. Needless to say, it was the greatest regular season meet of all time. 

Mondo's Swedish Indoor Record, Men's Pole Vault Summit Marks Invalidated

© Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports Mondo eighth at Worlds 2017

By Becca Peter of @PoleVaultPower

The 2018 UCS/Spirit National Pole Vault Summit in Reno, Nevada, featured some of the best elite performances in the event’s 28-year history, including world-leading marks by Mondo Duplantis and Sandi Morris.

FloTrack To Stream 16 International Events For UK And Ireland

© James Lang-USA TODAY Sports Chris O'Hare

FloTrack will live-stream the following 16 events exclusively for subscribers in the United Kingdom and Ireland.