Schweizer The Miler & Other Surprises From NCAA Action This Weekend


If you thought Ednah Kurgat's trouncing of the field at the fall's NCAA cross country championships was an indicator of the 2017-2018 track season to come — well, you still might be right. But '16 NCAA XC champ Karissa Schweizer of Missouri is making sure we don't forget about her by delivering another all-time great track performance in a decidedly off event, the mile.

Schweizer slashed eight seconds from her best to run 4:27.54 for third place at the Dr. Sander Invitational/Columbia Challenge at the New York Armory. She's now the fourth-fastest collegian of all time and less than two seconds away from Jenny Simpson's 4:25.91 NCAA record. That makes her better, historically, in the mile than the 5K, where her December dual against Kurgat resulted in a 15:17.31 performance, which ranks No. 6 all-time in Division I.

Could Simpson's collegiate record go down this winter? And could a 5K specialist be the one to bury it?

The only other current collegian to break 4:30 is New Hampshire's Elinor Purrier, whose 4:29.44 PB is the ninth-fastest in NCAA history. The senior hasn't run a mile yet this season, but she leads the NCAA in the 3K (8:55.68) and owns the sixth-fastest 800m mark so far this season at 2:04.53.

Below are more highlights from the weekend's action.

Justyn Knight PRs; 5 Collegians Break Four For The First Time

In men's mile action, Syracuse's Justyn Knight lowered his PB by a full second to 3:55.82 and to place runner-up to Shadrack Kipchirchir at the BU Terrier Classic. That race produced the 500th American sub-four mile as Emmanuel Bor of the U.S. Army ran 3:58.77 to break the barrier for the first time. 

Watch the race here.

Not to be overlooked is redshirt freshman Jon Davis of Illinois, who was the 498th American man to break four with his impressive 3:58.46 win at the Illini Classic. He broke a 44-year-old facility record and became the first sub-four Illini man (the prior record was 4:00.17 by Graham Morris), and did so on a flat 200m track, which means the official NCAA conversion for Davis' mark is 3:55.46 -- faster than NCAA XC champion Knight ran in Boston.

Later on Saturday, Western Oregon's David Ribich became the 501st American to break four minutes by running 3:58.88 at the UW Invitational.

Give Saruni The Crown Already

For the third weekend in a row, Michael Saruni of UTEP did something insane on the track. After breaking the world record for 600m last weekend and the 800m school record the weekend before, the sophomore ran the second-fastest 800m in NCAA DI indoor history. His time of 1:45.19 inches closer to the NCAA record of 1:44.84, which has been held by Saruni's coach Paul Ereng since 1989.

The Most Dangerous Sprinter In The NCAA Is Named Lynna Irby

Georgia's newest prodigy isn't a field event sensation, but a world-class sprinter. True freshman Lynna Irby set NCAA-leading times in two events this weekend at the Razorback Invitational in the 200m (22.96) and the 400m (51.48). The 200m time broke a 22-year-old school record and the 400m time is the fastest in school history since reigning Olympic champion Shaunae Miller ran 50.88 to win the NCAA title in 2013.

Irby's run in the 400m was particularly impressive as she took down All-American and 2017 world team member Kendall Ellis of USC in a wire-to-wire victory.

Jordan Geist Continues To Do Big Things

High school throwing prodigy Jordan Geist has transitioned seamlessly to the big leagues in his freshman year for Arizona. The Pennsylvania native set an NCAA freshman record in the shot put this weekend with a mark of 21.45m/70-4. He now ranks No. 7 all-time in the NCAA DI record books.

Here's a fun picture of Geist with teammate Carlos Villarreal, who reportedly became the eighth Mexican sub-four minute miler in history with his 3:59.65 PB at UW this weekend.

If You Want To  Break Four, Go To Oregon

Of the 10 men in the NCAA to break four minutes in the mile so far this season, four compete for the University of Oregon. 

Redshirt sophomore Mick Stanovsek, who didn't even make the team his freshman year and entered the season with a 4:02 personal best, leads the Ducks' descending order list after a huge run of 3:57.90 to win his section at the Dr. Sander Invitational. 

Stanovsek now ranks No. 3 in the NCAA behind Davis and Knight, followed by teammates Reed Brown (3:59.05, NCAA No. 5), Cooper Teare (3:59.29, NCAA No. 7), and Sam Prakel (3:59.56, NCAA No. 8). Brown and Teare are both true freshmen and the race marked Teare's first-ever sub-four. It's pretty wild that Oregon's fifth-fastest guy right now is Blake Haney, who has run 3:56.36.

If You Want To Get Paid, Go To Oregon

News broke on Sunday that Hannah Cunliffe has left the University of Oregon with intentions of turning pro. 

She's the third female sprinter from the 2016-2017 Ducks' triple crown-winning team to leave the program with eligibility remaining, joining Deajah Stevens and Raevyn Rogers, both of whom made their announcements over the summer. (Both of whom also made their pro debuts this weekend — Stevens helped break the American indoor record in the 4x200m relay at the Armory while Rogers set a meet record at the UW Invitational with a 52.24 400m win).

Cunliffe set the collegiate record in the 60m last year in 7.07 and is the reigning NCAA indoor champion in the event.

Five Races That Will Be Especially Close At NCAA Prelims

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The Road To Eugene Runs Through The NCAA DI Preliminary Rounds

The race for the top 12 begins this Thursday in Sacramento, California, and Tampa, Florida, as the NCAA's best try to navigate the preliminary rounds and advance to Eugene. The qualifying system is clear-cut and unforgiving, making events with obvious favorites still very intriguing. Here are five of the deepest events that could lead to some intense battles for the 12 qualifying spots.  

Holloway, McLaughlin, & The 10 Brightest Stars At NCAA East Prelims

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The Road To Eugene Runs Through The NCAA DI Preliminary Rounds

By Lincoln Shryack

Miller-Uibo & Hunter Shine In Boston, Centro Doubles, Wilson PRs; Pro Recap

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With no Diamond League in the schedule, there was no central meeting point for the elite in track and field. Instead, the fastest in the world split up between not one but two street meets and a couple other interesting locations: a distance carnival in Los Angeles, a sprint-heavy meet in Jamaica, and a race in England that had a bar on the track.

Woman Drives Car Directly Into Half Marathon Route

Greg Metcalf Resigns From The University Of Washington

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University of Washington head track and field and cross country coach Greg Metcalf has resigned from his position. A press release from the Huskies describes his departure as "a mutual separation."

What Did It Take To Qualify For NCAA Prelims Over The Years?

Since the NCAA moved to a two-regional system in 2010, the qualification process for the NCAA Championships has consisted of the top 48 individuals and top 24 relays in the West and East regions competing for 12 qualifying spots during the last weekend of May.

House Of Run: Sydney Won't Slow Down

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Jason and Kevin discuss Sydney McLaughlin's NCAA record, what race she will focus on in the future, Grant Holloway's standing in the world, the crowded field in the men's 400m, the struggles of Andre De Grasse and the highlights from the Shanghai Diamond League meet.

How The South's Best Track Meet Stayed Golden


By Dennis Young

USATF Distance Classic Double Has Centro Feeling Optimistic

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By David Monti, @d9monti(c) 2018 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

On The Run: Virginia Tech's Rachel Pocratsky

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The weekend was quite busy for NCAA athletes, with conference championships taking place across the country. One of the stars of the weekend was Virginia Tech's Rachel Pocratsky. The junior swept the 800m and 1500m at the ACC Championships, posting the nation's top time in the 1500m in the process.