Collegiate Records, Near-Misses & Other Points Of Interest From NCAA Action

Last week, I wondered if Missouri's three-time NCAA champion Karissa Schweizer had a chance to break Jenny Simpson's 4:25.91 collegiate record in the mile after the 5K specialist turned in a somewhat-shocking 4:27.54 run at the New York Armory.

Jury is still out on whether or not she'll go for the mile record or even race it again this season, but after a stunning 25-second 3K PB at the NYRR Millrose Games this weekend, the senior set her first collegiate record in 8:41.60.

The prior record also belonged to Simpson, who ran 8:42.03 in 2009, one of six collegiate-best marks she set that year (indoor mile, 1500m, indoor 3K, indoor 5K, outdoor 5K, steeplechase), although only five count as NCAA records because her 15:01.70 indoor 5K was run on an oversized track.

2009 was the year that Simpson (then Barringer) broke four minutes in the 1500m and placed fourth in the world in the steeplechase as a 22-year-old college student. 

No one is expecting anything of that nature from Schweizer just yet, but for the Mizzou Tiger to put her name up there alongside Simpson's is, one, impressive, and two, proof that she is a major threat to make U.S. teams in the future and succeed on the pro circuit right away. Heck, she nearly stole the Millrose race from three established pros in Jamaica's Aisha Praught-Leer, USA's world steeple champ Emma Coburn, and South Africa's Dom Scott-Efurd — all of whom are Olympians.

Schweizer reacts to her collegiate record-breaking effort in the 3K:

Karissa Schweizer's bold move led to NCAA 3000m record

The Millrose 3K was also originally scheduled to feature Schweizer's NCAA rival, New Mexico sophomore Ednah Kurgat, who stole the show at NCAA XC and dominated the field by eight seconds. But Kurgat was a no-show and UNM did not mention her late withdrawal in their press release about fellow Lobo Josh Kerr's entry in the Millrose Games Wanamaker Mile. If Kurgat is injured, Schweizer's road to defending her NCAA indoor 5K title just became a lot easier.

Josh Kerr 'All But Ensured He Will Qualify' To NCAAs

Kerr, though, showed up big-time for the Lobos in New York. The Scottish-born redshirt sophomore, who was miffed at not being selected for the Commonwealth Games, took runner-up honors behind countryman Chris O'Hare in the meet's most prestigious event, 3:54.14 to 3:54.72.

The defending NCAA champion, who notoriously dethroned Edward Cheserek last March for the indoor mile title, lowered his personal best by four seconds and established a new school and Mountain West record. He also now ranks No. 5 all-time in collegiate history, with Cheserek's 3:52.01 the fastest time ever recorded by a collegian

For all that, Kerr is still only second-fastest Scot in NCAA indoor mile history. The top honor, of course, belongs to O'Hare, who set the collegiate record at 3:52.98 in 2013.

The big run provoked one of the most understated lines ever written by an SID: "Kerr also all but ensured he will qualify to the NCAA Championships in March."

Well, I guess you never know how many altitude-responders will head over to Montana State in the next few weeks.

So Did Justyn Knight

Justyn Knight of Syracuse will also certainly qualify for NCAAs after placing runner-up to Shadrack Kipchirchir for the second weekend in a row, this time in the Millrose 3K, 7:45.49 to 7:45.86. The time is a two-second PB and is very close to landing on the NCAA all-time top-10 list; Cam Levins' 7:45.75 is No. 10 and the collegiate record belongs to Alistair Cragg (or, Mr. Amy Cragg), who ran 7:38.59 for Arkansas in 2004.

Knight is the reigning NCAA cross country champion, but has never won a title on the track. He was runner-up to Cheserek in the 3K at last year's indoor championship.

Mikiah Brisco Is Coming For Hannah Cunliffe's Collegiate Record

Oregon's Hannah Cunliffe set the NCAA record in the 60m almost exactly a year ago with a 7.07 at the New Mexico Don Kirby Invitational. The defending national champion decided to go pro instead of compete for one more year in the NCAA (check out this week's podcast for an exclusive interview with the newly-signed adidas pro), which might have left a void in the college ranks if it weren't for two LSU Tigers, Mikiah Brisco and Aleia Hobbs. 

Brisco is the defending national champion in the 100m, which was something of a surprising win for the then-junior over Olympians Deajah Stevens and Ariana Washington as well as Hobbs, whose 10.85 PB is the fastest wind-legal, non-altitude mark ever recorded by a collegian.

But she proved that NCAA title was no fluke with a 7.08 win this weekend, No. 2 all-time, at the same venue where Cunliffe set her record. The time is tied for second-fastest in the world this year, behind only Murielle Ahoure's world-leading 7.07.

Watch Mikiah Brisco run 7.08, NCAA No. 2 all-time in the 60m:

TASTY RACE: Mikiah Brisco Runs Second-Fastest Time Ever In NCAA

It's not crazy to imagine Brisco and Hobbs going 1-2, in some order, at NCAAs. Hobbs owns the second-fastest time in the NCAA this season behind her teammate at 7.14. 

But actually, since we're on the subject . . . could the Tigers sneak three women into the top three? Junior Kortnei Johnson owns the third-fastest time in the nation at 7.18. 

Just a thought.

The Women's 400m Is Going To Be The Best NCAA Event For The Next Four Years

Two true freshman women are dominating the 400m this season and it's just the tip of the iceberg. Who ya got, Kentucky's own Olympian Sydney McLaughlin, the fastest teenager to ever run 400m hurdles, or Georgia's Lynna Irby, a super-talent in her own right who will be digging for every point she can get to spur the Bulldogs to a team title?

Irby took down 2017 world team member Kendall Ellis last weekend by running a then-NCAA leading mark of 51.48, but McLaughlin responded this weekend with a blazing 51.44 in her open 400m debut.

The New Jersey native is now the third-fastest U20 athlete in world history behind only Sanya Richards-Ross (50.82) and Shaunae Miller-Uibo (50.88).

Fingers crossed that McLaughlin spends some time in the flat track sprint before shifting gears back to hurdles. If Kentucky coach Edrick Floreal is true to his word, she should compete in a variety of events this year.

We Should Probably Start Talking About Divine Oduduru

Texas Tech's star freshman Divine Oduduru entered college with a stellar resume as an Olympic semifinalist in the 200m and a five-time African junior champion in the sprints, but he already looks set to surpass those laurels in his first NCAA season.

The 21-year-old from Nigeria clocked 20.18 to win the 200m at the Texas Tech Open this weekend, surpassing Trayvon Bromell on the NCAA all-time list to rank as the third-fastest in collegiate history. Only Wallace Spearmon (20.10) and Christian Coleman (20.11) have run faster. 

What's more, Oduduru's mark is actually the fourth-fastest in world history. Frankie Fredericks of Nambia set the world record of 19.92 in 1996.

Oduduru's mark is the fastest in the world this year, which reminds me it's a bummer there's no 200m at world indoors.

This is one of the photos in Oduduru's Texas Tech bio, which seems both an appropriate reflection of his college career thus far and a generally good image to end this piece on.

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

Kirby Lee/USA Today

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.