AUSTIN, TEXAS -- Thursday marked the second day of competition at the 2019 NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships.
Below is an event-by-event breakdown from FloTrack's Jennifer Zahn.
Women's 10,000m Final
This race was Weini Kelati's to lose.
The New Mexico sophomore demonstrated superb fitness all season at this distance, but most notably at the Mountain West Outdoor Championships, where she ran a PR and NCAA No. 3 32:09.10 time--albeit doing so almost completely solo.
Entering Thursday night, that kind of effort would have nearly tie Sharon Lokedi's 32:09.20 meet record from last year.
But Kelati had support and possible competition from senior teammate Ednah Kurgat, the 2017 NCAA cross country champion. Notre Dame senior Anna Rohrer also boasted a superior PR (31:58), but she hadn't been in that kind of form since 2017.
At the start of the final at 9:38 p.m., temperatures in Austin were hovering in balmy but lightly breezy conditions of 77-78 degrees.
And from the gun Rohrer took charge, leading Kelati and Kurgat right behind her. The trio clocked 5:44 for the first mile and then dialed up the pace through the next lap with a 75-second effort.
Things got a little more conservative on laps six and seven in 77 and 79, respectively. Through two miles, the order--or should we say "formation," since that's what was blasting through the PA system--hadn't changed as the group clipped off a 10:56.
But with 14 laps to go, around the 4,400m mark, Kelati took the lead, followed by Rohrer and Kurgat. The pack strung out considerably at that point, with a group of 16 remaining at the front.
Around 5,600m, Rohrer surged back to the front and dictated a 77-second lap. Rohrer seemed to want to close out her NCAA career in style.
Yet, her lead position would be short-lived-with six laps to go. Weini Kelati cranked up the pace and put a 10-meter gap between herself and the lead pack, delivering a 74.
With three laps to go, Kelati built her lead to a solid 20 meters.
With one lap left, it was all Kelati.
But there was a fight for second taking place that suddenly turned into a title chase!
Oregon junior Carmela Cardama Baez looked like she had a ton of fuel left and challenged Kelati with a MASSIVE surge from 150 meters out, but Kelati fired the afterburners to hold her off in the final 30 meters!
Unexpectedly, the 10K became a totally exciting race despite not initially harboring any of the trappings for such a fantastic finish.
Baez impressively cranked out a 68-second final lap to Kelati's 72 and finished with a time of 33:11.56. Baez's finish is Oregon's best placement in the women's 10K since in 1984.
With tonight's victory in 33:10.84, Kelati earned her first NCAA title and became the first Lobo to win the women's 10K, resetting the facility record. Kurgat finished ninth in 33:34.67.
As the only team with title stakes in the mix during the 10K, Arkansas received a boon in Taylor Werner's fourth-place finish, which improved on her sixth-place ranking entering the meet.
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Women's 4x100m Relay Prelims
Unsurprisingly, USC ran in the mid-42s--its three best times this season are 42.44, 42.45, and now this 42.53 effort, which is the second-fastest semifinal time in meet history--followed by four teams that ran season's best times: LSU (just three hundredths of a second behind), Arkansas, Texas, and North Carolina A&T.
Sha'Carri Richardson looked impeccable on the anchor leg for the Tigers, which is great for them, because this race will almost certainly go down to the wire barring any baton mishaps in the final.
In a bittersweet outcome for Houston's squad, the first team on the outside of making the final, they tied the fastest non-qualifying semifinal time in meet history by running 43.48.
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Women's 1500m Prelims
Both time qualifiers resulted from the first heat after Notre Dame senior Jessica Harris decided to take over and dial up the pace on Oregon's defending outdoor champion, Jessica Hull, in heat two, pulling along most of the field through in 4:12. Julia Rizk, who won the indoor title, also qualified through to Saturday's final.
Oklahoma State will be the most well-represented team in the final as Sinclaire Johnson, Jenny Celis, and Molly Sughroue all qualified, followed by Stanford, which will send two in Ella Donaghu and Jessica Lawson-both sophomores who will race in their first-ever NCAA championship final.
Notables who did not advance include Virginia Tech's Rachel Pocratsky (2019 indoor 800m third-placer), Providence's Millie Paladino (2019 indoor mile third-placer), Samford's Karisa Nelson (2017 indoor mile champion).
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Women's 3000m Steeplechase Prelims
With New Mexico's Adva Cohen, JUCO superstar-turned-Euro champs fifth-placer, headlining heat one and Boise State's Allie Ostrander, reigning NCAA champion, taking that mantle in heat two, the field probably figured they had their work cut out for them-or at least Wofford sophomore Hannah Steelman seemed to think so.
She ensured there was plenty of daylight between her and Cohen as she maintained a 20-meter lead through the finish with a PR 9:29.51, which helped set the cut-off time for heat two at 10:11.42. Wisconsin sophomore Alissa Niggemann also set a personal best in the race, and finished second in 9:51.60.
Unlike Cohen, who conservatively paced herself to a fourth-place finish, Ostrander controlled the race from the gun, followed closely by New Mexico's Charlotte Prouse, last year's runner-up, and Furman junior Gabrielle Jennings. Ostrander ultimately won heat two with the fastest time in NCAA semifinal history, 9:44.32 (beating her semifinal record from 2018)-also the Mike A. Myers facility record.
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Women's 100m Hurdles Prelims
Anna Cockrell and Chanel Brissett got things cookin' for USC in heat one with two big Qs in that order and a big PRs, 12.69 and 12.70, but Arkansas' Janeek Brown got the last word by emphatically crushing a 12.53-that's the facility record and the second-fastest semifinal time and fourth-fastest overall time in meet history. It also solidifies her as the fifth-fastest high hurdler in college history.
Arkansas' Payton Chadwick, the 2018 indoor 60m hurdles champion, also qualified, meaning USC and Arkansas will each have two athletes in the final with major team-title implications for the Razorbacks and Lady Trojans.
Faith Ross of Kentucky false-started in heat one and was disqualified.
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Women's 100m Prelims
Despite North Carolina A&T's Kayla White getting out of the blocks as if her life depended on it, LSU's Sha'Carri Richardson turned on the jets in the middle of the race and caught her at the line to tie her lifetime best of 10.99 (eighth-fastest in meet history) over White's 11.01!
In heat one, USC once again took care of business with Anglerne Annelus and Twanisha Terry going 1-2. In heat three, 2016 indoor 60m champion Teahna Daniels of Texas, who's been undergoing a career revitalization this season, cruised for the win in 11.05.
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Women's 400m Prelims
This race was pretty much the definition of wide open--reigning indoor champion Kaelin Roberts of USC failed to advance from the West Prelims--and the semifinals didn't help clear up the picture for anyone trying to predict the outcome of the final as all qualifiers ran 51.XX, and only one of them PR'd in the process.
South Carolina's Aliyah Abrams is the proud owner of that new PR, and she'll join her teammate Wadeline Jonathas in the final.
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Women's 800m Prelims
NCAA No. 2 Lauren Ellsworth of BYU, who posted a major breakthrough early in the outdoor season at the Sun Angel Track Classic with a 2:02.49 PR, failed to advance from heat three after finishing fourth, though the Cougars still advanced a runner in Anna Camp, who entered with the 13th-best time of the season.
The top five fastest times all got the big Qs. Nia Akins of Penn recorded the top time with a PR win in heat one, Jazmine Fray of Texas A&M ran a smooth 2:03.08 to take heat three, Allie Wilson of Monmouth delivered a PR 2:03.12 for second in heat two, Susan Ejore of Oregon finished runner-up in heat three, and Avi' Tal Wilson Perteete of UNLV coasted in a cool 2:03.44 to win heat two.
Shockingly, indoor champion Danae Rivers failed to advance after turning in a 2:04.56.
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Women's 400m Hurdles Prelims
USC had to be pretty pleased with how they landed seven spots in Saturday's finals, and junior Anna Cockrell just locked up her third final in addition to the 100m hurdles and the 4x100m relay by taking the 400m hurdles prelims in 56.05-her fastest time of the season.
NCAA leader Ranae McKenzie of Kansas State unfortunately fell after a brush with the second hurdle, and failed to finish the race. Tragedy also struck Faith Ross of Kentucky yet again in this race, as she took third just outside the qualifying window in heat one with the ninth-fastest time overall.
Although Colorado's Gabby Scott was the last one in, don't count her out-she closed like a champ over the final hurdle despite a misstep into hurdle nine, and had a massive burst of speed in reserve.
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Women's 200m Prelims
Another semifinal, another set of accolades for LSU's frosh phenom Sha'Carri Richardson, who broke the facility record and her PR with a 22.37 clocking in heat two.
But it wouldn't last long.
Heat three featured a trio of Lady Trojans led by junior Anglerne Annelus, who only let Richardson's facility record breathe for a few minutes before besting it in 22.35. Her freshman teammate Lanae-Tava Thomas will join her in the final after running a 22.65 PR to qualify on time.
North Carolina A&T also qualified two, including a freshman with a big PR-Cambrea Sturgis took the heat one win in 22.51 with fellow Aggie Kayla White in tow (22.65).
Teahna Daniels of Texas qualified for her second final on time by matching Thomas and White. The only other Longhorn to qualify for both the 100m and 200m finals in the past 10 years? Morolake Akinosun.
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Women's Hammer Final
Cal Bears sophomore Camryn Rogers upended NCAA leader Beatrice Llano of Arizona State today to earn her school its first-ever women's hammer title on her fourth throw with a huge improvement on her former PR, 69.79m (229'0"). Rogers' 71.50m (234'7") not only reset the NCAA lead and became the ninth-best throw in meet history, but also launched her into the history books as the new No. 7 collegiate performer all-time.
The only thing that could make it even sweeter? Winning on her birthday... which she did. Happy birthday from FloTrack!
Perhaps more remarkably, Erin Reese of Indiana State improved upon her 15th-place ranking heading into the meet by taking runner-up honors with a PR 71.06m (233'2") to close out her senior year.
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Women's Pole Vault Final
Arkansas' prospects heading into this event looked stellar, and so were the results as senior No. 3-ranked Victoria Hoggard claimed the title with a PR of 4.56m (14'11.5"). She competed alongside her classmate, Alexis Jacobus, who finished how she ranked heading into the competition, ninth, which didn't help them earn points, but did add on another All-American accolade for the Razorbacks.
The competition nearly waned into early Friday morning as vaulting completed just before midnight. The favorite, Washington's Olivia Gruver, who entered the meet with the NCAA lead of 4.73m (15'6.25"), never got close to attempting that height as she bowed out at 4.45m (14-7¼). That's where San Diego State senior Bonnie Draxler was able to take advantage-she cleared her first attempt at her PR, 4.51m (14-9½), which locked up silver for her.
Tonight, Hoggard became the second woman in Arkansas history to win the outdoor crown (the first woman was her sister, Lexi).
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Women's Long Jump Final
Florida's Yanis David entered the meet with the second-best jump of the season, and will leave Austin with the NCAA-leading mark, a new PR, and the Division I long jump title.
Her 6.84m (22'5.25") is the best leap in the NCAA in four years, the third-furthest in championship history, and ties her as the seventh-best collegiate long jumper ever.
Georgia sophomore Aliyah Whisby, who led the NCAA since jumping 6.76m (22'2.25") in April, ended up in eighth. Meanwhile, Jasmyn Steels, who entered the meet eighth, took runner-up honors with a giant 6.71m (22-¼ ) PR. The top five competitors all PR'd.
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Women's Shot Put Final
In yet another throws final, the NCAA leader was dispatched by a sophomore as Samantha Noenning of Arizona State chucked a title-winning 18.14m (59'6.25") PR, which occurred on her fourth attempt and just barely edged out Alabama senior Portious Warren.
Noenning, who entered the meet with the fifth-best mark of the season, earned another notch in Arizona State's belt with its fourth shot put title in history. The last Sun Devil to do it was Maggie Ewen, who won it last year.