How True Freshmen Women Fared At The NCAA Championships

* Jasmine Montgomery during the 2022 outdoor season for Oregon

Photo Credit: Chris Pietch/Register Guard/USA Today Sports Images

By Garrett Zatlin - MileSplit Recruiting Correspondent

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The NCAA Championships have now concluded, leaving us to reflect on the performances of a few recent signees who competed on the national stage.

Today, we're reviewing a (rather large) handful of true freshmen on the women's side. 

Jasmine Montgomery, Oregon

San Antonio Reagan (TX) '21


A superstar in high school, Montgomery has translated her high school success to the NCAA. The current Oregon rookie qualified for the outdoor national meet in both the 100m and 200m.

Despite not advancing to the finals in either race, this was still a valuable learning experience for the Texas native.

Plus, she didn't go home empty handed.

Montgomery also finished third in the women's 4x100m relay. And with wind-legal personal bests of 11.35 (100m) and 23.12 (200m), her collegiate future looks promising.

Related Links: 

How True Freshmen Men Fared At The NCAA Championships

Adriana Tatum, Arizona State

Santa Cantalina (NM) '17


Tatum, a New Mexico native, qualified for the outdoor national meet in the 200m. The Arizona State standout peaked at the West Regional Championships at the perfect time, running a massive 22.77 mark in a barely-legal tailwind of two meters per second.

Although Tatum didn't advance out of the prelims in Eugene, it's fair to say that she has shattered expectations. 

After never being ranked inside the top-30 of any event in high school, Tatum has improved leaps and bounds in the collegiate realm.

Photo Credit: UT-Arlington 

Iyana Gray, UT-Arlington

Aldine Eisenhower (TX) '21


This Houston, Texas native was a standout sprinter during her high school days, specifically specializing in the 100m.

However, Gray has instead found major success in the 200m at the college level.

In the same +2.0 tailwind that we saw from Tatum, the UT-Arlington rookie ran 22.78 in the 200m at the West Regional Championships to sneak into the national meet.

She also attended the meet with her 4x100m relay team.

Neither party fared well in Eugene, but the overall growth that we saw from Gray was very encouraging. She was competitive in a top-heavy Sun Belt Conference this year and had most of her best races in the postseason.

Caitlyn Bobb, UMBC

Harford Technical (MD) '21


A true superstar in high school and one of the top-ranked recruits in the Class of 2021, Bobb has thrived at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

The Maryland native won both the 200m and 400m at her conference meet, was the last woman into the national meet for the 400m and earned a PR of 51.84 in Eugene.

To see that this former high school star still has a high ceiling is exciting. Even more exciting is the fact that she peaked in the postseason better than most veterans do.

Photo Credit: Coastal Carolina

Mekenze Kelley, Coastal Carolina

Smyrna Campbell (GA) '21


Another standout sprinter in the Sun Belt Conference, Kelley earned silver in the 200m and gold in the 400m at her conference championship this spring.

She attempted the 200m/400m double at the East Regional Championships, and although she didn't advance in the 200m, Kelley did qualify for the national meet in the quarter mile event.

Kelley didn't have her best race at the NCAA Championships, but almost all of her best results came in the second-half of the season. She has also made a massive improvement in the 400m.

What was once her high school PR would now be considered an "off" day for Kelley in the 400m.

Jalaysi'ya Smith, University of Southern California

DeSoto (TX) '21


A true high school star, Smith was one of the best overall hurdlers in the Class of 2021 and maybe the best short hurdles talent overall.

No surprise, Smith has continued to thrive in the hurdles, specifically the 100mH. In that event, Smith advanced to the national meet.

Although the USC rookie didn't advance to the finals, she did run a brand new PR of 13.05, a time that is easily the fastest wind-legal mark of her career.

Alexis Glasco, Coastal Carolina

St. Thomas Aquinas (FL) '21


The Coastal Carolina women have quietly assembled one of the best sprint and hurdles corps in the country. In that group is Glasco.

The Florida native has not only flexed a 100mH time of 13.15 this season and a national qualification in that event, but she also ran 11.94 in the 100m this spring.

Glasco was unfortunately DQ'd at the NCAA Championships, but her resume holds sneaky-good value that shouldn't be ignored.

Photo Credit: University of Minnesota

Nyalaam Jok, Minnesota

Annandale (MN) '21


After a highly-decorated high school career in the high jump where she cleared six feet, Jok has only improved.

The Minnesota native, who signed with the in-state Golden Gophers last year, never cleared a height lower than 5-7.75 in the high jump this spring, but ultimately earned a new PR of 6-1.25 at the beginning of May.

A tough outing at the national meet was certainly a tough learning experience for the Minnesota freshman. However, her low floor and high ceiling makes her one of the best young jumpers in the country.

Chloe Timberg, Rutgers

Central Bucks West (PA) '21


A Pennsylvania native who specializes in the pole vault, Timberg ventured east to join the Scarlet Knights in New Jersey.

But make no mistake, Timberg was already an established talent before arriving in New Brunswick. After all, she held a clearance of 14-2.25 in high school and was one of the best young women in the nation for the event.

That status remained true after she cleared a jaw-dropping mark of 14-10.25 earlier this spring. 

And while Timberg was unable to crack the top-10 at the NCAA Championships, her consistency when it came to clearing the 14-0 barrier was very promising.

Olivia Lueking, Oklahoma

Clear Creek (TX) '21


Yet another high school pole vault star, this Texas native cleared 14-3 during her days as a prep athlete. However, at the collegiate level, she has been outstanding.

After finishing fourth at the NCAA Indoor Championships back in March, Lueking had a rare "off" day this past weekend and finished outside of second-team honors.

However, Lueking's current PR of 14-7.5 from earlier this season far outweighs any hiccups in what has been an otherwise phenomenal freshman campaign.

Sophie Galloway, Kentucky

Marshall County (KY) '21


A strong heptathlete in high school, Galloway's versatility has since been utilized across a variety of open events during her rookie season with the Wildcats.

However, it should be far from surprising to see Galloway thriving in the triple jump, arguably her marquee event in high school.

A clutch performance at the East Regional Championships ultimately put Galloway on the national stage. And while she didn't fare too well in Eugene, her season as a whole was still very strong.

Photo Credit: Indiana University

Jayden Ulrich, Indiana

East Alton (IL) '21


The BIG 10 champion in the discus qualified for the outdoor national meet in that event as well as the shot put.

The Indiana frosh and Illinois native evolved into a true dual threat in high school. And since then, Ulrich has capitalized on her momentum.

Fouling out of the discus and placing 17th in the shot put may not have been the NCAA Championship showing that Ulrich had envisioned. 

Even so, her mix of firepower and versatility in the throwing events is a somewhat rare combination for someone as young as her.

Katelyn Fairchild, Texas A&M

Andale (KS) '21


Yet another young throws superstar, this Texas A&M freshman was incredible in high school. Not only was she an elite javelin thrower, but she was nationally competitive in the hammer throw, shot put and discus, as well.

Fairchild was predominately a javelin thrower this spring with a few hammer throw efforts sprinkled in. Ultimately, she further improved upon her javelin PR, earning a mark of 179-2 back in mid-April.

Her silver medal at the SEC Championships and second-team honors at the NCAA Championships should figure to be a very successful first year with the Aggies.