Highlights From Day 4 of the 2023 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships (2023)

The NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships returned to Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas, for the first time since 2019. The best athletes in the NCAA competed from Wednesday, June 7 through Saturday, June 10 for a chance to garner All-American honors and be crowned national champion.

Here are the highlights from each day of the 2023 NCAA championships.

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Saturday, June 10

Texas wins the team title

Behind the dominant sprint performances of Julien Alfred, who won the 100 meters, 200 meters, and ran a leg on the winning 4x100-meter relay, the University of Texas won the women’s team title on their home track, scoring 83 points. The Longhorns amassed enough points to clinch the title after the 200, with three events left to be scored.

Florida was second with 51 points, with individual wins from Parker Valby in the 5,000 meters and Jasmine Moore in the triple jump. Arkansas finished third with 46 points.

Parker Valby of Florida wins her first NCAA title

The 5,000 meters went out slowly in the heat of Austin without the prerace favorite and collegiate record holder, Katelyn Tuohy, who scratched from the event after finishing seventh earlier in the evening in the 1500 meters.

Tuohy’s absence opened the door for Parker Valby, a sophomore from Florida, who was the runner-up in the event last year behind Tuohy. Valby also finished second at the NCAA cross-country championships—again behind Tuohy.

Valby, who is currently struggling with a leg injury, runs only a couple of days per week and spends the rest of the time cross training. She had run only three races this outdoor season heading into the 5,000 at NCAAs.

But she took the lead by 600 meters into the race, and gradually extended that lead, so that by the bell lap she had a 50-meter gap over the nearest pursuers. Valby won in 15:30.57. Everlyn Kemboi of Utah Valley, who won the 10,000 meters on Thursday night, was second in 15:39.57, and Emily Venters of Utah, who was second in the 10K, finished third in 15:42.40.

Britton Wilson is upset in the 400 meters and 400-meter hurdles

Rhasidat Adeleke, a junior from Texas, pulled off a major upset in the 400 meters, beating the collegiate record holder, Britton Wilson of Arkansas. Adeleke ran a great race and finished in 49.20, coming within 0.07 seconds of Wilson’s collegiate record (49.13). Wilson was second in 49.64, well ahead of her teammate, Nickisha Pryce, who ran 50.23 for third.

Wilson had only 25 minutes to rest before her next event: the 400-meter hurdles. No one has ever won both events at NCAAs and few have attempted it. Before the meet, all attention was focused on Wilson and her attempt to double.

But after the shock of the 400-meter loss, Wilson seemed completely out of gas in the hurdles. She finished seventh in 55.92, considerably slower than her PR of 53.08 from the world championships last summer, where she finished fifth.

Savannah Sutherland, a University of Michigan sophomore who didn’t make it to NCAAs last year, was the winner in 54.45, followed closely by Masai Russell of Kentucky (54.66) in second and Chastity Pickett of Campbell (54.86) in third.

Michaela Rose of LSU goes wire-to-wire to win 800 meters

LSU sophomore Michaela Rose took the lead from the gun in the women’s 800 meters, with Stanford freshman Roisin Willis right behind her. Rose hit the 400-meter mark in 58.47, and then immediately began to gap Willis.

Willis hung on as best she could, but with 100 meters to go, Rose had another gear and crossed the line for the win in 1:59.83. Willis faded to fourth behind Gabija Galvydyte of Oklahoma State (2:00.47) and Claire Seymour of BYU (2:00.05).

Before the race, Rose had talked about going after the collegiate record of 1:57.73, set by Athing Mu in 2021, but the windy conditions and 85-degree heat in Austin made that an uphill battle.

Olivia Markezich of Notre Dame wins steeple with fast last lap

Heading into the NCAA championships, Greta Karinauskaite of California Baptist had the fastest 3,000-meter steeplechase time of the collegiate season, by far—9:26.88. In Saturday's final, she ran like a favorite, opening up a big gap on the field. Only Olivia Markezich of Notre Dame kept close, but she trailed by more than 2 seconds after six laps.

But at the bell, Markezich drew closer and then went confidently past Karinauskaite on the backstretch, and Karinauskaite couldn’t summon a response. Markezich won in 9:25.03, a big personal best. Karinauskaite was second in 9:30.85, and Ceili McCabe of West Virginia finished well behind in third, in 9:41.32.

Highlights From Day 4 of the 2023 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships (4)

Maia Ramsden of Harvard scores an upset in the women’s 1500

Heading into the 1500, all eyes were on NC State sophomore Katelyn Tuohy, who has won multiple NCAA titles in cross country and indoor track and was the outdoor 5,000-meter champion last year. This year, she entered the 1500 and 5,000 meters, hoping to pull off an ambitious double.

Tuohy went straight to the front and opened with a 66-second first lap, trailed by Olivia Howell of Illinois. Tuohy slowed slightly over the second lap, but the majority of the 12-woman field hung back.

With 500 meters to go, the hot pace caught up to Tuohy, and Oregon’s Izzy Thornton-Bott came up behind her, closing the gap. At the bell, Tuohy had nothing left. Along the final curve, Maia Ramsden of Harvard moved to the lead and outsprinted the field, winning in 4:08.60, a PR.

Ramsden told ESPN after the race she was thinking down the homestretch, “Wait, I actually think I have the legs. Maybe I could do this.”

Thornton-Bott was second in 4:09.21, and Margot Appleton of Virginia was third in 4:09.30. Tuohy slipped to seventh in 4:11.40, well off her best times in the event.

Friday, June 9

Florida wins the team title with a record-setting relay

The University of Florida captured the team title on Friday night with an exclamation mark, clinching the meet in the final race: the 4x400-meter relay. The Gator team broke their own collegiate record in the event, finishing in 2:57.74, and they edged Arizona State’s foursome, who ran 2:57.78.

It’s the second year in a row that Florida has won the outdoor title, and the fifth time in the last 10 years that head coach Mike Holloway has lifted the trophy. This year, the Gators were led by sprinters Emmanuel Bamidele and Ryan Willie, who took first and second in the 400 meters and also ran legs on the 4x400-meter relay.

Florida finished the meet with 57 points, just four ahead of SEC rival Arkansas. Stanford, with 44 points, took third place.

Ky Robinson completes distance double, wins 5,000 meters

Winning a warm 10,000 meters on Wednesday did nothing to diminish the finishing kick of Stanford junior Ky Robinson. Two days later, he added the 5,000-meter title to his haul, winning decisively in 14:04.77.

The pace was tactical for much of the race until Northern Arizona’s Nico Young went to the front and ran a 61-second lap with 1600 meters to go, stringing out the field. A group of eight formed around Young, and with 400 meters to go, Robinson took the lead and never looked back. Graham Blanks of Harvard (14:06.53) and Jackson Sharp of Wisconsin (14:06.77) finished in second and third.

Robinson is the first men’s runner to win the 5,000/10,000 double since Oregon’s Edward Cheserek in 2015. Robinson improved on his fourth-place showing in the 5,000 meters last year and scored 20 points for Stanford, which finished third in the team standings.

Will Sumner dominates 800 meters

Will Sumner of Georgia, a 19-year-old freshman, took almost two seconds off his previous 800-meter PR to win the national title in 1:44.26—the fastest time in the U.S. this year. Indoor champion and hometown favorite Yusuf Bizimana of Texas was hot on Sumner’s heels, but Bizimana couldn’t close the gap in the final 100 meters. Bizimana finished second in 1:45.74, and Penn State’s Handal Roban rounded out the top three, running 1:45.95.

Sumner was a sought-after recruit in high school and chose to stay in state and attend Georgia. He’s an accomplished 400-meter runner as well and owns a 45.78 personal best dating back to high school. He’s also a fixture on the Bulldogs’ 4x400-meter relay and trains with both the sprint group and distance runners, depending on the day.

Kenneth Rooks charges to 3,000-meter steeplechase win

With 600 meters to go, BYU’s Kenneth Rooks made a hard move to win his first national championship in 8:26.17—a facility record. Duncan Hamilton of Montana State had the fastest seed time coming in and defeated Rooks at the NCAA Western Preliminary meet, but he couldn’t match Rooks’s ferocious kick. Hamilton finished second in 8:32.18, his second consecutive year as the NCAA runner-up. UTEP freshman Victor Kibiego was third in 8:32.49.

Highlights From Day 4 of the 2023 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships (7)

Washington wins 1500 meters for second consecutive year

University of Washington’s Nathan Green won a tactical men’s 1500 meters in 3:42.78, and he became the third different Washington athlete to win a mile or 1500-meter national title in the last year. His teammate—defending champion Joe Waskom—finished second in 3:42.93. Wisconsin sophomore Adam Spencer was close behind in third in 3:42.98.

Green used a 51.88-second final lap to capture his first national championship. The sophomore hasn’t raced often this outdoor season, opening up at the Pac-12 conference championships in mid-May, where he won the 1500 meters.

Thursday, June 8

Everlyn Kemboi of Utah Valley wins women’s 10,000 meters

On a hot and humid night in Austin, Texas, with temperatures hovering around 80 degrees, Everlyn Kemboi of Utah Valley University outlasted a strong field to win the women’s 10,000 meters in 32:39.08.

Emily Venters of Utah was second in 32:47.70, and Mercy Chelangat of Alabama, last year’s champion, finished third in 32:49.62.

With 800 meters remaining, five runners were still in contention. But Kemboi put in a surge no one could match, running the 24th lap in 69.46 seconds and quickly gapping the field. Her last lap was even quicker, 68.81 seconds. She covered her final 1,600 meters in 4:49.67. It was the first NCAA title in Utah Valley’s history.

Highlights From Day 4 of the 2023 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships (8)

Everlyn Kemboi crosses the line in the 10,000 meters.

Kemboi was 12th in the event last year. This time, she said, she credited “trust in her training, and being patient” to her success. She knew she had to have a big kick.

Venters, who had the quickest time in the NCAA coming into the race (31:48.35 from the Stanford Invitational in March) outdueled Chelangat over the final lap to finish as the runner-up.

Kemboi and Venters are entered in the 5,000 meters on Saturday.

Champions seek doubles

Britton Wilson of Arkansas and Katelyn Tuohy of NC State began their quests for two NCAA championship titles apiece.

Wilson is aiming to win the 400 meters and the 400-meter hurdles. Touhy is running the 1500 and 5,000 meters.

Wilson, who is the fourth-fastest American in history in the 400 meters, easily won her heats of both her races. She ran the 400 in a blazing fast time of 49.36, a half second faster than the next-fastest runner, Rhasidat Adeleke of Texas. In the 400-meter hurdles, Wilson ran 54.67, almost a full second ahead of Chastity Pickett of Campbell.

Tuohy was an automatic qualifier in the 1500 meters, running 4:09.83 to finish fourth in her heat. The 5,000 meters is a final only on Saturday, but that race occurs less than 2 hours after the 1500-meter final. Wilson has a tighter turnaround on Saturday, with just 25 minutes between the 400 and the 400-meter hurdles.

Wednesday, June 7

Stanford runners go 1–2 in muggy men’s 10,000 meters

Highlights From Day 4 of the 2023 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships (9)

Ky Robinson of Stanford wins the NCAA title in the 10,000 meters.

Ky Robinson used a 54-second last lap to sprint to a win in the men’s 10,000 meters on Wednesday night, running 28:10. The Stanford runner held off his teammate, Charles Hicks, on the home stretch to capture his first national title. Casey Clinger of BYU closed hard to run 28:13 for third place.

Last year’s NCAA 10,000-meter champion, Dylan Jacobs, dropped off the lead pack after the 6,400-meter mark. The weather on Wednesday night was warm, with temperatures in the low 80s and 60 percent humidity. Some athletes grabbed water cups throughout the race.

Robinson was thrilled that Hicks—the 2022 cross country national champion—was there to finish next to him. “It’s spectacular,” he said after the race. “We work together, we train together, we live just down the hall from each other. We’re best friends, both on the track and off it, and to have someone, you know, that’s your best friend up there with you in the race over that final finish line, it’s fantastic. I couldn’t ask for any more.”

Hicks was equally psyched that his teammate pulled out the victory. “Ky looked amazing,” he said. “I gave it my absolute best effort to try and get him, but we said before the race we didn’t want anyone else to finish ahead of us, it would be each other. So, absolutely over the moon to see we did as a program, and second place is a great finish for me too.”

Robinson, a junior from Brisbane, Australia, competed in his home country at the World Cross Country Championships in February, where he placed 23rd in the senior race among professionals. He and Hicks will return to the track on Friday, where the duo will contest the 5,000 meters. With 18 points, Stanford sits in second place in the team standings after day one, behind Arkansas with 21.

Highlights From Day 4 of the 2023 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships (10)

Hicks, left, and Robinson, right, celebrate their 1-2 sweep.

Fast times in the sprint prelims

PJ Austin ran the third-fastest 100-meter time in the world this year, 9.89, while leading five athletes under the 10-second mark. Austin, of Florida, also ran a leg on the Gators’ 4x100-meter relay team earlier in the day, which advanced to the finals on Friday.

In the 200 meters, Stanford’s Udodi Onwuzurike walked away with the fastest qualifying time of the day. His 19.76 puts him at No. 2 in the world this year. Matthew Boling—the NCAA champion in the indoor 200 meters—did not advance.

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