Dave Hunter loves writing about the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships for Division I. He has been writing for RunBlogRun on the team collegiate championships for several years now, and our readers love his daily columns from Eugene.
Today, Dave wrote about the only men’s final on the track, the 10,000 meters. Twenty-Five laps playing chess with humans is how some have spoken of this classic distance.
Dave Hunter captured the intrigues and battles in the race today, and he also provided us with updates on the Men’s qualifying rounds as well as the field even finals!
Dylan Jacobs, (Notre Dame) used a 55.45 last lap to hold off Alex Maier (Oklahoma State) to take the Men’s 10,000m, June 8, 2022, photo by Cierra Hitner
Men’s 10,000m: Attempted Larceny Foiled
Without question, the collegiate track & field championships are exciting, hard-fought contests. But one of the special and rare aspects of these gatherings is the quest for the team title. Global championships aside, most professional meets are all about individual performances – individual athletes focusing on running the fastest, jumping the highest, and throwing the farthest. There are no team titles in the Diamond League. But at this NCAA championship meet, there is a duality. The collegians, of course, want to perform at their best. But they also want to ring up points for their alma mater, to contribute to the ultimate goal: for their school to take home that coveted national championship trophy.
On Day One – where the men are highlighted – there are only 6 event finals where points are awarded. The overwhelming number of points will be earned on Friday – the men’s final day where points are earned in the then-remaining 14 events. In many respects, Day One points are, of course, welcomed, but aspiring athletes advancing from Day One to Friday’s final is no less important.
The sole track final in Day One’s start list was the 10,000-meter run. No advancing here – it’s all about performing at one’s best, making the podium, and capturing important points for your team. At the crack of the starter’s pistol, 24 athletes set off into the gloaming to begin the 25-lap 10,000-meter journey. Catching everyone by surprise, Campbell senior Athanos Kioko immediately stepped on the gas and quickly, yet smoothly, streaked into the lead, clocking opening laps of 63 and 64 seconds. Just like that, the Campbell senior had an 80-meter lead over the bunched and baffled chase pack. Hitting 3K in 8:16, Kioko looked in control as he extended his lead to 90 meters. Patiently Patrick Kiprop smoothly slipped into the chase pack lead and calmed the pursuers. If Kioko was to be caught, it would be done patiently and over many laps. The spectators, who earlier seemed stunned by Kioko’s surprise move, now began exhorting the Campell athlete onward, showering him with applause of encouragement on every lap. But by mid-race (5ks covered in 14:05) Kioko was losing his grasp on the race as his 400 meter splits slowly crept higher. By 6K (16:56) Kioko’s lead was down to 60 meters, then 20 meters at 7K. With 6+ laps remaining, Kiprop, the patient leader of the chase pack of 17, sidled up next to Kioko as the event quickly transformed into a 2K war to the finish. With 3 laps remaining, Abdihamid Nur, a pre-race favorite, spurted into the lead and the new race was born. Notre Dame athlete Dylan Jacobs quickly covered Nur’s move, as did Oklahoma State’s Alex Maier. A big final lap by Jacobs (55.45) settled the score as the Golden Domer clinched the victory in 28:12.32. holding off Maier, who finished 2nd in 28:12.68. But what about Kioko? The bold early leader hung in there and ran 28:17.17 to finish 4th.
As darkness fell over the gleaming, new Hayward Field, the current leaders in pursuit of the NCAA men’s team championship trophy are Princeton in 3rd place with 15 points; Florida State in the runner-up position with 16 points; and Tennessee, the leader after Day One, with 21 points . The conclusion of the decathlon on Thursday will be the only team scoring event for the men on Day Two. But put your seatbelt on for the men’s concluding team competition on Friday as points in 14 event finals will be awarded. / Dave Hunter /
Decathlon / Day One: Arkansas multi-athlete Ayden Owens-Delerme (4490) is the leader after Day One. The Razorback was aided greatly by his 46.10 in the 400m finale – the fastest 400m ever run in a collegiate decathlon. Georgia’s Kyle Garland (4441) is in 2nd, with Texas athlete Leo Neugeauer (4435) a close 3rd.
mHT: After a back and forth battle, Southeast Missouri State athlete Logan Blomquist (240’8″) won the hammer as Penn State’s Tyler Merkley (238’6″) and Minnesota’s (237’10”) authored a 2nd – 3rd Big Ten finish.
mPV: Princeton’s Sondre Guttormsen (18’10¼) set a new Norwegian record in winning the pole vault. His younger brother Simen (18’6½) finished 4th to give the Tigers 15 Day One points.
mJT: Penn sophomore Marc Minichello got the spear out 266’3″ for the win.
mLJ: The Tennessee trio of Wayne Pinnock (26’3″), Carey McLeod (25’11”) and Anthony Riley (25’7¼”) went 1-4-8 in the horizontal jump, totalling 21 points and thrusting the Vols into the Day One team lead.
mSP: Texas senior Adrian Piperi (70’7¼”) quickly took the drama out of the event as his first-round heave sealed his victory and bettered the field by more than 18 inches.
m4x1 Relay: The preliminary winners in the short relay were Florida (38.94), Houston (38.66), and USC (38.83). All the advancing schools ran sub-39 seconds to qualify for Friday’s final.
m100M; Oregon’s Micah Williams (10.03) looked spectacular in winning his heat and evoking a large cheer from the faithful Duck fans. Florida State’s JoVaughn Martin (10.10) and defending champion Joseph Fahbullen (10.11) of Florida rang up the next fastest times. Athletes had to clock 10.18 or better to advance. Friday’s final should be scintillating.
m400H: Texas Tech’s Malik Mativier posted the best preliminary round, clocking at 48.89; Drake Schneider rang up the 2nd best mark at 49.08. Defending champion LSU’s defending champion Sean “Squirrel” Burrell dealt with early race hurdle woes but finished with the 3rd fastest preliminary time at 49.19, setting up what should be a terrific final on Friday.
m200M: It was all about making statements in this preliminary round of the men’s furlong. Ohio State star and Trinidad and Tobago Olympian Eric Harrison started by winning the first section in 20.18 – a lifetime best. Florida sophomore Joseph Fahnbullen, the defending champion, won his heat in 20.10. A great 200m battle will take place in Friday’s final.