NCAA Championships, dot dot dot

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Random thoughts, news and views on yesterdays action

The 4400 relays are often a microcosm of the meets as a whole. On the mens side, Florida was very good, nearly breaking the collegiate record, but Arkansas was even better, setting a new record with 3:03.50. And the Hogs didnt even use Anton Kokorin on the relay, who was 5th in the open 400 in 46.07

On the womens side, Oregon came in with the 10th-best qualifying time, but you didnt have to look at it deeply to know they were a lot better than that. They ended up winning the 4400, out of the slowest heat

Oregons 4400 had no standout 400 star on it, but was deep with talent from a spectrum of events. Likewise, the Ducks won the meet by twelve points but had no wins in individual events. I dont know if thats ever been done before

When the ESPN3.com feed showed Abbey DAgostino on the start line for the 3000 meters, she was smiling and relaxed, looking like she thought the race was going to be fun. It wasshe went out and finished off her double win. Thats a huge and underrated part of winning, taking joy in what you do. Historic examples A and B: Usain Bolt and Emil Zatopek

DAgostinos double plus a DMR win by Princeton gave the Ivies three titles in one meet. The last time they did that was 1949 (h/t to Hepstrack)

It seems like theres a new star freshman quarter-miler every year. Two years ago it was Kansas Diamond Dixon, last year it was Illinois Ashley Spencer, and this year its Georgias Shaunae Miller. Each one has been progressively faster than the last

The future of the decathlon looks bright for the USA. Wisconsins Japeth Cato set an NCAA record for second-place score, and that was with three big names absent from the competition. Arkansas Gunnar Nixon (reigning world junior champion) and Dukes Curtis Beach (defending champion) both redshirted this year, and 2013 collegiate list leader Jeremy Taiwo didnt compete due to a hamstring injury

Oregons win was big, a fourth straight title, but its still only a checkpoint along the way. The Ducks are still chasing the bigger prize, the NCAA Outdoor Championship. There are several encouraging signs; one is that they left some points on the table by only running English Gardner in one sprint event. Another is that Jordan Hasay competed significantly better in her second race than in her firsta sign that sharpness may be lacking but fitness is very good

Kansas Andrea Guebelle was the unappreciated performer of the meet. She doubled up with wins in the long jump and triple jump. The second win was significant, as her distance of 14.18 meters (46 6.25) is the second-best ever by a US collegian (indoor) and just 2 cm short of a World Championships B qualifier. No American woman has jumped further, indoor or out, since July of 2010

A leftover item from Friday: Texas AMs Ameer Webb was thought to be an upset winner in the 200 meters, but not by me. He was the defending champion. Looking purely at seed times is always a dicey proposition but doubly so indoors, where different tracks are, well, different. I thought Webb and Jackson States Anaso Jobodwana were the best runners in the field, and they finished first and second

Wisconsin ended up third in the mens competition. Top-two finishes by Big Ten mens teams are rare these days, having been done just three times indoors and once outdoors since the Eisenhower administration

Minnesotas John Simons has had a whirlwind of time over the last week. He shocked himself with a 3:59.32 mile out of the B heat at the Alex Wilson Inviational last week, a PR by over nine seconds. It miraculously got him into the NCAAs (as many above him scratched in favor of other events), and then he got himself into the final, where he then scored a fifth place. He went from just another guy to All-American in seven days

Seven of the ten fastest collegiate mens indoor miles were run in the last two years. Much of the credit should go to the Millrose Games, which has revived its practice of inviting collegiate athletes. Four of those seven were at Millrose, and I think the experience those athletes gained has broader implications for bringing courage to collegiate miling

The hoped-for high jump battle between Erik Kynard and Derek Drouin was good but ended up being more or less one-sided. Kynard had trouble early and missed too many heights, only clearing 7 6, while Drouin had the best outing of his career, jumping without a miss through the Canadian Record of 2.35 metres. Ato Boldon called Drouin the outstanding competitor of the meet. Kynard actually finished third on misses behind Mississippi States Marcus Jackson. Knowing how Kynard reacts to losing, Id hate to be his roommate this week

A contender for the outstanding performance among the women is Tia Brooks win in the shot put. The Oklahoma senior threw 19.22 meters (63 0.75), which puts her #5 on the world indoor list this year