Abby Steiner’s 200m world lead and Athing Mu’s 4x400m leg impress in final all-women’s session on Saturday night in Fayetteville

With the quality of the women’s endurance events not matching the men’s at the NCAA Indoor Championships, it was the sprinters who stole the show in a final session (March 13) which was purely an all women’s affair.

Kentucky’s Abby Steiner narrowly won the 200m in lane five in 22.38 from Tamara Clark’s 22.45 a lane outside her. The winning time which was an outright PB, overhauled Shaunae Miller-Uibo’s 22.40, which was also set in Fayetteville in January, as the world lead.

It moved Steiner to equal fifth all-time and equalled Gabby Thomas’s US national collegiate and meeting record. Steiner, who held a narrow gap into the final straight, said: “Amazing. I can’t believe it. I tried to keep my form as best as I could.”

Jamaica also seem to have unearthed another world class sprinter as Oregon’s Kemba Nelson stormed to a clear and shock 60m win in a collegiate and meeting record of 7.05. Her pre-championships best was a mere 7.19 and her modest 100m PB of 11.49 is clearly due some major revision. “That’s crazy,” said a stunned Nelson.

TeeTee Terry was a metre back with 7.14, which was disappointing after a 7.09 heat.

There was also a shock in the 400m as world under-20 record-holder Athing Mu was beaten by USC’s Kaelin Roberts’ 50.84. The 2019 champion’s previous indoor best was 51.50 and the time is quicker than her outdoor best.

Roberts was through 200m in 23.70 to Mu’s 23.75 and making the teenager run wide and then holding her off on the final bend she then pulled away in the straight to win by just short of two metres from Mu’s 51.03, who lost momentum after clashing with the race winner.

Fourth in the race and fifth overall was European junior silver medallist Amber Anning, who ran a fine outright PB of 51.83 to move to 12th all-time indoors among British athletes. She was through 200m in 24.42.

That was not the end of Mu’s contribution though as the meeting ended with a high quality 4x400m as Texas A&M won in a meeting record of 3:26.68 but just fell short of their Collegiate record and world lead 3:26.27. However, it was notably faster than the Netherlands ran in winning the European title the previous week.

Pic: Kirby Lee

The Texas team were led off by Jania Martin’s 53.16 and then Charokee Young’s 50.97 moved them ahead. Tieera Robinson-Jones ran 53.01 and dropped to second as she was overtaken by USC’s Briton Nicole Yeargin’s 52.08 final stretch surge.

That meant Mu was setting off immediately behind her individual conqueror Roberts though the long-legged teenager decisively kicked past just before bell and in full flow she left Roberts well behind.

Making up for her earlier disappointment, she was timed in a superb 49.54 closing leg to help her team win by over a second from USC (3:27.91) as a fatigued Roberts ran 51.07.

No one has ever run a 400m or 4x400m leg as fast as Mu ran indoors.

Kentucky were fourth in their heat with 200m winner Steiner contributing a 51.75 leg. LSU won their heat in 3:29.69 helped by Anning running the fastest leg in the heat with a 51.46 anchor having set off over one and a half seconds back.

Aaliyah Miller of Baylor won the 800m in a PB and meeting record 2:00.69. She led through 200m in 27.69, 400m in a seemingly suicidal 56.90 and though slowing through 600m in 87.49 for a two-second lead and struggling through a painful 33.21 final lap, she won by a few metres from Laurie Barton.

Another Baylor winner was Ackera Nugent who took the 60m hurdles title in 7.92 from fellow Jamaican Daszay Freeman who ran 7.99.

Colorado’s Sage Hurta won the mile in a PB 4:30.58 thanks to a strong ever faster last three laps which she covered in 33.44, 32.07 and 31.12 to win by nearly two seconds.

The 3000m was a close race which saw seven together with 400m to go but Brigham Young’s Courtney Wayment had the strongest finish as she closed with laps of 33.04 and 31.20 to win in 9:01.47 just ahead of Lauren Gregory’s 9:01.67.

The day’s only women’s field event was the triple jump and it was close and high quality as both Texas Tech’s Nigerian Ruth Osoro and Texas A&M’s Ghanaian Deborah Acquah equalled the meeting record with 14.27m leaps but Osoro won on countback.

Acquah led the opening round with a 13.92m but improved her PB with her 14.27m in the second round.
Usoro was struggling back in fifth until she moved into second with a 14.21m in the fifth round and that jumped proved the decider when she went six centimetres further in the final round as Acquah’s second best was her opener of 13.82m.

This proved the most international event of the championships as six different nations featured in the top seven.

Despite having no individual wins on the final day, Arkansas won the team title from Baylor.

Results
Women

60
1 Kemba Nelson JAM Oregon 7.05
2 TeeTee Terry USC 7.14
3 Kiara Grant JAM NorfolkSt 7.16
4 Tamara Clark Alabama 7.18
5 Alfreda Steele Miami 7.22
6 Joella Lloyd ANT Tennessee 7.23
7 Jada Baylark Arkansas 7.23
8 Halle Hazzard GRN Virginia 7.27

200
r1

1 Kynnedy Flannel Texas 22.64
2 TeeTee Terry USC 22.75
3 Anavia Battle OhioSt 22.76
4 Favour Ofili NGR LSU 22.96
r2
1 Abby Steiner Kentucky 22.38
2 Tamara Clark Alabama 22.45
3 Delecia McDuffie NC A&T 23.01
4 Amira Young Minnesota 23.47

400
r1

1 Talitha Diggs Florida 51.26
2 Tiana Wilson Arkansas 52.02
3 Rosaline Effiong Arkansas 52.50
4 Kennedy Simon Texas 52.69
r2
1 Kaelin Roberts USC 50.84
2 Athing Mu TexasA&M 51.03
3 Charokee Young JAM TexasA&M 51.41
4 Amber Anning GBR LSU 51.83

800
1 Aaliyah Miller Baylor 2:00.69
2 Laurie Barton Clemson 2:01.21
3 Shafiqua Maloney VIN Arkansas 2:01.22
4 Lindsey Butler VATech 2:02.15
5 Claire Seymour BYU 2:02.25
6 Gabrielle Wilkinson Florida 2:03.32
7 McKenna Keegan Villanova 2:04.26
8 Sarah Hendrick KennesawSt 2:04.36

Mile
1 Sage Hurta Colorado 4:30.58
2 Kristlin Gear Arkansas 4:32.37
3 Kennedy Thomson CAN Arkansas 4:33.95
4 Kaley Richards UMass-Lowell 4:36.26
5 Allison Guagenti OhioSt 4:36.71
6 Kate Hunter BYU 4:37.65
7 Aneta Konieczek POL Oregon 4:38.46
8 Katie Rainsberger Washington 4:39.67
9 Gracie Hyde Arkansas 4:44.40
10 Heather Hanson BYU 4:48.97

3000
1 Courtney Wayment BYU 9:01.47
2 Lauren Gregory Arkansas 9:01.67
3 Joyce Kimeli KEN Auburn 9:02.79
4 Katie Izzo Arkansas 9:03.85
5 Abby Gray Arkansas 9:05.52
6 Jessica Drop Georgia 9:05.98
7 Olivia Hoj BYU 9:06.77
8 Maudie Skyring AUS FloridaSt 9:09.05
9 Logan Morris Arkansas 9:10.40
10 Jennie Baragar-Petrash CAN NDakotaSt 9:10.51
11 Alyson Churchill FloridaSt 9:14.91
12 Elly Henes NC State 9:19.29
13 Olivia Markezich NotreDame 9:21.74
14 Hannah Brookover WakeForest 9:28.70
15 Allie Schadler Washington 9:29.83
– Allison Guagenti OhioSt dns

60H
1 Ackera Nugent JAM Baylor 7.92
2 Daszay Freeman JAM Arkansas 7.99
3 Chanel Brissett Texas 8.01
4 Tiara McMinn Miami 8.01
5 Milan Young LSU 8.06
6 Mecca McGlaston USC 8.07
7 Emily Sloan Oregon 8.08
8 Trishauna Hemmings JAM Clemson 8.16

4×400
r1

1 Texas 3:33.85
2 UCLA 3:35.23
3 Minnesota 3:35.70
4 Tennessee 3:36.60
r2
1 LSU 3:29.69
2 Florida 3:30.58
3 SCarolina 3:32.67
4 Baylor 3:33.27
r3
1 TexasA&M 3:26.68
2 USC 3:27.91
3 Arkansas 3:28.07
4 Kentucky 3:30.28

TJ
1 Ruth Usoro NGR TxTech 14.27
2 Deborah Acquah GHA TexasA&M 14.27
3 RÅ«ta Lasmane LAT FloridaSt 14.15
4 Jasmine Moore Georgia 13.73
5 Charisma Taylor BAH WashingtonSt 13.61
6 Natricia Hooper GUY Florida 13.53
7 Tikeisha Welcome CAN Oklahoma 13.35
8 Euphenie Andre Missouri 13.31
9 Alonie Sutton FloridaSt 13.29
10 Chantoba Bright GUY KansasSt 13.26
11 Essence Thomas Oklahoma 13.26
12 Rhianna Phipps JAM KansasSt 13.18
13 Titiana Marsh Georgia 13.14
14 Dominique Ruotolo Oregon 13.02
15 Arianna Fisher Missouri 12.95
16 Kala Penn IVB Florida 12.53

Final Team standings
1 Arkansas 68
2 TexasA&M 57
3 LSU 39
4 USC 35
5 Georgia 31
6 Florida 30
7 BYU 29
8 Texas 25
9 Baylor 24
10 Auburn 20