It was a record-setting day at the women's NCAA women's meet on Friday in College Station, Texas.
First up was the Sally Kipyego show. Kipyego was the heavy, heavy favorite for the women's 5,000m title. Andrea Walkonen of Boston University tried to make it interesting by going out in 35 seconds for the first 200 (14:35 pace). No problem for Kipyego. She trailed a little bit behind as these two were ahead of the pack right away. Kipyego stayed behind the slowing Walkonen until the 14th lap and then she went to the front and coasted to her record-tying 9th NCAA title. She and the great Suzy Favor Hamilton now each have nine titles, but Kipyego has a chance for double digits in her final NCAA race on Saturday in the mile final. Kipyego is so much better than everyone else in the NCAA not named Jenny Barringer (who is running the 3k at this meet) that her win looked easy even though she had run the mile prelims earlier in the day. Kipyego said the right things afterwards, telling Texas Tech and us, "She (Suzy Favor) is such a successful athlete and just to be able to be a part of that and tie that record is such a blessing to me. It comes back to a lot of hard work and a lot of people have helped me and I could not have achieved this much success without the support from fans, Texas Tech athletics and so many others." But then we asked her if the win was easy, and she had to smile and laugh and come up for words on how it wasn't really easy (1:08 into the interview below).
It Wasn't Easy, I Promise!!!
Cancer survivor, Villanova's Frances Koons, emerged from the chase pack to finish an impressive 2nd as Walkonen faded to eighth.
|1||Sally KIPYEGO||SR||Texas Tech||15:51.14||(FR)||10.00|
|4||Bridget FRANEK||JR||Penn State||15:59.55||(FR)||5.00|
|7||Janet JESANG||JR||Western Kentucky||16:01.77||(FR)||2.00|
|8||Andrea WALKONEN||SR||Boston Univ.||16:03.04||(FR)||1.00|
|9||Emily ANDERSON||JR||William and Mary||16:03.15||(FR)|
|12||Lillian BADARU||SO||Texas Tech||16:07.91||(FR)|
|15||Silje FJORTOFT||SO||Southern Methodist||16:18.80|
University of Texas high jumper Destinee Hooker accomplished two rare feats. First she got Aggie fans on their feet to cheer for a Longhorn as she attempted to break the NCAA record in the high jump. Then she broke the record, clearing 6'6". Recap from Houston Chronicle here.
Tennessee DMR Gets The Title And A World Record
But the Tennessee Vols saved the best record, a world record, for the final event of the day - the women's DMR. Tennessee was the favorite coming in with its 10:56 clocking in New York earlier in the year, but it owes a big "thank you" for the new record to the women of BYU, who ran a great opening three legs. Katie Palmer of BYU got things started with a 3:22.53 opening leg and was followed by Tennessee's Phoebe Wright in 3:23.18. BYU's Nachelle Stewart (52.82) opened more of a gap on Tennessee's Brittany Jones (53.51). Prep phenom Chanelle Price ran a blistering 2:03.19, but she could only close a tenth of a second on BYU's Lacey Cramer (2:03.30). Thus at the bell, BYU's Angela Wagner was 1.23 seconds ahead of Tennessee Sarah Bowman. Wagner tried to put up a brave fight, but Bowman has run 4:07 for 1,500 and Wagner's best mile is a 4:40. Bowman caught Wagner a quarter-mile in and never looked back. It was a race against the clock and history and Bowman was up to the task. Her 4:31.11 clocking was plenty enough to smash Villanova's 10:54.34 world record from 1988.
It was the third DMR crown for famed Tennessee coach JJ Clark (coach and husband of American record holder Jearl Miles Clark, coach and brother of Olympian Hazel Clark) and his first world record. He told Volunteer TV, "You know, it's very gratifying when you break a world record, American record and collegiate record; I'm not going to say it's not." In our video interview with him, we tried to have him rank this record in his great career.
Track & Field fans were treated to some history Friday night and they are guaranteed to watch another chance at history on Saturday with Kipyego going for her 10th NCAA win.
JJ Clark on His First WR(1:49)
Tennessee's World Record Crew (:41)