June 9, 2017
EUGENE, Ore. — The 2017 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships are in the books and for the second year in a row, the Florida Gators are your national champions. Just like at NCAA indoors three months ago, the meet came down to the 4×400 relay, but this time, Florida’s lead was bigger. Indoors, Texas A&M only needed to win the race to clinch the national title and that’s exactly what they did, with anchor Mylik Kerley passing Florida’s Ryan Clark on the home stretch. This time around, no matter what the Aggies did, the Gators only needed to finish fifth in the 4×400 to earn their fourth NCAA title in the last six years.
At the final exchange in tonight’s race, however, the outcome was still in doubt as Texas A&M, the only team that could catch the Gators, was in second with Florida fifth. But, once again, Florida turned to Grant Holloway, and once again, the superstar freshman delivered, producing a 43.89 anchor leg — the best anchor of the night, .10 faster than individual champ Fred Kerley — to cross the line in fourth and secure the repeat. Holloway had a hand in 23 of the Gators’ 61.5 points, as in addition to his heroics on the 4×400, he placed second in the long jump and won the 110 hurdles.
Indoors, the Gators lost to the SEC-rival Aggies by just half a point. Holloway won the 60 hurdles at that meet and ran a leg on the runner-up 4×400, but failed to score in the long jump after entering as the #2 seed. Holloway felt partially responsible, and after the long jump, he promised Florida coach Mike Holloway that he would never let him down again. Today, he delivered on that promise.
“A man is only as good as his word, that’s what my father told me,” Grant Holloway said. “So if I made a promise to Coach Holloway, I was going to try my best to keep it.”
Coach Holloway was full of praise for his star pupil. After the meet, he was asked if he had ever coached an athlete with such a range of talent.
“No,” Holloway said with a laugh. “I’ve had some talented kids come through the program. Obviously you have [2016 Olympic champions] Christian Taylor, Kerron Clement. At the end of the day, I think that he’s a special talent.”
No school can match the Gators’ success outdoors over the past eight years. Since 2010, Florida has finished first at NCAAs four times and second three times. The one year they finished outside of the top two was 2011 — when they were third with 53 points, just two back of champion Texas A&M.
Below, we briefly recap the sprint/field action from day 3 at NCAAs — the final day of men’s competition. Though a headwind on the homestretch and cool, damp conditions slowed the times on the track, sprint stars Christian Coleman of Tennessee (100/200) and Fred Kerley of Texas A&M (400) still delivered with titles while Florida’s KeAndre Bates (triple jump/long jump) and Virginia’s Filip Mihaljevic (shot put/discus) completed impressive doubles.
For a recap of the distance action, check out the article below.
Men’s 100: Coleman runs 10.04 into big headwind
Coleman turned heads by running a collegiate record of 9.82 in Wednesday’s prelim, but conditions were far different for Friday’s final as instead of a warm, sunny day and a nice tailwind, Coleman faced cool weather and a 2.1 m/s tailwind. The result, however, was the same, as he blasted the field to win his first NCAA 100 title.
10.04 obviously doesn’t sound like much compared to 9.82, but when you adjust for wind, the performances were almost identical. Coleman’s 9.82 was worth 9.88 in still conditions, while his 10.04 today was worth 9.89.
Video of 100m:
— ESPNU (@ESPNU) June 10, 2017
|3||Christopher BELCHER||SR||N. Carolina A&T||10.19||-2.1|
|5||Jaylen BACON||JR||Arkansas State||10.25||-2.1|
Men’s 200: Coleman runs 20.25 into an even bigger headwind
Just 45 minutes after the 100, Coleman returned to the track for the 200 and though he was pushed to the line by SEC rival Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake, he ran 20.25 into a 3.1 wind to become the third athlete in as many years to complete the 100-200 double, following in the footsteps of Andre De Grasse (2015) and Jarrion Lawson (2016). Considering Coleman swept both sprints at both NCAA indoors and NCAA outdoors and set the collegiate record in the 100 meters, he seems to be a lock for The Bowerman — in the process ensuring Edward Cheserek graduates without winning collegiate track & field’s highest honor.
Up next for Coleman is a showdown with another Volunteer, Justin Gatlin, at USAs (Coleman plans on running the 100 and 200 in Sacramento), and though Coleman was too modest to call himself the favorite, there’s no doubt that he enters USAs as the man to beat.
Video of 200
|5||Christopher BELCHER||SR||N. Carolina A&T||20.66||-3.1|
|8||Jaylen BACON||JR||Arkansas State||20.84||-3.1|
Men’s 400: Fred Kerley comes on strong to win
Kerley, who set the collegiate record of 43.70 at regionals, was with the rest of the field coming off the final turn, but he was clearly the best over the final 100 meters and pulled away to win fairly comfortably in the end in 44.10, despite blustery conditions. Kerley will face his biggest challenge yet at USAs as he takes on Olympic bronze medallist LaShawn Merritt.
|1||Fred KERLEY||SR||Texas A&M||44.10|
Men’s 110 hurdles: True freshman Grant Holloway follows up 60 hurdles win indoors with an outdoor title
Headwinds slowed times in the sprints today, but even so Holloway came close to the 13.41 PR he set in the semifinals to win today and earn 10 big points for the Gators.
|8||Isaiah MOORE||JR||South Carolina||14.05||-2.0|
Men’s 400 hurdles: Florida’s Eric Futch repeats
Florida was counting on a win from Futch to keep its title hopes alive, and he delivered by coming from behind to win by .01, becoming the second straight repeat champion, following in the footsteps of Kansas’ Michael Stigler (2014, 2015).
|4||Kenny SELMON||JR||North Carolina||48.60|
|8||Robert GRANT||JR||Texas A&M||1:20.79|
Men’s 4×100 relay: Houston wins a quick one
With 9.93 man Cameron Burrell on anchor, the University of Houston moved up from second last year to win this event for the first time in 35 years in a school-record 38.34. Houston’s head coach is Cameron’s dad, Leroy Burrell, the former world record holder in the 100, and their assistant coach is Carl Lewis.
|3||N. CAROLINA A&T||N. Carolina A&T||38.57|
|4||TEXAS A&M||Texas A&M||38.72|
Men’s 4×400 relay: Texas A&M follows up indoor win with a sub-3:00 outdoors
Though Texas Tech put up a brave fight and led through three legs, no one could stop Fred Kerley on the anchor leg as he powered the Aggies to their fourth 4×400 title in the last eight years. Florida had to finish top 5 to win the team title and thanks to Holloway’s 43.89 anchor they got 4th.
|1||4||TEXAS A&M||Texas A&M||2:59.98||1:30.88 [1:30.88]||2:15.99 [45.12]||2:59.98 [43.99]|
|2||2||ARKANSAS||Arkansas||3:01.84||1:31.56 [1:31.56]||2:17.26 [45.70]||3:01.84 [44.59]|
|3||1||IOWA||Iowa||3:01.91||1:31.10 [1:31.10]||2:16.88 [45.79]||3:01.91 [45.03]|
|4||5||FLORIDA||Florida||3:02.16||1:31.93 [1:31.93]||2:18.28 [46.35]||3:02.16 [43.89]|
|5||8||TEXAS TECH||Texas Tech||3:02.29||1:30.25 [1:30.25]||2:15.87 [45.63]||3:02.29 [46.42]|
|6||3||ALABAMA||Alabama||3:03.81||1:32.26 [1:32.26]||2:18.98 [46.72]||3:03.81 [44.84]|
|7||7||OHIO STATE||Ohio State||3:05.27||1:33.87 [1:33.87]||2:19.30 [45.43]||3:05.27 [45.97]|
|8||6||AUBURN||Auburn||3:12.22||1:32.02 [1:32.02]||2:24.77 [52.75]||3:12.22 [47.46]|
Men’s high jump: Kansas State’s Christoff Bryan wins it by clearing 2.21m
Texas Tech’s Trey Culver had won the past two NCAA indoor titles, but the outdoor title eluded him once again as he needed three attempts to clear 2.21m (7-3). Bryan, on the other hand, went over 2.21 on his second attempt, and when neither man could clear 2.24, that handed the title to Bryan.
Kansas State [JR]
Texas Tech [JR]
South Carolina [JR]
Iowa State [JR]
Men’s discus: UVA’s Filip Mihaljevic follows shot put victory with a win in the discus
Mihaljevic came up big in the clutch, going 63.76 on his final throw to win the discus and secure a 1-3 finish for Virginia. In the process, he became the first man to win the shot and discus at the same NCAAs since Arizona State’s Ryan Whiting in 2010.
Mihaljevic is coached by convicted doper Martin Maric, who, as we pointed out last year, was rehired by UVA last summer after being forced to leave the program in 2015 after it was found that he was coaching UVA while serving a doping ban — a violation of WADA rules. Why would Virginia rehire a convicted doper? Well, it’s because he brought in a stud like Mihaljevic, who, like Maric, is Croatian.
Mihaljevic said that it was a distraction not having Maric around last year, but he’s not concerned about what people think.
“You can talk whatever you want, but we’re the best throws group right now,” Mihaljevic said.
|Place ▾||Athlete||Order||Best||Rnd 1||Rnd 2||Rnd 3||Rnd 4||Rnd 5||Rnd 6|
Kent State [SR]
Ole Miss [JR]
Virginia Tech [JR]
Arizona State [SR]
Men’s triple jump: KeAndre Bates completes the horizontal jumps sweep
Florida is inarguably the best school in the country for the men’s horizontal jumps, and KeAndre Bates showed why that is the case this weekend as he won the long jump and triple jump — the third time a Florida athlete has achieved the feat in the last four years (Marquis Dendy also turned the trick in 2014 and 2015).
|Place||Athlete||Affiliation||Best Mark||Flight (Pl)|
|1||KeAndre BATES||JR||Florida||16.76m (55-0 )||+2.4||2 (1)|
|2||Clive PULLEN||SR||Arkansas||16.60m (54-5½ )||+1.7||2 (2)|
|3||Scott CARTER||SR||Wyoming||16.24m (53-3½ )||+1.4||1 (1)|
|4||Hayden MCCLAIN||SR||Oklahoma||16.17m (53-¾ )||+1.8||2 (3)|
|5||Barden ADAMS||JR||Kansas||16.08m (52-9¼ )||+1.4||2 (4)|
|6||Montel NEVERS||SO||Florida State||16.05m (52-8 )||+2.7||1 (2)|
|7||Craig STEVENS JR||SO||Kent State||16.00m (52-6 )||+1.3||1 (3)|
|8||Samuel TRIGG||SR||New Mexico||15.97m (52-4¾ )||+2.2||2 (5)|