2022 NCAA Indoor Day 2 Women’s Recap: Lindsey Butler (800), Micaela DeGenero (Mile) and Taylor Roe (3k) Win NCAA Titles As Florida Wins Team Title

By Robert Johnson and Jonathan Gault
March 13, 2022

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – First-time winners were the story of the day in the distance events at the 2022 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships as Virginia Tech’s Lindsey Butler (800), Colorado’s Micaela DeGenero (mile), and Oklahoma State’s Taylor Roe (3000) all claimed their maiden NCAA titles, with DeGenero and Roe using bold late-race moves to break open their races. In the team battle, the Florida Gators piled up 68 points to dominate the competition and deliver the first women’s team title for longtime coach Mike Holloway to go with the nine he has won on the men’s side. Texas took second with 56 – one point more than the Texas men’s winning score – to complete a great weekend for the Longhorns.

Florida’s title was powered by their jumps dominance as Jasmine Moore leaped 14.57m in the triple jump to add two centimeters to her own collegiate record. Teammate Natricia Hooper took second to deliver 18 points to the Gators. Florida also picked up big wins on the track (Talitha Diggs in the 400 in 50.98) and on the straightaway, where Grace Stark ran 7.78 to tie Briana McNeal’s 60 hurdles collegiate record.

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Women’s mile: Degenero blasts it from 400 out 

Going into today’s mile final, the consensus was that this was anyone’s race to win, and with two laps to go, that is how it was playing out as the entire field was within a second of the leader. It wouldn’t stay that way for long, however, as Micaela DeGenero, a sixth-year grad transfer from Michigan, dropped a 30.62 penultimate lap to blast open an eight-meter lead at the bell. Ole Miss’ Sinta Vissa was in second at that point, with the rest of the field slightly further back, but no one could touch DeGenero as she picked it up for a 30.45 last lap to close out a spectacular 61.07 final 400 and win in a pb of 4:33.92. Vissa just held on for second in 4:35.40 ahead of Cincinnati’s Ellie Leather (4:35.62).

Results *Splits
1 Micaela DEGENERO SR COLORADO 4:33.92 PB
2 Sintayehu VISSA JR OLE MISS 4:35.40
3 Ellie LEATHER SR CINCINNATI 4:35.62
4 Rachel MCARTHUR SR COLORADO 4:35.66
5 Olivia HOWELL SO ILLINOIS 4:36.86
6 Eusila CHEPKEMEI SR MID. TENN. STATE 4:37.21
7 Julia HEYMACH SR STANFORD 4:37.28
8 Madison BOREMAN JR COLORADO 4:38.32
9 Katie CAMARENA SR PORTLAND STATE 4:41.93
10 Mia BARNETT FR VIRGINIA 4:42.91

Mile Quick Takes

Quick Take: Michigan grad Micaela DeGenero just dominated the NCAA mile final for Colorado in her first NCAA indoor appearance

Degenero had a rough start to her college career at Michigan as she redshirted her first year (2017) and then only ran a handful or races her sophomore year (2018) outdoors only to see her senior year (2020) wiped largely by COVID. A 4:42 miler in high school, she only ran 4:47 at Michigan (although her 4:20 1500 pb was a slight improvement) and never made NCAAs in track. But she got two extra years at Colorado though which has worked out quite nicely as in addition to her NCAA mile title, she’ll soon be getting a masters in cybersecurity.

Quick Take: Another mile title for the Colorado women

DeGenero became the third CU woman to win the mile in the last nine editions of this meet, and the second in a row after Emma Coburn (2013) and Sage Hurta (2021). One interesting stat we came across while researching that: no Colorado man has won an NCAA track title since Adam Goucher in the outdoor 5k in 1998. Since then, 10 different CU women have won NCAA individual track titles (and Colorado won the DMR in 2017). 

Women’s 800: Butler runs smart and wins in a new pb

Kennesaw State’s Sarah Hendrick took this out like it was a 400, hitting 200 in 27.50 and 56.17. The rest of the field was smart enough to not go with her. At the bell (1:28.78), it was clear that Hendrick wouldn’t be the winner as she’d just run a 32.61. The pre-race favorite Lindsey Butler of Virginia Tech was more than a second back (1:29.90) but she’d win in a pb of 2:01.37 as BYU’s Claire Seymour was second in 2:01.96. Four of the top five PR’d – everyone except Butler – but Henrick faded to last.

Results *Splits
1 Lindsey BUTLER JR VIRGINIA TECH 2:01.37 FR
2 Claire SEYMOUR JR BYU 2:01.96 PB
3 McKenna KEEGAN SR VILLANOVA 2:02.70 PB
4 Valery TOBIAS JR TEXAS 2:03.39 PB
5 Kassidy JOHNSON JR KANSAS STATE 2:03.93 PB
6 Shafiqua MALONEY SR ARKANSAS 2:05.09
7 Aurora RYNDA SR MICHIGAN 2:06.33
8 Sarah HENDRICK JR KENNESAW STATE 2:06.61

Quick Take: Va Tech’s Lindsey Butler was hoping to run the DMR too, but she’ll settle for her first NCAA title 

Butler has had an outstanding season and was at her best in the championships, winning the ACC 800 and DMR titles and now the NCAA crown as well. She wanted to run the 800/DMR double at this meet as well, but her coach told her to focus on one. And while it was difficult for Butler not to run with her teammates in Birmingham, her win today validated the decision to run the 800 only.

“I wanted to run [the DMR] very badly but my coach said you’re a junior, you’ve gotta focus on one thing and next year and the year after that, go for it, do as many as you want.”

She said Hendrick going out super fast wasn’t unnerving as at ACCs she came from behind as well.

Quick Take: Hendrick went for broke today and thinks she’ll be better outdoors as a result

Hendrick said she didn’t want the final today to be like her semi yesterday which she thought had too much bumping, so she wanted to take things out hard. Just not this hard. She said she heard the opening splits – 27.50 and 56.17 — but said she had no other option than to try to keep going as she’s learned that once you slow down in the 800, you are in trouble. She said by 600 (1:28.78) she knew she was in trouble.

Women’s 3000: Taylor Roe wins it from 700 out

In each of the last eight NCAA indoor championships, the winner of the women’s 3000 was also the winner of the 5000 or the DMR. That streak is now over as Oklahoma State’s Taylor Roe, the NCAA XC runner-up in 2020, used a huge move with 700 to go to win her first national title in 8:58.95.

The opening 1600 was not fast (4:56) and with just four laps to run, 14 of the 16 women in the field were still within a second of the league. Something had to give, and Roe decided to be the one to make it happen as she moved to the front and dropped the pace from 37.15 to 33.13 to hit 600 in the lead. The pack splintered almost immediately, with collegiate leader Lauren Ryan of Florida State two meters back and 2022 5k champ (and defending 3k champ) Courtney Wayment of BYU third.

By 400 to go, Roe’s lead was up to 10 meters, and it stayed that way at the bell, at which point NC State’s Katelyn Tuohy and Arkansas’ Lauren Gregory had moved up to second and third. Those two were closing faster than Roe, and by the final turn had nearly caught her. It’s rare for someone in Roe’s position – on the brink of surrendering a big lead – hold on in the final straight, but Roe found something extra and held off both Tuohy and Gregory to win it as Tuohy wound up second in 8:59.20 with the fastest last lap in the field (31.18)

3000 Results *Splits
1 Taylor ROE SO OKLAHOMA STATE 8:58.95
2 Katelyn TUOHY FR NC STATE 8:59.20
3 Lauren GREGORY JR ARKANSAS 8:59.50
4 Lauren RYAN JR FLORIDA STATE 9:01.37
5 Courtney WAYMENT SR BYU 9:01.77
6 Samantha BUSH SO NC STATE 9:02.26
7 Kelsey CHMIEL JR NC STATE 9:04.77
8 Ceili MCCABE FR WEST VIRGINIA 9:05.09
9 Grace FETHERSTONHAUGH SO OREGON STATE 9:05.13
10 Mercy CHELANGAT JR ALABAMA 9:08.13
11 Nicole FEGANS SR GEORGIA TECH 9:08.41
12 Kaylee MITCHELL SO OREGON STATE 9:08.58
13 Katie CAMARENA SR PORTLAND STATE 9:09.43
14 Alexandra HAYS JR NC STATE 9:09.82
15 Emily MACKAY SR BINGHAMTON 9:11.29
16 Tori HERMAN FR KENTUCKY 9:13.70

Quick Take: Taylor Roe – “I said okay, let’s run. Who wants to go run?” 

OkState coach Dave Smith told us that Taylor Roe followed the pre-race plan perfectly. He said he told her to make a move and to make it count with between 1000 and 600 to go. Roe took off with around 700 to go, and when she went, she went HARD.

“I kind of got tired of being pushed around, and I said okay let’s run,” Roe said. “Who wants to go run?”

No one wanted to run as hard as Roe did that early, and that move propelled her to her first national title.

Quick Take: Katelyn Tuohy “really wanted” the win but is pretty satisfied with two runner-up finishes at her first track NCAAs and thinks she’s grown a lot since getting to college

“I really wanted it. I waited too late, I got boxed in. I’m happy with how closed and how I competed. I stayed patient but it just wasn’t enough today,” said Tuohy after the race. “ I  think if I had got out a little earlier maybe I could have caught [Roe] but it is what it is — my first national championships — so I’m pretty pleased to come out with two second place finishes.”

Tuohy said that in terms of race plan that if no one had made a move, she might have made one herself 400 meters out. Tuohy added that she’s learning a lot about tactics in college.

“If you put me in that race last year, I would have panicked so much being boxed in on the rail. I learned to stay patient, that it will open up eventually. I still have a lot to learn but I think I’ve grown a lot since I got in college,” said Tuohy, who ruled out making a 10,000 debut outdoors but said she might run some 1500s to work on her turnover.

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Did you miss our day 1 coverage or our women’s coverage. Complete 2022 NCAA Indoor coverage here. *All Post-2022 NCAA Interviews

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