2022 NCAA Indoor Women’s Day 1: BYU’s Courtney Wayment Wins Again As Arkansas Captures the DMR

Plus NC State’s Katelyn Tuohy Finishes 2nd in Women’s 5000

By Robert Johnson and Jonathan Gault
March 11, 2022

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Below we recap the women’s mid-d and distance action from day 1 of the 2022 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships at the Birmingham CrossPlex. Men’s day 1 recap is here.

Women’s 5000: Wayment Wins Again As Tuohy Impresses In 2nd

It doesn’t get much better than a pair of NCAA champions (BYU’s Courtney Wayment and Alabama’s Mercy Chelangat) and a bright young distance star (NC State’s Katelyn Tuohy) kicking against each other with a national championship on the line. That’s what we got tonight in the last individual final of the first day of the 2022 NCAA Indoor Championships, and with 100 meters to go, it was anyone’s race, Wayment, who swept the 3k and DMR at this meet last year, leading 2020 NCAA XC champ Chelangat leading Tuohy. All three dug deep, but Wayment had the most in reserve, using a 32.31 final 200 to win in 15:30.17 to Tuohy’s 15:30.63 and Chelangat’s 15:31.06.

Courtney Wayment wins the 5000. Via @BYUTFXC

“In my head, for anyone that’s going for the win in the last lap, you’ve gotta say, test me and I have a couple more gears,” Wayment said. “And so that’s what I told myself mentally is I said, okay, if they come up, I have three more. So we’ll see if they can get all three out.”

No word on whether Wayment required all three, but whatever she had was enough tonight.

Earlier in the race, Chelangat had done much of the leading but did not want to do all of the work, resulting in a fartlek-style race. She took the lead for the final time just before 1200 to go and really started to string the field out with a 34.93 lap, but she backed off again, and just before 800 actually moved out to lane two and motioned for someone else to take over. But Wayment was following her own plan, waiting until just under 600 to go to move to the front. She did so with purpose, splitting 35.07, 34.05, 32.31 for her last three laps to take a well-deserved victory.

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Results *Splits
1 Courtney WAYMENT SR BYU 15:30.17
2 Katelyn TUOHY FR NC STATE 15:30.63 PB
4 Lauren GREGORY JR ARKANSAS 15:32.95 PB
5 Kelsey CHMIEL JR NC STATE 15:36.98
8 Gracelyn LARKIN SO NEW MEXICO 15:44.31}
9 Alexandra HAYS JR NC STATE 15:46.25
10 Emily COVERT FR COLORADO 15:56.66
12 Ruby SMEE FR SAN FRANCISCO 16:02.77
13 Adva COHEN SR NEW MEXICO 16:08.97
14 Emma HECKEL FR NEW MEXICO 16:09.63
15 Kayley DELAY SR YALE 16:19.14
16 Maddy DENNER JR NOTRE DAME 16:47.28

Quick Take: Wayment is still winning titles as the only remaining member of BYU’s “Big Three” from 2021

In 2021, three BYU women won individual NCAA titles in three different seasons: Wayment in the indoor 3k, Anna Camp Bennett in the outdoor 1500, and Whittni Orton in cross country. Camp Bennett and Orton have since turned pro, leaving Wayment as the only remaining member of the group in BYU colors (the other two still train in Provo and work out with Wayment from time to time). She delivered tonight to add yet another NCAA title to BYU’s growing legacy. 

Wayent, who was out of XC eligibility, spent last fall mostly rabbitting workouts for her teammates, but she had another season of track and was determined to use it. She said she and coach Diljeet Taylor had been mapping out the double at this meet ever since she doubled up in the DMR and 3k last year. Objective one is complete. She’ll go for the double-double on Saturday in the 3k.

Quick Take: Katelyn Tuohy was the 2nd to last qualifier but now is 2nd in the NCAA and starting to live up to expectations 

Katelyn Tuohy entered NC State with big pressure after enjoying the greatest HS XC career in US women’s history. It now looks like she’s set to live up to those expectations after a bit of a rocky start. Last year, she only ran the DMR at NCAAs as she didn’t qualify individually (and she also didn’t make it outdoors). Her best 3000 time on the year was 9:19. Tonight, she ran a faster pace than that for the full 5000 (15:30.63). This was her first 5000 pb since running 15:37 as a sophomore in high school in 2018.

Tuohy wasn’t even really supposed to be in this race. Tuohy said that during the XC season she had a minor injury that she didn’t tell the coaching staff about. So after she picked up her 3000 qualifier two weeks after XC, she needed to let that injury heal. Then she got COVID. But now she’s better than ever.

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Due to those setbacks, coach Laurie Henes didn’t let Tuohy try to pick up a 5000 qualifier during the regular season. At ACCs, the 5000 went out slow and Tuohy thought her chances of doubling at NCAAs were over but she closed super hard and now is the 5000 runner-up.

Quick Take: Diljeet Taylor was super proud of Wayment for making a big move and committing to it

“I’m super, super proud of her. That was a gutsy effort. That was a very gutsy effort race.

She executed the race plan perfectly and made a move and committed to the move – she made it a little bit earlier than we had originally talked about, but I was super proud of her effort,” said BYU coach Diljeet Taylor, who added that after the race there was a slight miscommunication between her and Wayment as Wayment thought Taylor signaled for her to go with 600 to go when Taylor said she would have probably waited another lap.

“You want to make the last move, not the first move, so I was hoping there wasn’t another move to match [her] move… She continued to push and we’ve been working a little bit on that knee lift at the end of the race, and just that turnover – the gear change – and I think we’ve just developed that in the last two weeks so I was super proud of that effort,” said Taylor.

As for what to expect in the 3000, Taylor said, “I think we are going to have fun. The pressure is off now. Get yourself in the race and see what happens.”

5k MB Talk:

Women’s DMR: Almost Totally New Arkansas Team Wins DMR

Back on January 28 at the Razorback Invitational, the Arkansas women ran 10:51.63 for the distance medley relay. The team of Krissy Gear, Britton Wilson, Shafiqua Maloney, and Lauren Gregory combined for the #3 mark in NCAA history and a time that made them the clear favorites for tonight’s NCAA DMR.

Except Wilson, the #2 seed in the 400, wasn’t running the DMR tonight. Neither was Maloney, the #2 seed in the 800. Nor Gregory, the #6 seed in the 5,000.

None of it mattered. The Razorbacks subbed in three fresh legs and won going away, clocking 10:51.37 – even faster than its dream team from earlier this season.

All four of Arkansas’ legs tonight – Isabel Van Camp (3:22.76), Paris Peoples (52.65), Gear (2:03.76), and Logan Jolly (4:32.21) – were among the top 21 in their main event during the regular season, but all narrowly missed qualifying for NCAAs individually. 

“[That] put a fire behind us,” Jolly said. “We were fired up. We were like, we deserve to be here. We earned this position to represent our team, so we knew this was our role this weekend and we could do the best we could, which was first. So we’re excited we could do that for them.”

At the final exchange, Arkansas’ SEC rivals Kentucky had the lead, and freshman anchor Tori Herman would hold it until just under 600 meters to go, when Jolly took the lead. She would never give it up as she kept pushing, opening up a big gap with 400 and an enormous lead by the bell. The final lap was a de facto victory lap for Jolly, whose 4:32.21 anchor was the fastest of the night. Stanford, thanks to a big kick and 4:33.07 anchor from Julia Heymach, went from fourth to second on the last lap and took second in 10:53.37, but no one was touching Jolly, who was terrific tonight. Oregon was 3rd, Oregon State 4th, Kentucky 5th and Ole Miss 6th as SEC and Pac-12 schools took the top six places.

Results *Splits
1 ARKANSAS 10:51.37 FR
2 STANFORD 10:53.37 SB
3 OREGON 10:55.52 SB
4 OREGON STATE 10:58.76
5 KENTUCKY 11:02.41 SB
6 OLE MISS 11:04.86
7 VIRGINIA 11:04.88
8 NOTRE DAME 11:05.60
9 BYU 11:06.64
10 VIRGINIA TECH 11:08.43
11 WASHINGTON 11:11.58
DQ NC STATE DQ [7.5-3a]

Quick Take: Depth really paid off in the DMRs tonight

It’s always tough predicting the DMR at NCAAs because you never know exactly what lineup teams will use. In our preview, we gave Virginia Tech the edge thanks to anchor Lindsey Butler, but Butler wound up running the 800 only tonight and the Hokies were never a factor. That’s not uncommon at this meet. You’ll often see DMR anchors double back for the 3k if they qualify, but coaches often want to protect their best athletes from racing three times in 24 hours so they’re more hesitant to double someone back from the 800 or mile. When that’s the case, you need to hope that your second or third-best miler or 800 runner is ready to step up. They were for the Arkansas men tonight, just as they were for the Texas men earlier in the evening.

Quick Take: Julia Heymach was proud of how she ran but thought she could have run a bit smarter

Heymach was doubling back from the mile prelims and ran a very solid anchor leg of 4:33 to lead Stanford to a runner-up finish. However, she was a little disappointed in her execution as before the race her coach J.J. Clark warned her that DMR anchor legs can go out fast and, lo and behold, she went out in 30.x for her first 200. Heymach thought that if she had run a little more evenly, she might have been in position to catch Jolly and Arkansas at the end.

Kentucky redshirt freshman Tori Herman got he baton in the lead, gave it her all and dropped the baton right before the finish but recovered and finished 5th

Women’s 800: Butler, Seymour impress

The women’s 800 prelims were a little more dramatic than normal as only two of the six women who had broken 2:04 on the year automatically moved onto the final (although two others did get the two time qualifiers). Based on tonight’s results, it seems as if #1 seed Lindsey Butler is the women to beat a sshe looked like the #1 seed in winning the second heat. The other heat winner was BYU’s Claire Seymour, who came in seeded next to last, but she looked a lot more like the Seymour who finished 4th at the NCAA outdoor champs tonight.

Top 6 800 Seeds/Results
1  Lindsey Butler                JR Virginia Tech       2:01.23 – Won heat 2
2  Shafiqua Maloney              SR Arkansas            2:01.74 – 2nd time qualifier (4th heat 1)
3  Allison Johnson               FR Penn State          2:02.84  – DNQ  (8th heat 1)
4  Katy-Ann McDonald             JR LSU                 2:02.85  – DNQ (7th heat 2)
5  Sarah Hendrick                JR Kennesaw State      2:02.87 – time qualifier (4th heat 2)
6  Aurora Rynda                  SR Michigan            2:02.89 – 3rd heat 1

Results *Splits
1 Claire SEYMOUR JR BYU 2:03.48 Q 1(1) SB
2 Lindsey BUTLER JR VIRGINIA TECH 2:03.63 Q 2(1)
3 Valery TOBIAS JR TEXAS 2:03.68 Q 2(2) PB
4 Kassidy JOHNSON JR KANSAS STATE 2:03.95 Q 1(2) PB
5 McKenna KEEGAN SR VILLANOVA 2:04.00 Q 2(3)
6 Aurora RYNDA SR MICHIGAN 2:04.12 Q 1(3)
7 Sarah HENDRICK JR KENNESAW STATE 2:04.15 q 2(4)
8 Shafiqua MALONEY SR ARKANSAS 2:04.20 q 1(4)
10 Imogen BARRETT JR FLORIDA 2:04.48 1(5)
11 Victoria TACHINSKI SR PENN STATE 2:05.39 1(6)
12 Brooke JAWORSKI SO TEXAS 2:05.42 1(7)
13 Isabella GIESING JR UMASS LOWELL 2:05.50 2(6)
14 Allison JOHNSON FR PENN STATE 2:08.69 1(8)
15 Katy-Ann MCDONALD JR LSU 2:09.12 2(7)
16 Quinn OWEN JR ARKANSAS 2:09.66 2(8)

Quick Take: Claire Seymour is coming on at the right time

Seymour, who was the top returner from last year’s NCAA outdoor meet (4th), said she has had a somewhat “rough” season this year (she barely got into the meet as the 15th seed) but that her coach Diljeet Taylor was able to instill confidence in her heading into this weekend’s meet by reminding her of all the tough workouts she has done to get to this point. Seymour rediscovered her form and looked very strong in today’s prelim. Can she go one better and win the final tomorrow?

Quick Take: Things didn’t go great for Penn State freshman Allison Johnson but she had a great first track season

We spoke to Johnson after her 2022 indoor campaign came to an end. In her first NCAA season, she dropped her pb from 2:05 to 2:02 and won Big 10s.

Women’s Mile: Top seed Emily Mackay is eliminated

The big news in the mile was that the #1 overall seed, Binghamton’s Emily Mackay, didn’t advance to the final out of heat two after finishing 5th in 4:36.34 – just .01 out of an auto spot in 4th. Mackay, who ran the 5000 outdoors last year (7th), closed in 65.02 in heat #1 but that wasn’t quite enough to get out of the super-tight heat where one through five was separated by just 0.19.

Two other runners seeded in the top 8 failed to advance as well, both from Washington, #4 seed Anna Gibson (4:32.34 on the year) and #7 seed Madison Heisterman (4:33.24 sb).

Results *Splits
1 Sintayehu VISSA JR OLE MISS 4:33.13 Q 1(1) FR
3 Julia HEYMACH SR STANFORD 4:33.24 Q 1(3)
4 Rachel MCARTHUR SR COLORADO 4:33.25 Q 1(4) PB
5 Mia BARNETT FR VIRGINIA 4:33.54 q 1(5) PB
6 Micaela DEGENERO SR COLORADO 4:34.19 q 1(6) PB
7 Laura PELLICORO FR PORTLAND 4:35.45 1(7)
8 Ellie LEATHER SR CINCINNATI 4:36.15 Q 2(1)
9 Madison BOREMAN JR COLORADO 4:36.23 Q 2(2)
10 Olivia HOWELL SO ILLINOIS 4:36.24 Q 2(3)
11 Eusila CHEPKEMEI SR MID. TENN. STATE 4:36.33 Q 2(4)
12 Emily MACKAY SR BINGHAMTON 4:36.34 2(5)
13 Anna GIBSON JR WASHINGTON 4:37.70 2(6)
14 Aneta KONIECZEK SR OREGON 4:41.79 2(7)
15 Madison HEISTERMAN SO WASHINGTON 4:42.51 1(8)
16 Bailey HERTENSTEIN JR INDIANA 4:43.48 2(8)

Sinta Vissa came to Ole Miss the long way – from Ethiopia via Italy and DII school St. Leo – but is thriving after moving up from the 800 to the mile this year

4:32 miler Katie Camarena is enjoying her first track NCAAs at Portland State after graduating from UCSB

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*Men’s day 1 recap is here. *Complete 2022 NCAA Indoor coverage here. *All Post-2022 NCAA Interviews

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