A thrilling day one of the NCAA Indoor Championships closed out with the men’s and women’s distance medley relays – one that went to form and the other that ended with a surprise winner.
The Washington women lived up to expectations to claim the women’s race in a time of 11:05.20. Husky anchor Katie Flood, the collegiate leader in the mile and 3000 meters, took the baton well back in eighth but benefited from a slow early pace to catch up with the main pack. The pace continued to doddle until Emily Infeld of Georgetown seized the lead with three laps remaining and pushed the pace but was unable to drop Flood, Anne Kesselring of Oregon and Abbey D’Agostino of Dartmouth. Flood made her move with 150 meters to go and shut the door on her competition. Kesselring and D’Agostino also moved past Infeld for second and third places, respectively.
Notre Dame upset pre-race favorite BYU to take the men’s DMR title in 9:35.48. The Fighting Irish got off to a strong start with Johnathan Shawel’s 1200 meter leg that put the team into the lead early on. Anchor Jeremy Rae got the stick in third place but in close contention. The early pace was slow and tactical, allowing collegiate record holder Miles Batty back into the mix. Rae went to the front with 200 meters remaining and was able to hold off challenges from Indiana’s Andy Bayer and Batty to bring the title home to South Bend.
The 5000 meter finals were also run on Friday evening.
Collegiate record holder Lawi Lalang of Arizona held off a stiff challenge from Stanford’s Chris Derrick to win in a meet record 13:25.11. Derrick made a move with four laps laps to go and another with a lap and a half remaining but in both instances could not drop Lalang.
Betsy Saina of Iowa State took the women’s title after battling with Deborah Maier of Cal on the last lap. Maier moved to the lead at the bell but did not make decisive enough of a move to drop Saina, who retook the lead with 100 to go and pulled away to claim the victory in 15:38.83.
Kimberlyn Duncan of LSU defended her indoor 200 meter title in a convincing margin over runner-up Allison Peter from Texas. Although run in different heats of the two-section final, Duncan’s 22.74 second effort was nearly two-tenths ahead of Peter’s run of 22.95 seconds.
At this first NCAA championships, Ameer Webb of Texas A&M took home the 200 meter title in 20.57 seconds. Akheem Gauntlett of Arkansas ran 20.62 seconds in the first section but his time was not enough and he ultimately had to settle for second.
For full results from day one of the NCAA Indoor Championships, click here.