The University of Florida Gators are back-to-back men’s team champions at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
The third day of the top collegiate athletics meet was marked by a host of finals on Friday (9 June) in Austin, Texas, and a dramatic finish saw Florida win the final race of the night – the 4x400m relay – in collegiate record time of 2:57.74 to hop-scotch over Arkansas, the 2023 indoor champions, to win their sixth title in 12 years (57 points to 53).
Stanford, with 44 points, finished third.
The marquee race of the night did not disappoint, with Texas Tech’s Courtney Lindsey (pictured above) speeding to a personal best 9.89 in a crowded 100m final, as Godson Brume (LSU) came second at 9.90, and Shaun Maswanganyi (Houston) third at 9.91.
Lindsey would make the podium in the men’s 200m, as well, where Udodi Onwuzurike of Stanford ran the third-fastest 200 of the season globally with his winning 19.84. Lindsey clocked in at 19.86.
100m champ Courtney Lindsey: ‘I finally got it here’
“Every race you go into you, I think I can win,” Lindsey told reporters of his 100m win. “You have to have that mindset of winning. I was chasing a [sub-10 second] time all season. I finally got it here, so it’s pretty special.”
The 100 and 200m podiums were a redemptive set of results for Lindsey, who had been part of a winning 4x100m relay team for Texas Tech that was disqualified due to an out-of-bounds exchange at the first handoff.
LSU was awarded the win, instead, coming in at 38.05.
Terrence Jones, another standout sprinter for Tech, was third in the 200m at 19.87.
In the field, Arkansas freshman Jaydon Hibbert, who has the World Lead triple jump this season at 17.87m, lived up to his hype, soaring to a 17.56m on his first attempt to claim the title. The Jamaican is one of several college competitors in action who could be ones to watch at next year’s Olympic Games Paris 2024.
NCAAs Day 3: Men soar in sprint events
The night got off to a thrilling start with that 4x100m relay, but Texas Tech, anchored by Jones, would soon have their joy stripped as the team was disqualified.
Godson Brume, Onwuzurike’s fellow Nigerian, ran the anchor leg for LSU.
Men’s 100m: Lindsey’s finish-line lean
The men’s 100m was as close – and fast! – as can be, as seven of the nine finallists went under the 10-second mark. The race was so fast, in fact, that Noah Lyles’ winning 9.97 at the Paris Diamond League – also held Friday – would have finished fourth.
“It was a fast race,” Lindsey added. “I didn’t get a good start, I felt like I was the last one out. But once I got into my drive phase I let my speed carry me. I saw that I was back in the field, so I just trusted myself.”
“My plan is to go to USA Trials and try to make the [World Championships] team” for Budapest.
Men’s 200m: Onwuzurike third fastest globally
If the men’s 100m was fast, the 200m was ever faster, Onwuzurike’s 19.84 just 0.15 off the collegiate record.
The Nigerian speedster had finished sixth in the 100m, but that didn’t impact his mentality for the 200, where he edged out the 100m champ in Lindsey.
“I can run fast anywhere,” a smiling Onwuzurike told reporters. “It doesn’t matter where I’m at. [Tonight] felt really good.”
In an all-Florida finish in the 400m, Emmanuel Bamidele out-leaned teammate Ryan Willie for the title, 44.24 to 44.25.
NCAAs Day 3: Florida sets collegiate record in 4x400m relay
The drama crescendoed in the men’s 4x400m relay, which Florida led from the start and held off a surging Arizona State, the victory sealing the Gators’ team title.
Will Sumner impressed in the 800m, the Georgia freshman leading from the start and then breaking away from the pack to cruise to a 1:44.26, the third-fastest time in the world this year.
Two nights after he won the 10,000m, Ky Robinson of Stanford captured the 5000m, as well, clocking in at 14:04.77.
Turner Washington’s win in discus was dramatic: The Arizona State Sun Devil heaved his winning 66.22m in his final throw of the night, running across the track and roaring at the crowd, tearing off his jersey top.
The high jump was thrilling, too, with Romaine Beckford of South Florida taking gold at 2.27m.
You can find a full list of complete results here.
NCAA Track & Field Championships: Full schedule
The national championships are being held at the University of Texas at the Mike A. Myers stadium. Saturday marks the fourth and final day. All times listed are Central U.S. (GMT-6).
Saturday, 10 June – Women’s Day 2
1600 – Combined events, women
1930 – Field events
2000 – Track events, finals
See the full schedule on the NCAA event page here. A full event-by-event PDF is here.
NCAA Track & Field Championships: How to watch
ESPN2 will carry the action for each of the evening sessions for American viewers.
Saturday, 10 June – 2000
ESPN+, the network’s streaming platform, will have live coverage beginning on 7 June from 1430, and will provide simultaneous coverage of the field events during the evening as ESPN2 focuses on the track.
See the full broadcast schedule here.