The NCAA finals have officially begun.
Day 1 is underway at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.. Today will focus predominantly on the men’s competition, as the men will have only five finals – 10km, hammer throw, pole vault, javelin, and long jump – and semifinals for all relays and all distances shorter than (and including) the 3000m steeplechase. Day 1 also kicks off the combined events competition. We have one Heps representative in those – Princeton’s Stephen Soerens. He’s started the 10-event beast on a good note by setting all-time bests in the 100m (11.11w) and outdoor long jump (7.36mw – 24-01.75w). He sits in 9th overall after 2 events, 74 points out of the #1 spot. The women (outside of the heptathlon) will begin their meet tomorrow.
We do have a number of Heps qualifiers in the Eugene area right now. These athletes are getting some final workouts in before their NCAA events are scheduled to start. We received the photo above of Cornell’s 4×400 team practicing their handoffs – that’s Zena Kolliesuah and Taysia Radoslav in motion while their coaches and teammates look on.
But we do have some other things to share with you besides decathlon updates and pictures of relay handoffs.
As a reminder – we have compiled a full NCAA competition schedule, with links to the live results, on this website.
If you’re curious on the team competition, there is a new online, interactive form chart that fans can follow, use, and modify throughout the meet. Projections can be based on all-time bests, their in-season rankings going into NCAAs, or be adjusted based on actual meet results.
USTFCCCA has compiled all of the major track & field reporting outlets’ event winner predictions into two pages – one for the men, and one for the women. Some of those picks include Princeton alum Peter Callahan (1500m), Princeton transfer Conor McCullough (hammer throw), and Princeton’s Julia Ratcliffe (hammer throw), as well as Oregon in the team competitions (featuring alumni Johnny Gregorek, Will Geoghegan, and transfer Waverly Neer). There are also links to each of those outlets’ NCAA coverage, where you can find additional previews, interviews, and recaps.
One preview that we found that is extremely detailed and goes into depth for each of the 24 qualifying competitors (including photos of all of the qualifiers and lifetime results) is for the men’s decathlon done by Frank Zarnowski of DECA, The Decathlon Association. This 41 page PDF is great for any track and field fan as it helps breakdown the NCAA decathlon history and the field, including our own Soerens.
Between their practices, some members of HepsNation got interviewed by Flotrack as a part of Flotrack’s pre-NCAA coverage. Want to know who Cornell thinks has the best hair, or who Penn’s Thomas Awad “hopes” will be late for the start of the 5km? Check out Flotrack’s video.
With the new schedule comes a new presentation format – ESPN will be either broadcasting or streaming online the championships (broadcasting schedule available here). Check your service provider to see what you currently have covered.
Good luck to all athletes this week!