The past week and weekend played host to the 2012 edition of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Like any race, though there were favorites, nothing is set in stone until the race is finished. Results can be found on the NCAA’s website, as well as any DI school who participated, or had individuals participating, in the meet. This year’s edition boasted some of the fastest and most talented to ever run men’s track and field in the NCAA, as well as some heavy hitters on the female side as well. Below are some of the meet’s highlights.
Men’s 10k- What made this race special was it arguably had two of the best runner’s the NCAA has ever seen in Chris Derrick and Cam Levins. To add even more intrigue, perennial NCAA Cross top-10 finisher Luke Puskedra was in the race, as well as Arizona’s Stephen Sambu. With these four being seniors (and all lacking an individual NCAA title) the race would unfortunately give glory to one runner. Cam Levins ended up being victorious, with Stephen Sambu in second, Chris Derrick in 3rd, and Luke Puskedra rounding out the top 4. The debate now is whether Chris Derrick is the best collegiate runner to ever not win an individual title.
Women’s 10k- This race can be described in two words: dark horse. Former Colorado Prep star and Texas A&M runner Natosha Rogers pulled an impressive upset win, running away from the rest of the field on the final lap.
Men’s 5k- Though not as stacked as the 10k (which really isn’t taking away from how stacked this field was), the 5k worked to cement Cam Levins as having legendary status in NCAA distance running. A small handful of runners (like Galen Rupp) have ever pulled of the 5k/10k double at the NCAA meet, and Cam Levins did it here, beating Paul Chelimo, formally unstoppable force Lawi Lalang, Hassan Mead, Stephen Sambu, and top Wisconsin runner Mohammed Ahmed. This also will help Levins punch his ticket on the Canadian Olympic team this summer.
Women’s 1500- Hands down the best race of the meet. The final lap came down to a sprint between favorite Jordan Hasay, Georgetown's Emily Infeld, and Washington's Katie Flood. The race left viewers astonished, having only a .01 gap between the 2nd and 3rd place finishers in Infeld and Hasay, respectively. Flood ended up pulling away in the final 40m and winning by .3 seconds.
Men’s 1500- Miles Batty got beat, Kyle Merber and Lawi Lalang were non-factors, and Junior Andrew Bayer Capitalized. The race was real slow and not as eventful as some would have hoped. The lack of effort from Merber and Lalang made the race a bit dull.
Men’s 800m- Two words once again: Charles Jock. Look for this Sudanese-American to make a solid (and likely successful) attempt at an Olympic birth this summer.