June 10, 2010

By Doug Binder, Special to NCAA.com

EUGENE, Ore. -- Lisa Koll led a one-two finish for Iowa State in the 10,000 meters on Wednesday, closing the first day of competition at the NCAA Division I Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field.

Koll, who has been dominant on the track this spring, was a heavy favorite coming in.

The field endured wind and steady rain through much of the race, but Koll was undeterred. With seven laps left in the 25-lap race, Koll took a signal from her coach and opened up a wide lead on the field.

"The plan was to go any time after the 5K," Koll said. "I kept looking at my coach, and with two miles to go he said (wait) one more lap."

Koll smiled through her final four laps, and was particularly happy to see teammate Betsy Saina trailing her in second place.

The Cyclones picked up 18 points for the one-two sweep and hold the lead after the first day of competition. Hawaii-Manoa and Southern Illinois were tied for second with 10 points each.

Koll plans to double and will run in the 5,000 meters on Friday.

"It felt like a workout," Koll said after 10,000.

In other finals, Amber Kaufman of Hawaii-Manoa, won the high jump with a leap of 6 feet, 1 ¼ inches.

In the discus, Jeneva McCall of Southern Illinois threw 180-4 on her third attempt and that distance held up through the finals. McCall won the competition by more than eight feet.

"I was missing a lot," McCall said. "Little did I know, but my arm kind of died out (in the finals). Usually when it's a good throw I can hear my arm coming like a freight train."

McCall's throw was good enough. Her second-best throw was also far enough that it would have won the competition.

In the heptathlon, Alabama's Chealsea Taylor used a 6-1 ½ clearance in the high jump to take a big jump on the competition. She leads reigning NCAA champion Brianne Theisen of Oregon by four points after the first four events.

Taylor has 3,619 points to Theisen's 3,615.

Theisen ran a school-record time of 13.39 seconds to score 1,066 points in the 100-meter hurdles, which is the first event.

Taylor's high jump topped Kaufman's winning mark in the individual high jump event. She also posted the fastest 200 meters (24.09 seconds) of the day.

Reigning team champion Texas A&M suffered a blow when sprinter and hurdler Gabby Mayo was pulled from the competition because of an injury to her quadriceps.

Mayo, fourth in the 100 hurdles and fifth in the 100 meters last year, is a key contributor on the Aggies' top-ranked 4x100 relay as well.

Mayo warmed up on Wednesday and wanted to run, Texas A&M coach Pat Henry said.

The coach didn't like what he saw, however, and decided it was in Mayo's best interest not to run and risk making the injury even worse.

"It's always hard losing a great teammate like her," said Porscha Lucas, one of Mayo's relay teammates. "In a meet like this you always have to step up and continue to do what we've been doing."

Even without Mayo, Texas A&M posted the fastest time in the prelims of the 4x100 relay with a time of 43.41 seconds.

The loss of Mayo may help Oregon, which is the other favorite to win the team title. The Ducks picked up six points with Nicole Blood's third place finish in the 10,000 meters and Theisen is neck-and-neck with Taylor in the heptathlon, which concludes Thursday.