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Stan Becton | | February 28, 2022

Kentucky, LSU and North Carolina A&T highlight a record-breaking indoor track & field weekend

Arkansas captures the 2021 DI Women's Track and Field Championship

If you missed 2022's Valentine's Day weekend in indoor track and field, you missed a lovely weekend of action filled with record-breaking times. Here's a rundown of some of the exciting performances from athletes around the country.

Kentucky's Abby Steiner sets 200-meter record

Kentucky's Abby Steiner's name was already atop the NCAA 200 meter record book entering this weekend, but there was one problem. Steiner's name was not alone since she only tied the all-time mark in the 2021 DI indoor track and field championships. That problem would fall to the wayside this weekend at Clemson's Tiger Paw Invitational.

Steiner broke the 200-meter record, dashing to a time of 22.37 seconds, beating Harvard's Gabby Thomas' (2018) and her own record by .01 seconds. Steiner's time of 22.37 seconds sits second in American indoor track history, trailing only the 1996 record of 22.33 seconds held by Gwen Torrence.

After Steiner already set the record in women's 300 meters at Louisville's Cardinal Classic on Dec. 11, her 2022 season is becoming one for the ages.

The Wildcats continue to impress

As if Steiner's performance wasn't enough, the rest of Kentucky's women's indoor track and field team had stand-out performances of their own.

In the 4x400, a relay team of Steiner, Megan Moss, Karimah Davis and Alexis Holmes ran a world-leading 3:27.27 time, good for fourth all-time in NCAA indoor track.

Holmes' success running 400 meters continued in her solo act as she blazed to a time of 51.27  seconds, the fastest in the NCAA this season.

Clemson's indoor track is fast

If you couldn't tell by now, Clemson's Rock Norman Track & Field Complex is fast. The 60-meter hurdles continued a speedy showing as two more NCAA athletes posted personal bests.

North Carolina A&T's Paula Salmon and Kentucky's Masai Russell finished second and third, respectively, in the 60-meter hurdles (Jamaican professional Danielle Williams finished first at 7.75 seconds), each setting personal bests. 

Russell, a senior hailing from the prestigious Bullis School, went under eight seconds for the first time in her career, finishing in 7.93 seconds. In front of her was Salmon, whose time of 7.83 seconds was the second-fastest time in NCAA indoor history at the time. The keyword there is was thanks to the next performance on the list.

LSU's Alia Armstrong accelerates up the history books

At Arkansas' Tyson Invitational, LSU's Alia Armstrong's 60-meter hurdle performance took the track community's notice. Armstrong won the event in 7.81 seconds. Let's put that time into perspective.

Armstrong's 60 meter hurdle time is:

  • The No. 2 time in NCAA history
  • The ninth-fastest time in US history
  • An LSU record
  • The fastest 2022 time in the NCAA and the world

Alia's performance came in front of her mom, who made a surprise visit after booking a last-minute flight. It's safe to say Alia's mom's visit was every bit worth it after such a performance.

The men's 60-meter hurdle continues the show

If the women's 60-meter hurdle at the Tyson Invitational wasn't enough for you, the men's 60-meter hurdle did not disappoint. Florida State's Trey Cunningham ran a personal best 7.42 second in the event, the third-best all-time performance in NCAA history.

In the 60 meter hurdles, Cunningham only trails NCAA track and field legends like Florida's Grant Holloway (7.35 seconds) and Kentucky's Daniel Roberts (7.41 seconds).

The Seminole success did not stop there

Florida State's weekend success continued with Adriaan Wildschutt in the 5K. Wildschutt ran 13:09.30 in the event, good for the second-fastest all-time showing in NCAA history. It's the fastest time since 2012, where Arizona's Lawi Lalang ran 13:08.24.

We knew Florida's men's 4x400 is fast. It just got faster

Florida's men's 4x400 relay team entered the Tyson Invitational leading the NCAA and the world in the indoor event. That wasn't good enough for the Gators as they lowered the NCAA-leading and world-leading time by over a second, finishing in 3:02.09. 

What makes that time even more impressive is that Iowa ran its fastest time in program history, 3:02.40, in the same race, but the Hawkeyes were still over half a second behind Florida's new time.

Notre Dame's Yared Nuguse grabs his second NCAA record

If you didn't know the name Yared Nuguse because he was an Olympic qualifier or because he holds the NCAA outdoor 1500 meter record, you should know his name after this weekend.

At Boston University's David Hemery Valentine Invitational, Nuguse set the men's 3000-meter record with his time of 7:38.13. That broke the 2004 record — that's 18 years ago — of 7:38.59 held by Arkansas' Alistair Cragg. 

Canadian records can fall too

Michigan's Aurora Rynda set a new Canadian record in the 600 meters at Wisconsin's Windy City invite. Her time of 1:27.05 sits first in the NCAA and the world this year. The mark ranks 50th in the world all-time across all track sizes.

A historic season in the men's mile continues

In the 2022 indoor season, a number of men have run below four minutes in the mile. This weekend at Vanderbilt's Music City Challenge, Ole Miss' Mario Garcia Romo continued impressive showings in the mile.

Garcia Romo ran 3:53.36 in the mile, the fastest time ever by any NCAA athlete on an oversized track. Yet, Garcia Romo was not alone in his success; for the first time in collegiate history, three competitors ran under 3:55 while the entire top-10 ran under the four-minute mark.

Throwers get in on the record breaking

In the women's weight throw, Ole Miss' Shey Taiwo stole the show with her 25.19-meter throw in the fourth round. Taiwo's throw leads the world, is the third-best throw in NCAA history and is the seventh-best throw in world history. 

Taiwo now gives Ole Miss three of the top four collegiate throwers in the event, joining teammates Jasmine Mitchell and Jalani Davis.

The Aggies ascend

On Valentine's Day 2022, North Carolina A&T's men's track and field again found itself at the top of the national rankings after a spectacular weekend from Leonard Mustari and Randolph Ross at the Tiger Paw Invitational (yes, we're back at Clemson again).

Mustari, a true freshman, set a record in the 60-meter hurdles with a 7.55 time. That mark is the fastest-ever indoor time over 42-inch hurdles by a world under-20 athlete.

Ross continued his speedy season, lowering his world-leading mark in the 400 meters to 44.83. That's now the sixth-best mark all-time in NCAA indoor track and field. Georgia's Elija Godwin also stood out in the event, clocking 45.38.

Texas's Jonathan Jones makes noise in the 800

Texas's Jonathan Jones set a program record at the Tiger Paw Invitational in the 800 meters with a time of 1:46.93. That's the second-fastest college 800-meter performance this season.

Portland State's Katie Camarena's big day breaks Big Sky records

Since Katie Camarena transferred into Portland State from UC Santa Barbara she's broken six records in a short time. The record-breaking continued at Washington's Husky Classic this weekend.

Camarena became the first woman in Big Sky history to break nine minutes in the 3000 meters en route to a third-place finish. Camarena also set the conference record in the mile with a time of 4:32.27, lowering the Portland State record by 19 seconds.

Division II dazzles

This weekend, a record was broken at every level of NCAA track and field. At the Division II level of indoor track and field, athletes continued a weekend of spectacular performances, highlighted by none other than West Texas A&M University sprinter Benjamin Azamati. Azamati, a Tokyo Olympian, set a new DII national record, running 6.54 in the 60-meter dash. 

Azamati's record-breaking performance came against a field of other DI sprinters, but his win was no surprise to those who know his track record — no pun intended.

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