We're days away from the 2023 DI men's and women's indoor track and field championships. There's no better time than now for my championship predictions, event-by-event. Let's dive in.
Pole Vault - Sydney Horn | High Point
Sydney Horn has been a top contender in the high jump for a few years now. With that experience, I think this is the year she finally gets over the hump.
COMPLETE COVERAGE: Live updates of the DI indoor track and field championships
High jump - Lamara Distin | Texas A&M
Lamara Distin swept the 2022 high jump titles. She's at a different level than everyone else and could break the two-meter threshold at championships.
Triple Jump - Jasmine Moore | Florida
There's no better horizontal jumper in all of collegiate women's track and field than Jasmine Moore, and the triple jump is her best event.
Long Jump - Jasmine Moore | Florida
I expect the long jump to be a closer competition for Moore than the triple jump. However, I predict Moore defends her title — and championship-winning streak — by landing a leading-jump on one of her early attempts.
Weight Throw - Jalani Davis | Ole Miss
Ole Miss produces some of the best women's weight throwers in the country year in and year out, having a resume worthy of "Weight Throw U" status. 2023 is no different with Jalani Davis as the favorite — and my prediction — to win the weight throw. However, if Davis doesn't win the title, I wouldn't be surprised if her teammate Jasmine Mitchell takes it from her.
Shot put - Jorinde Van Klinken | Oregon
Jorinde Van Klinken owns the collegiate indoor shot put record after setting it this season. I wouldn't look too deep into her 17.79-meter shot put at her most recent meet. That was likely just a tune-up to avoid having a month off before the championships.
Pentathlon - Kristine Blazevica | Texas
There's no clear front-runner for the Pentathlon title this year, but I think the experience of Kristine Blazevica prevails.
ENTRIES: These programs have the most entries at the 2023 DI indoor championships
DMR - Washington
Washington set the DMR collegiate record earlier this season. The Huskies are a safe pick here with that resume.
4x400 meter relay - Arkansas
Arkansas has the fastest 4x400 meter relay team in the country, powered by four qualifiers in the 400 meters. That doesn't even include Britton Wilson, who qualified for the 400 meters but isn't listed on the relay squad. If Wilson and her World Championship-winning 4x4 experience race, the Razorbacks may cruise to an easy win.
800 meters - Michaela Rose | LSU
I was tempted to pick one of the two Stanford freshmen here, or even Florida's Imogen Barrett, but LSU's Michaela Rose earned the pick here thanks to her consistency after running 2:01 or faster three times this season.
Mile - Anna Gibson | Washington
The women's mile is wide open and was one of my hardest women's events to predict. However, I'm going with Washington's Anna Gibson after she focused on the mile as her primary event for much of the season, running 4:33 twice. Gibson also helped set a collegiate record by running the anchor leg of the Husky DMR, further showing off her speed at that distance.
3000 meters - Katelyn Tuohy | NC State
Katelyn Tuohy owns the collegiate record in the 3000 meters, running 10 seconds faster than any other collegiate woman this year. Though this race will come after Tuohy runs the 5000 meters (more on that later) and the DMR, that 10-second advantage should be enough for a motivated Tuohy to win, even with possible fatigue.
5000 meters - Katelyn Tuohy | NC State
Katelyn Tuohy also leads the nation in the 5000 meters, but only by two seconds. I think this race will be closer than the 3000 meters, but since it's Tuohy's first race of the weekend, I'll give the phenom the nod.
60 meters - Julien Alfred | Texas
Julien Alfred owns the seven fastest times run by a collegiate woman in the 60 meters all-time. Six of those times came this season. She's the only right prediction here.
60 meter hurdles - Masai Russell | Kentucky
Women's collegiate hurdling is faster than it has ever been, and Kentucky's Masai Russell is part of the reason why. Russell set the collegiate record in the 60 meter hurdles earlier this year and looks to have taken the next step in her career. After years of falling short at the NCAA meets, Russell finally takes home the first-place trophy.
200 meters - Favour Ofili | LSU
While the fastest 200-meter time this season belongs to Alfred, I still think Favour Ofili wins the 200 meters. Ofili specializes in the 200 meters, finishing second place in the 200 finals during the 2022 indoor and outdoor seasons. 2023 will be the year Ofili grabs her first 200 title.
BUSY DAY: Every athlete set to double — and maybe triple — at the 2023 DI indoor track and field championships
400 meters - Talitha Diggs | Florida
Talitha Diggs owns the collegiate and American record in the 400 meters, impressively setting the mark after taking almost a month off from the race. Diggs set the 400 record just minutes after Rhasidat Adeleke broke the record, so this one could be close. Yet, Diggs gets the nod as the defending indoor and outdoor 400-meter champion.
WATCH LIST: The 2023 Bowerman watch list for men's and women's NCAA track and field
Pole Vault - Sondre Guttormsen | Princeton
While most of the collegiate track world took off the weekend before championships Sondre Guttormsen competed at the European Championships, winning a gold medal in the pole vault for Norway. Guttormsen should win another piece of hardware this weekend — an NCAA first-place trophy.
High jump - Vernon Turner | Oklahoma
Vernon Turner is the defending indoor high jump champion and leads the nation in the event entering indoor championships. At last year's championships, Turner jumped 2.32 meters to win the title. When he's on his game, no one should be able to compete with him jump for jump.
Long Jump - Wayne Pinnock | Arkansas
Wayne Pinnock is the defending indoor-outdoor long jump champion, but he's only jumped at two meets this season. At first glance, that gave me hesitancy in making this pick, but Pinnock did come off a longer outdoor season than most, competing at the international level. When I saw that Pinnock jumped 8.31 meters on his second attempt at SEC Championships and passed on the remaining jumps, I saw all I needed to see to predict a well-rested Pinnock to repeat.
Triple Jump - Jaydon Hibbert | Arkansas
If you couldn't tell by now, Jaydon Hibbert isn't your regular freshman. After starring on the world stage at the U20 level, Hibbert entered the collegiate ranks with ease. Hibbert's the only one to jump over 17 meters this season and is my pick to win the title.
RECORD-BREAKING: Every collegiate indoor track and field record broken this season
Weight Throw - Bobby Colantonio Jr. | Alabama
Bobby Colantonio is the defending weight throw champion. While he doesn't currently hold the nation-leading weight throw, I see Colantonio having the furthest weight throw when it matters most thanks to his championship experience.
Shot put - Jordan Geist | Arizona
Every one of Jordan Geist's meets this year has ended with a shot put over 21 meters. No other collegiate athlete has surpassed 21 meters this season. I'll take the Wildcat for this one.
Pentathlon - Ayden Owens-Delerme | Arkansas
If you haven't been following track and field all year like myself, let me remind you that we currently have two all-time great combined event specialists in the collegiate ranks, Georgia's Kyle Garland and Arkansas' Ayden Owens-Delerme. Picking the winner at the 2023 indoor championships is like flipping a coin for some, but I'm going with Bowerman finalist Owens-Delerme.
Why? Because Owens-Delerme has gotten the better of Garland at the last two NCAA Championship meets. Until Garland beats Owens-Delerme for all the marbles, I'm going with the defending champ.
ELITE: Top performances in 2023 NCAA indoor track and field …so far
DMR - Washington
While Oklahoma State holds the collegiate DMR record, I think Washington will win the DMR come championships. The Huskies are only .25 seconds behind the NCAA record, and I like the depth of their distance crew.
4x400 meter relay - Florida
Florida has the deepest group of 400-meter runners in the country. After a DNF at SECs, no Gator listed for the 4x4 is doubling at indoor champs. With less fatigue, Florida wins a close race ahead of its SEC counterparts.
800 meters - Yusuf Bizimana | Texas
Someone from Texas should be the favorite for the 800 meters, whether it's Yusuf Bizimana or Crayton Carrozza. I'm going with Bizimana because he ran his fastest — and only — 800 meters of the season on the same New Mexico track he'll race on for the championships.
Mile - Brian Fay | Washington
Washington has six athletes entered in the mile. At least five, if not all six, should make the final. If and when that's the case, I predict Brian Fay, the veteran of the group, will find a way to win the title over his teammates.
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3000 meters - Drew Bosley | Northern Arizona
Drew Bosley holds the collegiate record in the 3000 meters. Bosley may not run a record at the indoor championships, but he'll run fast enough to win the title.
5000 meters - Dylan Jacobs | Tennessee
Dylan Jacobs will try to pull off the distance double at the indoor championships, and I have him leaving with a title in his first race of the weekend. Jacobs performs better over longer distances — see last year's 10K outdoor title for example — and will have fresh legs entering the 5000 meters. After 25 laps, Jacobs will cross the finish line first.
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60 meters - Terrence Jones | Texas Tech
Guess who's back? Back again. That would be 60 meter collegiate record holder Terrence Jones who reminded everyone of what he could do on the track with a 6.48-second finish in the Big 12 semifinals. Jones knocked off the rust at the Big 12 Championships, and I think he'll be plenty warmed up at the indoor championships.
60 meter hurdles - Caleb Dean | Texas Tech
Caleb Dean "runs the 400 hurdles," but I have the Maryland transfer and DeMatha Catholic product winning the 60 meter hurdle title. Dean has improved over a shorter distance this winter and has shown off an impressive burst en route to Big 12 Men's Performer of the Year honors. Dean will add another trophy to his case in what could be his newest event.
🏆: Here are the DI track and field teams with most NCAA championships
200 meters - Jacory Patterson | Florida
The 200 meters could come down to lane draws and who wins in their heat with the fastest times. I wouldn't be surprised if any of the top six entrants win the 200, but my pick is Florida's Jacory Patterson. Patterson seems to be peaking at the right time, winning the SEC title, and his decision to scratch from the 400 meters will bode well in the 200 meters.
400 meters - Elija Godwin | Georgia
Elija Godwin is the pick for the 400 meters after he ran a 44.75 to win the SEC title, beating six of the other top eight entries.