We're halfway through the men's outdoor track and field season, and freshmen around the country have quickly made their marks. Here are the top men's track and field freshmen in 2022 ... so far.
Listed alphabetically by last name:
Mykolas Alekna | California
While this article doesn't determine who's the best freshman in the country, Cal's Mykolas Alekna's performance this season gives him a solid argument for the title. Alekna leads the nation in the discus at 66.70 meters. Alekna's mark is the NCAA freshman record, Cal's program record and third all-time collegiately. No other college athlete has surpassed 66 meters all season, but Alekna has done it twice already.
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Johnny Brackins | Baylor
Baylor's Johnny Brackins jumped 8.17 meters (+3.7) is the nation's best all-conditions mark this season. Brackins leaped his way to a new program record in his first outdoor long jump of the season.
A NEW PROGRAM RECORD‼️— Baylor Track & Field (@BaylorTrack) March 26, 2022
Long Jump: 26-9 ¾ #SicEm 🐻 pic.twitter.com/7MImG10aLm
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Julian Collins | Alabama
Alabama's Julian Collins jumped up the Alabama all-time list — literally — with his 8.05 meter leap in the long jump at the Joe May Invitational. Collins now sits third all-time in the event for the Tide, and fourth nationally this season.
Nathaniel Ezekiel | Baylor
Freshman Nathaniel Ezekiel's 49.14-second finish in the 400 meter hurdles is the fastest in the country. The Baylor product ran that time in the prelims at Texas Relays back in March, and no one has been able to knock him from the top time since.
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Victor Kiprop | Alabama
Alabama's Victor Kiprop is the only freshman to rank in the top-10 nationally in two events. Kiprop has the fifth-fastest time in the 10,000 meters after running a 28:15.72 at the Stanford Invitational. He owns the seventh-fastest 5,000-meter time, finishing in 13:24.48 at the Bryan Clay Invitational.
In his first collegiate season, Kiprop has quickly established himself as one of the best distance runners in the country.
Ralford Mullings | Arizona State
Arizona State's Ralford Mullings is the next in a history of great throwers at 'Throws U,' sitting second nationally in the discus. Mullings is one of two athletes to surpass 65 meters — both are freshmen — as his 65.39-meter throw is his personal best.
Chinecherem Prosper Nnamdi | Baylor
Baylor's Chinecherem Prosper Nnamdi is the third Baylor freshman leading the country in an event; he has the nation-leading mark in the javelin of 78.42 meters. Nnamdi is the only DI athlete to surpass 78 meters this season.
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Udodi Onwuzurike | Stanford
Udodi Onwuzurike is a freshman, but he is the only member of Stanford with a top-five at this point in the season. Onwuzurike is the fourth-fastest man in the 100 meters with a time of 10.07 seconds. At one point in the season, he had the second-fastest 100 meters time in the country.
.@StanfordXCTF freshman Udodi Onwuzurike with a wind-legal collegiate No. 3 10.07! 👏— FloTrack (@FloTrack) April 1, 2022
📺: https://t.co/deOygLas08 pic.twitter.com/Yg5X9nTwIz
Wayne Pinnock | Tennessee
In Tennessee freshman Wayne Pinnock's outdoor debut, he jumped the nation's furthest wind-legal long jump. Pinnock's 8.06-meter leap made him the Tennessee freshman record holder and the SEC leader in the event. Pinnock already has the indoor long jump title and will surely be a threat for the championship sweep come June.
Wayne Pinnock wins the men's long jump at 8.06m (26-5.5)!— Tennessee Track & Field (@Vol_Track) April 15, 2022
That is the No. 2 mark all-time in UT history!#GBO ⏱ pic.twitter.com/JsiXPDCgTp
Estanis Ruiz | Loyola Marymount
Loyola Marymount's Estanis Ruiz is one of 11 freshmen with top-five national marks through the season's midpoint. Ruiz finished the 3000 meter steeplechase in 8:37.51, giving him the fourth-fastest time in the nation.