EUGENE, Ore. — Day 2 of the NCAA outdoor track and field championships concluded on Thursday night at Hayward Field.
Thursday also marked the first day of competition for the women. Plenty of action and exciting races took place, leaving track and field fans looking forward to an exciting finals day ahead on Saturday.
Here are some quick notes on the winners and Thursday’s action. Make sure to follow along here for updates and highlights from Eugene.
Maggie Ewen had big expectations coming into the hammer throw event, but she also threw in the shot put on Thursday. She finished sixth in the shot put 17.40m (57-1 ), but the highlight of the day was taking home the hammer title and setting a new NCAA record 73.32 meters (240-7 ). Ewen hit the mark on her second throw.
“It mean’s a lot," she said. "It’s been something we’ve been trying to hit all year. It’s been in the back of our minds. It meant a lot to do it here and to obviously win the championship; it feels great.”
The Sun Devil is not done yet, as she will compete in the discus final on Saturday.
Kentucky’s Olivia Gruver cleared 4.50m (14-9 ) in the pole vault to take home the national title. She had tough competition with the twins from Arkansas, Lexi and Tori Weeks. Lexi participated in the Rio Olympics this past summer and Tori took home the SEC indoor title. Lexi took second in the pole vault clearing 4.45m (14-7¼ ) and Annie Rhodes from Baylor who cleared 4.40m (14-5¼ ) and took third.
“I love competing against great people because you know that when you win, you’re good," Gruver said. "It’s crazy, but I want to say that everyone did a great job today.”
After the event, Gruver talked about just how tough the competition was in the event this year and how proud she was to win the national title among this group. The sophomore said Lexi was someone she knew she had to beat today, and she did just that.
“This is just a surreal moment,” an emotional Gruver said.
Virginia Tech’s Irena Sediva won the javelin title on her second throw, recording 58.76m (192-9 ). Thursday's win marked Sedvina’s second title in javelin, as she won back in 2015.
She joked after that this time around she made it a lot harder on herself.
“It means a lot. It means redemption for me," Sediva said. "Last year, it was painful not being able to be here. I couldn’t imagine leaving without winning it. The whole team was working on me, working on my health. The coach and my trainers and even the gymnastics coach were trying to help me out. I think we deserved it.”
Texas A&M’s Lindon Victor also knows what it’s like to win not once, but twice — as he won his second straight decathlon title on Thursday. Victor also won his titles back-to-back. Devon Williams of Georgia came in second, while Lucas Weiland from Minnesota finished third.
"I think watching Ashton Eaton in the Olympics really helped me," Victor said. "I watched him have bad events and then bounce back. Watching him and my experience in the Olympics really helped carry me through these events today."
Big deal in SF
Charlotte Taylor became the first ever track and field champion for San Francisco when she won the 10,000 meter race in 32:38.57. The senior said that in the last 400 meters she saw the gap to kick and sprint to the finish for the win.
Taylor was emotional at the end of the race with tears in her eyes.
"I think it hasn't really sunk in yet. I just felt really great. The race played out just how I would have liked, and I was able to finish up at the end, so I'm super happy."
Huge points in long jump
Thanks to Georgia’s Kate Hall and Keturah Orji, who finished 1 and 2 in the women’s long jump final, the Bulldogs scored huge points in the team race.
Hall’s best mark was on her second attempt at 6.73m (22-1). Orji was just behind at 6.71m (22-¼).
The pair talked about how important it was for them to come up big for their team.
Georgia also won the long jump title in 2016 thanks to Chanice Porter.
Here is where we stand after Thursday:
Arizona State: 13