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Stan Becton | | April 3, 2023

Elite outdoor track and field performances tease an April primed for more broken records

Watch the 2022 women's 4x400 meter relay championship

It might've been Final Four weekend, but the madness of March made its way into track and field to close the month. Texas Relays, Florida Relays and the Stanford Invitational coincided to give thrilling performances across the country. Now, April is here and the trio of meets gives a great look into what could come during the rest of the 2023 outdoor season.

Records will be broken

At Texas Relays, we saw four collegiate records set, all by women, in the 100 hurdles and the 4x100, 4x200 and 4x400 meter relays. That's after 20-plus records were broken during the indoor season.

I wouldn't be surprised if this is just the beginning of a record-breaking outdoor season. We've seen four records fall and April's just begun.

What record could be next to fall? After last weekend, one record on watch has to be the men's 4x4, especially after three teams ran sub-three-minute times.


2023. The year of the women's hurdles.

If you like hurdles, 2023 is the year for you. Kentucky's Masai Russell called her shot before the weekend and delivered, setting an NCAA record in the 100 hurdles in 12.36 seconds at Texas Relays. Right behind her was defending champion Alia Armstrong of LSU in 12.57 seconds, owner of the all-conditions 100 hurdles record of 12.33 seconds (+2.5).

At Florida Relays, UCF's Rayniah Jones and Florida's Grace Stark also ran sub-13 seconds. In total, eight women have broken the 13-second barrier in the opening weeks of the season. The 100 hurdles are must-watch TV throughout the season.

women's 100 hurdles

👀: 5 must-watch outdoor track and field meets to pay attention to in 2023

The male sprint field is WIDE open

In all conditions, six men have run 10.10 seconds or better and 17 men have run sub-10.2 seconds in the 100 meters. Houston's Shaun Maswanganyi owns the fastest all-conditions 100 time at 10.01 seconds from Texas Relays while Stanford's Udodi Onwuzurike owns the fastest wind-legal time at 10.7 seconds from the Stanford Invitational.

A Texas Tech twosome of Terrence Jones and Courtney Lindsey leads the way at 200 meters after running 20.05 and 20.11 at Texas Relays. Yet, the entire top-10 performance list is filled with sub 20.5 times entering April. 

WATCH LIST: The 2023 Bowerman watch list for men's and women's NCAA track and field

At 400 meters, HBCU standouts Reheem Hayles (North Carolina A&T), Shawn Collins (Jackson State) and Shemar Chambers (North Carolina A&T) have three of the top five times nationally. Seven men have already run sub-46 this year.

There's no early favorite in any men's sprint event and that's not a bad thing. It means every week, there could be a new leader in an event, which only makes the sport more exciting.

The men's 10K is loaded with big names and fast times

The Stanford Invitational's 10,000 meters saw the 10 fastest times in the country run so far this season. Just 21 seconds separated Stanford's Charles Hicks in first and NAU's Drew Bosley in ninth. 

10K stanford invitational

In between Hicks and Bosley were plenty of stars, but it didn't include defending national champion Dylan Jacobs now at Tennessee. These early season times have the 10K looking as competitive as ever.

Freshmen could challenge for titles

The latest class of freshmen is coming. Matter of fact, the freshmen are here and look like they're here to stay, especially in field events.

Auburn's Keyshawn Stratchan already climbed the men's javelin history books, reaching 84.27 meters at Texas Relays. He's the fourth man to reach the mark in NCAA history and leads the nation in the event. Also in the SEC, Florida's Alida Van Daalen threw an NCAA-leading 17.94 meters in the women's shot put at Florida Relays while throwing a top-five mark of 58.70 meters in the discus.

Meanwhile, Kentucky's Anthaya Charlton already entered the weekend with the nation's leading women's long jump at 6.61 meters, which remains atop the charts entering April. Charlton added to her top-five marks with a 10.98-second finish (+3.5) in the 100 meters at Texas Relays, the second-fastest all-conditions time in the country. 

These are just some of the freshmen delivering elite performances. As they continue to develop and grow throughout their rookie collegiate season, we could see more and more freshmen in individual title hunts come June.

RANKINGS: Check out the latest men's and women's track and field rankings

Texas on its home track is dangerous

4x1 record. 4x2 record. 4x4 record. Check, check and check.

The Texas Longhorns own all three women's records after hosting Texas Relays. The Longhorns surged to No. 3 in USTFCCCA's top 25 after missing the cut a week ago. The Texas men jumped up to No. 1 in the top 25 after landing nine top-10 marks at Texas Relays.

Could such performances be a foreshadowing of the outdoor championships, also hosted by Texas, come June? Possibly. If anything, we know that Texas will be a threat to win any race, especially relays, on its home track.

CHAMPIONSHIP INFO: Everything you need to know for the 2023 outdoor DI track and field championships

Let's hope the wind is gone by June

Speaking of Texas' home track, Texas Relays were windy (again) this year. While wind is a part of the sport, one has to hope the weather cooperates in June and the wind stays neutral. That way if athletes set records at Mike A. Myers Stadium, they'll count and stand in history.

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