Conference championships have wrapped and NCAA preliminary meets are up next. Here's my ranking of the top 10 performances in women's track and field so far.
1. All the collegiate records
No, I will not make you read a story listing all of the eight collegiate records set so far this season. That's what this article is for.
That said, let's look at the other non-record-breaking performances that impressed.
2. Texas' Ackelia Smith jumps 7.08 meters in the long jump
Ackelia Smith's 7.08-meter long jump at Big 12 championships is the second-best mark in collegiate history, only trailing former Texas Longhorn and Olympian Tara Davis.
7.09m (23-2.75) 🔥🔥— Texas T&F/XC (@TexasTFXC) May 13, 2023
Ackelia Smith is a Big 12 CHAMPION! pic.twitter.com/Pt3AJ0hyYJ
3. LSU's Alia Armstrong wins the SEC 100 hurdle championship
Sometimes, a performance isn't about what you did but instead about who you did it against. Both applied for Alia Armstrong at the SEC Championship meet. Armstrong won the SEC title after running 12.40 seconds — the third fastest wind-legal time ever — while beating Kentucky's Masai Russell and Arkansas' Ackera Nugent, the 100 hurdle and 60 hurdle collegiate record holders, respectively. All three women ran sub-12.5 in what could arguably have been the greatest women's 100 hurdle race of all time, but it was Armstrong who finished first.
2023. The year of the hurdles🔥— Stan Becton (@stan_becton) May 13, 2023
The SEC Championship women’s 100H is only a preview of the exciting action to come the rest of the postseason
🥇12.40 - Alia Armstrong (LSU)
🥈12.43 - Ackera Nugent (Arkansas)
🥉12.47 - Masai Russell (Kentucky)pic.twitter.com/phIaKmhxOb
SEC CHAMPS: Arkansas wins the 2023 SEC outdoor track and field championships
4. Texas' Julien Alfred runs a 10.72-second 100 meters
Yes, I know Julien Alfred's 10.72 time had a wind reading of +2.4. That doesn't make it any less impressive. Alfred's time is the fastest all-conditions women's 100 meters in NCAA history.
It’s the fastest 100m All-Conditions at 10.72 (2.4+) for us 🤘— Texas T&F/XC (@TexasTFXC) April 17, 2023
Julien Alfred does it again! pic.twitter.com/LzCC1WvqH1
5. Arkansas' Britton Wilson climbs the 400 hurdles record books
Britton Wilson ran the third-fastest 400-meter hurdle time in NCAA history at the Tom Jones Memorial meet, finishing in 53.23 seconds. One could argue that her 53.28 seconds finish at SECs was a more impressive performance because of the busy slate, but I'll go with the faster time here.
Razorback Britton Wilson season debut in 400m Hurdles— Arkansas Track & Field (@RazorbackTF) April 15, 2023
Wins Tom Jones Memorial in WL 53.23, fastest time by a collegian ever in April
Ranks No. 3 on all-time collegiate list, previous collegiate best 53.75
Career best is 53.08 from silver medal at 2022 USATF Championships#WPS pic.twitter.com/QnhNaxRott
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6. Nebraska's Alexina Johansson wins the Big Ten shot put
Alexina Johansson's 19.54-meter Big Ten-winning shot put stands as the second-best women's shot put in NCAA history. Johansson's performance is impressive because her winning mark came out of seemingly nowhere; she never reached 19 meters during her collegiate outdoor career prior to winning the conference title.
Axelina!!! On the last throw of the day Axelina Johansson throws 64-1 ¼— Nebraska Track and Field (@NUTrackandField) May 13, 2023
(19.54m) breaking a school record she already broke today as well as a new No. 2 in NCAA History. pic.twitter.com/vHureFRQ7W
7. LSU's Michaela Rose breaks two minutes in the 800 meters
Michaela Rose ran the second-fastest 800-meter time in NCAA history at the Bryan Clay Invitational, finishing in 1:59.08. While Rose's time is still almost a second and a half — an eternity in track and field — away from when Athing Mu pushed the 800-meter record to the moon back in 2021, Rose's performance at Bryan Clay still has her as the only collegian to run sub-2 minutes this year.
MICHAELA ROSE 😱— LSU Track & Field (@LSUTrackField) April 14, 2023
The sophomore clocks a time of 1:59.08, which ranks second in collegiate history behind Athing Mu, and is the new LSU record!#GeauxTigers | 📺 @FloTrack pic.twitter.com/OA8wkkdKmn
8. Texas' Julien Alfred runs 21.91 in the 200 meters
Julien Alfred makes the list again because she ran the second-fastest 200-meter time in history at 21.91 seconds. Alfred's sprinting has been on a different level this year.
Don’t blink, you’ll miss Julien go 21.91 in her season opener 🤘 pic.twitter.com/XPdxopA9Vh— Texas T&F/XC (@TexasTFXC) April 14, 2023
9. Cal's Anna Purchase carries the Bears hammer tradition
When Anna Purchase threw the hammer 73.02 meters, she joined an exclusive list as only five collegiate women have ever reached that distance. Purchase became the latest Cal Bear to join the top five of the hammer record book, a list that's dominated by her former teammate Camryn Rogers at the top.
Women’s HT |— Cal XC/Track & Field (@CalTFXC) April 8, 2023
💣 💣 ‼️‼️
Senior Anna Purchase takes the NCAA LEAD - and moves to No. 5️⃣ in collegiate history - with her throw of 73.02m (239-7)!!#GoBears🐻 pic.twitter.com/X4qUka9agP
🔮: 7 second-half predictions for the outdoor track and field season
10. Oregon's Jorinde Van Klinken breaks 67 meters in the discus
Jorinde Van Klinken reach 67.05 meters in the discus back in April. Only once has a collegiate women surpassed 67 meters this century — that was also Van Klinken back in 2021.
The throw💪 pic.twitter.com/2lwElHuRVc— oregontf (@OregonTF) April 7, 2023