Grant Holloway won’t come away from the NCAA Indoor Championships with a rare long jump/hurdles double. He will perhaps be painfully close.
It took a last-round jump of 8.19m by Will Williams to snatch victory away from Holloway on the opening day of competition at College Station, Texas, on Friday (9). The 20-year-old Holloway finished second at 8.13m in a competition where the top six men jumped 7.90m or farther.
After opening with two fouls, Holloway made the cut for the final eight with a jump of 7.96m to climb into third place. He seized the lead in the fifth round with his outright lifetime best of 8.13m before Williams thrilled the home Texas A&M crowd of 4,729 with his winning jump in the sixth, also an outright PB.
Holloway, who last month broke Omar McLeod’s collegiate record with a world-leading 7.42, is favoured to win the 60m hurdles, in which he posted the fastest semifinal, 7.58.
The women’s long jump was momentous for team scoring. In an unprecedented feat by one institution, University of Georgia athletes filled the podium: Kate Hall won with 6.73m with triple jump specialist Keturah Orji taking second with 6.52m and Tara Davis placing third with 6.50m.
Davis, also a jumper/hurdler, was second overall in the semifinals of the 60m hurdles in 7.98, a world U20 indoor record (pending ratification), taking 0.02 off the previous record of 8.00 set last year by Poland’s Klaudia Siciarz. Payton Chadwick was the fastest qualifier for the final with 7.93.
Orji competed six days after finishing fifth in the triple jump in the IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018.
In the men’s 5000m, Justyn Knight ran the final two laps in 56.63 to win in 14:14.47. Karissa Schweizer won the women’s 5000m in 15:43.23 from NCAA cross-country champion Ednah Kurgat of Kenya, second in 15:47.46.
Hussain Al Hizam defeated a strong field to win the pole vault with a Saudi Arabian record of 5.70m. Chris Nilsen was second and world U20 champion Deakin Volz third, both at 5.60m.
Mostafa Hassan of Egypt repeated as men’s shot put champion with a distance of 20.86m.
Hall, McLaughlin and Irby impress in the rounds
Elijah Hall produced one of the most outstanding performances of the first day, winning his 200m semifinal in 20.26 to move to equal seventh on the world indoor all-time list.
In the women’s 200m, Gabrielle Thomas and Lynna Irby both tied Irby’s world-leading time of 22.66. Thomas’s time was seven thousandths faster, but Irby’s run came just 70 minutes after clocking 51.51 in the heats of the 400m.
Sydney McLaughlin, 18, led the two-lap qualifiers with 51.34, the fastest ever time in an NCAA Indoor Championships prelim. The 2015 world U18 400m hurdles champion went on to clock an outright PB of 22.68 in the 200m heats, just 0.2 shy of the world U20 indoor record.
Michael Norman, 20, had the fastest semifinal of 45.56 in the men’s 400m. Seven of the eight qualifiers for the final were within 46 seconds.
Roy Jordan for the IAAF