It's time for the NCAA indoor national track & field championships
The GIST: On your marks, get set…it’s time to race to Albuquerque, NM, for the indoor national championships, which kick off with the men’s heptathlon at 10 a.m. ET today and run through tomorrow’s finale, the men’s 4x400 relay. Tighten those laces, stretch out your quads, and let’s (long) jump in.
How it works: For each event, the 16 athletes or 12 relay teams with the best performances during the indoor season are invited to compete for that event’s national title — and multitasking superstars can battle in multiple events. Each event has its own champion, but the real prizes are the women’s and men’s team ’ships.
- Athletes earn points for their team based on their finishing place in individual event finals. For example, a first-place finish is worth 10 points while an eighth-place finish wins only one.
- The men’s and women’s teams that rack up the most points across the 17 events take home the trophy and the hype heading into the spring outdoor season. No rest for the winners.
The favorites: On the women’s side, No. 1 Texas is the favorite for the natty, leading all teams with a staggering 15 entries. And you can’t talk track without mentioning Longhorn star Julien Alfred, who set the NCAA record in the 60m sprint for the third time this season just two weeks ago. Guess everything is faster in Texas, too.
- But reigning national champ No. 2 Florida won’t go down easy. The Gators’ Talitha Diggs boasts a collegiate record of her own in the 400m, and Jasmine Moore looks dangerous in the triple and long jump. She’s soarin’, flyin’.
- For the men, No. 1 Arkansas and No. 2 Washington are tied for the most entries with 13, but Arkansas has stars like Bowerman finalist Ayden Ownes-Delerme in the pentathlon and freshman triple jump phenom Jaydon Hibbert. Woo pig!