Report10 Mar 2024

Williams, Ramsden and Neugebauer among winners at NCAA Indoor Championships


Christopher Morales Williams in action at the NCAA Indoor Championships (© Kirby Lee)

Maia Ramsden arrived at the NCAA Indoor Championships boasting not only the second-fastest mile time in US collegiate history, but a sizable advantage over her competition, too.

Ramsden was coming off quite the warm-up - the World Athletics Indoor Championships Glasgow 24. Competing against the world’s best, Ramsden set New Zealand’s national record at 1500m in the semifinals, then finished 10th in the final.

Six days later in Boston, her collegiate peers didn’t stand a chance on Saturday.

Back in her Harvard kit, Ramsden ran 4:25.13 to win the NCAA mile title and smash a nine-year-old championship record of 4:27.18.

The performance was one of several on the championships’ final day that not only determined the best among US collegians but also revealed which compared favourably with international marks, as well.

There was no surprise when Georgia’s Christopher Morales-Williams won the men’s 400m in 44.67. Two weeks earlier, the 19-year-old appeared to break the world indoor record in the event by clocking 44.49 at his conference championship – faster than the official record of 44.57 run by Kerron Clement in 2005 and the 44.52 by Michael Norman in 2018, which ultimately could not be ratified. Morales-Williams’s time also could not be ratified because starting blocks used at the meeting did not meet World Athletics’ technical rules.

Arizona State’s winning 4x400m relay team won in a world-leading 3:02.35, a time that would have just edged Belgium for the gold medal in Glasgow at the World Indoors.

Leo Neugebauer of Texas added to his collegiate combined events dominance by winning the heptathlon with 6347, adding more than 50 points to a German record that had stood for 22 years. The title was Neugebauer’s encore to a strong 2023 season that saw him win the NCAA decathlon title with a record point total, and later compete at the World Athletics Championships.

Texas Tech won the men’s championship with 50.5 points after Terrence Jones won both the 60m (6.54) and 200m (20.23). The winning 200m time stands just off the world lead of 20.21 held jointly by Erriyon Knighton, from 10 February, and matched by Jones later that month.

In another mark that would have fared well against international competition, Louisiana State’s Brianna Lyston won the 60m crown in 7.03, the fourth-fastest time in the world this year.

In other sprint action, JaMeesia Ford broke her own world U20 indoor record to win the 200m in 22.34, while Jasmine Jones set a PB of 7.77 to take the 60m hurdles title. Britain’s Amber Anning lived up to expectations to win the 400m in 50.79.

Rachel Glenn added six centimetres to her PB to win the high jump with 2.00m, equalling the collegiate indoor record and moving to third on the US indoor all-time list.

The final day of the NCAA Indoor Championships also produced repeat winners. One day after winning the 5000m in a collegiate-record time, Florida’s Parker Valby added the 3000m crown in a championship record of 8:41.50. Northern Arizona’s Nico Young also completed the distance double, winning the 3000m in 7:41.01, also a championship record, to add to Friday’s 5000m crown.

Arkansas won the women’s team championship with 55 points, ahead of Florida’s 50.

Andrew Greif for World Athletics