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Stan Becton | | May 24, 2023

Top 10 women’s track and field performances before NCAA preliminaries

Previewing the 2023 DI outdoor track and field championships

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

🔮: 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.

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