All of these athletes seriously impressed over the course of the competition.
It’s safe to say that this year’s edition of the D1 Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Championship was a smashing success. Due to the unique format of the competition, there were entertaining moments for every type of fan, from Jasmine Moore’s epic jumping sweep to Camryn Rogers’ perfect NCAA farewell. Now it’s now time to unpack some of these moments––and determine which athletes truly stood out because of them. Without further ado, here are our MVPs of the Outdoor Championship.
(NOTE: We may or may not have bent the rules here by including teams in this discussion. But hey––isn’t the power of teamwork an MVP in itself?
Okay, moving on.)
Now that the NCAA has been in existence for over a century, it’s past time for fans and athletes to ask themselves one key question: what’s the coolest way to make program history in a collegiate tournament? After the events of the Outdoor Championship, Florida might have found the answer. The Gators won their first-ever outdoor national title last week, becoming the fifteenth team to complete an Indoor and Outdoor sweep in women’s track and field. Florida’s win was pretty dominant, thanks to their four individual first-place finishes out of eleven scored entries in the competition.
If that wasn’t cool enough, they won the title within months of Florida Women’s Athletics’ 50-year anniversary; plus, the four solo first-place showings that propelled the Gators to victory in the team event helped boost the program’s individual title count at national events to––you guessed it––fifty. If there’s such a concept as a perfect win, Florida more than accomplished it, and capped off this year’s collegiate track & field season in style.
Jasmine Moore (Florida)
Speaking of Floridian sweeps, Jasmine Moore claimed both the long and triple jump titles last Saturday. Through her victories, Moore added twenty points to the Gators’ winning team event tally––the most of any Florida athlete in the competition.
??????? for Jasmine Moore! pic.twitter.com/0maZXZwOH2— Gators Track and Field & Cross Country (@GatorsTF) June 11, 2022
It’s hard to overstate just how impressive Moore has been this season. She became the first woman to achieve an eight-for-eight record on titles in the NCAA and was named a Track & Field Honda Sport Award finalist last Monday for her efforts. What’s more, judging by her plans to make her mark on the upcoming Team USA trials, it seems like she’s setting her ambitions even higher. That kind of winning mentality is what earns Championships––and what gets athletes like Moore on lists like these.
Texas’ 4×100 Relay Team
Julien Alfred, Rhasidat Adeleke, Kevona Davis, and Kynnedy Flannel bagged a 4×100 indoor title for Texas with a stellar time of 42.42. Their 10-point-earning performance helped the Longhorns secure a second-place finish in the team event, and complete a 2022 “team silver sweep” of their own. Adeleke became the first Irish woman to win an NCAA sprint title as part of the relay squad.
Amazingly, the 4×100 results confirmed Alfred, Adeleke, Davis, and Flannel’s continued ownership of the top five times in Longhorn history. Experiencing success in a relay team occasionally is one thing; after all, it’s possible to win without strong teamwork if the squad is filled with solid sprinters. But to consistently produce results and make program history like these four athletes have suggests a level of on-track chemistry that can’t be replicated. That type of magic is what MVPs are made of.
Abby Steiner (Kentucky)
Abby Steiner had a Championship to remember last week, throwing down a record-breaking time in the 200 and helping to bring home a 4×400 relay title for Kentucky. As a result, her 2022 Indoor Championship medal count rose to four, which stands as the highest total of any athlete in the competition. She also received the Honda Sport Award as a kudos to her incredible season last Thursday.
Steiner’s success comes after a serious injury that benched her for most of the outdoor season in 2021––on top of a COVID-fueled hiatus the year before. “I think that everything happens for a reason and all of those things led me to exactly where I needed to be in that moment,” she shared with NBC4i after her performances on Saturday. It goes without saying that Steiner is 100% correct. After last week, she’s exactly where she needs and deserves to be––on top of the track & field world.
Camryn Rogers (California)
Camryn Rogers’ resumé was already eye-watering before the Outdoor Championship; she was an Olympian and a two-time NCAA Champion in the hammer event at just 23 years old, not to mention a serial record breaker. Now, she’ll have to change that “two-time” to a “three-time.” Rogers managed a top-five throw in the world for 2022 to clinch the three-peat, giving the NCAA one last reminder of why she’s in a league of her own (figuratively speaking, of course).
“5 years, 4 collegiate records, 3 NCAA titles, 2 degrees, 1 unforgettable ride,” Rogers shared in an Instagram post as part of her farewell to Berkeley. “It’s hard to believe that this is the end of my collegiate career after 5 years representing [the Golden Bears].” The fact that Rogers’ NCAA reign is over may be a lot to take in for her––and for the legions of fans who got to witness her talent. But whether it’s the records she set or the titles she won that will keep her name on people’s lips, there’s one other stat that will always ring true: the 0% chance that her legacy in women’s collegiate track & field will fade away.