Following the completion of the NCAA East and West Regionals last week, here are the women I think are in line to secure a possible double victory at the 2021 NCAA Outdoor Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, OR, from June 9-12.
For some of the women, the possibility of landing a double title at the national championships is not too far-fetched, while for others, it will take some work to accomplished.
100/200 Sprint Double
Leading women targeting this double:
The women’s sprints are loaded with talents, but there are three women I believe are leading the way to secure the sprint double.
- TeeTee Terry – USC
- Tamara Clark – Alabama
- Cambrea Sturgis – North Carolina A&T
PAC-12 champion Terry was impressive at the West Regionals a week ago and she will be confident about transferring that form over to the national championships. Back-to-back sub-11 seconds performances, including a sizzling 10.89s in the 100m and 22.54s personal best performances in the 200m, make her a strong candidate for the double glory in Eugene.
SEC Outdoor champion Clark is coming off 10.98s and 22.13s performances at the 2021 NCAA East Preliminary Round and I honestly think the Alabama senior has something more in the tank. I believe that the 200m is her strongest event and if she can navigate around the big guns in the 100m, her chances of winning the sprint double would be a lot greater.
Meanwhile, MEAC Outdoor Championships sprint double champion Cambrea Sturgis seems to be peaking at the right time and cannot be overlooked at the 2021 NCAA Outdoor Championships.
The North Carolina A&T star ran 10.92 (1.4m/s) to leave the NCAA East Preliminary Round with the top time, while she also won her section of the 200m in 22.26 and I am sure coach Ross will have her ready to take on her rivals next week.
Who could spoil the sprint double quest?
Indoor national 60m champion Kemba Nelson of Oregon was in good form over the 100m at the West Preliminary Round and the Jamaican could ruin the above trio’s chances of winning a sprint double if she captured the 100m.
Could she do it? I don’t see why not.
Meanwhile, although Clark is the frontrunner to win the 200m, LSU’s Favour Ofili and Anavia Battle of Ohio State are also strong contenders who will be gunning to create the upset.
Tonea Marshall vs Anna Cockrell?
Base on the form book, world-leader Tonea Marshall should run away comfortably with the women’s 100m hurdles. The LSU star is coming off a nation-leading 12.44 (0.8m/s) seconds performance at the NCAA East Preliminary Round where she ran unchallenged.
However, Anna Cockrell of USC is a championship runner and a woman on a mission to win the 100mH/400mH double so she is expected to put some pressure on Marshall, with precious team points on the line.
Chelangat and Orton Hunt Doubles As Well
Also on the track, NCAA cross country champion Mercy Chelangat will hunt a 5000m and 10,000m double. The Alabama standout won both events at the 2021 SEC Outdoor Championships and the NCAA East Preliminary Round meeting, and is buzzing with confidence, although acknowledging that the national championships will be much harder to repeat such a feat.
BYU’s Whittni Orton is aiming for a 1500m/5,000m double, so Chelangat must go through the 5K favorite if she is going to leave Hayward Field as the distance queen. At the same time, Orton is expected to have her hands full in the 1500m with Sage Hurta of Colorado targeting that event and starting as the gold medal favorite.
Gittens Targeting A Possible Triple
Tyra Gittens of Texas A&M is another athlete who will be chasing a double, or even a triple crown at the 2021 NCAA Outdoor Championships. She will start as the favorite to win the Heptathlon, but her chance of winning the high jump title is also high up on the chart, while she could even fancy herself against Texas’ Tara Davis in the long jump.