Watch the full race and further highlights of Coastal Carolina sprinter Melissa Jefferson stunned the field to win the women’s 60-meters at the NCAA DI Indoor Track and Field Championships 2022 on Saturday (12).
Watch Melissa Jefferson winning NCAA Indoor 60m title
Despite her talent, Jefferson wasn’t considered among the front runners to win the national title. Read more: Day 2 results: 2022 Sun Belt Indoor Championships
However, her 7.10 second personal best performance to win her semi-final heat on Friday night opened the eyes of many, although not a lot of people fancied her chances of making the podium in the decider.
The junior standout sprinter returned in the final on Saturday to show that her performance on Friday was not a coincidence, as she outpaced her rivals in the closing meters of the race to steal the victory on the line, running another PB of 7.09 seconds to move up the rankings to No. 2 among the NCAA DI women’s 60m runners this season.
With the win, Jefferson became the first-ever individual national champion in Coastal Carolina program history, while she also tied for the sixth-fastest time all-time for the 60m on the NCAA DI women’s indoor record performance chart.
Earlier this season, Jefferson recorded an impressive 7.22 seconds to win the Sun Belt Conference Indoor Championships 2022 60m title.
Meanwhile, among the featured athletes beaten by Jefferson in Birmingham, AL, this past weekend was Texas junior Julien Alfred, who had set the collegiate record in the heats on Friday when she took her semis with 7.04 seconds. The St. Lucian national record holder, though couldn’t replicate that performance in the final and had to settle for fifth in 7.15 secs.
In the final, Abby Steiner of Kentucky collected second place with a PB time of 7.10 secs, while Jadyn Mays of Oregon surprised everyone with a third-place finish with her 7.11 secs run.
Defending champion Kemba Nelson of Oregon who ran 7.05 secs to set a collegiate record last year, didn’t advance to the final this year after failing to come out of her heat.