EUGENE, Ore. —— Medal contenders Micah Williams, Matthew Boling, and Joseph Fahnbulleh have been drawn in the same 100 meters semi-finals heat at the 2022 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships here at Hayward Field in Oregon, which starts on Wednesday (8).
Day 1 at the national championships will start with men’s only competitions with the semi-final rounds of the men’s disciplines and a number of athletes are aiming to secure spots to the finals of their respective events.
Among the highlighted head-to-heads on the first day is the clash between title contenders in the sprints Fahnbulleh, Williams, and Boling who will race from the first semi-final heat of the 100m.
Williams comes into the championships as the favorite to win the event after clocking a personal best time of 9.86 seconds with a dominating performance at the 2022 West Preliminary Round last month. His time is the joint-second fastest in the world this season.
Georgia sprinter Boling, meanwhile, enters the meeting with a PB of 9.98 secs, set earlier this season in Gainesville, FL, and he will be hoping to return to his best form in the postseason after going through a few bumps in recent outings.
Fahnbulleh, although not breaking 10-seconds as yet this season, is evidently on his way to rediscovering his best form after a late start to the season, following his participation at the Tokyo Olympics last summer.
The Florida star is coming off a winning performance at the 2022 West Preliminary Round last month where he ran 10.04 secs to finish ahead of Boling on the overall time list and he is confident about improving his 7th place finish from last year’s championships.
Oregon star Williams, who also has a fast wind-aided 9.83 (+2.5) performance from the 2022 Mt. Sac Relays and clocked 9.93 at the Pac-12 Championships, will start from lane 5 in the semis on Wednesday, while Fahnbulleh sits next to him in lane 6 and Boling starting from lane 3.
The stacked heat also includes Terrence Jones of Texas Tech, Isaiah Cunningham of Baylor, Joseph Manu of Coppin State, and Ohio State’s Eric Harrison Jr.
Another strong medal contender, Javonte Harding of North Carolina A&T will start in the third semi-finals against the in-form Micaiah Harris of Texas and Favour Ashe of Tennessee. Indoor national champion Davonte Burnett of USC who suffered an injury at the Pac-12 championships is also listed to start in this heat as well.
Stanford standout freshman Udodi Onwuzurike will start from the second semi-final heat alongside Dedrick Vanover of Florida, Ismael Kone of New Orleans, and Houston’s Shaun Maswanganyi.
Nine sprinters will advance to the final with the top two from each heat plus the next three best times joining them.