5 women to watch in collegiate track & field
Despite a year of limited training and competition, there have been some incredible performances and there are without a doubt some exciting athletes to watch.
As with most sports at the collegiate and professional level, male athletes can often get a little more hype, discussion and media coverage. So, while we have so much respect for all the male athletes out there and will be the first to say that there are some exciting athletes to watch in male event categories across track and field, we’d like to take this opportunity to put the spotlight on some women who are currently killing the game.
Anna Hall - Sophomore at the University of Georgia
During her time at UGA, Hall has made her name known on the collegiate scene, here are some of her collegiate career highlights thus far:
- In 2020 Anna was named a USTFCCA All-Academic Individual
- During the 2021 Indoor Season Hall was named the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) South Region Women's Field Athlete of the Year. This comes as no surprise considering she won the highly competitive Southeastern Conference (SEC) pentathlon by over 400 points - she set meet records in both the high jump and 800 metres.
- Her highest score of 4590 this year currently ranks her second nationally and fourth in the world.
- Anna also cleared 1.89m in the high jump, which currently ranks her second in the NCAA Division I.
- She’s been named to the 2021 Bowerman Watch List.
Athing Mu - Freshman at Texas A&M University
It's hard to beleive this is Athing's first year on the collegiate stage, she's smashing record after record and looking completely unstoppable:
- Athing set the American U20 800m record with a time of 2:01.07 in her collegiate debut, but she later dropped this time to a blistering 1:58.40 at the SEC Indoor Track and Field Championships earlier this year. This time also happens to make Athing the second-fastest American all-time in an indoor 800m.
- In her second collegiate meet she broke a 40-year-old collegiate record in the 600m with a time of 1:25.80 and ran a 50.94 split in the 4x400m - this split got even faster in her next relay with a 50.03, arguably one of the fastest collegiate indoor 400m splits of all time.
- Athing is currently ranked first in the NCAA D-I in 800m by more than 2 minutes, ranked fist in 400m and the Texas A&M Aggies are also ranked first nationally in the 4x400m relay with a time of 3:26.27.
- She’s also been added to the Bowerman Watch List.
Camryn Rogers - Senior at the University of California, Berkeley
Camryn hails from British, Columbia, Canada, where as a high school student-athlete she achieved a great deal of success, representing Canada on multiple occasions in the hammer throw. Her achievements have just kept growing from there as a Cal Bear:
- In her freshman year, Camryn threw a distance of 65.61m in the hammer throw, to claim the Cal school record and Canadian U20 record.
- The following year in 2019 Camryn became the NCAA Champion in the hammer throw, First Team All-American and recorded the seventh-best hammer throw in NCAA history with a throw of 71.50m - this throw reset the U23 Canadian National Record and was fourth all-time in Canada’s history.
- In 2021 Camryn set a new school record in the women’s weight throw with a distance of 21.78m which moves her to the top 10 in the NCAA D-I this indoor season.
Abby Steiner - Junior at University of Kentucky
Abby is currently a junior at UK and she is proving to be one of the best sprinters in collegiate history. This season alone she has:
- She set a new SEC record at the 2021 SEC Indoor Track and Field Championships which ties her for third fastest in collegiate history - with a time of 22.41 seconds in the 200m prelims. She won the SEC 200m title the next day in a time of 22.50.
- Her 60m PR of 7.21 currently ranks her eighth in the NCAA, while her 200m PR (indoor) of 22.41 currently ranks her first in the nation and second in the world.
- Abby was recruited to Kentucky as a dual-sport athlete and dual-scholarship player, as a forward on the women’s soccer team.
- Despite a torn ACL during her high-school career, she came back stronger than ever, setting multiple school and state records at the Ohio state meet less than a year into recovery.
- She’s also been added to the Bowerman Watch List ahead of the 2021 NCAA indoor championships.
Ruth Usoro - Junior at Texas Tech
Originally from Nigeria, Usoro’s made a name for herself in North American collegiate athletics. Now in her junior year, she continues to be one of the best female jumpers the NCAA has ever seen. Here are just some of her career highlights:
- Ruth had the 11th-best long jump mark in NCAA history to claim Big 12 gold with a mark of 6.82m. This win also gave her a meet record, school record, second best jump in the world for the season, third best Nigerian all-time but most-importantly it was an Olympic qualifying mark.
- She also claimed the top spot in the triple jump at the Big 12 Indoor Championships with a mark of 14.36m. This is the second-best triple jump distance in NCAA history and secured her second Olympic qualification for the 2021 Tokyo games.
- Outside of the NCAA, she’s also the Nigerian national triple jump national record holder. She broke an indoor record of 13.76m that was set by Nkeiruke Domike over 10 years ago.
- On the heels of an incredible indoor season, Usoro has also been named to the Bowerman Watch List.
This list of athletes is short and is just a snapshot of the powerful females in collegiate track and field right now. Is there an athlete not on our list that’s in your top picks right now? Let us know by joining the conversation on Instagram!
Like we mentioned at the outset of this blog, media coverage and discussion around female athletes has improved but is still not exactly on an even playing field with male athletes. This past week, Dina Asher-Smith penned an article for The Players Tribune, titled ‘Who We Elevate’. It unpacks the lack of representation of female athletes in the media and the impact it has on girls and women of all ages. It’s an incredible piece and we recommend taking a few minutes out of your day to check it out, it can be a great starting point to having open and productive conversations with your friends, family, teammates or coaches.
As we look ahead it’s hard to ignore that spring is in the air, vaccines are starting to roll out, the outdoor season upon us and the Tokyo Olympics are just around the corner. We don’t want to speak too soon, but I think it’s safe to say that better times are ahead and we can’t wait to see what’s in store for high school, collegiate and professional athletics.
Want to get involved? Here’s where you can find us:
- Looking to compete at the university or collegiate level? Create your free athlete profile and get started today.
- Join us on social on Facebook or Instagram for the latest in track and field recruiting and sport updates.
- Looking for more conversation? We have an awesome Facebook group where you can interact with other athletes, get recruitment support and meet our Streamline Athletes team!
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