4 Big Storylines That You Might Have Missed From NCAA Long-Distance Event

Published 12/04/2023, 5:45 AM EST

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The long-distance event under the flag of the NCAA received a lofty height after Vin Lannana took over the responsibility of the tracks. The former University of Virginia coach accomplished many titles in his career. However, the best way he could return his due was to change the infrastructure for the long-distance event. He just did that. Since then, long-distance runners like Katelyn Tuohy started to come. 

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This year has not gone as an exception when the NCAA Long-Distance Championship is already rolling. A social media post recently curated four big happenings from the first week. 

Parker Valby’s record run in the NCAA championship


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Rori Dunk posted four major highlights from the first week of the NCAA championship. The caption read, “The NCAA season kicked off with a BANG! The distance athletes carried that heat from cross country straight to the track. Here are 4 memorable performances from week one.” One star of the show was Parker Valby.

Parker Valby from Florida took the records to the cleaners when she completed 5000m in 14:56.11. The indoor event was the third time for Valby. However, that couldn’t deter her from being the first woman to complete the event in 15 minutes in the collegiate tussle. 


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Graham Blanks breaks record made years ago

From Harvard, a seasonal performer, Graham Blanks broke the 5000m record in the NCAA, made in 2012. His staunch timing of 13:03.72 also earned him a berth for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

He finished 11th in the event a year ago in 13:18.45, his previous lifetime best. Dunk’s post about Blanks reads, “Another record wasn’t safe with Graham Blanks’s 13:03.78 taking down the NCAA 5000m record”

Nico Young garners hope

In the same week, Nico Young from NAU clocked 7:36.73 in the 3000m NCAA event. His clocking under 8 (7:36.73)placed him on the all-time substantial list at the collegiate level.

Dunk writes about him, “Nico Young drops 7:36.73 in the 3000m which was good enough for NCAA #3 all-time!”

Olivia Markezich repeats her NCAA success

Notre Dame athlete Olivia Markezich took 8:40.42 to become the second in the fastest athletes’ list to cross 3000m at the NCAA level. Previously, in the 3000m steeplechase, she recorded the fastest timing at the NCAA level. 

Highlighting the athlete’s achievement, Dunk stated in his X post, “Olivia Markezich runs the second fastest 3000m ever in NCAA history with 8:40.42!”


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Several away meets are on the schedule this year 

In the published schedule of the NCAA, the colleges encountered several away runs awaiting them. Harvard University has already proved its upper hand in the ongoing season. With Graham Blanks’ record win, the program has boasted several other wins. 

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Among those, Victoria Bossong broke her record in the 600m at junior level. Along a similar line, Maia Ramsden clinched the Ivy League record in 3000m at the senior level made by Olympian, Abby D’Agostino. After seeing extraordinary feats from the athletes in the first week of the NCAA event, the athletic community awaits more.

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Written by:

Prasun Chakrabarty


One take at a time

Hello there! I am Prasun Chakrabarty, an Olympics sports writer at EssentiallySports. Being an adrenaline junkie, I take a keen interest in creating insights about various avenues of the sporting realm. As an ardent swimming enthusiast, I take inspiration from the Baltimore Bullet Michael Phelps and love to create insights on various nooks and crannies around the turquoise turf.
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