EUGENE, Ore. — A dropped baton cost the Texas A&M men an outright NCAA outdoor track and field team title.
The Aggies’ finished last in the 1,600-meter relay after mishandling the baton before the first exchange, propelling event winner Florida into a tie for the title Saturday.
Each team finished with 53 points for the first co-champions since 1978. It was the second consecutive team title for the Gators after a string of three straight for the Aggies.
Florida won the relay in 3 minutes, 1.34 seconds.
“I just told the guys let’s go win the relay,” coach Mike Holloway said. “We don’t see it as Texas A&M dropping the baton, we see it as we didn’t drop it.”
On the women’s side, top-ranked Kansas wrapped up its first women’s team title earlier in the day and finished with 60 points, thwarting Oregon’s “triple crown” attempt to sweep team titles this year in the sport’s three NCAA championships. The Ducks wound up third behind Texas A&M.
“We came in as a team today,” Jayhawks coach Stanley Redwine said. “We didn’t have a concern of needing one person to do well. It’s all about teamwork.”
Clemson junior Brianna Rollins broke her own collegiate record in the 100 hurdles, finishing in 12:39 to top her mark of 12.47 set in the semifinals Thursday. That time bested the previous record of 12.48 set by Southern California’s Ginnie Powell at the 2006 NCAA outdoor championships in Sacramento, Calif.
It was the best overall time in the world this season and the fastest ever in the event at Hayward Field. Earlier this year, the 21-year old set a championship meet mark in the 60 hurdles with a 7.79 for the NCAA indoor title.
LSU senior Kimberlyn Duncan won the women’s 200 in a wind-aided 22.04 tying her for the fastest collegiate 200 in any conditions. Last year’s Bowerman Award winner is the first woman to win the event in three consecutive years.
“I’m very satisfied,” she said about the final race of her college career. “I’m trying to hold back tears right now.”
Texas A&M senior Ameer Webb won the men’s 200 in a wind-aided 20.10. He was runner-up in the event last year and won it at this year’s indoor championships, but wasn’t considered the favorite for the final.
Oklahoma State’s Natalja Piliusina won the women’s 1,500 in 4:13.25. The junior from Lithuania had twice been a runner-up in the 800.
With 100 to go, Piliusina said she figured she’s was probably going to finish fifth or sixth, but then something changed in her. “I thought, ‘Not this time,’” she said.
Oregon’s Mac Fleet thrilled the Hayward crowd as an upset winner of the men’s 1,500. He surged the final 300 meters and pointed to cheering fans as he crossed the finish in 3:50.25. Even Bruce Hornsby, who sang the national anthem, stood to applaud for the junior Duck.
Hampered by injuries for the past two seasons, Fleet glanced up at the video scoreboard to see how he was doing on the final stretch.
“I knew that there was daylight there,” between him and the rest of the field, he said.
Texas A&M junior Wayne Davis II won the 110 hurdle title in a wind-aided 13:14.
In the men’s 5,000, Arizona junior Lawi Lalang won in 13:35.19 for his seventh overall NCAA title. Lalang also won the 10,000 on Thursday and became the 12th man to win double championships in those events.
Colorado senior Emma Coburn won the 3,000 steeplechase title in 9:35.38.
In the field events, Oklahoma senior Tia Brooks won the shot put with a throw of 62 feet, ½ inch, and Arizona senior Brigetta Barrett won the high jump with a leap of 6- 4¾.
Texas A&M senior Sam Humphries won the javelin at 255-9, and Florida senior Omar Craddock took the triple jump title in 55-6¼.
Arkansas won the women’s 1,600 relay in 3:27.09.
The women’s 400 relay was won by Texas A&M in 42.88, while Florida won on the men’s side in 38.53.
English Gardner, who defended her title in the 100 on Friday and was part of the Ducks’ relay team, announced afterward that she will skip her senior year to go pro.
Gardner was the only collegiate runner to make the finals in the 100 at last year’s Olympic track trials.