NCAA indoor track & field rundown
INDOOR TRACK & FIELD
👟 Baby, it’s cold outside
The GIST: No hibernation here — when fall gives way to winter, racers simply head indoors. The indoor track & field (T&F) season, featuring 875 women’s and 778 men’s programs, runs from just after winter break through mid-March.
- And contrary to popular belief, indoor T&F isn’t just “outdoor T&F but inside:” There are specific nuances that give indoor its own distinct flavor.
How it works: Indoor tracks are much smaller than outdoor ones, so winter’s event list looks a bit different than spring’s. Women’s and men’s teams each participate in 17 events, including seven unique to winter, like the 60-meter dash and the distance medley relay. Women also compete in the pentathlon (five events), while men battle in the heptathlon (seven).
- Again, athletes vie for individual titles in each event as well as the team trophy. Like in XC, men’s and women’s squads are separate sports despite sharing resources and traveling together.
The men’s powerhouses: Historically, Arkansas absolutely runs this sh!t, with a whopping 21 nattys to their name since 1965’s first trophy (the next-best program, UTEP, has seven). The ’80s and ’90s Razorbacks won a mind-boggling 16 titles in 17 seasons under coach John McDonnell, and this year they returned to the sport’s peak with their first ’ship in a decade.
- Team standouts include rising sophomore triple jump prodigy Jaydon Hibbert and the 4x400m relay team, both of whom notched individual NCAA hardware last season.
The women’s powerhouses: In today’s world, it’s just
us the Razorbacks, because Arkansas also rules the women’s race, winning three of the last four nattys and joining the men in an indoor sweep last March. Sprint queen Britton Wilson led the gals (and their formidable 4x400 squad), but they’ll have to find their footing next season without the newly minted pro.
- Current reign aside, Arkansas’ women don’t boast the same dynastic dominance as their men just yet. They’ve won four national titles since the sport’s 1983 birth, good for fourth behind LSU (11 championships), Oregon (7), and Texas (6).