The 2019 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships have come to an end with teams from Florida and Arkansas leaving Birmingham, Alabama, with national championships.
The Gators won the men's title for the second consecutive year with 55 total points, beating out Houston and LSU. The Razorbacks prevailed on the women's side for the second time in school history.
Arkansas' win came on the strength of a 21-point showing in the pole vault finals.
Alexis Jacobus took the top spot in the pole vault with a jump of 4.61 meters. Fellow Razorbacks Victoria Hoggard and Desiree Freier came in third and fourth, respectively, to give their team 13 points more than any other school (San Diego State).
Arkansas didn't score more than 10 points in any other event, but it was more than enough to secure the program's first title since 2015.
USC came out on top in three events—60 meters, 60-meter hurdles, 400 meters—but failing to score in the long jump Friday proved costly. The Trojans finished 11 points behind Arkansas, settling for second place. It was the program's best finish since tying for second in 1986.
One notable individual performance came from North Carolina A&T star Kayla White. The senior followed up her world-record run in the 200 meters at the Tyson Invitational last month with a national championship in the same event Saturday:
White was pushed to the limit by Texas freshman Kynnedy Flannel, who finished just .02 seconds off the lead to take second place.
Oregon and Stanford started the day tied for second with 14 points. The Ducks did most of their damage by winning the distance medley relay in 10:53.43, just ahead of BYU at 10:54.14.
Stanford didn't get a big boost by winning an event, but Fiona O'Keeffe stepped up with a third-place finish in the 5,000 meters for six points.
Lena Giger nearly gave the Cardinal 10 points in the shot put with a throw of 17.89 meters. The senior wound up settling for the runner-up position when Arizona State's Samantha Noennig throw went .02 meters longer.
On the men's side, LSU ended the first day of competition Friday with a seven-point lead thanks to Mondo Duplantis' win in the pole vault and Rayvon Grey's long jump title.
"I thought today went well for us," LSU head coach Dennis Shaver told reporters after Friday's competition. "Really proud of Rayvon and Mondo. They came out and did what they had to do to score points for our team, and in a big way. I like where we are at and we'll come back tomorrow looking to put more points up."
North Dakota State did its best to remain within shouting distance of the lead on day one thanks to two wins of its own. Senior Payton Otterdahl followed up his college record 21.81-meter shot-put throw at the Summit League Championships last month with another historic moment at the NCAA championships:
Saturday was a turning point for the Gators, thanks in large part to S. Grant Holloway's history-making performance in the hurdles:
Gators Track and Field & Cross Country @GatorsTF
First man in #NCAATF Indoors history to win three high hurdles 🥇🥇🥇 Second man in history to score 2⃣6⃣ points at #NCAATF Indoors. Third man in #NCAATF history to complete the straightaway sweep. @Flaamingoo_ is officially a LEGEND. And he's still got the 4x4 left 😮 https://t.co/CEfqXtXNoo
The 60-meter race was Florida's big showcase, with Holloway taking the top spot, Hakim Sani Brown coming in third and Ryan Clark crossing the finish line in sixth.
LSU fell off the pace with just 11 combined points in the 200 meters and high jump.
With the title pretty much in tow, the Gators took their victory lap with a third-place finish in the 4x400-meter relay. Houston's quartet squeaked out a narrow win in 3:05.04, just ahead of Texas A&M (3:05.15) and Florida (3:05.24).
Arkansas' women's indoor team is becoming a national powerhouse. The program has finished in the top two at this event four times since 2015. Oregon is the only other school with multiple national titles during that span.
Florida's men's team has been the most dominant squad in the sport this decade. All five of the school's national titles have come since 2010.