Joseph Fahnbulleh goes from last to first to win NCAA Championships 100m

Joseph Fahnbulleh
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EUGENE, Oregon — Florida’s Joseph Fahnbulleh pulled away at the finishes to win the 100m and 200m at the NCAA track and field championships Friday night.

Fahnbulleh, fifth in the Tokyo Olympic 200m for Liberia, won the NCAA 100m title first in a personal-best 10.00 seconds. Tennessee freshman Favour Ashe was second in 10.08. Oregon’s Micah Williams, who had the nation’s fastest time of 9.86 seconds this year, finished seventh.

“I just did my race plan, and that was it,” Fahnbulleh matter-of-factly said.

He won the 200m later in the evening at Hayward Field, finishing in 19.83 ahead of Matthew Boling of Georgia. Fahnbulleh is tied for third-fastest in the world this year in the 200m.

Boosted by Fahnbulleh’s performance, the Florida Gators won the men’s team title with 54 points. Texas finished second with 38.

Wisconsin’s Olin Hacker won the 5000m, surging in the final 80 meters to finish in 13:27.73. His father, Tim Hacker, won the 1985 NCAA cross-country championship.

“It’s one of those things, I came into this race, this is what I wanted, this is what I dreamed about — and they were kind of stressful dreams, to be honest,” Hacker said with a laugh. “I thought I could do it but it wasn’t real and I didn’t know what it would feel like. It felt amazing.”

North Carolina A&T’s Randolph Ross defended his outdoor title in the 400m and got the indoor-outdoor sweep in the event with a victory in 13:44. Ross was part of the gold medal-winning U.S. men’s 4x400m relay at the Toyko Games.

Florida State’s Trey Cunningham, the back-to-back ACC champion, won the 110m hurdles in a personal-best 13 seconds. Cunningham also won the 60m hurdles at the indoor championships.

Texas Tech’ senior Moad Zahafi won the 800m in 1:44.49. Earlier this year, he ran the event in 1:43.79, the third-fastest time in NCAA history.

“I came here with one goal, just like everyone else, to win,” Zahafi said. ”It’s my last meet at Texas Tech, so I want to give it all and I want to win for my team.”

Washington sophomore Joe Waskom won the 1500m in 3:45.58, besting Mario Garcia Romo of Ole Miss. Sean Burrell of LSU defended his title in the 400m hurdles in 48.70, and Eastern Kentucky’s Ahmed Jaziri won the 3000m steeplechase title in 8:18.70.

Southern California won the 4x100m relay in 38.49. Florida capped its team title by winning the 4x400m in 2:58.88.

Hayward Field was damp for the men’s finals with temperatures in the upper 60s. The women’s finals are set for Saturday.

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