Promise delivered: Tyra Gittens shatters pentathlon collegiate records to take gold at NCAA Division I Nationals

By March 11, 2021
Tyra Gittens Tyra Gittens Texas A&M

Two weeks ago, following her sixth-place finish at the SEC Indoor Championships, Texas A&M’s Tyra Gittens said she was coming for the NCAA pentathlon record.

“These two weeks are going to be very important. I have a lot to work on,” she said. “I am going to use it to train and just get consistent and I am coming for the NCAA record.”

She wasn’t kidding.

On today’s first day of the NCAA National Indoor Championships in Arkansas, Gittens smashed the collegiate, facility and meet records held by Kendell Williams to crown herself NCAA national champion.

 On March 11, 2016, Williams of the University of Georgia set the collegiate and meet records of 4703 points. She also held the facility record of 4678 points set on March 14, 2015. These are no more as the 22-year-old Trinidadian scored a personal best 4746 points to take gold and exact revenge on Georgia’s Anna Hall, who won the SEC title a fortnight ago.

Hall secured the silver with 4401 points while Erin Marsh of Duke scored 4344 points for third.

Gittens, who had set a personal best 4612 points on January 29, started out well-running 8.27s for the 60m hurdles, the second-best time overall behind Marsh’s 8.13s.

The time, though, earned Gittens 1068 points. She would then earn another 1145 points in the long jump after clearing a personal best and school record 1.93m.

Her worst score of the day came in the shot put when a mark of 13.86m earned her 785 points.

By then she had established a lead of 277 points over Hall going into the final two events. At the SEC’s, trouble with the long jump run up saw her struggle, only managing a mark of 4.11m. She had no such trouble today leaping to 6.58m, just four centimetres shy of her personal best of 6.62m.

With only the 800m to come, Gittens needed 673 points to break the collegiate record. Her time of 2:28.22 was the 15th best time of the competitors but it earned 715 points that took her past the previous records.

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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