Maine state high jump record holder Nyagoa Bayak placed sixth in the NCAA Division 1 Nationals Championship on Friday evening at the University of Arkansas competing for Louisiana State University (LSU).
Bayak who qualified for the 2020 indoor nationals which were eventually canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic was competing in her first NCAA national championship meet. The sophomore from Westbrook, Maine cleared the opening height of 1.71m (5-7 1/4) of her first attempt. After a first attempt miss at 1.76m (5-9 1/4), Bayak cleared on her second attempt. The bar was raised to 1.81m (5-11 1/4) where she would once again clear on her second attempt moving her up to sixth place overall. Next up was 1.84m (6-0 1/2), after missing her first two attempts Nyagoa cleared on her final attempt to record a new personal best.
Bayak revealed on her Instragam feed last night that she has been battling injury the past two seasons and has surgery scheduled for next week to fix OCD lesions on her patellar tendon. She expects to be ready to compete during the 2021 outdoor season.
In the 5000 meters, Hannah Steelman of North Carolina State ran to All-American honors with her eighth-place finish. Steelman ran with the lead pack for much of the race before fading over the last 400m back to eighth place with her 15:55.65 effort. Steelman in her first season for NC State earned indoor All-American honors for the second time in her collegiate career. On Monday she will compete in the NCAA cross-country national championship where she will look to earn All-American honors for the second consecutive season.