Freshmen Friday: ASU’s Ralford Mullings, Dayton Carlson steal show at NCAA track and field championship

Arizona State freshman Dayton Carlson, second from left, finished sixth and set a new school record in the men’s 800-meter final during day three of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by David Veenstra/Cronkite News)

EUGENE, Ore. – It was quite a day for Arizona State freshmen at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships Friday.

Dayton Carlson finished sixth and set a new school record in the men’s 800-meter final and Ralford Mullings broke through for bronze in the men’s discus finals during day three of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field.

Carlson’s 1:46.72 eclipsed Pete Richardson’s previous school record of 1:46.95 that stood since 1984. Carlson found himself sitting in second to last going into the final lap, but used his signature finish to propel him to sixth.

“Race plan coming in, I knew those guys were gonna go out super fast,” Carlson said after the leaders ran a 50.87-second opening lap. “So my race plan was kinda similar to my prelim, was to go out there and be sixth or seventh but not last. I was last for a little bit, but still we were like neck and neck, and then obviously at the end, kick like I usually do. Race plan was executed almost perfect. My goal was just to stay right around sixth place and then whatever I can do after that is good.”

After finishing sixth, Carlson received first-team All-American honors which go to the top eight places in each event.

“I thought my year was literally over by indoor just with the shin splints and everything,” Carlson said. “I was like, ‘I’m not gonna run outdoor. I’m not gonna do this. I’m not gonna do that.’ Look at me now. Anything is really possible if you put your mind to it.”

In the men’s discus final, ASU senior Turner Washington, the defending champion, narrowly missed out on qualifying for the final series and took 10th.

(In both the first and second flights, each thrower receives three throws and the top nine athletes over the two flights advance to the final series, where three additional throws are awarded).

Washington’s longest throw of the day came on his second attempt at 58.33 meters (191′ 4″).

Mullings, who entered the final series in fifth, climbed to third with his 62.46-meter heave (204′ 11″) on his fourth attempt.

“My plan was just to come out here and do my best and give points to the team,” Mullings said. “This was a big learning year. I’m very glad to be here with coach (Brian Blutreich) and just hope to progress next year and get some bigger marks next year and be consistent.”

In the men’s high jump finals, ASU sophomore Jeremy Cody failed to clear the bar at the opening height of 2.10 meters (6′ 10¾”).

ASU junior Vincent Mauri placed 18th in the men’s 5,000 meter after finishing in 13:45.54.


“Man I’m so excited for the guys,” ASU coach Dion Miller said after the men placed 15th overall in the final team standings. “The guys we brought here to the meet did an outstanding job as a unit. We left some points on the board, obviously. We wanted to finish in the top 10. Our goal each and every year is to finish in the top 15 and we accomplished that, so super excited about our team.”

On Saturday afternoon, ASU graduate student Jordinde van Klinken will look to defend her championship in the women’s discus final. Van Klinken enters with the No.1 ranking based on her season’s best mark of 64.75 meters (212′ 5″). The women’s discus finals is scheduled to start at 2:05 p.m.

Although only six of the 21 events have been scored on the women’s side, the Sun Devils are sitting at the top of the team leaderboard heading into the final day of competition.

Television coverage starts at 2:30 p.m. on ESPN. The beginning of the women’s discus finals can be streamed on ESPN3.

David Veenstra(he/him/his)
Sports Reporter, Phoenix

David Veenstra expects to graduate in August 2022 with a master’s degree in sports journalism. Veenstra has covered ASU track and field for Inferno Intel.