It's been 41 years since the first women's outdoor track and field Division I championship in 1982. In honor of the great years in the sport and the exciting year ahead, here are 41 athletes that you need to know for the 2023 season.
While these are my top 41 women you should know entering the outdoor season, the order of the women below is alphabetical, not in any ranking. That said, let's look at the names to know.
Ackelia Smith | Texas
Smith has been the second-best long and triple jumper in the country since the start of the 2022 indoor season. That's no slight, as she's only behind a horizontal jumper (more on her later) that's performing at a historical level.
Ackera Nugent | Arkansas
Nugent set the 60-meter hurdle record at the 2023 indoor championships and helped lead Arkansas to the indoor track and field title. She's one to watch as 40 meters get added to the hurdles during the outdoor season.
Adelaide Aquilla | Ohio State
Aquilla has won four of the last five shot-put titles across seasons. Few can compete with her at her best.
Alia Armstrong | LSU
Armstrong was absent for much of the indoor season after finishing fourth in the 100 meter-hurdles at the 2022 World Championships, but as she returns, she should be one of the top contenders in the 100-meter hurdles.
Allie Jones | Southern California
Allie Jones transferred from Stanford to USC this year and continued to prove she's one of the best athletes in the combined events in the country. She's an early contender in the heptathlon.
Amanda Fassold | Arkansas
Fassold won the 2023 indoor pole vault title. She enters the outdoor season as the top athlete in the event.
Amber Anning | Arkansas
Amber Anning is one of a litany of 400 meter runners at Arkansas. She'll be key to the Razorbacks' attempt at a 2023 women's title sweep.
WHAT TO KNOW: 8 storylines to know ahead of 2023 DI men's, women's outdoor track and field season
Ashton Riner-Lunt | BYU
Ashton Riner-Lunt was known as just Ashton Riner last year when she won the javelin title. The returning champ should contend again.
Autumn Wilson | Georgia
Wilson is only a freshman, but she's already emerged as one of the best short sprinters in the country. She finished third in the indoor 200 meters and fourth in the indoor 60 meters.
Britton Wilson | Arkansas
Wilson just ran sub-50 in the indoor 400. However, Wilson has specialized in the 400 meter hurdles over recent years. Now Wilson could attempt an open 400-400 hurdles double, or she could continue to push the limits in just one event. Whatever she chooses, Wilson remains elite.
Charisma Taylor | Tennessee
Taylor competed in the 60-meter hurdles, long jump and triple jump at indoor championships, finishing third, fifth and second respectively. She's one of the most versatile athletes that doesn't compete in combined events.
Claire Bryant | Florida
Jasmine Moore may get most of the attention at Florida in the long jump, but Claire Bryant is a great jumper in her own right. She consistently scores points in the event for the Gators at championship meets and finished third during the indoor season.
👀: 5 must-watch outdoor track and field meets to pay attention to in 2023
Favour Ofili | LSU
Ofili is one of the best sprinters in the sport, especially in the 200 meters. She's still in search of a 200 meter title after multiple second-place finishes.
Grace Stark | Florida
Stark is one of the most important athletes in the chase for the 2023 women's outdoor title. Stark was a championship-level sprinter and hurdler before her injury before the 2022 outdoor championships. If she returns to form with health, Florida could pick up key points as the Gators seek back-to-back titles.
Hilda Olemomoi | Alabama
Olemomoi is one of the top distance runners in the country. After attempting the distance double at indoor championships, all eyes are set on which events she competes in during the outdoor season.
Jacious Sears | Tennessee
Sears was the second fastest woman over 60 meters during the indoor season and should challenge for SEC and national titles in the short sprints.
🗓: Here's when the 2023 outdoor track and field season starts
Jadin O'Brien | Notre Dame
O'Brien won the 2023 indoor pentathlon title. She should be the favorite to take home the combined events' crown this spring.
Jadyn Mays | Oregon
Mays is the latest sprinter to take center stage in Tracktown, USA. She's improved year after year, most recently taking fifth place in the NCAA indoor 60 meters and 200 meters.
Jasmine Jones | USC
Jasmine Jones only competed in the 4x400 meter relay during the indoor season, but in the outdoor season, we'll see her return to the 100 meter hurdles. She finished second in the event at the 2022 outdoor championships.
Jasmine Moore | Florida
Moore is arguably the most dominant athlete in all of women's track and field — in two events. She's been the best horizontal jumper in the sport over the last two years.
Jorinde Van Klinken | Oregon
Van Klinken has won back-to-back discus titles while also competing as one of the top women in the shot put. She's one of the best throwers in the country.
Julien Alfred | Texas
It was "another week, another record" for Julien Alfred during the indoor season. She's running an all-time great year and already enters the outdoor season with the 60-meter and 200-meter titles.
WATCH LIST: The 2023 Bowerman watch list for men's and women's NCAA track and field
Juliette Whittaker | Stanford
Whittaker is one of the stars of Stanford's elite freshman class. She only missed out on an NCAA title during the indoor season to her teammate (more on her later). The sky is the limit for Whittaker in the mid-distances.
Kaila Jackson | Georgia
Jackson joins her teammate Autumn Wilson to form Georgia's freshman sprint duo. Like her counterpart, Jackson also finished as a finalist in both the 60 meters and 200 meters at indoor championships.
Katelyn Tuohy | NC State
Tuohy has known stardom since high school but remains one of the humblest stars in the sport. But no amount of humility can hide Tuohy's greatness on the track where in three straight seasons she's won a 2022 outdoor title, a cross country title and two indoor titles.
Kelsey Chmiel | NC State
Chmiel might fly under the radar for some as Tuohy's teammate, but she's right behind her as one of the best distance runners in the sport.
🏆: Here are the DI track and field teams with most NCAA championships
Kennedy Simon | Texas
Simon surprisingly didn't qualify for the indoor 400 meter finals this year, but she finished third in the same event's finals last outdoor season. Expect a bounce-back season for the Longhorn.
Lamara Distin | Texas A&M
Distin has won three straight high jump titles across seasons and is the overwhelming favorite for the 2023 high jump title entering the outdoor season.
Lauren Gregory | Arkansas
Gregory may not have won an indoor title this winter, but without her kicks in the mile and DMR, Arkansas wouldn't have won the team title. Gregory proved that no matter the distance, she should be considered a contender when she's on the track this spring.
Masai Russell | Kentucky
Russell owned the 60-meter hurdle record for most of the indoor season. Now she enters the outdoor season ready to chase greatness in the 100-meter hurdles and 400-meter hurdles, hoping to finally earn that elusive NCAA title.
MORE: Every collegiate indoor track and field record broken this season
McKenzie Long | Ole Miss
Long was a finalist in the indoor 60 meters and 200 meters. Only a handful of sprinters can say that entering the outdoor season.
Mercy Chelangat | Alabama
Chelangat is the reigning 10K champion. She also has a cross-country title and some runner-up finishes under her belt. Chelangat is an elite distance runner.
Michaela Rose | LSU
Rose burst on the scene during the indoor season with impressive 800-meter running. She'll be a threat to win some of the mid-distance titles once she hits the track this spring.
Olivia Howell | Illinois
Howell added an NCAA championship in the mile to her Big Ten championship collection. She's elevated herself into one of the top mid-distance runners in the country.
Olivia Markezich | Notre Dame
Markezich is another one of the top distance runners in the NCAA. Expect to see her in the steeplechase this spring.
Parker Valby | Florida
Valby qualified for indoor nationals, but she didn't compete at the championships. Nonetheless, Valby will remain one of the best distance runners in the country when she returns to the track.
Rhasidat Adeleke | Texas
Adeleke began running the 400 meters this indoor season and broke the collegiate record. As she gains more experience in the 400, she's primed to compete for a title.
MORE: Here's how the outdoor track and field championships work
Roisin Willis | Stanford
Only one freshman woman won an indoor track and field title in 2023. That was Roisin Willis. She outpaced her teammate (Whittaker) to run a sub-two minute 800 meters for the title. She's only a freshman and she should only get better with experience.
Rosemary Chukwuma | Texas Tech
Chukwuma underperformed at indoor championships, but she remains one of the best sprinters in the country, capable of standing on the podium come the outdoor season's end.
Rosey Effiong | Arkansas
Effiong is another elite 400-meter runner on Arkansas' roster. Like the other Razorbacks on this list, she'll contribute greatly to Arkansas' outdoor title chances.
Talitha Diggs | Florida
Diggs' 400-meter streak against American competition ended at indoor championships, but last we saw her race in the outdoor 400 meters at World Championships as the US champion. Diggs can still defend her outdoor title this season and she should be in Austin this June.