Sunday, February 24, 2019

On Oscar Sunday, A Star is Born!

Super Sunday at US Indoor Nationals

As One Star is Born, Another Comes of Age

New Jersey's 16-year-old Athing Mu ran 1:23.57 to set the American Record and just miss the world best at 600m today at the US National Indoor Championships on Sunday. 

Everything about this race on Oscar Sunday had "A Star is Born" written all over it as the high schooler held off Raevyn Rogers for the win. On any other day, Rogers would have made headlines with her 1:24.88, #8 all-time.

Then Donavan Brazier stepped up to set the world best at the same distance - 1:13.77! He split a remarkable 48.09 at 400m and took down Michael Saruni's previous world best by over a second. In 2nd, Sam Ellison's 1:15.20 ranks him #9 all-time, while Kameron Jones' 1:15.32 in 3rd ranks him #12. 

In the subsequent race, Ajee Wilson narrowly missed the American 1,000m record with her 2:24.71.

Much has been made of Staten Island's Ocean Breeze Track and Field Athletic Complex: its architectural beauty, its environmentally rigorous design, and its state of the art track which can expand from 6 lanes to 8. But like the Harvard indoor track before it which became a destination for those who wanted to run fast miles, how much help, exactly, does this track give?

It's not so much the fast times at the top that have my attention - Mu and Brazier were record-setters this weekend on any indoor track in the world. But in fields which Track and Field News described in some instances as "thin," there was remarkable depth of quality in the performances. 

In a tweet this afternoon, FloTrack noted that 8 performances in this meet fall in the top 15 on the world all-time lists - not bad for thin fields! It will be interesting to see how this track performs in future major championships, and to see if it becomes a destination for oh-so-fast middle distance times.

Complete results:,.aspx

Here is a link to my Day 1+2 report:

This report is written from Seattle.

Fast Times on a Fast Track
photo credit: Carol Coram

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