ATHLETICS: Quigley outlasts Houlihan for upset win and first national title

U.S. Indoor Mile champ Colleen Quigley

American distance ace Shelby Houlihan had a lot going for her coming into the USATF National Indoor Championships at the Ocean Breeze Athletic Center in Staten Island, New York on Saturday.

She had won the 1,500 m/mile and 3,000 m/two-mile at the last two U.S. Indoors and had just come off of a U.S. Cross Country title earlier in the month. But she hadn’t run on a track since last September, so no one knew exactly what to expect.

Colleen Quigley, on the other hand, had run brilliantly in her one indoor race, a 4:22.86 second place at the Millrose Games.

Quigley said she felt good coming into the race and took charge with about 600 m to go on the 200 m banked track. With two laps to go, Quigley had the initiative, just only by a strike ahead of Nikki Hiltz and Houlihan had positioned herself well for her patented kick at the end.

But at the bell, Quigley was still in front , with Houlihan a half-second behind. But instead of a Houlihan pass, Quigley extended her lead down the final backstraight and charged home for her first national title in 4:29.7 to 4:29.92 for Houlihan. It was the first loss in a national championship final for Houlihan since 2016.

That was the competitive highlight of the second of three days at the U.S. Indoors, with three world-leading marks set:

Men’s Two Mile: 8:25.29, Drew Hunter
Men’s Weight: 24.12 m (79-1 3/4), Daniel Haugh
Women’s 300 m: 35.95, Brittany Brown

Two of the 2018 winners defended their titles:

Men’s 3000 m Walk: Nick Christie
Women’s High Jump: Vashti Cunningham

Cunningham’s win was especially significant, as it was her fourth in a row – at age 21! – and tied Eleanor Montgomery (1966-69) and Jean Shiley (1929-32) as the only women to take four indoor high jump titles in a row.

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Rio shot put champ Ryan Crouser, already the world leader at 22.33 m (73-3 1/4), won his first U.S. Indoor title at 22.22 m (72-10 3/4), the 10th-longest throw of all time indoors.

The men’s two mile was a stunner, as Drew Hunter, 21, had no qualifying mark and was placed in the slower of the two heats. He won by more than 13 seconds at 8:25.29, the world leader, and then watched the “A” final, where the pace was slow and Eric Avila won in 8:32.41, making Hunter the national champ … by more than seven seconds!

A new U.S. indoor high school record was set by Athing Mu of Trenton Central (New Jersey) HS in the heats of the women’s 600 m at 1:26.23, which turned out to be the fastest time in the field.

Prize money is $6,000-4,000-2,500-1,500-1,000 for the top five places. The meet continues tomorrow; NBCSN has coverage from 4-6 p.m. Eastern time. Summaries through Saturday:

USATF National Indoor Championships
New York, New York (USA) ~ 22-24 February 2019
(Full results here)

Men

300 m-Race I: 1. Dontavius Wright, 32.81; 2. Brycen Spratling, 33.59. Race II: 1. Manteo Mitchell, 33.54 (second overall); 2. John Lundy, 33.69; 3. Jason Crow, 34.01; 4. Cole Lambourne, 34.06.

Two Mile: 1. Andrew Hunter, 8:25.29 (race 1-1); 2. Eric Avila, 8:32.41 (race 2-1); 3. Tripp Hurt, 8:32.72 (2-2); 4. Dillon Maggard, 8:33.28 (2-3); 5. Sean McGorty, 8:33.41 (2-4); 6. Brian Barraza, 8:33.99 (2-5); 7. Jacob Thomsen, 8:34.64 (2-6); 8. Travis Mahoney, 8:35.33 (2-7).

3,000 m Walk: 1. Nick Christie, 11:35.34; 2. Emmanuel Corvera, 11:49.25; 3. John Cody Risch, 11:57.26; 4. Anthony Peters, 12:18.80; 5. Richard Luettchau, 13:18.49; only finishers.

High Jump: 1. Jeron Robinson, 2.24 m (7-4 1/4); 2. Avion Jones, 2.21 m (7-3); 3. Kristopher Kornegay-Gober, 2.18 m (7-1 3/4); 4. JaCorian Duffield, 2.18 m (7-1 3/4); 5. Noah VanderVeen, 2.18 m (7-1 3/4); 6. Bradley Atkins, 2.13 m (6-11 3/4); 7. Trey Culver, 2.13 m (6-11 3/4); 8. Jalen Ramsey, 2.08 m (6-9 3/4).

Pole Vault: 1. Andrew Irwin, 5.80 m (19-0 1/4); 2. Scott Houston, 5.61 m (18-4 3/4); 3. Max Babits, 5.51 m (18-4 3/4); 4. Austin Miller, 5.41 m (17-9); 5. tie, Dylan Bell, Kyle Pater and Cole Walsh, 5.41 m (17-9); 8. Garrett Starkey, 5.41 m (17-9).

Long Jump: 1. Jordan Downs. 7.73 m (25-4 1/2); 2. Malik Moffett, 7.69 m (25-2 3/4); 3. Josh Colley, 7.53 m (24-8 1/2); 4. Will Williams, 7.45 m (24-5 1/2); 5. Kenneth Glenn, 7.44 m (24-5); 6. Charles Brown, 7.21 m (23-8); 7. Roderick Townsend, 7.20 m (23-7 1/2); 8. Corey Muggler, 7.18 m (23-6 3/4).

Shot Put: 1. Ryan Crouser, 22.22 m (72-10 3/4); 2. Joe Kovacs, 21.40 m (70-2 1/2); 3. Josh Awotunde, 20.63 m (67-8 1/4); 4. Curtis Jensen, 20.03 m (65-8 3/4); 5. William Pless, 20.00 m (65-7 1/2); 6. Alex Renner, 19.07 m (62-6 3/4); 7. Lucas Warning, 18.85 m (61-10 1/4); 8. Coy Blair, 18.78 m (61-7 1/2).

Weight: 1. Daniel Haugh, 24.12 m (79-1 3/4); 2. Conor McCullough, 23.98 m (78-8 1/4); 3. Alex Young, 23.67 m (77-8); 4. Sean Donnelly, 23.38 m (76-8 1/2); 5. Daniel Roberts, 23.19 m (76-1); 6. Grant Cartwright, 23.12 m (75-10 1/4); 7. Colin Dunbar, 22.95 m (75-3 1/2); 8. Michael Shanahan, 22.57 m (74-0 3/4).

Heptathlon: 1. Tim Ehrhardt, 5,868; 2. Solomon Simmons, 5,766; 3. Jack Flood, 5,701; 4. Teddy Frid, 5,671; 5. Alex Bloom, 5,631; 6. Curtis Beach, 5,467; 7. Samuel Black, 5,404; 8. Phillip Bailey, 5,352.

Women

300 m-Race I: 1. Brittany Brown, 35.95; 2. Gabby Thomas, 35.98; 3. Kayla Davis, 37.46. Race II: 4. Faith Dismuke, 38.28; 5. Asha Ruth, 38.46; 6. Rachel McCoy, 38.80.

Mile: 1. Colleen Quigley, 4:29.47; 2. Shelby Houlihan, 4:29.92; 3. Cory McGee, 4:30.14; 4. Shannon Osika,4:31.05; 5. Nikki Hiltz, 4:32.40; 6. Elinor Purrier, 4:32.69; 7. Eleanor Fulton, 4:33.47 (Race 2-1.); 8. Grace Barnett, 4:33.63 (Race 2-2).

High Jump: 1. Vashti Cunningham, 1.96 m (6-5); 2. Ty Butts, 1.88 m (6-2); 3. Amina Smith, 1.88 m (6-2); 4. Jelena Rowe, 1.83 m (6-0); 5. Inika McPherson, 1.83 m (6-0); 6. Michelle Spires, 1.78 m (5-10); 7. Melanie Winters, 1.73 m (5-8); 8. Juanita Webster-Freeman, 1.73 m (5-8).

Long Jump: 1. Kate Hall, 6.51 m (21-4 1/4); 2. Quanesha Burks, 6.39 m (20-11 3/4); 3. Kenyattia Hackworth, 6.39 m (20-11 3/4); 4. Kendell Williams, 6.33 m (20-9 1/4); 5. Jessie Gaines, 6.27 m (20-7); 6. Tristine Johnson, 6.13 m (20-1 3/4); 7. Melanie Winters, 6.02 m (19-9); 8. Erica Graham, 5.65 m (18-6 1/2).

Weight: 1. Janeah Stewart, 24.80 m (81-4 1/2); 2. Deanna Price, 24.52 m (80-5 1/2); 3. Kaitlyn Long, 23.19 m (76-1); 4. Annette Echikunwoke, 22.97 m (75-4 1/2); 5. Jeneva Stevens, 22.89 m 975-1 1/4); 6. Brooke Andersen, 22.25 m (73-0); 7. Michaela Dendinger, 21.10 (69-2 3/4); 8. Christina Macdonald, 18.49 m (60-8).

Pentathlon: 1. Kendell Williams, 4,496; 2. Emilyn Dearman, 4,356; 3. Anna Hall, 4,302; 4. Juanita Webster-Freeman, 4,255; 5. Annie Kunz, 4,243; 6. Riley Cooks, 4,106; 7. Kendall Gustafson, 4,101; 8. Shaina Burns, 4,085.

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