ATHLETICS Panorama: Ten more world leaders, including 21.91 m (71-10 3/4) for Tom Walsh

New American Junior Record holder in the pole vault: Chloe Cunliffe, headed to Washington State

As the outdoor season gets going, there are plenty of new, outdoor world-leading marks, but hardly any to really be excited about.

Of 10 outdoor leaders over the last weekend, the best was a victory for Commonwealth Games champion Tom Walsh (NZL) in the Australian Nationals in Sydney, reaching 21.91 m (71-10 3/4). Good, but sure to be surpassed soon. Among the other world leaders:

400 m: 44.81, Tyrell Richard (USA)
High Jump: 2.31 m (7-7), Michael Mason (CAN)
Decathlon: 8,060, Karl Richard Saluri (EST)

1,500 m: 4:11.74, Chloe Tighe (AUS)
Mile: 4:41.03, Chrystal Aluya (USA)
100 m Hurdles: 12.87, Chanel Brissett (USA)
Long Jump: 6.81 m (22-4 1/4), Naa Anang (AUS)
Shot: 19.67 m (64-6 1/2), Chase Ealey (USA)
Hammer: 76.23 m (250-1), Gwen Berry (USA)

On the roads, Kenyan Edward Cheserek equaled the world record for 5 km, running 13:29 to win the Carlsbad 5k, tying him with Julien Wanders (SUI), who won in Monaco in February. The distance was only approved for world-record status last year, and will be lowered considerably in 2019.

If you’re looking for a dark horse for the 2020 U.S. Olympic team, you might consider West Seattle High School’s Chloe Cunliffe.

She cleared an American Junior Record (and U.S. high school record) of 4.47 m (14-8) to win the Arcadia Invitational over the weekend, breaking the mark of 4.46 m (14-7 1/2) by Lexi Weeks (now Lexi Jacobus) in 2015.

What makes Cunliffe’s performance so interesting is that a year after Weeks set her 2015 record, she made the U.S. team at the Olympic Trials as an Arkansas frosh. And she did it by clearing 4.70 m (15-5), exactly the new standard needed by the IAAF to compete in the 2020 Games.

Cunliffe has signed a National Letter of Intent to attend Washington State. Can she repeat Weeks’s feat?

The IAAF’s Athletics Integrity Unit posted two more Russian doping cases last week and released a notice of a third suspension:

Sergey Bakulin, a 2012 Olympian with a 2008 best of 1:18:18 in the 20 km Walk; he already served a doping suspension from December 2012 to February 2016.

Kseniya Savina, an 800 m runner with a best of 1:59:97 from 2017; her offense was for “tampering and complicity.”

Aleksei Savin, the husband of Savina, also for “tampering and complicity.”

Savina, 29, was a Ukrainian until changing her allegiance to Russia in June of 2014. She was reported to have “used the Ukrainian passport of a childhood friend from Crimea to compete internationally because the IAAF suspended Russia in 2015 for running a state-backed doping program.”

She was already suspended from June 2018, per the AIU, “on a separate charge of the presence of a prohibited substance.”

The AIU finally posted the doping suspension of American long jump star Jarrion Lawson, who was reported to have tested positive for the steroid trenbolone last year. The silver medalist at the 2017 World Championships, Lawson’s next step is to have his case heard by the IAAF’s Disciplinary Tribunal.

USA Track & Field made a surprise announcement last Thursday that “USATF and NYC Parks have agreed to defer hosting the previously awarded 2020 USATF Indoor Track & Field Championships at NYC Parks’ Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex to a later date.”

There was a two-year deal in place for the USATF Indoor Nationals to be held at the facility, but the Staten Island Advance reported that “A source with knowledge of the situation told the Advance on Thursday, that the “USATF made beyond exorbitant money demands from Ocean Breeze and the local organizing committee with a date ultimatum to comply by and the Parks said that was unacceptable.”

The meet had been held at the Albuquerque (New Mexico) Convention Center in 2011-12-13-14-17-18, in the Boston (Mass.) area in 2015 and the Oregon Convention Center, in Portland, in 2016. They may have gotten a call from Indianapolis already.