The Sports Examiner

TSX BULLETIN: World records for Holloway, Haugh, Jones, eight world leads and Lyles edges Coleman at USATF Indoors!

Look at this: another indoor world record for Grant Holloway! (Photo: Stephen Pond/Getty Images for World Athletics)

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Altitude has its advantages and athletes know it. So in the thin air of the Albuquerque Convention Center – 4,959 feet above sea level – American stars went wild at the USA Track & Field Indoor Championships with world and American records and world leading performances in eight events:

Men/60 m: 6.43, Noah Lyles
Men/60 m hurdles: 7.27, Grant Holloway ~ World Record
Men/Shot: 22.80 m (74-9 3/4), Ryan Crouser
Men/Weight: 26.35 m (86-5), Daniel Haugh ~ World Best

Women/60 m hurdles: 7.67 (=), Tia Jones ~ equals World Record
Women/Long Jump: 7.18 m (23-6 3/4), Tara Davis-Woodhall
Women/Shot: 20.02 m (65-8 1/4), Chase Jackson
Women/Weight: 25.73 m (84-5), Erin Reese

The top two finishes in most events will move on to the World Indoor Championships in Glasgow (GBR) from 1-3 March.

The first strike came on Friday afternoon from Pan Am Games hammer silver medalist (and defending national indoor champ) Daniel Haugh, who exploded with the no. 9 performance in history in the first round of the men’s Weight at 25.32 m (83-1), then wrote his name in the record books with a fourth-round 26.35 m (86-5) throw that eclipsed Lance Deal’s 1995 toss of 25.86 m (84-10 1/4) for a world best and an American Record. Isaiah Rogers was a distant second with a lifetime best of 24.41 m (80-1).

Just after 5:30 p.m. was the second heat of the women’s 60 m hurdles and Tia Jones, who was third at the Millrose Games when Devynne Charlton (BAH) set the world mark of 7.67, ran 7.67 herself to equal her mark. In the final – after two false starts – Jones, 23, ran 7.68 to win easily over Jasmine Jones (7.78) and Masai Russell (7.80), for the equal-third performance ever.

About 15 minutes after Jones’s world-record equaler came hurdles superstar Grant Holloway, who had already scared his own world mark of 7.29 from 2021 with a 7.32 win in Lievin, France on 10 February. This time, he left no doubt, winning heat one by a huge margin in a new world record of 7.27! Already qualified for the World Indoors by winning the World Indoor Tour title last year, he skipped the final, with 2022 Worlds silver medalist Trey Cunningham coming from behind to win in 7.39, no. 2 on the world list for 2023. Cameron Murray got second (7.45) and Worlds 110 m hurdles bronze winner Daniel Roberts was third (7.48).

Holloway is the only one to run under 7.30 (three times) and owns 11 of the top 14 performances of all time.

Those were the records, but not all of the excitement. While Jones and Holloway were lighting up the straight, women’s World Shot Champion Chase Jackson (nee Ealey) took the world indoor lead at 20.02 m (65-8 1/4) in the third round for her fourth career USATF indoor title and second in a row. It’s also the no. 4 throw in U.S. indoor history (she has three of the four). Maggie Ewen, the 2022 U.S. indoor winner, was second 19.14 m (62-9 1/2).

And then there was long jump star (and Worlds silver winner) Tara Davis-Woodhall, in a fight with seven-time NCAA long jump and triple jump champ Jasmine Moore at 6.81 m (22-4 1/4) after round one. Moore took the lead at 6.93 m (22-9) in round five and then Davis-Woodhall unloaded with a sensational lifetime best of 7.18 m (23-6 3/4), moving her to no. 6 all-time indoor and with the second-best indoor jump in American history, behind only Olympic star Brittney Reese’s 7.23 m (23-8 3/4) in 2012. Yes! Moore stayed at 6.93 m and Davis-Woodhall underscored her big jump with a 7.01 m (23-0) finale.

The vertical jumps were going on during all this, and were almost lost. Vashti Cunningham won the women’s high jump – her eighth straight U.S. indoor title – at 1.92 m (6-3 1/2) and co-world leader Shelby McEwen defended his 2023 title at 2.28 m (7-5 3/4).

The men’s vault was a duel between Olympic silver winner Chris Nilsen and two-time World Champion Sam Kendricks, with Nilsen gaining the edge at 6.00 m (19-8 1/4), while Kendricks made another U.S. team at 5.95 m (19-6 1/4).

Chris Carter, the U.S. indoor triple jump champ in 2014 and 2016, got his third on his final jump of 16.49 m (54-1 1/4), just ahead of Chris Benard, who got out to 16.42 m (53-1 1/2) in the sixth round to move up from third.

The 3,000 m walk titles were to Nick Christie for the men (11:56.06, his sixth U.S. indoor title in a row and seven career) and Miranda Melville for the women (13:55.24, third career title and second consecutive).

Two important distance races – the 3,000 m for women and men – were won by the favorites: Elle St. Pierre and Yared Nuguse. St. Pierre ran away from the field by the halfway mark and won in 8:54.40 for her second career championship in this event (also in 2022); Josette Andrews was second in 9:03.10. Nuguse’s race was closer, as he took the lead on the final lap to win in 7:55.76 to 7:56.22 for surprise runner-up Olin Hacker and 7:56.70 for Morgan Beadlescomb.

Would Saturday be even better?

Early on, Erin Reese won her first U.S. national Weight title, with a superb second-round throw, a world-leading 25.73 m (84-5), moving her to no. 2 on the all-time world list, with the no. 3 throw ever. Brooke Andersen, the 2022 World hammer champ, got second at 24.35 m (79-10 3/4).

Shot world-record holder Ryan Crouser opened his season here, taking the lead right away at 21.73 m (71-3 1/2) in round one, then improved to 22.15 m (72-8) and to a world-leading 22.40 m (73-6) in round four. He had more in the tank, reaching 22.80 m (74-9 3/4) in round five before finishing at 22.15 m (72-8) in round six. Roger Steen got a lifetime best of 21.47 m (70-5 1/4) in round five to secure second. For Crouser, it’s his fourth USATF Indoor crown after wins in 2019-20-22.

In the much-anticipated men’s 60 m final, world-record holder Christian Coleman got his patented excellent start and had a clear lead at 40 m, 50 m and 55 m. But triple World Champion Noah Lyles came on hard – from fifth – and got to the lead right at the tape to win with a world-leading 6.43 to 6.44. It’s Lyles’ first-ever win over Coleman indoors (now 1-3) and a lifetime best indoors, now equal-9th all-time. It’s Lyles’ first USATF Indoor championship. Ronnie Baker got third at 6.51.

The other events were ultra-competitive, forming a powerful U.S. squad for Glasgow:

The men’s 400 m started as a match between former SEC stars Matthew Boling (Georgia) and Jacory Patterson (Florida), but in the final straight, unheralded Brian Faust – an NCAA semifinalist last year for Kentucky – came on and out-leaned Patterson at the line, 45.47 to 45.48. Faust tied Boling for no. 6 on the 2024 world indoor list with his first national title.

Bryce Hoppel, the World Indoor bronze medalist in 2022, was right behind Abraham Alvarado at the bell of the men’s 800 m and then Hoppel pushed down the back straight and into the lead. Isaiah Harris, seventh at the 2022 World Indoors, blew past everyone else, but ended up just short of Hoppel at the tape, 1:46.67 to 1:46.78. Hoppel won his third straight USATF Indoor title and fourth career in the event.

Cole Hocker, an Olympic finalist in 2021 and Worlds finalist in the 2022 men’s 1,500 m led with two laps left and ran hard to break everyone with 100 m to go and winning easily at 3:37.51. It’s Hocker’s second national title – also in 2022 – and World Road Mile champ Hobbs Kessler held on for second against Henry Wynne, 3:38.76 to 3:38.81.

The men’s long jump saw Jarrion Lawson, the 2017 Worlds silver winner and 2018 and 2022 U.S. Indoor champ, taking the lead at 8.04 m (26-4 1/2) in round three, just ahead of Trumaine Jefferson (8.03 m/26-4 1/4). But former Florida State All-American Isaac Grimes popped into the lead, matching Lawson’s 8.04 m in round five, but with a better second jump. Lawson responded immediately at 8.05 m (26-5) to re-take the lead. But out of nowhere – well, seventh place – jumped USC’s Johnny Brackins in round six with an absolute lifetime best of 8.23 m (27-0) to take the lead! Grimes improved to 8.06 m (26-5 1/2) for second and that’s how it ended. Brackins now ranks no. 3 in the world for 2024. Wow.

The 2022 World Indoor 60 m silver winner Mikiah Brisco got out best in the women’s 60 m final, but Aleia Hobbs took over in the final 5 m to get the win in 7.02, with Brisco at 7.06 and Celera Barnes at 7.09. Hobbs defended her 2023 indoor title and now ranks equal-third on the 2024 world list, while Brisco stands sixth.

Alexis Holmes, who memorably ran down Dutch star Femke Bol in the Worlds Mixed 4×400 m last year, stormed into the lead at the bell of the women’s 400 m and ran away from the field in 50.34 to move to no. 2 in the world this season. She’s now also equal-third all-time U.S. in the event! Talitha Diggs was a distant second in 51.23.

Addy Wiley, the NAIA champ for Huntington in 2023, had the lead in the women’s 800 m for most of the race and stayed there at the 795 m mark, but 2023 USATF Indoor runner-up Allie Wilson pushed hard down the final straight to win her first national title in 2:00.63 (no. 11 in the world for 2024), with Wiley at 2:00.70. Defending champ Nia Akins waited too long to move up and had to settle for third in 2:00.90.

Wiley came back 25 minutes later in the 1,500 m final, but dropped out after 700 m. Defending champ Nikki Hiltz took the lead at the bell, and handled Emily Mackay on the final lap, 4:08.35 to 4:08.70. It’s the third straight USATF Nationals win for Hiltz, after the 2023 indoor and outdoor.

The women’s vault was settled at 4.75 m (15-7) with Olympic champ Katie Moon over on her first try and World Indoor winner Sandi Morris making it on her first and Gabriela Leon getting third with a lifetime best of 4.70 m (15-5). Moon sailed over 4.80 m (15-9) on her first, with Morris passing to 4.85 m (15-11) and missing three times to settle for second. Moon moved to try a world-leading 4.90 m (16-0 3/4), but also missed three times.

Keturah Orji took the lead in the women’s triple jump at 14.35 m (47-1) on her first try, with long jump runner-up Moore into second in the fourth round at 14.07 m (46-2). Then Moore took over in round five at 14.43 m (47-4 1/4) and Orji countered at 14.50 m (47-7) going into the final stanza. Neither could improve and Orji won her fourth U.S. indoor title – also in 2019, 2022 and 2023 – and moved to no. 3 on the 2024 world list, with Moore at no. 4.

There was prize money in Albuquerque for the top five finishers: $6,000-4,000-2,500-1,500-1,000.

Beyond Albuquerque, U.S. 10,000 m distance star Grant Fisher – fifth at the Tokyo Games – ran a sensational, specially-arranged 5,000 m at the Boston University DMR Challenge on Friday, winning in 12:51.84, the no. 5 performance all-time indoors and just short of Woody Kincaid’s 2023 U.S. mark of 12:51.61!

Britain’s Patrick Dever was second in 13:04.05 and Jack Rowe was third in 13:04.75.

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