Without further ado, here are a couple of thoughts from the racing today at the USATF Indoor Track & Field Championships on Staten Island:
- Clayton Murphy has the 1,000m in the palm of his hand
- The NOP stand-out controlled his heat with a win, ran the fastest time in prelims and even had enough of a buffer to walk it in the last few steps. He’ll have to fight off the likes of Brannon Kidder, who had an excellent prelim as well, and Robbie Andrews, who despite having a bit of rocky start to the season got a little q for the final and can never be counted out.
- Ajee Wilson is not here to relax
- This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as she has won a US title indoors every meeting since 2013, but Ajee Wilson come out of prelims with the fastest mark, while also setting meet record in the 1,000m distance (2:37.96). She will be your favorite heading into the final.
- The men’s 2 mile final was weird as hell (and I loved it)
- So here’s the skinny: Drew Hunter, an arguable contender for the two mile title, entered the race without a seed time. This usually means, if there are multiple heats, you are in the slow one. Drew, along with his Tinman Elite teammates, proceeded to time trial the race and propel Drew to a meet record and world leading time of 8:25.29. The second heat then proceeded to take the first mile out in 4:25ish, all bur securing the victory for drew, as he watched from the sidelines. That’s Drew’s first US Title and one hell of a story.
- Colleen Quigley out-Shelby’d Shelby Houlihan
- It’s pretty wild that we got to the point where Shelby is the favorite after 1) not racing any indoor this season and 2) just winning the 10K Cross Country Championships on February 2nd. Shelby has been so dominant that despite these two aforementioned items, we all pretty much expected her to walk to another indoor title. After unsponsored Eleanor Fulton won the “B” heat in 4:33.47, the standard was set for the fast heat, which after going through 800m in ~2:19 or so, wound-up pretty quickly with a 2:10 last 800m. This is Colleen’s first track US Title, which is wild, considering she has been 8th at the Olympic Games in the steeplechase.