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6 10 21 Athing Mu

Texas A&M Freshman Is Rewriting Many Record Books


2021 NCAA Division I Track & Field Championships

Hayward Field, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon

June 10, 2021

Every year freshman track & field athletes who start off performing better than expected - punching above their weight, if you will - inevitably are placed in the spotlight, often touted as the next dominant, record-breaking athlete. A good many live up to those lofty expectations. Perhaps an even larger number does not. This annual ritual has caused many cynical track & field followers to view talented rising freshmen with a jaundiced eye.

Rest assured, there is no need to be skeptical about Texas A&M's phenomenal freshman and 400m/800m specialist Athing Mu. The Trenton, New Jersey native has been on the collective radar screen since 2019 when at age 16 she raced 1:23.67 to set a new U20 world record at 600 meters. Earlier this year, the Aggie sprinter moved up to set two additional U20 indoor world records: 50.52 for 400m and 1:58.40 for 800m.

6 9 21NCAA Day 1

Jumpin' JuVaughn, Ignores Rain, Chases Triple-Double In Gleaming New Venue


June 9, 2021

Three years ago venerable Hayward Field hosted the NCAA Div. I Outdoor Track & Field Championships - a track meet we all knew would be the final gathering in the beloved facility. The old Hayward, originally constructed in 1921, would soon be completely restructured. Back then, sadness - even melancholy - was in the air as a good number of died-in-the-wool fans had their concerns that track & field in Eugene, Oregon would never be the same again.

In a way, the doubters were right: Hayward Field will never be the same again. But in a good way. Wait until you see it, feel it, enjoy it, and you note the special touches that have been added to make this futuristic, European-flavored venue a fully-appointed 21ts century cathedral for the sport we all love. Yet at the same time - with amenities such as museum-like Hayward Hall - the rich history of Hayward and U of O has been thoughtfully preserved in ways that are, frankly, more prominent than was the case with the older, replaced version of Hayward Field.


6 8 21 Noah Williams

LSU Star Noah Williams' Impressive Progression Shows Trajectory

May 31, 2021

There is a well-worn, anonymous expression: "Envision the life you want to live, then live it." Highly-talented and sharply-focused LSU sprint star Noah Williams - the reigning NCAA indoor 400 meter champion and #2 on the world leader board in the outdoor 400 meters - didn't coin that phrase. But he certainly lives by it.




1221 Sandi Morris


February 21st, 2021

There is an enduring expression that goes something like this: "If you want something done, ask a busy person." That saying may be a tad simplistic. Better stated: If that busy person is also talented and inspired, then you may well get that something done. World class pole vaulter Sandi Morris - with a bushel of global medals, her eye on the world vault record, yet frequently finds the time and the desire to embrace other intriguing ventures - just might be that person you need to ask.


Wolverine Frosh Off to Scintillating Start!


February 14th, 2021

We know that track & field athletes that excel at the highest high school level are coveted and pursued by the most successful NCAA Division I track & field powerhouses. But there are always unknown questions for both the incoming athlete and the track & field program at the school the athlete has chosen to attend: Will the high school star be able to effectively adapt to the new and different facets of college life? Will the athlete be able to handle life away from home, college class work, dormitory living, and - of course - the elevated demands of track & field competition: the practice; the travel; a different coaching approach; and the improved level of event performance that is required to attain collegiate success in the athlete's given event? For many, the student athlete / program relationship is successful. For others, it is not. Early returns suggest that the adaptation of freshman sprint phenom Ziyah Holman to life at the University of Michigan is working quite well, thank you very much.


American Record Holder Faces Olympic Trials Decisions

 1 24 21Elle Purrier

IMG_1448.jpgElle Purrier, Millrose Wanamaker Mile photo by Mike Deering / The Shoe Addicts

January 24th, 2021

A favorite, albeit shopworn, expression is "Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard." It is a saying that can be witnessed and validated in many walks of life. That maxim is often evident in track & field where a dedicated athlete can close the gap and occasionally overcome a more naturally skilled performer who has drifted away from thorough preparation.

A footnote to that maxim is: "But when talent works hard, you may well have something very special." Think: Ashton Eaton; Ryan Crouser; Allyson Felix; Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. The reigning Wanamaker Mile champion Elle Purrier is quite talented. And she has a deeply-rooted and finely-tuned work ethic. Might Elle Purrier be on her way to becoming something very special?

 Light-Hearted Gold Medalist Is All Business In The Ring

 jan192021 price

DeAnna Price, photo by World Athletics

January 17th, 2021

Few initially meeting and spending time with the affable DeAnna Price would suspect she is one of the geatest hammer throw athletes of all time. While a good number of highly accomplished track & field athletes can be aloof, guarded, almost suspicious of others - especially media types - the reigning World Championship gold medalist is quite approachable and happy to talk with others. Ask any of the dozens of Track & Field News Tour fans who were chatted up by DeAnna in the Khalifa Stadium stands during the days following her ground-breaking hammer victory at the 2019 Doha World Championships. "I love when I can sit and talk with the fans," notes Price. "That's how you build relationships. And that is what track and field is - a unity of people enjoying a major sport."

A Pandemic, Junk Food, Wildfires...and AR and WR Performances


Bowerman TC meeting, Shelby Houlihan, Karissa Schweizer, photo by Cortney Ware

September 18th, 2020

For those of us who so far have been fortunate enough to sidestep the Coronavirus, there is still inconvenience. Even though we realize we must collaborate as one to defeat this pandemic, each of us must choose our own way to react, to adapt, whether it is shuttering at home; conforming with recommended protocol; working remotely; collaborating with family members; assisting with school-aged children and aging parents; etc. Decorated distance runner Shelby Houlihan has her own distinct manner of dealing with the seemingly-unending challenges of 2020 - and has nonetheless been able to set an American record and a world record along the way.


 Young Discus Specialist Has Displayed Impressive Progression

 9 23 20 allman A

Valarie Allman photos, courtesy of Oiselle

September 17th, 2020

In an individual sport like track & field, ultimately it is event performance that propels any athlete's ascension in the sport. To climb the ladder of success on the track or in the field one must, rung by rung, run faster, throw farther, or jump higher. But when we witness a track or field athlete compete, we see only the tip of the iceberg. That finished athletic performance is the product of commitment, direction, and work which comes not only from the athlete, but also from critical contributions by the coach and other key members of the athlete's circle of support. Valarie Allman, who set a new American record in the discus on August 1st of this year, would be the first to agree that her Coach Zebulon Sion has been an essential ingredient in her impressive progression.


Resourceful USA Olympic Women Marathoners Find Ways Forward


 11 24 21OT Finish Top 3

2020 U.S. Olympic Trials photo by Kevin Morris

[Part II of a two-part series]

"Life is What Happens to You While You're Busy Making Other Plans." -- John Lennon.

Earlier this year six American male and female athletes secured their spot on the USA Olympic team by placing among the top three finishers in the USA Olympic Marathon Trials. Amidst the joy, relief, and celebration that day, those athletes, some of USA's earliest-selected 2020 Olympians, had no idea of the fear, the confusion, the anger, the grief, and the emotional roller coaster that would soon follow. Just about a week later the country, indeed the whole world, changed: the stock market crashed; the economy tanked; educational institutions at all levels closed; businesses were shuttered; and sports and entertainment were suspended as the COVID-19 virus gripped a world suddenly shrouded in a fog of uncertainty.

Last week's article focused on the men. In this final segment of a two-part series, here is how the three newly-minted Olympic women marathoners, each of whom were able to call upon patience and poise to earn a place on the USA team, have handled the challenges of the new pandemic environment.

Going into the Trials, Sally Kipyego had a quiet confidence about her chances to make the U.S. Olympic team, even win the race. "I was really in good shape. And I thought I had a chance to make the team, explains the former Texas Tech star, whose outlook was elevated by her sterling 2:25:10 clocking in the '19 Berlin Marathon - an all-time top-ten USA women's performance. "I went in with the confidence that I could win the race. And I went into the race to win. Still, anything can happen in the marathon. If things didn't go so well, I thought I would still make the team. I knew it was not going to be an easy race. And it felt even more difficult than I expected."

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Dunaway AwardAt the 2019 annual meeting of the Track and Field Writers of America, Dave was presented with the James Dunaway Memorial Award “for track & field journalism excellence.”

Dave Hunter

Dave HunterDave Hunter is a track & field journalist, announcer, and broadcaster.  Dave reports on the premier track & field gatherings around the globe, frequently serves as an arena or stadium announcer for championship events, and has undertaken foreign and domestic broadcast assignments in the sport.


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