WTW: Keely Hodgkinson sends a warning shot to Athing Mu, Katelyn Tuohy gets her first CR as the collegians run fast
The Week That Was in Running, January 23-29, 2023
By Robert Johnson
January 31, 2023
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Woody Kincaid and Yared Nuguse break the American 5000 and 3000 records
What a night at Boston University. We’re not going to break it down again in this piece, but will have much more on these runs this week. Our recap and analysis is here, Jonathan Gault has a nice article on Woody stepping away from the Bowerman Track Club here, and then there was the quote that nearly broke LetsRun over the weekend: Jerry Schumacher to Woody: “I think you’re throwing away your career by leaving”. Plus interviews with Nuguse and Kincaid.
Keely Hodgkinson runs the fastest 600m in history and…
2020 Olympic and 2022 World silver medallist Keely Hodgkinson opened up with a 1:23.41 world’s best at 600m (we equate that to roughly 1:57.5 for 800 but the WA scoring tables says it’s more like a 1:58.2).
1:23.41 Race Video
After watching the race, it’s ok to start wondering, “Are we sure Athing Mu is going to be the world champ in 2023?”
Yes we know Mu hasn’t lost an 800 race in ages (February 2020). Yes, she’s the reigning Olympic and world champ.
But Mu “only” beat Hodgkinson by 0.o8 at Worlds last year and she only won USAs by 0.07. In 2021, no one in the world came close to Mu as she won the Olympics by 0.67 and USAs by 1.59 seconds.
Was 2022 a sign of permanent slippage for Mu? Or was it simply post-Olympic/I’m tired of College Station fatigue that gets corrected in 2023 now that she’s made the move to LA to train under Bobby Kersee?
I think it’s the latter option but the reality is we don’t know right now, and that’s good for the sport as it makes things more interesting. One other element that makes this interesting is Kersee, while a world-class coach, isn’t an 800 coach. The difference between coaching the 800 and 400 or 400 hurdles is a lot different than the difference between coaching the 200 and the 100.
When Mu’s move to LA was announced a few months ago, LRC’s Jonathan Gault had some good thoughts on Mu moving to LA to train under Kersee.
Some thoughts about Athing Mu –> Bobby Kersee— Jonathan Gault (@jgault13) November 2, 2022
1) Mu's agent is Wes Felix. Kersee was Allyson Felix's longtime coach and also coaches W Felix's other star client, Sydney McLaughlin. From that perspective, it makes sense. + if Mu wants to be a mainstream star, easier to do in LA.
As for Mu, we’ll get to see her in less than two weeks at Millrose in the 600, so a direct comparison to Hodgkinson will be available.
Don’t look now but Betsy Saina is starting to return to form
When you are thinking about potential 2024 US Olympians, don’t forget the name Betsy Saina. The three-time NCAA champ, who was 5th at the 2016 Olympic 10,000, is only 34 and she switched her allegiance to the US in 2021. With PBs of 14:39/30:04/67:49/2:22:43, Saina is plenty fast to make a US team. She just hasn’t been competing much of late recently, and for good reason, as she gave birth in December 2021.
Over the weekend in Spain, Saina recorded only her second race finish since 2019 and it was a good one as she won the EDP Medio Maratón de Sevilla in 68:25, a big improvement over the 71:13 she ran in the half in October.
So many records were set at BU
Hopefully by now, you know about the two big American records that fell at BU, but Yared Nuguse and Woody Kincaid’s record runs weren’t the only ones run at BU. According to Race Results Weekly, here are the other records:
1. Crayton Carrozza, Texas, 1:46.28 PB/FR – Texas school record/NCAA leader
1. Lucia Stafford (CAN), NIKE, 2:33.75 WL – Canadian record
1. Luis Grijalva (GUA), Hoka, 3:53.53 WL – Guatemalan record
1. Yared Nuguse, On Athletics Club, 7:28.24 WL//FR** – US record
2. Sam Atkin (GBR), Puma, 7:31.97 – British record
5. Drew Bosley, Northern Arizona, 7:36.42 – Collegiate record
6. Hobbs Kessler (2003), adidas, 7:39.00 – Fastest time by a US teenager
7. Yaseen Abdalla (SUD), Tennessee, 7:42.23 – Sudanese indoor record
1. Woody Kincaid, NIKE, 12:51.61 WL/FR** – US indoor record
4. Dylan Jacobs, Tennessee, 13:11.01 PB/NCAA Leader – American collegiate indoor record
6. Mike Foppen (NED), Nike, 13:11.60 – Netherlands indoor record
7. Sam Parsons (GER), adidas, 13:12.78 PB/NR – German record
Katelyn Tuohy gets her first collegiate record
People were also chasing records in New York last weekend as well.
At the Dr. Sander Invitational at the Armory, Jen Toomey‘s 2:34.19 indoor 1k record didn’t fall but Ajee’ Wilson‘s indoor win streak continued as she came from behind to beat Sage Hurta-Klecker 2:35.97 to 2:36.37 in the race of the meet. Behind them, high schooler Sophia Gorriaran ran 2:39.83 for fourth, moving to #2 on the all-time US high school list behind Juliette Whittaker (2:39.41).
Wilson stretched her impressive wins streak to 14 straight indoor races (27 straight against non-DSD athletes) and 17 straight wins at the Armory. Her last loss at the Armory? The Millrose 600 against Alysia Montaño all the way back in 2013.
In the mile, future marathoner Alicia Monson ran a big 4:23.55 PB (previous pb of 4:38.14 in the mile, 4:07.09 in the 1500) to get the win as Katelyn Tuohy ran 4:24.26 to take down the NCAA mile record of 4:25.91 set by Colorado’s Jenny Simpson in 2009. Might Tuohy also add the 3000 and 5000 records to her CV as well?
In case you are wondering, the NCAA women’s 3000 and 5000 records both pre-date the super spike era. Karissa Schweizer owns the indoor 3000 record at 8:41.60 (2018) and Emily Sisson ran 15:12.22 in 2015 for the indoor 5000 record (Jenny Simpson ran 15:01.80 on an oversized track in 2009).
Stat of the Week
10 – number of collegiate milers in history that had ever run 3:53 or faster indoors on any track before the weekend
5 – number of University of Washington milers who ran 3:53 or faster on Saturday at the University of Washington Invitational
1. Joe Waskom, Washington, 3:51.90
2. Brian Fay (IRL), Washington, 3:52.03
3. Nathan Green (2003), Washington, 3:52.76
4. Kieran Lumb (CAN), Washington, 3:53.83
5. Sam Ellis, Unattached (Washington student who has outdoor eligibility only), 3:53.84
6. Luke Houser, Washington, 3:55.98
7. Aaron Ahl, Washington, 3:57.94
8. Aidan Ryan, Washington, 3:59.55
Johnny Gregorek, Asics, DNF
Sam Prakel, adidas, DNF
Can you imagine being a 3:53 miler and being left off the 4 x mile team?
The Huskies put on quite a show as all eight of the Huskies’ sub-4 milers ran sub-4 in the race, led by NCAA 1500 champ Joe Waskom‘s 3:51.90.
The Final 300
World junior 800 champ Roisin Willis wins* her collegiate 800 debut
At the Razorback Invitational in Arkansas on Saturday, Stanford’s Roisin Willis, the world junior champ at 800, made her NCAA 800 debut. And she didn’t just dip her toes into collegiate 800 competition as her heat was loaded and included the top two returners from the NCAA outdoor final last year in third placer Gabija Galvydyte of Oklahoma State and Imogen Barrett of Florida.
Willis got the win in 2:03.79 to Barrett’s 2:03.94 as Galvydyte ran 2:04.88, but Willis’ winning time was smashed by someone in the previous heat. LSU’s Michaela Rose, who had a 2:02.49 pb coming in, ran 2:01.66 to win heat 5.
The day before, Willis ran a 2:01.07 800 split for Stanford’s DMR team. Willis’ teammate Juliette Whittaker, the US U20 record holder at 800 (1:59.04 pb), was also on the DMR and she led off with a 3:18.96 1200 leg before coming back the next day with a 4:33.89 mile pb (previous pb of 4:36.15).
In the men’s action at Arkansas, Oklahoma State put four guys under 4:00 in the mile, led by Fouad Messaoudi (3:54.98) and Ryan Schoppe (3:55.63).
In the 3000, BYU’s Casey Clinger ended his coach Ed Eyestone‘s nearly 38-year reign as the BYU school record holder in the event as he got the win in 7:43.86. Eyestone’s mark of 7:45.16, which was converted from an 8:23.16 2-mile he ran in Dallas on February 2, 1985, was Eyestone’s best PR according to the WA scoring tables. In the process, Clinger put an end to Stanford’s Ky Robinson‘s win streak. So far during the 2022-23 indoor campaign, Robinson was undefeated, having run 13:11.53 in the 5000 and 3:55.87 in the mile, but he was third in Arkansas in 7:49.72.
Inside pass of the week
In the sprint action in Arkansas, in his very first 400 in an Arkansas singlet, Chris Bailey (Tennessee transfer with a 45.25 outdoor pb) ran a school record of 45.06. Whenever you are breaking a school record at Arkansas, you are doing something really good and it should come as no surprise that Bailey’s mark is also a 2023 world leader.
Perhaps more impressive than the time was how he did it. Bailey was in 4th at 200 but made an amazing inside move to pass the entire field. Someone move him up to the 800!!
See it for yourself.
- LRC Why Woody Kincaid Backed Himself & Stepped Away from Bowerman TC Kincaid says BTC coach Jerry Schumacher advised him not to leave the team but Kincaid told him, “Hey, I can do this and I think it’s what I have to do.”
- LRC Katelyn Tuohy Breaks NCAA Mile Record as Ajee’ Wilson Beats Sage Hurta-Klecker in 1000m Ajee’ Wilson won the showdown with Sage Hurta Klecker with a big kick on the final lap as Katelyn Tuohy got the NCAA record in the mile while finishing 3rd.
- Woody Kincaid (12:51) & Yared Nuguse (7:28) Break American Records on Historic Night in Boston Kincaid broke Grant Fisher‘s AR in his first race since taking a break from Bowerman TC. NAU’s Drew Bosley (7:36) broke Nuguse’s NCAA record in the 3k. Plus Sam Atkin broke Mo Farah‘s British 3000 record.
- LRC EIGHT University of Washington Runners Go Sub 4 in the Same Mile with Joe Waskom Running 3:51
- T&F News Interview With Dathan Ritzenhein Ritz shares a lot of insights about his transition from athlete to coach, his coaching approach and outlook for athletes in the On Athletics Club and touches on the Alberto Salazar ban.
- Cal discus star Mykolas Alekna shocked himself and won world silver in 2022 as a freshman but came back to Cal for the education “ou never know what’s going to happen. You can get injured or something else might happen and you cannot throw anymore. So you must have a back-up plan. I think that getting a degree is a must,” said the son of a two-time Olympic champ.
- Track and Field News catches up with Talitha Diggs who is thriving at Florida and won 2 NCAA 400 titles and USA title last year Crazy
For recommended reads from other weeks, go here.
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Got a tip, question or comment? Please call us at 844-LETSRUN (538-7786), email us or post in our forum.
Robert Johnson is the co-founder of LetsRun.com. He once helped rabbit Catherine Ndereba to the world record in the women’s marathon. The former coach of the men’s distance program at Cornell University for 10 years was named one of the 50 Most Influential People in Running by Runner’s World in 2015. He now resides in Baltimore with his wife and son.