Brussels Diamond League: Addy Wiley Breaks Jenny Simpson’s Collegiate Record, Laura Muir, ETH and Shericka Jackson Run Quick & More

The final regular-season Wanda Diamond League track & field meet of 2023 – the Allianz Memorial Van Damme – was held today in Brussels. Jakob Ingebritsen’s 2000m world record gets its own recap here: Jakob Ingebrigtsen Runs 4:43.13 to Break Hicham El Guerrouj’s 2000m World Record. Full results can be found here. Below we share our biggest takeaways.

Women’s 1500: Laura Muir returns to her old form as Addy Wiley breaks Jenny Simpson’s all-dates US collegiate record

Great Britain’s Laura Muir was only 6th at Worlds in the 1500, her lowest finish at a global championships since 2017, but she has been on a hot streak post-Budapest, dominating the 800 in Zurich last week and winning the 1500 tonight in 3:55.34, the fourth-fastest time of her career. Muir needed to run fast as Ireland’s Ciara Mageean, who upset Muir in this meet last year, was a very game second in 3:55.87, her second straight national record after her 3:56.61 for 4th in Budapest. The top nine finishers all broke 4:00, but only one of them did it for the first time: 19-year-old American Addy Wiley.

At the 2009 Prefontaine Classic, Jenny Simpson set a collegiate record that looked as if it might never be broken. Simpson, then known as Jenny Barringer, ran 3:59.90 for 1500 meters, taking more than six seconds off the previous collegiate record. In the 14 years since that race, no NCAA woman has come within six seconds of Simpson’s time during the NCAA season or 2.9 seconds of it, period (Jessica Hull ran 4:01.80 in 2019 at Worlds after graduating from Oregon) while Simpson has gone on to become the greatest American miler of all time.

Addy Wiley after running 4:03 earlier in the year

Simpson’s NCAA record endures, but she’s no longer the fastest US collegian after Wiley’s 3:59.17 in Brussels on Friday. After Wiley’s 1:57.64 800 in Bellinzona on Monday, her performance tonight did not come as a surprise. But that did not make it any less impressive. Wiley ran faster than Simpson even though she was significantly younger – Wiley is 19 and just beginning her second year at Huntington University, an NAIA school located in her Indiana hometown. Simpson, meanwhile, was 22 and at the end of her fourth year at the University of Colorado. Of course, Wiley has super shoes and pacing lights – Simpson did not. When Simpson ran 3:59.90 in 2019, only 7 women broken 4:00 for the whole year. This year 23 have done it.

One of the most incredible things about Wiley’s remarkable 2023 season is that she has gotten stronger as the year has gone on. She ran a pbs of 2:04.29 and 4:03.22 in May and June before finishing 5th at USAs in the 1500, then won the NACAC U-23 1500 title on July 23 and took more than five seconds off her 800 pb by running 1:59.00 at the Ed Murphey Classic on August 4. That would have been an epic season for a 19-year-old on its own, but after a month off of racing, Wiley returned with her two best races of the year, 1:57 and 3:59, in the span of five days. In tonight’s race, she beat last year’s US champ Sinclaire Johnson (3:59.19) as well as the only American to make the World Championship final in Budapest (Cory McGee, 4:02.32).

Here’s the updated all-dates collegiate list in the women’s 1500, courtesy USTFCCCA

  1. 3:59.17 Addy Wiley, Huntington 2023 Brussels DL
  2. 3:59.90 Jenny Simpson, Colorado 2009 Pre Classic
  3. 4:01.80 Jessica Hull, Oregon 2019 Worlds
  4. 4:02.15 Sophie O’Sullivan, Washington 2023 Worlds
  5. 4:03.72 Sinclaire Johnson, Oklahoma State 2019 USAs

It will be a surprise if Wiley doesn’t go pro after this run and it will be interesting to see where she ends up. We imagine most shoe companies will insist she leaves her current setup in Indiana as fair or not, it leads to constant questions regarding the validity of her exploits. Most believe Wiley is still coached by longtime family friend and former Huntington coach Lauren Johnson. Lauren is still married to Nick Johnson, who has been banned for life by SafeSpot for sexual allegations and has been known to give his runners injections of unknown substances, which past runners have alleged may have been PEDs.


American Cory McGee has been running very well the last three years, making the Olympic or World Championship final in 2021, 2022, and 2023, but she still hasn’t broken 4:00 for 1500 as she ran just 4:02.32 for 14th. In Oslo, when she got second in the mile in 4:18.11, it seemed like a sub-4 would definitely come as it’s equivalent to a 3:58.95 for 1500 if we use the 1.0802 conversion. 

Women’s 200: Shericka Jackson runs in the 21.4s again

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Two-time defending world champion Shericka Jackson of Jamaica was hoping to take a crack at the 21.34 world record and while she came up short, she still delivered a terrific run: a Diamond League record of 21.48 to win by an enormous .83 of a second over runner-up Anthonique Strachan of the Bahamas. This was the fourth time a woman had broken 21.50 in the 200. The first was Flo-Jo’s 21.34 world record at the 1988 Olympics. The next three are all Jackson – 21.41 in the 2023 Worlds final, 21.45 in the 2022 Worlds final, and 21.48 tonight.

The main thing Jackson could use is some wind. She had a +0.1 wind in Budapest and +0.2 tonight. Flo-Jo had a +1.3 tailwind. According to Jonas Mureika’s sprint conversion calculator, Jackson’s time tonight would be worth 21.34 with the maximum +2.0 tailwind. Maybe she’ll get a favorable one in Eugene, which has a more open stadium concept than Budapest or Brussels.

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Women’s 100: Elaine Thompson-Herah runs 10.84 season’s best

Thompson-Herah has always been better in Olympic years than Worlds years, and in 2023 she failed to make the Jamaican team in the 100 after finishing 5th at the Jamaican championships while battling a nagging Achilles issue. But since that meet, Thompson-Herah has begun working with coach Shanieke Osborne and has seen results, with a 10.92 in Bellinzona on Monday and now a 10.84 win in Brussels. ETH would need someone to scratch to feature in the Diamond League final but the 31-year-old is trending in the right direction after what looked to be a lost year.

Women’s 800: Djamel Sedjati wins 800 despite pacemaker mishap

The two big guns in the men’s 800, Worlds gold and silver medalists Marco Arop and Emmanuel Wanyonyi, weren’t in Brussels, making the race a wide-open affair. 21-year-old Frenchman Yanis Meziane made a bold bid for the win after the pacers took the field through a very quick 48.86 opening 400, but would ultimately get run down by Algeria’s 2022 Worlds silver medalist Djamel Sedjati, who won it in 1:43.60. Meziane still earned a personal best by finishing second in 1:43.94, his first time under 1:44.00.

Sedjati’s victory was particularly impressive considering what happened on the back straight of the second lap. Pacer Collins Kipruto, rather than step off to the infield when his pacing duties had concluded, instead drifted to the outside just as Sedjati and fellow Algerian Slimane Moula were making their moves. The three ended up bumping and while Moula wound up last, Sedjati overcame the misfortune to win the race.

There are two lessons here. One: if you’re the pacer, step off quickly and decisively once your duties are over. The inside of the track is usually the safe bet since there are no runners inside the track, but if you have to go to the outside, make sure you’re not in someone’s way. Two: 800-meter races should have one pacer, at most. There’s no reason for two.

The Japanese national record fell in the 5000 as Elise Cranny was uncompetitive

Kenya’s Lilian Rengeruk, who returned in February from a quick 10-month doping suspension for the hormone therapy drug Letrozole (the AIU praised her for her prompt admission), earned her first career Diamond League points victory by outrunning former world U20 champions Medina Eisa and Nozomi Tanaka over the final lap. Rengeruk, who was 10th at Worlds, ran her final lap in 61.83 to run 14:26.46 and take down Eisa (14:28.94) and Tanaka (14:29.18).

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The result was also a big one for Tanaka, who began the year as the Japanese record holder in the 1500 (3:59.19) and 3000 (8:40.84) and has expanded her range to 5000 in 2023. Tanaka started the year with a 14:58.60 pb but lowered that to 14:53.50 in July and then 14:37.98 in her semi at Worlds (she finished 8th in the final). Tonight, Tanaka took another big chunk off as she clocked 14:29.18 for third. She’s now 8 seconds faster than the next-best Japanese woman in history in the 1500 and 23 seconds in the 5000. Believe it or not, the Japanese record in the 1500 before Tanaka was just 4:07.86 and it had stood for 14 years.

US champ Elise Cranny was also in this one, and while she tried to go with the hot early pace (in warm weather), she wound up fading and running 14:57.52 for 11th. We’re curious whether Cranny will try the 1500 at the Olympic Trials next year. She’s the three-time defending US champ in the 5000 and that represents her safest path to Paris, but her speed has been her biggest asset this year (she used big kicks to win US titles in the 5000 and 10,000 and ran 4:16.47 in Monaco, the second-fastest mile ever by a US female) while being exposed in warm, faster races against the world’s best. Cranny was a miler in college, the 1500 is her favorite event, and she strongly considered running the 1500 at USAs this year before deciding on the 5k/10k. It wouldn’t be a shock if she dropped down full-time in 2024.

*Full results *Jaob Ingebrigtsen Runs 4:43.13 to Break Hicham El Guerrouj’s 2000m World Record

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