2024 USA Indoors Day 2: Noah Lyles Beats Christian Coleman, Cole Hocker Dominates 1500

Lyles ran a 6.43 pb to beat the WR holder Coleman by .01 and win his first US 60m title

Noah Lyles ran a world-leading 6.43 personal best to edge world record holder Christian Coleman by .01 and win the men’s 60 meters in the final event of the 2024 USATF Indoor Championships in Albuquerque on Saturday. Just two years ago, it would have been crazy to suggest that Lyles, whose best event is the 200, would one day beat Coleman, one of the fastest starters in history, in a 60-meter race. But Lyles has put in the work to improve the first 30 meters of his race and the fruit was on display on Saturday as he ran down his rival to hand Coleman just his second defeat at 60 meters since 2016. The two will square off again next month with a global title on the line at the World Indoor Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, from March 1-3.

Cole Hocker will be among their teammates on Team USA as the 22-year-old dominated Hobbs Kessler and the rest of the field to win the men’s 1500 in 3:37.51 (Kessler held on for second to make his first US team on the track). Nikki Hiltz (4:08.35) edged Emily Mackay (4:08.70) to repeat as women’s 1500 champion while Bryce Hoppel won his third straight US indoor title (and fifth straight overall) in the men’s 800 in 1:46.67. There was an upset in the women’s 800 as Allie Wilson won her first US title in 2:00.63 with 20-year-old Addy Wiley second in 2:00.70. It will be the first Worlds team on the track for Wiley as reigning US indoor/outdoor champ Nia Akins was surprisingly just third in 2:00.90.

Lyles edged Coleman in Albuquerque (Kevin Morris photo)

In the women’s 400, Alexis Holmes, who walked down Femke Bol in the mixed 4 x 400 at Worlds last summer, got the win in a meet-record 50.34. In the men’s 400, unheralded Brian Faust, who never even made the final of the NCAA 400 while at three different colleges and only had a 45.67 collegiate pb, ran 45.47 to win the US title. Aleia Hobbs (7.02 in the 60), Ryan Crouser (22.80m in the shot put), and Katie Moon (4.80m in the pole vault) were among the other winners in Albuquerque on Saturday.

We have four quick thoughts on the meet below, but if you want a comprehensive recap, check out our post-meet video show, where we shared all of our analysis and biggest takeaways from the meet. You can watch that video below or join the LetsRun Supporters Club to get it as a podcast — all SC members get a bonus subscriber-only podcast every single week.

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Four final thoughts

1) The Lyles-Coleman matchup lived up to the hype and the rest of the world should be very worried about Noah Lyles right now

Noah Lyles was born to be a great 200-meter runner. He had to make himself into a great 60-meter runner. But now, after a few years of steady improvement, we’re here: Noah Lyles is the US 60-meter champion, and the 6.43 personal best he ran to do it (at 4,959 feet of elevation) puts him in the top 10 all-time in the event.

To win the title, Lyles had to go through one of the greatest 60-meter men the world has ever seen: Christian Coleman, who owns the world record at 6.34 and has earned gold and silver at the last two World Indoors. Coleman got a good start in this afternoon’s final and had daylight on the field midway through, but no one in the world can match Lyles’ top speed, and he was able to close the gap and win at the line, 6.43 to 6.44.

We always say at LetsRun.com that to grow the sport, we need more head-to-head matchups between the stars and more meets that matter. We got both in Albuquerque. By showing up and taking it seriously, Lyles and Coleman made this race into a big deal, and NBC rightly hyped it up throughout the broadcast. We can’t wait to see them do it again next month in Glasgow.

Today was also yet another pb for Lyles in the 60, and given his progression over the past two years, it is scary to imagine what he might be capable of this outdoor season. In 2022, he ran a pb of 6.55 indoors and ran 19.31 to break the American 200 record outdoors. Last year, he ran another pb of 6.51 indoors and won world titles in the 100, 200, and 4×100. What can he do in 2024 after running 6.43 indoors?

2) Cole Hocker dominated the men’s 1500 with a tactical masterclass

The 1500 was no contest in the end (Kevin Morris photo)

The 1500 was billed as a battle between young stars Cole Hocker (who ran 8:05 for 2 miles at Millrose last week) and Hobbs Kessler (who ran 3:48 in the mile at Millrose) but it was no contest in the end as Hocker destroyed the field, closing in 1:52.04 for his last 800 and 54.00 for his last 400 to win convincingly in 3:37.51. Though both men are super talents, Hocker, who was 6th at the 2021 Olympics and 7th at the 2023 Worlds, has way more championship experience, and it showed today.

While Kessler was all over the place tactically, struggling to find a good position and running a bunch of extra distance, Hocker stuck on the rail until three laps to go, when he made a beautiful inside pass to seize the lead. From there, Hocker wound it down by going 28.49-27.24-26.76 for his last 600 and the only question was who would join Hocker on the team to Glasgow.

The answer proved to be Kessler, who almost blew it by not realizing how close Henry Wynne and Cooper Teare were to him in the home straight (Kessler edged Wynne by .05 in the end). Kessler was visibly frustrated with his performance, but there are a few bright spots. First is that, at the age of 20, Kessler is on his first team and he made it despite a subpar run (and despite this being his third race in as many weeks). Plus Kessler gained valuable experience in a championship race, which will serve him well in future meets — starting with World Indoors next month.

3) Allie Wilson’s faith is rewarded as Addy Wiley makes her first US team and Nia Akins misses out

Wilson pulled the upset to win her first US title (Kevin Morris photo)

The women’s 800 was the surprise of the day. Nia Akins, who won the US indoor and outdoor titles last year, was favored here but did not show any urgency in trying to improve her position until the final turn, at which point she was still in fifth place. Though she kicked hard, she could not make up all the ground by the finish and wound up third. Akins ran the final two laps of Friday’s semifinal with one shoe, so it’s possible she may not have been at 100% today. Otherwise she showed a stunning lack of urgency and cost herself a spot on the team.

Wilson, meanwhile, seized the opportunity to win her first US title. Wilson gave up her pro contract with the Atlanta Track Club after last year in order to follow departed ATC coaches Amy and Andrew Begley to Indiana, and after finishing 4th at USA outdoors in 2022 and 2nd at USA Indoors in 2023, she is now a US champion at age 27 and heading to her first Worlds. Addy Wiley, who only turned pro last month, is also going to her first senior Worlds, taking second after a fearless run that saw her lead much of the race.

4) Men’s 800 and women’s 1500 go according to form

There was little drama in the men’s 800 and women’s 1500. In each race, two athletes stood out from the field on paper, and in each case those two went 1-2 in the order you would expect: Bryce Hoppel beating Isaiah Harris in the men’s 800 and Nikki Hiltz beating Emily Mackay in the women’s 1500. Hoppel has now won five straight US titles starting with 2022 indoors; Harris has finished 2nd in four of those five races. Hiltz’s win makes it three straight national titles between the indoor/outdoor 1500 with Mackay, a member of the New Balance Boston team, set to make her first Worlds appearance after finishing second.

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