MONDO DUPLANTIS IS NO STRANGER to our annual Indoor Athlete Of The Year honors, and here he is yet again. His amazing sequence started in ’16 when he received Honorable Mention status in the High School section as a soph. He followed up with HS AOY honors in ’17 & ’18, was HM as a collegian in ’19, moved up to World AOY honors in ’20 & ’22 and is back on top again this year, albeit in a narrow decision.
Our 2023 awards:
World Men: Mondo Duplantis (Sweden)
Mondo is tough to out-vault anywhere, but is particularly difficult to beat with a roof over his head. Not since his season-opener in ’19 has he lost indoors. With a perfect 4-for-4 this year (with the 4 highest vaults of the year, of course) his undercover win streak is now 26 meets.
The 23-year-old American-born Swede also has a string of 13 straight indoor meets over the 6-meter (19-8¼) barrier. The best of those — and the best of all time, indoors or out, came when he upped his WR to 20-4¾ (6.22) in France in late February.
The week before Mondo’s big vault Ryan Crouser had unleashed history’s farthest shot mark, 76-8½ (23.38), to earn strong consideration as the AOY. Joining Crouser in the Honorable Mention category is Lamecha Girma. The Ethiopian’s 7:23.81 (in his only meet) finally snared the venerable 3000 WR.
The 5 most recent winners: ’22 — Duplantis; ’21 — Ryan Crouser (US); ’20 — Duplantis; ’19 — Yomif Kejelcha (Ethiopia); ’18 — Christian Coleman (US).
U.S. Men: Ryan Crouser (Nike)
As the only American who received World AOY consideration Crouser was the obvious choice here, capturing his third win in the last 4 years.
With American Records in the 1500, mile & 3000 Yared Nuguse tops the Honorable Mention list. Also in the HM group were 5000 AR setter Woody Kincaid, and near WR-setting heptathlete Kyle Garland.
The 5 most recent winners: ’22 — Grant Holloway (adidas); ’21 — Crouser (Nike); ’20 — Crouser; ’19 — Donavan Brazier (Nike); ’18 — Christian Coleman (Nike).
Collegiate Men: Kyle Garland (Georgia)
Garland and Princeton vaulter Sondre Guttormsen both entered Collegiate Record territory with their NCAA wins. Just a handful of points shy of the WR, Garland got the nod as No. 1. In addition to his big 6639 total, he had earlier produced the No. 2 collegiate score ever.
HM to Guttormsen, who joined the elite 6-meter club when he equaled the CR of 19-8¼ (6.00). He lost only 1 of his 8 meets against collegians, that a low-key affair to his brother. HM also to CR-setting Arkansas triple jumper Jayden Hibbert and Georgia quartermiler Elija Godwin who sprinted to No. 5 on the all-time world list.
The 5 most recent winners: ’22 — Trey Cunningham (Florida State); ’21 — KC Lightfoot (Baylor); ’20 — Chris Nilsen (South Dakota); ’19 — Grant Holloway (Florida); ’18 — Michael Norman (USC).
High School Boys: Issam Asinga (Academy, Montverde, Florida)
Asinga was a dominating sprinter during the regular season, then sewed up the top spot with national-record setting performances at the big New Balance extravaganza.
In the 60 he tied the NR in the heats with his 6.57, then won the final with the =No. 3 performance ever. In the 200 the heats produced the =No. 3 time ever and the final saw another HSR, 20.48.
HM to Connor Burns (Southern Boone, Ashland, Missouri), who led the yearly lists in the 1500, mile & 3000 and was No. 2 in the 2M.
The 5 most recent winners: ’22 — Will Sumner (Woodstock, Georgia); ’21 — Jaylen Slade (IMG, Bradenton, Florida); ’20 — Nico Young (Newbury Park, California); ’19 — Sam Affolder (Loudoun Valley, Purcellville, Virginia); ’18 — Mondo Duplantis (Lafayette, Louisiana).