MONDO DUPLANTIS IS NO STRANGER to our annual Indoor Athlete Of The Year honors, and here he is again. His amazing sequence started in ’16 when he received Honorable Mention status in the High School honors as a soph. He followed up with HS AOY honors in ’17 & ’18, was HM as a collegian in ’19, first won World AOY honors in ’20 and is back on top again this year.
Our 2022 awards:
World Men: Mondo Duplantis (Sweden)
Undefeated, won World Champs gold, tied the World Record. In many/most years that would be enough to earn you AOY status, but for hurdler Grant Holloway it was only good enough for a second straight year of being just behind No. 1.
That would be the incomparable Mondo, who was likewise an undefeated world champ. But he raised the WR twice in returning to the AOY spot he earned two years ago. Topped by his records of 20-3¾ (6.19) & 20-4 (6.20) the 22-year-old Swede broached the 6-meter (19-8¼) barrier in all 6 of his meets.
Holloway’s 5 meets in the 60H kicked out the 4 fastest times of the year (highlighted by his =WR 7.29), plus Nos, 6, =7, =7 & 10.
Joining Holloway in the HM category were 1500 WR setter Jakob Ingebrigtsen (despite a loss at the WC) of Norway and Canadian heptathlete Damian Warner who moved to No. 2 on the all-time list at 6480.
The 5 previous winners: ’21 — Ryan Crouser (US); ’20 — Duplantis; ’19 — Yomif Kejelcha (Ethiopia); ’18 — Christian Coleman (US); ’17 — Coleman.
U.S. Men: Grant Holloway (adidas)
Holloway trailed vaulter Chris Nilsen — who notched a pair with his 19-9 (6.02) & 19-10¼ (6.05) clearances — in the American Record department, but Nilsen scored “only” a bronze at the Worlds.
Joining Nilsen in the HM club were Cole Hocker for his 1500/3000 double at the USATF Champs and Grant Fisher for his outstanding national record in the 5000 (12:53.73).
The 5 previous winners: ’21 — Crouser (Nike); ’20 — Crouser; ’19 — Donavan Brazier (Nike); ’18 — Christian Coleman (Nike); ’17 — Coleman (Tennessee).
Collegiate Men: Trey Cunningham (Florida State)
Were it not for the fact that he had the ghost of Holloway to chase, Cunningham would have had the best collegiate 60H season ever. As it was, at 7.38 the Seminole senior was just 0.03 off the CR and for good measure added the Nos. 3 and =5 twice performances ever. He lost only to Holloway.
Honorable Mentions: NCAA 800 champ Brandon Miller (Texas A&M) who also set an American-born CR of 1:45.24, Abdihamid Nur (Northern Arizona) with an NCAA 3/5 double and Randolph Ross (North Carolina A&T) for moving to No. 3 on the all-time world list with his 44.62 nationals win.
The 5 previous winners: ’21 — KC Lightfoot (Baylor); ’20 — Chris Nilsen (South Dakota); ’19 — Grant Holloway (Florida); ’18 — Michael Norman (USC); ’17 — Christian Coleman (Tennessee).
High School Boys: Will Sumner (Woodstock, Georgia)
This was a no-contest decision for Sumner. Not only did he set new HS Records in the 500 (1:01.25) and 600 (1:15.58) he was also the yearly leader in the 800 (1:48.14 for No. 2 on the all-time list) and No. 2 in the 400 (46.63 for No. 10 ever). He was undefeated at all 4 of those distances.
Honorable Mentions to all-around sprinter Justin Braun (Central, Westerville, Ohio), middle-distance standout Rheinhardt Harrison (Nease, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida) and the Newbury Park, California, pair of Colin Sahlman & Lex Young.
The 5 previous winners: ’21 — Jaylen Slade (IMG, Bradenton, Florida); ’20 — Nico Young (Newbury Park, California); ’19 — Sam Affolder (Loudoun Valley, Purcellville, Virginia); ’18 — Duplantis (Lafayette, Louisiana); ’17 — Duplantis.