As is so often the case indoors, a lot of headlines have been going to milers, as big invitationals bring together big names from a wide geographic distribution. But meanwhile, in the field…
What’s Mondo Up To? Plenty
He’s no miler, but reigning Athlete Of The Year Mondo Duplantis (Lafayette, Louisiana) continues to put up huge vault marks.
As reported last month, he opened his year by raising the national record to 19‑1½ going up against pros and collegians at the Pole Vault Summit in Reno.
Since then he has gone 3-for-4, each outing with all-time list ramifications.
At the LSU qualifier he hit 18-4½ for the No. 10 performance ever.
Then it was on to the Tyson Invitational, again against the big boys. That resulted in an 18-9½ win, the No. 4 performance ever. He then missed at 19‑2.
Next, his State Meet produced a triumph with the =No. 7 performance ever, 18-8¼. He failed at his next height, 19-¼.
But at his next meet, the PV Stars meet in France, he racked up a pair of 19‑footers. Once again mixing it up with the world’s best pros, he finished 5th off a series of 17-9¾, 18-4½, 18-9½ (second try), 19-¾ and a national record 19‑3½ (third try) before missing at 19‑5½.
Next up: representing Sweden at the World Indoor Championships.
Millrose Girls: Mile To Wilkinson
Gabrielle Wilkinson (Friends Central (Wynnewood, Pennsylvania) didn’t come to New York City’s Millrose Games expecting to win the mile, but with a searing kick she upset the favorites and emerged with a list‑leading 4:42.94.
“I was right in the midst and I saw [Katelyn] Tuohy’s stride pattern and she was kind of wavering. So I told myself, ‘This is it. This is your moment.’ I just went for it.”
Wilkinson (see sidebar) finished well clear of the 4:44.55 of Kelsey Chmiel (Saratoga Springs, New York) as well as the 4:44.97 of Marlee Starliper (Northern, Dillsburg, Pennsylvania).
Super‑soph Tuohy (North Rockland, Thiells, New York), January’s big star, faded to 4th in 4:47.10.
Millrose Boys: Mile To Hoey
Josh Hoey (Shanahan, Downington, Pennsylvania) used a big kick to win the Millrose mile in 4:07.42 over the 4:10.63 of Scott Thompson (Brentwood, Tennessee). Sam Affolder (Loudoun Valley, Purcellville, Virginia) finished 3rd in 4:10.97. Hoey’s teammate Dalton Hengst was next at 4:12.98.
Hoey, who is also the yearly leader in the 800 (1:51.49) and 1000 (2:24.64), said, “I took the opportunity with 400 to go to really push it from there.
“Just to come here a lot stronger than last year, I’m real excited.”
Boston Miles: Hengst & Wilkinson
Fast kicks were the order of the day in Boston’s New Balance GP miles. In the boys race, early leader Ryan Oosting (Arlington, Massachusetts) fell to the lastlap kicks of Dalton Hengst (McDonogh, Owings Mills, Maryland) and NBN outdoor champion Cole Johnson (Rockford, Michigan).
Hengst prevailed, 4:10.57 to Johnson’s 4:11.25, with Oosting 3rd in 4:11.78. Millrose winner Josh Hoey was scheduled to run but didn’t start.
The girls race was a Millrose reversal as Kelsey Chmiel turned the tables on Gabrielle Wilkinson, kicking past her on the final lap to win, 4:44.84–4:46.95.
A handful of preps mixed it up with the pros at the Nationals in Albuquerque, with two standing out.
KC Lightfoot (Lees Summit, Missouri) was faced with a daunting task. The opening height in the vault was 17-7¾, a height he had bettered only once, outdoors. He nonetheless sailed over on first attempt, moving to No. 8 on the all-time indoor list.
The next height, 18-1¾, would have made him only the third over 18 indoors, but proved to be too much.
On the girls side, Emily Sloan (Rock Canyon, Highlands Ranch, Colorado) ran a list-leading 8.07 in finishing 5th in her 60H heat to move to No. 2 on the all-time list.
She took 6th in her semi, equaling the No. 8 performance ever, 8.15.
Ewert A Walk Phenom
Taylor Ewert (Beavercreek, Ohio) was good enough as a runner to finish 18th in the Nike XC Nationals last fall, but her real talent may just be in walking, where she won the USATF Junior 10K title last June.
Now a 16-year-old soph, she has 3 national records to her credit indoors this winter: 1500 (6:17.30), mile (6:45.68) and 5000 (13:45.0). The 1500 mark came en route in the mile race at Millrose.
Hoey Crushes National 800 Record
As the fastest returning 800 runner in the nation at 1:49.37 outdoors last year, Josh Hoey (Shanahan, Downington, Pennsylvania) figured to be a major player in the event this year.
And that he was in the early going, claiming the national leads in both the 800 (1:51.49) and 1000 (2:24.64, good for No. 10 on the all-time list). And a 4:07.42 made him No. 2 in the mile.
Still, his performance at the BU Last- Chance meet was a shocker of the first degree. Racing against pros, he crushed Robby Andrews’ national record of 1:49.21 with his 1:47.67 clocking, finishing 2nd behind Christian Harrison’s 1:46.83.
The mark is so good that only 5 high schoolers have ever run faster outdoors.