SOME OF THE BIGGEST STARS of the ’19 prep season kicked off their ’20 campaigns with some notable performances. Off the track came the major news that national record holders Tamari Davis and Briana Williams had turned pro (see sidebar).
500 Record To Athing Mu
Last year’s national record setter in the 600, Athing Mu (Central, Trenton, New Jersey) showed her stuff at two other distances at the Virginia Showcase. She opened up on Thursday with a 300 in 37.36, a time that moved her to No. 3 ever, missing the HSR by just 0.54. Two days later she sprinted even better, taking down the all-time 500 best with her 1:10.22. That nipped by 0.08 the mark set by Chanelle Price (Easton, Pennsylvania) in ’08. She won by more than 2 seconds. (Continued below)
Outdoors, Mu is an 800 star already worthy of mention along with pros in our Olympic Trials Preview of the event. “Before I race the 800 I just want to get some speedwork in to see where I’m at,” said the Texas A&M signee. “This is my first time at both events so I really just went in, hoping to run whatever fast times… 37 was really something crazy. I really didn’t think I’d do that.”
Another Walk Mark For Taylor Ewert
Mu wasn’t the only recordsetter at the Virginia Showcase. Having already set myriad walk records both indoors and out the last couple of years, Taylor Ewert (Beavercreek, Ohio) destroyed her own national standard (and American Junior Record) in the 3K walk with a 13:00.56 performance, a 24-second improvement on her mark from the same meet last year.
Tamari Davis Ties 60 Best
After a 7.25 heat in the 60 moved Tamari Davis (East Ridge, Clermont, Florida) into a tie for No. 5 all-time, the junior brought more heat to the Gamecock Opener final where she faced a solid field of collegians and pros. Zipping 7.19 for the win over Norfolk State’s Kiara Grant (an 11.04 performer outdoors), Davis tied the HSR set at altitude by Coloradan Ashley Owens in ’04. Davis’s mark, a World Youth (U18) best, also bettered the low-altitude best of 7.22 set by Floridian Shayla Sanders in ’12.
More Action At The Virginia Showcase
Mu and Ewert were only part of the story in Lynchburg as a blazing boys 300 matchup saw Cameron Rose (Hickory Ridge, Harrisburg, North Carolina) nipping Justin Robinson (West, Hazelwood, Missouri), 32.84–32.87. Rose moved into a tie for No. 2 all-time, with Robinson equaling No. 4.
Robinson, No. 1 ranked in the 400 last year, came back to win the 500 in 1:02.39, making him No. 5 all-time.
On the girls’ side the multi-talented Morgan Smalls (Panther Creek, Cary, North Carolina) moved to No. 8 all-time with her 42-10 TJ on the same day that she won the high jump at 6-0. The next day she won the 200 in 24.46.
At Clemson’s Orange & Purple meet Briana Williams (Northeast, Oakland Park, Florida) preceded Davis’s HSR with a PR 7.25 60 to move to =5 all-time. It was her last race in the prep ranks before she signed a pro contract… Cheyenne Figueroa (Classical, Providence, Rhode Island) moved into a tie for No. 7 all-time in the weight throw with her 62-8 ½… Leah Pasqualetti (Orchard Park, New York) vaulted 14-0 to move to =8 all-time… A week after his big 300, Rose produced a 20.94 to move to No. 5 ever in the 200. ◻︎