SYDNEY McLAUGHLIN doesn’t mind the time-final setup at the NCAA Indoors.
“It’s better for me nerve-wise to just know that I can focus on myself. When you have a lot of people in a race and it’s really high competition, it puts a lot of pressure,” said the Kentucky frosh after gaining runner-up honors by winning section II of the 400.
“So I think me being able to go out there and run my race definitely helped me run the time that I did.”
Oregon frosh Reed Brown took the lead of the NCAA mile to help out senior teammate Sam Prakel.
No regrets, Brown says. “I’ve got plenty of more years. This is his last race. I just kind of wanted to give him the best shot to win that I could. I stuck to my race plan even though I wasn’t feeling my best. That ruled me out of any shot at competing, so I just wanted to give Sam a shot.”
Prakel finished 3rd at 3:58.59, with Brown 8th in 4:01.94.
Karissa Schweizer became the sixth woman in NCAA history to win the 3000 and 5000 double, joining Notre Dame’s Molly Seidel (’16), Dartmouth’s Abbey D’Agostino (’13 & ’14), Texas Tech’s Sally Kipyego (’07) and Providence’s Kim Smith (’04).
“It hasn’t hit me yet,” the Missouri senior said. “It’s still crazy to me. Coming here as a freshman I’m just really proud of where I am now.”
Michael Saruni, in explaining how he bounced back from a so-so NCAA 800 heat to run a dominating final to win in 1:45.15, simply pointed at his head and said, “The brain is the biggest mountain.”
Despite missing by just 0.06 in her attempt to defend her mile title, Colorado’s Dani Jones was thrilled.
“Last year I was NCAA champ but I had the perfect training leading up to that point,” she explained. “This year, it was really on-and-off. I struggled with some injuries. I came in with an open mind and was just happy to be here. It definitely surpassed my expectations.”
Haley Crouser opened her senior javelin season at Texas on a high note, reaching 177-0 (53.94), her best mark since ’12, the year she set a since-eclipsed High School Record of 181-2 (55.22).
Lynna Irby says she is thrilled with her frosh season indoors, explaining “My coach and I we made a goal list at the start of the season, and I’ve surpassed that list. I never expected to be running times this fast.”
The Georgia yearling, who hit bests of 22.55 and 50.62, says of her goal sheet, “My 200, I said, ‘23-flat.’ The 400 I was like, ‘Oh, something close to 51.’ So I’m excited.
“Outdoors, my mind won’t even take me down there. But I’m sure when the time comes, coach will sit me down with another goal sheet.”
No one was more speechless than the Polish men’s quartet at their unlooked-for 4×4 WR in Birmingham.
Said second-leg Rafał Omelko, “It is a big shock and surprise for us. We were targeting the European Record but really did not expect a result like this and never dreamed about the World Record.”
In a rare double at the New Balance Indoor Nationals, HS Recordsetting walker Taylor Ewert (Beavercreek, Ohio), placed 11th in the 2M the day after her heel-and-toe win…
For Ivana Španović, finally winning the World Indoor long jump over Brittney Reese was huge: “I still cannot believe it even though I was preparing myself for it. Last time I lost the World Indoor title in the final attempts, so I just wanted to stay focused and waited until the very end.
“I have tried to win this title so many times and finally I managed to produce gold.”
The American’s all-time record against the Serbian star is now at 13–9.
Pavel Maslák won the 400 gold in Birmingham despite crossing the finish line in 3rd. He admitted that the DQs of the first 2 took the shine off his gold.
In a fit of honesty, the Czech gold medalist said, “I think the guys were stronger than me and I do not know what went wrong for them. They would have beaten me anyway so even if it is gold, it will have a bronze flavor for me.”
Zach Dirlam of Florida’s communications department explains Grant Holloway’s place in the universe in colorful fashion:
“In the realm of Dragon Ball Z, an anime television series Grant Holloway loves, Saiyans are the universe’s strongest warrior race.
“Physically they resemble humans, save for their black spiky hair and particularly dark eyes. They elevate their ‘battle power’ through training, and those with gentle spirits can raise the number of ‘S-Cells’ in their bodies.
“Both are necessary to generate a Super Saiyan transformation. The Super Saiyan form is 50 times more powerful than a Saiyan’s base form. In the heightened state, their hair spikes up and glows gold, their eyes turn an aquamarine tint, a visible golden aura of energy surrounds them. Holloway believes he is a Super Saiyan.” Well, not literally.