Indoor Digest — U.S. Season Opens Strong

Razorback Briton Amber Anning, 6th in the ’23 NCAA Indoor 2-lapper and a Budapest 4×4 medalist, is now the No. 10 all-time collegian. (ERROL ANDERSON)

BIG MARKS in January rolled out in quantity. What will follow as the campaign picks up steam?

Matsatsa 1000 CR

BLACKSBURG, VIRGINIA, January 19 — He may be young, but Georgetown yearling Tinoda Matsatsa is eager to make his mark. He did just that at Virginia Tech’s Hokie Invitational, rolling to a Collegiate Record 2:18.05 in the 1000. That took 0.05 off the 2:18.10 standard that Yusuf Bizimana of Texas set a week earlier.

Matsatsa followed the rabbit, teammate Jantz Tostenson, with laps of 27.87 and 26.92 (54.79), then took over with a 28.31 on lap 3 with Hoya junior Abel Teffra on his shoulder (1:23.10–1:23.12). He started pulling away on the penultimate lap of 27.63 (1:50.73), and closed with a 27.32. Matt Wisner of the Oregon TC finished faster (26.99) on the last lap to grab 2nd in 2:18.86, with Teffra (2:19.17) and another Hoya, Matthew Payamps (2:19.37), taking the next two spots.

Said assistant track coach (head XC) Brandon Bonsey, “Tinoda is one of the best young talents in the world. We had four guys break the school record in the 1000 and a fifth barely miss it. I knew this group was ready to do big things but always cool to see it actually happen.”

Matsatsa is now No. 8 in U.S. history. Though still 19, he is no longer eligible for Junior records, as his 20th birthday comes in September.

Nesbitt & Bastien Win USA Multis

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA, January 27-28 — Held at the impressive new indoor facilities at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, the USATF Combined Events Championship saw Cheyenne Nesbitt win her first USATF title, while Olympian Steve Bastien defended his crown.

Nesbitt (née Williamson) is in her senior year at Saginaw Valley, where she has won the last three Div. II heptathlon crowns, along with indoor wins in the hurdles, long jump and pentathlon (twice) and the outdoor high jump.

Her 8.43 in the hurdles put her in 4th, 56 points behind favored Annie Kunz (8.18). The high jump turned things around, with Nesbitt scaling a PR 6-0 (1.83) to take the lead by 57. Kunz drew closer in the shot with her 44-7 (13.59) to Nesbitt’s PR 42-9.75 (13.05). In the long jump, Nesbitt was disappointed in her 19-6¾ (5.96), but it kept her 51 points ahead of Kunz (19-2¾/5.86) going into the final event. The 800 was close, Nesbitt finishing in 2:17.41 to Kunz’s 2:17.84, for a 4475–4418 tally. Third went to Hope Bender with 4392.

Bastien defended his heptathlon title handily, his 5886 easily topping Jack Flood (5665) and Jakob Torsen (5494). Devon Williams, a former NCAA heptathlon champion for Georgia, ran a solid 60 (7.05), then dropped out.

With the World Indoor fields limited to 12 in each multi, neither Nesbitt nor Bastien are likely to make the trip to Glasgow. Neither has met the WA selection criteria at this point.

Hiltz Scores Fast Oversized 1000

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, January 26-27 — Nikki Hiltz demonstrated impressive fitness on the big 307m track at Washington, winning the 1000 over Australia’s Jess Hull 2:34.09–2:34.71. Third went to Angel Piccirillo in 2:35.65. Hiltz’s mark is marginally faster than the American Record 2:34.19 set by Jen Toomey on a legal track in England in ’04. “Had the time of my life,” they posted later.

The other big highlight came from the Husky milers, once again demonstrating frightening depth. With the “Mile City” portion of the meet ballooning to 22 heats for the men, Luke Houser ran fastest with his 3:51.73, becoming No. 4 collegian ever (all tracks). That topped pro Brannon Kidder (3:53.09), as Huskies Joe Waskom (3:53.64), Nathan Green (3:53.74), Ronan McMahon-Staggs (3:54.61) and Leo Daschbach (3:58.18) also went well under 4:00.

Off the track, Hana Moll made a splash in her first home meet for Washington. The frosh cleared an indoor PR 15-2¾ (5.64) on her second attempt to become No. 5 collegian all-time. Katerína Stefanídi, the ’16 Olympic champ, cleared the same bar on her third, so the win went to Moll.

Highlights-Heavy Razorback Invite

FAYETTEVILLE, ARKANSAS, January 26-27 — Many of the nation’s top collegiate teams descended on the Tyson Track Center, producing a plethora of sizzling performances in what looked like a “coming attractions” commercial for the NCAA Indoor.

LSU’s Jamaican soph Brianna Lyston blistered a 7.07 dash ahead of last year’s NCAA runner-up, Kaila Jackson of Georgia (7.20), and a once-again healthy Grace Stark of Florida (7.21). In the open section, Aleia Hobbs ran 7.05 for the U.S. lead.

Arkansas senior Amber Anning made herself the No. 10 collegian ever with her 50.56 win in the 400. Then she joined her teammates for the No. 4 collegiate 4×4 ever, a 3:25.59 (Rosey Effiong 51.48, Anning’ 51.05, Nickisha Pryce 51.20, Sanu Jallow 51.86). That was more than enough to stay ahead of South Carolina’s 3:27.09 (No. 6 U.S.) and Georgia’s 3:28.01 (No. 9 school ever).

Friday’s distance medley produced the No. 2 collegiate run ever, a 10:47.50 for Oregon. That topped Arkansas at 10:49.41 and Florida’s 10:52.06, which made the Gators the No. 10 school ever, even without Parker Valby running.

Other women’s highlights included USC’s Allie Jones scoring 4528 in the pentathlon to become No. 10 collegian ever. Tara Davis-Woodhall long jumped 22-2¼ (6.76), also catching some speedwork with an 8.30 hurdles heat, her first run over the sticks in 3 years. Tia Jones beat Ackera Nugent in the final, 7.85–7.94.

The men produced some great marks as well. USC soph William Jones covered the 400 in 45.24, and Florida’s Robert Gregory covered one lap in 20.40. World champion Marco Arop took the 800 in 1:45.50, while KC Lightfoot vaulted 19-¼ (5.80).