Men’s Performance Of The Year — Warholm’s Second WR

Karsten Warholm’s first reaction on seeing his Tokyo time? “That’s sick.” We’re sure his rivals agreed. (KIRBY LEE/IMAGE OF SPORT)

JUST AS THEY SHARED all the No. 1 votes in Athlete Of The Year voting, Karsten Warholm and Ryan Crouser claimed all the top-place ballots in the POY contest. In a reversal of the AOY race, however, the Norwegian hurdler dominated the American putter. As a measure of their dominant overall seasons, Warholm also produced the =No. 8 mark and Crouser Nos. 5 & 13.

The 15 different performances which received recognition in our 5-4-3-2-1 scoring system:

1. Karsten Warholm’s 45.94 WR, 122 (20 No. 1s)

Post-race, Warholm was asked by the press if they had just witnessed the greatest performance ever in any event. “Your words, not mine,” he responded, adding, “I think it’s up there.” Our panel obviously agreed, giving the historic breaking of the 46-second barrier 20 of the 26 votes available for No. 1. His earlier WR of 46.70 just paled by comparison.

2. Ryan Crouser’s 76-8¼ (23.37) WR, 109 (6)

When the native Oregonian returned to Eugene for the Olympic Trials he had already had an epic campaign, with 5 meets over 74, 1 over 75 and a move to No. 2 on the all-time list. His fourth-round heave made him No. 1 on the ATL and the first ever to break the 76-foot barrier (and almost 77). Surely one of the best marks not to be accorded POY status.

3. Rai Benjamin’s 46.17 for OG silver, 40

As another measure of how scintillating Warholm’s mark was, consider that Benjamin ran an American Record 46.17 — well under the old WR — and lost by 0.23. “Man, 46.1 and I lost,” he said. “I was running my butt off coming home and just didn’t have enough space. I’m happy to be a part of history.”

4. Grant Holloway’s 12.81, 27

The Florida alum summed up his brilliant flight of hurdles succinctly, explaining, “I just came off the blocks and kept going all the way through.” Running in the semifinals of the Olympic Trials with an aiding wind of 1.8mps, Holloway had missed Aries Merritt’s World Record by just 0.01. In the process he destroyed his old PR of 12.98 from the ’19 NCAA.

5. Crouser’s 76-5½ (23.30) OG win, 25

With the Olympic gold already secured and free to go all-out for another WR, Crouser came oh-so-close in Tokyo’s final round. Shouting “let’s go!” he once again twisted his way across the ring in his smooth-yet-powerful style and dropped one well past the 22m line. The result was another 76-footer, just 2¾ inches (7cm) from his own WR

Other Vote-Getters

6. Johannes Vetter’s 315-11 (96.29), 22
7. Damian Warner’s 9018 OG win, 10
8. tie, Jakob Ingebrigtsen’s 3:28.32 OG win & Warholm’s 46.70 WR, 8
10. Jacob Kiplimo’s 57:31 WR, 6
11. Lamont Marcell Jacobs’ 9.80 OG win, 5
12. “The Shoes,” 4
13. Crouser’s 75-11½ (23.15), 2
14. tie, Hansle Parchment’s 13.04 OG win & Hugues Fabrice Zango’s 59-3½/18.07 WIR, 1. ◻︎