New Balance GP — A Trio Of American Records

We didn’t get to see a Bryce Hoppel/Donavan Brazier head-to-head, but each set an American Record, Hoppel getting his first in the 1000. (KEVIN MORRIS)

STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK, February 13 — Around-the-oval action rolled out fast and furious at the New Balance Indoor GP as 3 American Records fell to the flying feet of Donavan Brazier (men’s 800), Bryce Hoppel (men’s 1000) and Elle Purrier (women’s 2M).

Hoppel Cranks A Kilo In 2:16.27

After telling us a few weeks ago that the 1000 AR was on his wish list, Bryce Hoppel made good on his promise here. Glad to be frontrunning after the rabbit helped him through the first 400 in 55.36 (27.62, 27.75), the Kansas alum set out with Britain’s Charlie Grice on his heels and Canada’s Marco Arop in striking range behind. He led them through 600 in 1:23.24 (a 27.89), then inexorably put pressure on the gas, covering his next lap in 26.51 (1:49.74).

Still, his opponents stayed close until with 175 to go, Hoppel showed he had more in the tank. A lot more. His last lap of 26.53 took him to the line in 2:16.27, breaking the late David Torrence’s 2014 record of 2:16.76 by almost a half-second.

“Ever since last year, when I hopped in a 1000 for the first time, I was like, ‘Oh, next year I’m gonna go after it,’” Hoppel said.

Though he knew he had slipped some from record tempo early, the time deficit failed to faze Hoppel. “I was a little disappointed when it came to 800,” he admitted. “I was like, ‘Oh man, I gotta pick it up.’ But yeah, I kinda like was studying the splits beforehand and I was trying to get it perfect, but fell a bit behind and still went after it.”

As he did after scaring Brazier’s AR with his 1:44.37 at ATL II two weeks ago, Hoppel emphasized a team approach. “Just getting like that to go down in the record books and kind of start leaving a legacy is just incredible,” he said. “Because not only is it me, but just all the support behind me: my coach, the KU staff and my family. It’s just, it’s not only me out there. So it’s cool to kind of put those things down for everyone that does it with me.”

Brazier Slices Off 0.01 In The 800

Donavan Brazier said Hoppel’s close approach to his 800 AR two weekends ago in Fayetteville was not his motivation, but less than a half-hour after his rival’s kilo AR he snicked a tick off his own record anyway.

Brazier’s coach Pete Julian wanted to see where the outdoor world champion was fitnesswise and asked that he not pussy-foot around. “Pete wanted me to go out and die. That was literally what he said, word for word,” Brazier explained. “He said, ‘Go hard see if you can hold it and just kind of gauge where you’re at from a fast pace.’ So the plan was to go out fast. Not as fast as the rabbit though, because he was kind of a little overzealous with his pacing.”

Said ambitious rabbit set Brazier on a swift pace, far ahead of the rest of the field as the American Record holder flew through opening laps of 24.72 and 26.44 for a 51.16 at halfway. That put him well ahead of the pace in his record (53.04).

A 26.22 for the third circuit stretched the margin a little more (1:17.37 to 1:19.33)… then the bill collector came to collect. Brazier still looked strong, but the clock showed an obvious debt on his balance sheet as he finished in 26.84, barely holding on to nip his AR from last year’s Millrose Games by just 0.01 (he finished that day in a blazing 24.89).

Erik Sowinski ran well behind Brazier most of the way but was overtaken by Britain’s Jamie Webb on the last lap, 1:46.26–1:47.65.

“I don’t think I’m quite where I was at in Millrose last year,” Brazier said, “but I still think I’m in decent shape.”

Although Hoppel wasn’t on Brazier’s mind for the race, the Kansas alum has his respect. “You know, if he gets a little closer to the outdoor [AR], maybe I’ll step it up a bit,” Brazier said. “He‘s definitely a hell of a talent.”

Purrier Knew She Could In The Deuce

It was a race set up for records and Leah Falland (née O’Connor) ably led the single-file line through the half in 4:41.82. When she stepped off, that left Elle Purrier ahead of Emma Coburn, with new pro (and Coburn training partner) Dani Jones a step behind.

Purrier, despite having the fastest speed in the race — she set the mile AR of 4:16.85 just over a year ago at Millrose — made it clear there would be no sit-and-kick. She churned out steady laps, the two leaving the field behind before Purrier finally dropped Coburn with more than two laps to go. She hammered the last 400 in 63.98 to crush the AR by more than 8 seconds, her 9:10.28 leading Coburn (9:15.71) under the old standard as well.

“The strategy was to hang on to the pacer, you know, get in 2nd or 3rd, just let her take me through the first mile and then try to pick it up a little bit from there,” said Purrier of the successful bid to add a second AR to her collection.

Purrier told the TV interviewer that going into the race the record had not been beyond her expectations. Later she explained her optimism sprang from hard workouts set by New Balance Boston coach Mark Coogan in the last couple months.

“In December I ran two fast 3Ks back to back,” she said of her training. “I feel like that was a pretty good indicator. Also two weeks ago we ran pretty hard in Phoenix and, yeah, that was probably one of the toughest workouts I’ve ever done. So that was a huge confidence booster.”

Hoare Wins 1500, CR For Tanner

A solid men’s 1500 field watched as Scot Jake Wightman took over following the rabbit’s departure, following up a 57.06 opener with a 57.35 (1:54.76). He and Ollie Hoare had just started putting a gap between themselves and the rest at that point, with ’19 USATF outdoor champ Craig Engels at 1:55.00.

Wightman didn’t let up at all on the third 400, covering it in 56.05 for a 2:50.45 split that suddenly started looking very ominous. However, Hoare, the Australian Wisconsin alum, showed he still has his lethal kick, letting it out to play on the last lap and finishing more than 2 seconds up on Wightman, 3:32.35 to 3:34.48.

Hoare and Washington’s Kiwi soph Sam Tanner — 3:34.72 in 3rd — both got national records for their efforts.

And not just that. Tanner’s time earned him the Collegiate Record, eclipsing Oregon rival Cooper Teare’s 3:35.46 standard set just the day before. The 20-year-old New Zealander’s time is also superior to Josh Kerr’s absolute CR, 3:35.01, set in ’18.

Sam Prakel (3:36.36 in 4th) reeled in Engels (3:36.49) on the final go-round.

White In Blanket Women’s 60 Finish

Aleia Hobbs might have led the qualifying at 7.10 — just 0.02 off the world lead — but that counted for nothing when she flinched before the gun in the final. Even though she didn’t leave the blocks, the starter bounced Hobbs from the race, making it a wide-open free-for-all.

Kayla White, the NCAA 100 runner-up as a North Carolina A&T senior in ’19, got out well (“What made the difference was that false start. I got out really good and thought, if I can just hold on to that.”)

At the line, 5 of the 6 finishers dipped in unison, it seemed, but White came out with a 7.15 PR, 0.10 faster than her pre-21 best, and the win over Hannah Cunliffe (7.17) and Candace Hill (7.19, after a PR 7.16 heat).

Elle Purrier’s 9:10.28 crushed Jenny Simpson’s national record in the 2-Mile. (KIRBY LEE/IMAGE OF SPORT)

Bromell Rebounds For Men’s 60 Win

A rough start in the shortest race for Trayvon Bromell put him in near-last place at 10m. He recovered well, taking the lead by 40y.

He zipped past that mark in 4.54, 0.02 ahead of North Carolina A&T alum Maurice Eaddy and kept widening the gap as Demek Kemp came on at the finish.

Bromell’s 6.50 — a return to winning form after taking 2nd at ATL III last weekend — put plenty of daylight between him and his pursuers (Kemp 6.65, Eaddy 6.67).

Lyles Bounces Back In The 200

For reigning world 200 champ Noah Lyles, who failed to make the 60 final, the 1-lapper was a test, but he made it clear he intends to be ready for the final exam. “I actually feel strong, which is really what we were trying to get out of training.”

Wearing Dunder-Mifflin socks (an homage to The Office), he overcame the challenge of Trinidad’s Deon Lendore, winning in a rather ho-hum 20.80. “To be honest, I still feel really great, even coming off of the 200. I could run like three more,” he said.

Norman Wins Training-Mate Battle Over Benjamin

When Michael Norman and Rai Benjamin lined up for the 400, fireworks were primed to go. Longtime good friends and training partners, the two had shared the subdued 2020 pandemic season, the highlight of which was a blazing 100 where Norman rocketed 9.86 and Benjamin nailed a 10.02, both huge PRs.

The pair had raced each other in the 400 just five times before, with Norman always 1st and Benjamin always 2nd. In this, the first indoor clash, Norman correctly figured that getting the pole position would mean everything. Starting in lane 5 with Benjamin to his outside, Norman jetted out, making up the stagger in the midst of the next turn, and staying just enough ahead of the hurdle specialist to keep him on the outside. Halfway, it was Norman 23.68, with Benjamin just 0.05 behind.

On the penultimate straight, Benjamin pulled slightly ahead of Norman but had no room to cut in. He fell back on the curve but tried again on the final stretch, Norman holding him off by inches, 45.34–45.39.

Said the victor of the teammate tussle, “The instinct just kicked in. We’re very competitive at practice, especially when it comes to competition. So having that little fun practice rivalry going on, I couldn’t have Rai beat me in the race, but he’s an amazing competitor, so it was a lot of fun.”

Thomas Scares AR In Women’s 300

Lynna Irby started fast on the outside in the lap-and-a-half race, giving Harvard alum Gabby Thomas in 5 a target to chase, while Kendall Ellis in 4 stalked her in turn. Yet at 200, where Irby’s 23.23 led Thomas by 0.10, it was not the 400 runners who kicked it into overdrive, but Thomas. The former NCAA champion in the indoor 200, she moved hard in the midst of the turn, making up the stagger on Irby and leaving Ellis behind.

Her 35.73 winning time is the No. 2 U.S. performance ever, just 0.02 off Quanera Hayes’s ’17 AR. She also moved to No 5 on the all-time world list. Irby’s 35.99 PR made her No. 4 among Americans, while Ellis (36.69) and hurdler Kori Carter (37.94) both had lifetime bests.

Said Thomas, “The last few months of training have really been focused on getting that fitness up, and I think these 300-meter performances are really showcasing that.”


(200 banked)

60: 1. Trayvon Bromell (US) 6.50; 2. Demek Kemp (US) 6.65; 3. Maurice Eaddy (US) 6.67; 4. Marvin Bracy (US) 6.67; 5. Brandon Carnes (US) 6.70; 6. Kevaughn Rattray (Jam) 6.71; 7. Mario Burke (Bar) 6.72; 8. Jaylen Bacon (US) 6.74. Heats: I–4. Noah Lyles (US) 6.76.

200: 1. Lyles 20.80; 2. Deon Lendore (Tri) 20.92; 3. Jaron Flournoy (US) 21.26.

300: 1. Jereem Richards (Tri) 32.71; 2. Christopher Taylor (Jam) 32.80 NR; 3. Kahmari Montgomery (US) 32.96 PR; 4. Taylor McLaughlin (US) 34.25;… dq—Taylor McLaughlin (US).

400: 1. Michael Norman (US) 45.34 (23.68/21.66); 2. Rai Benjamin (US) 45.39 PR (23.73/21.66); 3. Tyrell Richard (US) 46.25; 4. Vernon Norwood (US) 46.48; 5. Winston George (Guy) 48.11.

800: 1. Donavan Brazier (US) 1:44.21 AR (old AR 1:44.22 Brazier ’20) (WL) (=4, =5 W) (24.72, 26.44 [51.16], 26.21 [1:17.37], 26.84) (51.16/53.05);

2. Jamie Webb (GB) 1:46.26 PR; 3. Erik Sowinski (US) 1:47.65; 4. Sam Ellison (US) 1:48.13; 5. Josh Hoey (US) 1:48.19; 6. Robert Downs (US) 1:50.55.

1000: 1. Bryce Hoppel (US) 2:16.27 AR (old AR 2:16.76 David Torrence [Nike] ’14) (WL) (8, x W) (in/out: 5, 6 A) (27.62, 27.74 [55.36], 27.88 [1:23.24], 26.50 [1:49.74], 26.53);

2. Marco Arop (Can) 2:17.10 PR (1:50.53); 3. Charlie Da’Vall Grice (GB) 2:17.20 NR (1:49.91); 4. Drew Piazza (US) 2:21.03 PR; 5. Victor Palumbo (US) 2:22.92 PR.

1500: 1. Ollie Hoare (Aus) 3:32.35 NR (7, 9 W) (57.31, 57.45 [1:54.76], 55.93 [2:50.69], 41.67);

2. Jake Wightman (GB) 3:34.48 PR;

3. Samuel Tanner (NZ-Wa) 3:34.72 NR, CR (old CR 3:35.46 Cooper Teare [Oregon] the night before) (absolute CR—old, 3:35.01 Josh Kerr [New Mexico], ’18);

4. Sam Prakel (US) 3:36.36; 5. Craig Engels (US) 3:36.49; 6. Johnny Gregorek (US) 3:37.22; 7. Nick Willis (NZ) 3:37.53; 8. Amos Bartelsmeyer (Ger) 3:38.16 PR; 9. Drew Hunter (US) 3:40.37 PR; 10. Garrett O’Toole (US) 3:45.43 PR; 11. Thomas Keen (GB) 3:46.40.

2M: 1. Justyn Knight (Can) 8:13.92 PR (WL) (7:44.61) (4:11.59/4:02.35);

2. Joe Klecker (US) 8:14.20 PR (AL) (6, 8 A) (7:44.91 AL);

3. Morgan McDonald (Aus) 8:14.92 NR (7:44.60); 4. Maximilian Thorwirth (Ger) 8:17.78 PR (7:46.38); 5. Eric Jenkins (US) 8:19.54 PR (7:46.14); 6. Kieran Lumb (Can) 8:22.03 PR.

Field Event

HJ: 1. Trey Culver (US) 7-7¾ (2.33) =PR (WL, AL) (6-10¾, 7-½, 7-2½, 7-4½ [2], 7-5¾ [2], 7-7¾ [2], 7-8¾ [xxx]) (2.10, 2.15, 2.20, 2.25 [2], 2.28 [2], 2.33 [2], 2.36 [xxx]);

2. Jeron Robinson (US) 7-4½ (2.25); 3. Erik Kynard (US) 7-2½ (2.20); 4. Roderick Townsend (US) 7-½ (2.15); 5. Shelby McEwen (US) 7-½; 6. Donald Thomas (Bah) 7-½; 7. Keenon Laine (US) 6-10¾ (2.10).


60: 1. Kayla White (US) 7.15 PR; 2. Hannah Cunliffe (US) 7.17; 3. Candace Hill (US) 7.19; 4. Jenna Prandini (US) 7.19; 5. Morolake Akinosun (US) 7.20; 6. Mikiah Brisco (US) 7.21;… fs—Aleia Hobbs (US);… dnc—Briana Williams (Jam).

300: 1. Gabby Thomas (US) 35.73 PR (WL, AL) (5, 6 W; 2, 2 A) (in/out: 3, 3 A) (23.33/12.40); 2. Lynna Irby (US) 35.99 PR (4, 6 A) (23.23/12.77);

3. Kendall Ellis (US) 36.69 PR; 4. Kori Carter (US) 37.94 PR.

400: 1. Shaunae Miller-Uibo (Bah) 50.21 NR (WL) (=8, x W) (23.92/26.29);

2. Wadeline Jonathas (US) 51.95; 3. Jessica Beard (US) 52.60; 4. Phyllis Francis (US) 54.86.

500: 1. Olga Kosichenko (US) 1:12.35; 2. Brenna Detra (US) 1:12.48; 3. Leah Anderson (US) 1:12.94 PR.

800: 1. Ajee’ Wilson (US) 2:01.79 (29.01); 2. Kaela Edwards (US) 2:02.17 (29.77); 3. Isabelle Boffey (GB) 2:02.45 PR;

4. Lindsey Butterworth (Can) 2:03.91; 5. Sophia Gorriaran (US) 2:03.94; 6. Sammy Watson (US) 2:04.19; 7. Adelle Tracey (GB) 2:04.28.

1500: 1. Heather MacLean (US) 4:06.32 (AL);

2. Cory McGee (US) 4:07.21; 3. Síofra Cléirigh Büttner (Ire) 4:09.67 PR; 4. Nikki Hiltz (US) 4:09.82; 5. Millie Paladino (US) 4:10.77 PR; 6. Mariah Kelly (Can) 4:10.84; 7. Alexa Efraimson (US) 4:11.26; 8. Dana Giordano (US) 4:28.48.

2M: 1. Elle Purrier (US) 9:10.28 AR (old AR 9:18.35 Jenny Simpson [New Balance] ’15) (WL) (3, 3 W) (in/out: 3, 4 W) (8:36.41 AL—5, 6 A) (4:41.93/4:28.35);

2. Emma Coburn (US) 9:15.71 PR (8, 10 W; 2, 2 A) (in/out: 3, 3 A) (8:39.19—7, 9 A);

3. Julie-Anne Staehli (Can) 9:22.66 NR (8:47.73);

4. Emily Lipari (US) 9:26.87 PR (5, 6 A) (in/out: 7, 10 A) (8:51.66); 5. Helen Schlachtenhaufen (US) 9:26.95 PR (6, 7 A) (in/out: 8, x A) (8:53.39); 6. Katrina Coogan (US) 9:27.45 PR (7, 8 A) (in/out: 9, x A) (8:51.43);

7. Amy-Eloise Markovc (GB) 9:30.69 NR (8:54.11); 8. Dani Jones (US) 9:45.84 PR (9:02.02).

60H: 1. Kendra Harrison (US) 7.82 (WL, AL);

2. Tiffany Porter (GB) 7.89; 3. Gabriele Cunningham (US) 7.89 PR; 4. Brittany Anderson (Jam) 7.99; 5. Cindy Sember (GB) 8.22; 6. Queen Claye (US) 8.26; 7. Jeanine Williams (Jam) 8.27; 8. Sydney McLaughlin (US) 8.56.

Field Event

PV: 1. Sandi Morris (US) 15-1 (4.60) (14-7¼, 15-1 [3], 15-7 [xxx]) (4.45, 4.60 [3], 4.75 [xxx]); 2. Olivia Gruver (US) 14-7¼ (4.45); 3. Chloe Cunliffe (US) 13-7¼ (4.15);… nh—Megan Clark (US).