USATF Indoor Women — High Schoolers Shine

Athing Mu was shocked to see that what she thought was just a High School Record was something bigger. (KIRBY LEE/IMAGE OF SPORT)

Staten Island, New York, February 22-24—Although many fields in this off year for indoor competition were predictably thin, some of the nation’s top pros did come to the USATF Indoor Championships and they performed well. But they had to share the spotlight with two youngsters who made headlines on all three days of the meet

On Friday, Anna Hall, a 17-year old Colorado HS senior, broke the national prep record by scoring 4302 points in the pentathlon, adding 234 points to the mark posted 6 years ago by Kendell Williams, who won the event here with a PR 4496 that left her just outside the all-time U.S. top 10. After high school, Williams went on to win four straight NCAA pentathlon titles for Georgia, where Hall will enroll this year.

Hall said that the record was definitely on her mind, explaining, “I was hoping for 4400 points and fell a little short of that but I’m still happy with how I was able to execute with the best people I’ve ever competed against.” Williams was also happy about Hall’s performance. “Her competition today was so great and we’re really excited to have her coming to Athens,” she said. “If anyone was going to break my record, I’m glad it was a baby Bulldog.”

On Saturday, it was Athing Mu’s turn to shine. A 16-year old New Jersey high school junior, Mu was the fastest heat winner in the 600. Her time of 1:26.23 was not only a national prep record but also a new World and American Junior (U20) standard. Then on Sunday, Mu easily outran a good field that included Raevyn Rogers and Georganne Moline, both members of the U.S. team at last year’s World Indoor Championships. Mu’s time of 1:23.57 clipped 0.02 off Alysia Montaño’s American Indoor Record. It was also the fastest time in the world this year in this rarely-run event, just 0.13 shy of the WR.

“I’m super shocked!” Mu said. “At first, when I was taking a picture next to the timing I thought it was just another High School Record. Then, when I looked back and it said “AR,” and I also didn’t see the time, 1:23, so I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s crazy.’ It literally brought me to tears.”

Among the veterans, 5 women who won their events last year in Albuquerque were victorious again here. Vashti Cunningham’s list-leading high jump of 6-5 (1.96) captured her fourth straight indoor high jump title, a feat that had not been accomplished since Eleanor Montgomery’s streak ended in ’69.

Shelby Houlihan, who won the mile and 3000 last year, took the 2-miler here on Sunday. Houlihan sped to the lead after the first mile and a quarter and never relinquished it. Her winning time was 9:31.38, a world leader. But on Saturday, Houlihan had lost the mile to her Bowerman TC teammate, Colleen Quigley. That ended Houlihan’s streak of 8 consecutive USATF indoor, outdoor and cross country titles in the previous two years. “Coming off yesterday I was a little disappointed. I was a little more pumped up for this one, and I felt stronger,” she said. “That last 1200m definitely hurt more than I wanted it to, but I was kind of hoping it was hurting for everybody else as well.”

In the 1000, Ajee’ Wilson took the lead immediately and was never seriously challenged. Her 2:34.71 was a yearly world leader and the second-fastest ever by an American. She had won the 800 last year, and this was U.S. title No. 7, indoors and out (the previous 6 all being at 800). “I am super happy with this win,” said Wilson.

The other two successful defenders were Sharika Nelvis and Kate Nageotte. Nelvis won the 60H with a world-leading 7.85. She came back to the track 18 minutes later for the flat 60 and finished 3rd. That race was won by Shania Collins (7.16) over first-year pro Kate Hall (7.23), who had won the long jump on Saturday with a leap of 21-4¼ (6.51). With Jenn Suhr a late scratch, Nageotte was the clear favorite in the vault. She had a scare at 15-1½ (4.61), needing three attempts at that height, but then she cleared 15-5½ (4.71) and 15-9¼ (4.81) before three unsuccessful tries at a world-leading 16-1¾ (4.92).

Keturah Orji just missed reclaiming the American Record from Tori Franklin, but did run her lifetime record against her rival to 9-0. (VICTOR SAILER/PHOTO RUN)

One of the most eagerly anticipated matchups came in the triple jump. Tori Franklin had won this event the past two years and earlier this indoor season had set an American Record of 47-9¾ (14.57). But on her first attempt, Keturah Orji, who had been the previous recordholder, jumped 47-9 (14.55) and Franklin couldn’t match that, taking 2nd at 47-5 (14.45). Although Orji won the past two U.S. outdoor titles while competing for Georgia, this was her first American indoor championship appearance. “My runs were not consistent today,” said Orji, who fouled three times after round one, but who almost matched her winning jump with a 47-8 ½ (14.54).

Other winners included Brittany Brown, who ran a world-leading 35.95 in the 300, Chase Ealey, who upset U.S. leader Maggie Ewen in the shot with a winning put of 61‑1¼ (18.62), Janeah Stewart, who dethroned DeAnna Price in the weight with a throw of 81-4½ (24.80), and Miranda Melville, who won the 3000 walk in 12:57.58. Maria Michta-Coffey had won the previous nine indoor walk titles; she finished only 4th here, but she did so while in the fifth month of pregnancy.


USATF WOMEN’S RESULTS

Staten Island, New York, February 22–24 (200 banked)—

60 METERS

1. Shania Collins (adi) 7.16 PR; 2. Kate Hall (Panther) 7.23; 3. Sharika Nelvis (adi) 7.32; 4. Quanesha Burks (unat) 7.34;

5. Candace Hill (Asics) 7.43; 6. Breana Norman (unat) 7.46; 7. Rachel McCoy (unat) 7.55; 8. Melanise Chapman (unat) 7.57.

Heats: I–1. Burks 7.35; 2. Hill 7.44; 3. McCoy 7.52; 4. Chapman 7.53; 5. De’Shalyn Jones (unat) 7.62; 6. Jessie Gaines (GardSt/NBal) 7.68. II–1. Collins 7.24 PR; 2. Hall 7.28; 3. Nelvis 7.42; 4. Norman 7.51; 5. Gabrielle Henderson (Troy) 7.56 =PR; 6. Asha Ruth (NBalCPTC) 7.68.

300 METERS

I–1. Faith Dismuke (unat) 38.28; 2. Asha Ruth (NBalCPTC) 38.46; 3. Rachel McCoy (unat) 38.80.

II–1. Brittany Brown (unat) 35.95 (WL, AL) (7, 8 W; 2, 2 A); 2. Gabby Thomas (NBal) 35.98 (8, 10 W; 3, 3 A);

3. Kayla Davis (RUX) 37.46 PR.

Heats: I–1. Ruth 38.44; 2. McCoy 38.74 PR; 3. T’Sheila Mungo (unat) 38.93;… dq—Jordan Lavender (unat). II–1. Brown 36.67; 2. Davis 37.74; 3. Madeline Kopp (DistTC) 38.62; 4. Christine Volz (unat) 39.10 PR; 5. Kaila Barber (unat) 40.11 PR. III–1. Thomas 37.27; 2. Candace Hill (Asics) 38.36; 3. Faith Dismuke (unat) 38.54; 4. Timarya Baynard (SFSt) 39.81 PR.

600 METERS

1. Athing Mu (TrentonTC) 1:23.57 AR, WJR, AJR, HSR (old AR 1:23.59 Alysia Montaño [Nike] ‘13; old WJR, AJR, HSR 1:26.23 Mu in heats) (WL) (2, 2 W; in/out: 9, 10 W; 2, 2 A) (25.99, 29.04 (55.03), 28.54);

2. Raevyn Rogers (Nik) 1:24.88PR (7, 8 W; 5, 6 A; in/out: 5, 7 A);

3. Olivia Baker (unat) 1:26.93; 4. Madeline Kopp (DistTC) 1:27.09 PR; 5. Georganne Moline (adi) 1:27.59; 6. Kendra Chambers (Oise) 1:27.60.

Heats: I–1. Mu 1:26.23 WJR, AJR, HSR (old WJR, AJR 1:26.45 Ajee’ Wilson [adi] ‘13; old HSR 1:27.13 Sammy Watson [Rush-Henrietta, Henrietta, NY] ’17) (5, 9 A);

2. Chrishuna Williams (Nik) 1:28.75; 3. Victoria Vanriele (unat) 1:30.36 PR; 4. Jordan Anderson (unat) 1:30.95 PR; 5. Tiguida Toure (CPTC) 1:33.54. II–1. Moline 1:27.62; 2. Sydnee Over (unat) 1:30.76; 3. Brenna Detra (BAA) 1:30.84; 4. Ericka Charles (unat) 1:31.31 PR; 5. Kristin Andrews (adiShore) 1:34.13;… dq—Cecilia Barowski (HokaNJNY). III–1. Baker 1:27.21; 2. Chambers 1:27.87; 3. Dalanne Zanotelli (unat) 1:32.04 PR; 4. Jolie Carbo (unat) 1:32.52; 5. Riley Knebes (unat) 1:33.10.

IV–1. Rogers 1:26.53 PR (7, x A);

2. Kopp 1:27.84; 3. Olga Kosichenko (CPTC) 1:28.80 PR, Jessica Teal (FreedTC), Tracee van der Wyk (CalCTC).

1000 METERS

1. Ajee’ Wilson (adi) 2:34.71 PR (WL, AL) (2, 2 A) (2:04.28); 2. Hanna Green (Nik) 2:35.40 (4, 4 A) (2:04.66);

3. Ce’Aira Brown (HokaNJNY) 2:35.62 OR(5, 5 A) (2:04.39); 4. Laura Roesler (unat) 2:36.60 PR (7, 7 A) (2:05.00);

5. Hannah Fields (unat) 2:38.60 PR;

6. Allie Wilson (Monm) 2:41.76 PR (6, 6 C; 4, 4 AmC);

7. Baylee Mires (unat) 2:42.79; 8. Megan Malasarte (AtlTC) 2:43.72; 9. Kaela Edwards (adi) 2:45.01.

Heats: I–1. Aj. Wilson 2:37.96 PR (AL) (10, x A);

2. Green 2:38.16 PR; 3. Fields 2:39.22 PR; 4. Edwards 2:41.32; 5. Malasarte 2:42.16; PR 6. Kenyetta Iyevbele (HokaNJNY) 2:45.67. II–1. Brown 2:40.32; 2. Mires 2:42.22 PR; 3. Emily Richards (HokaNJNY) 2:42.65 PR; 4. Heather MacLean (NBal) 2:42.67 PR; 5. Annette Melcher (USAF) 2:45.39 PR; 6. Anna Shields (PtPark) 2:45.91. III–1. Roesler 2:42.20; 2. Al. Wilson 2:42.51 PR (=8, x AmC); 3. Rebecca Mehra (Oise) 2:43.72; 4. Angel Piccirillo (unat) 2:43.78; 5. Stephanie Schappert (HokaNJNY) 2:45.07; 6. Savannah Camacho-Colon (unat) 2:45.15 PR.

MILE

I–1. Eleanor Fulton (HPW) 4:33.47 PR; 2. Grace Barnett (MamTC) 4:33.63 PR; 3. Marie Lawrence (Oise) 4:34.14; 4. Dana Giordano (BAA) 4:34.29; 5. Lianne Farber (NBal) 4:37.91.

II–1. Colleen Quigley (BowTC) 4:29.47 (29.00); 2. Shelby Houlihan (BowTC) 4:29.92 (29.11); 3. Cory McGee (NBal) 4:30.14; 4. Shannon Osika (Nik) 4:31.05; 5. Nikki Hiltz (adi) 4:32.40; 6. Elinor Purrier (NBal) 4:32.69; 7. Helen Schlachtenhaufen (Sauc) 4:33.93; 8. Danielle Aragon (HokaNJNY) 4:34.94; 9. Amanda Eccleston (Brk) 4:35.75; 10. Kate Grace (BowTC) 4:36.08; 11. Megan Mansy (HokaNJNY) 4:37.16; 12. Jamie Morrissey (HokaNJNY) 4:42.48.

2 MILES

I–1. Grace Barnett (MamTC) 9:50.17 PR (WL, AL);

2. Dana Giordano (BAA) 9:52.64 PR; 3. Emily Oren (GazE) 9:52.85 PR; 4. Madeline Alm (unat) 9:54.27 PR; 5. Kaitlyn Peale (BowTC) 9:54.93 PR; 6. Samantha Nadel (BAA) 9:57.83 PR; 7. Marlee Starliper (PaHS) 9:58.22 PR (HSL).

II–1. Shelby Houlihan (BowTC) 9:31.38 PR (WL, AL) (5, 6 A; in/out: 7, 10 A) (30.90); 2. Katie Mackey (BrkB) 9:33.70 PR (8, 9 A) (30.70); 3. Elinor Purrier (NBal) 9:34.65 PR (9, 10 A);

4. Emily Lipari (adi) 9:41.12 PR; 5. Katrina Coogan (NBal) 9:45.11 PR; 6. Mel Lawrence (Oise) 9:46.11 PR; 7. Eleanor Fulton (HPW) 9:48.98 PR; 8. Erika Kemp (BAA) 9:51.15 PR;

9. Amanda Eccleston (Brk) 9:53.25 PR; 10. Nikki Hiltz (adi) 9:55.50 PR; 11. Allie Buchalski (BrkB) 9:55.92 PR; 12. Heather Kampf (TMn) 10:00.32 PR.

60 HURDLES

1. Sharika Nelvis (adi) 7.85 (WL, AL);

2. Evonne Britton (EvoTC) 7.86 PR; 3. Amber Hughes (unat) 8.06 =PR; 4. Sasha Wallace (unat) 8.15; 5. Kyra Atkins (Charlotte) 8.15; 6. Jade Barber (unat) 8.20; 7. Monisha Lewis (unat) 8.21; 8. Tawnie Moore (unat) 8.42.

Heats: I–1. Britton 7.95; 2. Lewis 8.15 PR; 3. Barber 8.17; 4. Wallace 8.17; 5. Moore 8.20 PR; 6. Kaila Barber (unat) 8.31; 7. Breana Norman (unat) 8.33. II–1. Nelvis 8.03; 2. Atkins 8.12 PR; 3. Hughes 8.19; 4. Candice Price (unat) 8.23; 5. Chantel Ray (unat) 8.40; 6. Jasmine Hyder (unat) 8.48; 7. Briana Burt (SnCt) 8.53 PR.

3000 WALK

1. Miranda Melville (NYAC) 12:57.58; 2. Katie Burnett (HarrTC) 13:14.09 PR; 3. Kayla Shapiro (WUSA) 14:11.84 PR; 4. Maria Michta-Coffey (OisWUSA) 14:18.82; 5. Chelsea Conway (Shore) 14:26.74 PR; 6. Katherine Miale (Marist) 14:34.72 PR;… dq—Lauren Harris (Marist), Robyn Stevens (SalmWolf), Celina Lepe (unat).

HIGH JUMP

1. Vashti Cunningham (Nik) 6-5 (1.96) (AL) (missed 6-6¾/2.00;

2. Ty Butts (unat) 6-2 (1.88); 3. Amina Smith (Shore) 6-2; 4. Jelena Rowe (unat) 6-0 (1.83); 5. Inika McPherson (unat) 6-0; 6. Michelle Spires (USAF) 5-10 (1.78); 7. Melanie Winters (unat) 5-8 (1.73); 8. Juanita Webster-Freeman (SBTC) 5-8; 9. Elizabeth Evans (unat) 5-4¼ (1.63).

POLE VAULT

1. Katie Nageotte (Nik) 15-9¼ (4.81) (missed 16-1¾/4.92); 2. Annie Rhodes (unat) 14-11½ (4.56); 3. Kristen Leland (unat) 14-11½; 4. tie, Kortney Ross (unat) & Katherine Pitman (unat) 14-3½ (4.36) (Pitman PR); 6. Lakan Taylor (unat) 14-3½; 7. tie, Megan Zimlich (unat) & Kristen Brown (unat) 14-3½ (Zimlich PR); 9. Sophie Gutermuth (unat) 13-11¾ (4.26);… nh—Morgann LeLeux (unat), Jill Marois (Shore).

LONG JUMP

1. Kate Hall (Panther) 21-4¼ (6.51); 2. Quanesha Burks (unat) 20-11¾ (6.39); 3. Kenyattia Hackworth (unat) 20-11¾ (6.39); 4. Kendell Williams (unat) 20-9¼ (6.33); 5. Jessie Gaines (GStNBal) 20-7 (6.27); 6. Tristine Johnson (unat) 20-1½ (6.13); 7. Melanie Winters (unat) 19-9 (6.02); 8. Viershanie Latham (unat) 19-9 (6.02); 9. Erica Graham (NLAC) 18-6½ (5.65);… 3f—Sarah Hunt (unat).

TRIPLE JUMP

1. Keturah Orji (AtlTC) 47-9 (14.55) PR (2, 2 A; in/out: x, 10 A) (47-9, f, f, f, 45-3¾, 47-8½ [x, 3 A]) (14.55, f, f, f, 13.81, 14.54); 2. Tori Franklin (Nik) 47-5 (14.45) (x, 6 A) (f, f, 46-6¾, 45-3½, 47-5, 46-8) (f, f, 14.19, 13.80, 14.45, 14.22);

3. Lynnika Pitts (unat) 44-9¾ (13.66) PR; 4. Imani Oliver (unat) 44-1½ (13.45); 5. Tiffany Flynn (unat) 44-0 (13.41); 6. Viershanie Latham (unat) 42-2¼ (12.86); 7. Alexa Wandy (unat) 41-1½ (12.53); 8. Jean Udo (DCIntl) 38-6¾ (11.75) PR; 9. Shekinah Wilder (NGreenv) 38-6¼ (11.74).

SHOT

1. Chase Ealey (unat) 61-1¼ (18.62); 2. Maggie Ewen (Nik) 60-6½ (18.45); 3. Jessica Ramsey (unat) 60-3¼ (18.37); 4. Daniella Hill (unat) 59-7½ (18.17); 5. Rachel Fatherly (Velaasa) 58-10¾ (17.95) PR; 6. Monique Riddick (Velaasa) 58-3¼ (17.76) PR; 7. Jessica Woodard (unat) 57-11¾ (17.67); 8. Janeah Stewart (unat) 57-6½ (17.54); 9. Jeneva Stevens (NYAC) 56-3¾ (17.16).

WEIGHT

1. Janeah Stewart (unat) 81-4½ (24.80) (74-11¾, f, 78-3½, 81-4½, 79-2¾, f) (22.85, f, 23.86, 24.80, 24.15, f); 2. DeAnna Price (NikNYAC) 80-5½ (24.52); 3. Kaitlyn Long (Mn) 76-1 (23.19); 4. Annette Echikunwoke (unat) 75-4½ (22.97); 5. Jeneva Stevens (NYAC) 75-1¼ (22.89); 6. Brooke Andersen (unat) 73-0 (22.25) =PR; 7. Michaela Dendinger (IronWTC) 69-2¾ (21.10); 8. Alina Duran (unat) 66-10¾ (20.39) PR; 9. Christina Macdonald (IronWTC) 60-8 (18.49).

PENTATHLON

1. Kendell Williams (unat) 4496 PR (12, x A) (8.18 1.81 12.34 6.35 2:23.69); 2. Emilyn Dearman (unat) 4356 PR;

3. Anna Hall (Valor, Highlands Ranch, Co) 4302 lo-alt AJR; HSR;

4. Juanita Webster-Freeman (SBTC) 4255 PR; 5. Annie Kunz (unat) 4243 PR; 6. Riley Cooks (Oise) 4106 PR; 7. Kendall Gustafson (unat) 4101 PR; 8. Shaina Burns (unat) 4085 PR; 9. Allison Halverson (Arete) 4035 PR. ▫︎