Maurice Greene had twice run the world-record time of 6.39, in 1998 and again in 2001. The 21-year-old Coleman opened his 2018 season with a time of 6.37, but whether the mark would be accepted as world record was in doubt due to electronic blocks not being used at the meet.
On Sunday, Coleman left no doubt as to his status as the fastest 60-meter man in history and as the next star of men’s sprinting. Running in lane 4, Ronnie Baker had burst out of the blocks to an early lead, but Coleman in lane 5 overtook him 10 meters in and kept cruising. The 2017 World Outdoor 100m silver medalist crossed the line with his arms outstretched and the clock reading 6.34 seconds. Baker was second in 6.40, making him the third-fastest man in history, with Michael Rodgers third in 6.50.
“I was just trying to come out with the win,” Coleman said. “My start was decent. Every time, I feel like I’ve got a lot of work to do (coming out of the blocks). When I transitioned, I stood up, and I felt as good as I’ve ever felt. I just kept running to the tape to get that win. For it to be the world record was pretty special. I just love this sport. It’s so competitive, and either you’ve got it or you don’t on this day. I just love racing in the big races, when everybody’s watching. I just flourish in those moments. It’s not really in my personality, but when the lights are on, it just comes out.”
Coleman’s WR was one of six world-leading performances on an exceptional day of competition.
The top two finishers in each event qualify to represent Team USATF at the 2018 IAAF World Indoor Championships March 1-4 in Birmingham, England, provided they have met IAAF performance standards.
Nelvis AR in women’s 60m hurdles; Nageotte shocks in PV
The strongest field of these championships did not disappoint as Sharika Nelvis turned in an American record and world leader to win the women’s hurdles in 7.70, taking first over outdoor world record holder Keni Harrison in 7.72 - a time that, until Sunday, had been the American record. Christina Manning was a very close third in a lifetime-best 7.73. Nelvis was just .02 off the world record as she ran the third-fastest time in history. It was the fastest race, overall, in history.
Katie Nageotte had a stunning breakthrough in the women’s pole vault, clearing eight bars without a miss to defeat the two best vaulters in U.S. history. A graduate of Division II Ashland University, Nageotte was perfect through 4.91m/16-1.25, annihilating her previous personal best of 4.76m/15-7.25, recording the 2018 world leader, and becoming the fourth-best performer ever. It also gave her a huge win over the women who claimed gold and silver at the 2016 World Indoor championships. Sandi Morris, the 2016 Olympic and 2017 World Outdoor silver medalist and outdoor American record holder (5.00m/16-4.75), was second at 4.86m/15-11.25. Jenn Suhr, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist and owner of the highest mark ever indoors (5.03m/16-6), finished third at 4.81/15-9.25. Suhr won gold at the 2016 World Indoor Championships, with Morris second.
World leads in WLJ, W400 W60
The women’s 400 provided three women running under the previous 2018 world-leading time. 2017 World Outdoor champion Phyllis Francis opened with a world-leading time of 51.19 in the first of two timed heats. Not to be outdone, Courtney Okolo and Shakima Wimbley blazed through the second heat, with Okolo winning in 51.16 and Wimbley second in 51.17 to finish 1-2 overall in the competition.
Winning her fourth USATF indoor long jump title and 11th overall, three-time World Indoor champion Brittney Reese never trailed and put her mark on the competition in round three with a world-leading 6.88m/22-7 leap, a distance she matched two rounds later. Quanesha Burks was second with a 6.65m/21-10 on her final attempt.
In the Garden of Life women’s 60m Javianne Oliver burst out of the blocks to win in a world-leading 7.02, a huge personal best time that moved her to equal-sixth on the U.S. all-time list, with Destiny Carter second in 7.19, also a big lifetime best, and Teahna Daniels third in 7.22.
Michta makes history; Chelimo and Houlihan win again
Maria Michta-Coffey continued her dominance of women’s race walking, winning her ninth consecutive USATF indoor title. Already the owner of the most consecutive indoor championships, her win in 13:00.53 made her the winningest female race walker in USATF history, ahead of Susan Brodock, who won a total of eight titles between 1974 and 1983.
The men’s and women’s 1,500m meter races saw Saturday’s winners in the 3,000 each take Sunday’s 1,500s as well. Shelby Houlihan became a double winner at this meet for the second year in a row by taking an exciting Nike women’s 1,500m. Corey McGee tried to make a break for it when she sprinted to the lead with 300 to go, but Sara Vaughn covered her move and led with 150 to go. Colleen Quigley and Houlihan took it from there, with Quigley charging down the stretch with a lead, but Houlihan hit the tape first to add the 1,500 title to her 3,000m win on Saturday. Houlihan’s winning time was 4:13.07, with Quigley second in a personal best 4:13.21.
As they had in the men’s 3,000 meters on Saturday, the Army World Class Athlete Program alternated leading duties, with Emmanuel Bor leading early, as he had in the 3,000. Paul Chelimo then assumed the lead, and the 2016 Olympic silver medalist held off a fast-closing Ben Blankenship to win his second title of the meet in 3:42.91, with Blankenship second in 3:43.09.
More events, more impressive winners
In a battle of the men who won the past two USATF indoor 60m hurdles titles, 2016 champion Jarret Eaton edged last year’s winner Aries Merritt with a personal best 7.43. Merritt clocked 7.46 in second, with Devon Allen also notching a lifetime best with a 7.49 for third.
Ajee Wilson took the lead at the start of the women’s 800 and never relinquished it, but she didn’t win without a fight. Raevyn Rogers moved up quickly to Wilson’s shoulder with 100 meters to go and challenged the World Indoor silver medalist down the stretch, but Wilson held on for the win in 2:01.60 to Rogers’ 2:01.74.
In the men’s 800, Erik Sowinski took the early lead, taking the field through a relatively modest 51.82 for the first 400 as Donavan Brazier assumed the unusual position of a relatively distant second place. The lanky Brazier began moving with 300 meters to go, and he zoomed to the lead with authority at the bell. Brazier powered to the win in 1:45.10, a personal best and the third-fastest time in American history, with Drew Windle moving up from sixth place at the bell to place second in 1:46.29.
2016 World Indoor champion Vashti Cunningham will return to defend her title in Birmingham. The world junior record holder had a third-attempt clearance at 1.94m/6-4.25, then cleared 1.97m/6-5.5 on her first try for her a third straight win in the event, with Inika McPherson second at 1.94m/6-3.25.
Michael Cherry won the first national title of his career in the men’s 400m, winning the second of two timed finals in 45.53. Aldrich Bailey won the first heat in 45.59 to place second as both men turned in personal-best performances.
DeAnna Price used a third-round throw of 24.51m/80-5 to dethrone four-time champion and defending champion Gwen Berry and win her first USATF title in the women’s 20-pound weight throw. Price’s throw was a lifetime best and firmed her position as the fourth-farthest American thrower ever. Jeneva Stevens grabbed second with a best of 24.23m/79-6, while Berry was third at 23.93m/78-6.25.
Adding a second USATF indoor gold to the one he won in 2015, Nick Christie led from the gun to win the men’s 3,000m race walk in 12:09.96, almost 15 seconds ahead of runner-up Emmanuel Corvera.
Team USATF will compete at the 2018 IAAF World Indoor Championships March 1-4 in Birmingham, England.