Donavan Brazier broke Johnny Gray’s 1992 American record of 1:45.00, finishing second in the Mel Sheppard men’s 800 meters in 1:44.41 at the Armory Track & Field Center in Washington Heights Saturday afternoon.
Brazier ran a scorching 24.60 first lap, leading through 400 meters and appeared to be in control at the bell. Brazier was in the front by a meter but Kenya’s Michael Saruni was on his hip and broke past the American on the final curve to finish in a world lead, national, meet and facility record of 1:43.98 for the Millrose Games crown.
In the Jack & Lewis Rudin Women’s 800m, Ajeé Wilson’s 1:58.60 took .11 seconds off Nicole Teter’s AR set in 2002 here in New York. Wilson’s mark is a world-lead, as well as meet and facility record.
The Nike Oregon Project’s Yomif Kejelcha of Ethiopia finished just .01 shy of the world record, claiming first place in 3:48.46 to win the Wanamaker Mile. He shattered his personal best of 3:51.70 set just last month in Boston. Kenya’s Edward Cheserek was second crossing in 3:53.29 and Team USATF’s Clayton Murphy set a personal best 3:53.30 for third.
Defending Olympic champion Ryan Crouser had the fourth farthest indoor throw ever to win the Whole Foods men’s shot put with a 22.33m/73-3.25 in the fourth round. All six of Crouser’s throws were beyond 70 feet as he beat ‘16 silver medalist Joe Kovacs, who was second with a best of 20.86m/68-5.25.
Race walk kicked off the elite competitions, with 5-months-pregnant Maria Michta-Coffey headlining the women’s USATF 1-mile Championships field along with 2018 USATF Youth Athlete of the Year Taylor Ewert. Ewert dominated to clinch not only the win but also a new American high school record, crossing the tape in 6:28.21. Michta-Coffey, who holds over forty national titles, stayed toward the back of the field in uncharacteristic fashion but held her own, ultimately finishing in 7:18.87. On the men’s side, Nick Christie defended his 2018 win with a confident 5:55.58.
2016 Olympian Vashti Cunningham cleared 1.95 (6-4.75) to win her second straight John Thomas women’s high jump title. Passing on the first bar, Cunningham cruised through the next four heights before missing her first attempt at 1.95. Clearing the next attempt, she was the only athlete to jump over 1.88. Antigua’s Priscilla Frederick was second clearing 1.88, finishing just ahead of St. Lucia’s Levern Spencer on misses.
In the Ray Flynn women’s 60m, English Gardner got out fast and didn’t look back with a personal best of 7.10 after a year off the track rehabbing from injury. Michelle-Lee Ahye from Trinidad was second in 7.15. Javianne Oliver crossed third with a time of 7.19
American John Teeters crossed the line first in the Joe Yancey’s men’s 60m in 6.56 just shy of his season best 6.55 set earlier this year. He edged out Ameer Webb 6.66 and Tevin Hester’s season’s best 6.69.
Defending USATF Indoor champion Sharika Nelvis charged through the line in 8.01 for the Howard Schmertz Women’s 60m Hurdle win and held off Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan, who finished second in 8.03
Devon Allen successfully defended his title in the Fred Schmertz men’s 60m hurdles winning in a season’s best 7.606, just .003 seconds ahead of Freddie Crittenden’s personal best of 7.609. Chad Zallow from Youngstown State was third, coming across the line in 7.69.
Former Harvard star Gabby Thomas went out very quickly in the Cheryl Toussaint women’s 400m, leading through the bell in 24.38, but Jaide Stepter pushed ahead in the final circuit to win in 53.25.
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