ALBUQUERQUE - High school phenom Mary Cain won the women’s mile while Ryan Whiting improved his world leading mark in the men’s shot put and Will Leer ran the fastest ever indoor time run at altitude in winning the men’s mile as the USA Indoor Track & Field Championships concluded Sunday at the Albuquerque Convention Center.
Cain continued her dominant indoor season as she won her first USA Indoor title at only 16-years-old. Cain ran with the front of the pack and made her move with a lap and a half remaining and bolted at the bell-lap to open a one second gap over her competitors. Cain broke the tape in 5:05.68, with Treniere Moser in second in 5:06.55. The last athlete to win a U.S. Indoor title while in high school was Allyson Felix in 2003.
Having a knack for throwing indoors, Ryan Whiting improved his current world-leading mark in winning the men’s shot put at 21.80m/71-6.25. The 2012 World Indoor Championships gold medalist, Whiting now owns the four best throws in the world this season.
In reaching the milestone, Leer won his second USA Indoor title in as many days after also winning the men’s 3,000m Saturday. He closed in the final meters Sunday to win the mile in a time of 3:58.79 and edging out Craig Miller, who placed second in 3:58.90 and Cory Leslie, who placed third in 3:59.88.
Ajee Wilson continued the youthful streak in the women’s middle distance events as she won the 800m title in 2:02.64 at 18-years-old. Wilson took the lead from the gun and finished in 2:02.64, one stride ahead of runner-up Chanelle Price in 2:02.93.
Competing for the first time ever at the USA Indoor Championships, three-time Olympic gold medalist and five-time world championships gold medalist Jeremy Wariner won the men’s 400m in a time of 45.82. It was his first indoor race since 2004. Wariner finished well ahead of runner-up Marcus Boyd (46.54) and Michael Courtney (48.0).
Just over two weeks after he set the American indoor record in the 600m, Eric Sowinski claimed the USA Indoor title in the men’s 800m with a winning time of 1:47.09. Sowinski made a move with 200m remaining and held off a strong charge from Robby Andrews, who placed second in 1:47.13. Tyler Mulder was third in 1:47.43.
Amanda Smock won her second consecutive USA Indoor triple jump title with a winning hop, skip and jump of 13.65m/44-9.5. Smock was incredibly consistent throughout the competition with six clean marks within 11 inches of one another and held the lead throughout the day. Blessing Ufodiama finished second in 13.44m/44-01.25.
In the men’s 3,000m race walk, Tim Seaman won his 12th overall USA Indoor title and his 45th national championship in a long and successful career. In winning 12 indoor titles, Seaman overtook Lance Deal for the most all-time indoor titles in U.S. history. Seaman’s winning time of 12:08.65 also bettered the existing American masters 40-44 indoor record. Two-time defending indoor race walk champion and 2012 Olympian Trevor Barron was forced to withdraw from the competition due to illness.
2012 Olympian Maria Michta won her fourth USA Indoor 3,000m race walk title. After walking just a stride ahead of Erin Gray through much of the race, Michta pulled into the lead with 800m remaining and opened a sizable gap as she broke the tape in 13:07.07 to win by 10 seconds over Gray.
Other champions from today included Ebonie Floyd in the women’s 400m by more than a second in 52.02. Barbara Pierre improved her runner-up status from last year as she won the women’s 60m in 7.08. Mississippi State standout D’angelo Cherry took first in the men’s 60m in 6.49. After waiting through multiple false starts in the men’s 60m hurdles, Omoghan Osaghae won in 7.62.
In the field events, Michelle Carter won her first USA Indoor title in the women’s shot put as she sent the shot flying 19.41m/63-8.25. Josh Honeycutt waited until his last attempt in the men’s triple jump to move into the lead in 16.59m/54-5.25. Inika McPherson won the women’s high jump in 6-2.25, and Jordan Scott won the men’s pole vault in 18-4.25.
In the masters exhibition 3,000m run Lisa Valle ran away from her competitors to win in 11:07.76. The masters men ran 400m, and Eric Prince bolted to an early lead to win in 51.59.
The 2013 USA Indoor Track & Field Championships served as the third and final stop on the indoor USATF Championship Series. For more information and complete results check www.usatf.org.
“I don’t worry about time. I go in there to race, and that’s what I did today. I was kind of glad I was in the pack, and I know I have a kick so I thought if nobody wants to go now I’ll really go the last 400 and kill it in and that’s exactly what I did. I knew that I have a good kick and as long as I am in it, I have a good shot to win.
“I wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t fun. My coach and my whole team, they’re all professional coaches, but they still make it so much fun coming to these races. We were hanging out at dinner and having a lot of good laughs, and I just love it.”
“I already had the two other best marks of the year and that was the goal (another world leading throw). I wanted to throw a little better, but I had been training a little more with the outdoor implements than the indoor so it’s kind of a trade off. I will probably take the next two weeks pretty easy. I feel pretty good about where I am at. I did the same thing two years ago, but I have learned a lot since then.”
“I’ve never felt this feeling before, at least at the USATF level twice in one weekend, so I’m very happy. Those guys ran tactically the right race to take it out hard and to try to get the fatigue settled in on these guys who are doubling like me and Centro (Matthew Centrowitz). I definitely felt a little bit of the fatigue from the race last night. I never would have said that we would have run under fpur minutes - I’m impressed with my run myself, I have to say.”
“It feels great to win my first indoor title. I’ve been working on a lot of things this season trying to fine tune my technique, so I’m glad something came together on my last throw. I’m going to continue to work on what I’ve been working on since it is working so well for me. Russia is my main goal, just to get on that podium.”
“I felt really good. I wasn’t expecting to run in the 45s and this is what I wanted. (Saturday) was my first 400m race of the year. I had a good start and a good finish. and I really felt good.”
“I felt good at the 600m mark. I knew he would make a move, but I had no idea Robby (Andrews) was coming. I can’t put into words right now how this feels. I wanted to break 1:47.0, but it’s a PR (personal record) and I will take it. It was different running here at altitude.”
“My coach told me to run off the people running in front of me and try to get the lead and if I have it to maintain. It went better than I thought it would, I was definitely nervous. I set a PR, so I’m just happy all-around.”
“I was hoping to put together a better jump and a couple bigger ones. I’m definitely happy with the win and I’ve got a few things I’m working on that I can see in practice, so I’m hoping come outdoor season I’ll be able to put it all together.”
“I’m 40 years old and now I have 45 national titles. The next indoor championships are going to be my last. I want to end either in Albuquerque (at the 2014 USA Indoor Championships) or at the Armory (for the Millrose Games). The altitude is tough up here. Now I want to focus more on coaching as that means so much to me.”
“Going into this, I had the best training I’ve ever had. It was actually not injured during the winter season, which made a big difference to have that confidence. The Millrose Games were really a boost to my confidence.”
“My goal was just to be in first going into the last lap, and I felt something hit the back of my shoe and I heard the crowd. I didn’t know who fell at that point, but my first reaction was just not to fall. It means a lot to me whenever I go to future meets, they can introduce me as the indoor champion, so it’s nice to have that under my belt.”
“It feels great. I ran 7.08 which I am fine with, but last year when I got second I ran 7.04. So its’ a progress. I’m with a new coach now, so I have a lot of things to learn along the way. I feel that I’m in a very good place. It gives me great motivation for outdoors.”
“It feels so good to win. I’ve made so many sacrifices since I graduated from my school, Emporia State, so just to see all that come together for a national title is overwhelming, but I know this is not the end goal. It motivates me so much. Success makes me want to get better and really keep pushing and make that Moscow (World Outdoor Championships) team.”
“Time-wise it was not really what I expected. I am thankful because I wanted to come in here and get the win. I wanted to run a personal best, but first and foremost I wanted the win. I’m enthused by it.”
On the false starts
“You just have to treat them like you are at practice because there you go through so many reps. It was unexpected but it’s one thing you have to overcome.”
“I was just thinking ‘don’t jump.’ I wanted to get out because my start is the strongest part of my race. I wanted to get a good start and carry that momentum through the finish. I don’t think this has settled in yet. I wanted to work on my form and concentrate on my trail leg. Right now I am probably in front of where I thought I would be.”