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The Year In Records 2018: Sprints, Distance and Race Walk




Coming off a 2017 that saw him take silver in the 100m at the World Championships after a sprint double at the NCAA Championships, Nike's Christian Coleman lit up the track at Clemson on Jan. 19 with a 6.37 in the 60m. It was the fastest time ever run, trimming .02 off the world record set by Maurice Greene in 1999, but the absence of electronic blocks meant it could not be ratified as the WR. The speedy Tennessee grad took care of that problem at the USATF Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, blazing to a 6.34 to etch his name in the books as the world and American record holder.



Houston's Elijah Hall produced one of four record-setting runs on March 10 at the NCAA Indoor Championships at College Station, sprinting 20.02 to break the American indoor 200m record of 20.10 set by Wallace Spearmon of Arkansas in 2005. Hall also won the 60m that night in 6.52.



The 2016 World Junior champion in the 200m and 4x100m relay, USC's Michael Norman stunned the track world with his 44.52 400m indoor world record at the NCAA Indoor Championships on March 10. He clipped .05 off the previous WR/AR set by Florida's Kerron Clement in 2005. He added an AR in the 4x400m relay with the Trojans clocking 3:00.77.



Kendall Ellis made it a record-setting USC sweep of the 400s at the NCAA Indoor Championships in College Station, traversing the two laps in 50.34 to beat the old American record of 50.46, set by Oregon's Phyllis Francis in 2014. At the SEC Championships on the same oval two weeks earlier, Kentucky's Sydney McLaughlin broke the American junior record with a 50.52, and she reset it with her 50.36 behind Ellis at the NCAA meet.


3000 Steeplechase:

A surprise silver medalist at the 2017 World Championships in London, Courtney Frerichs added another honor to her resumé at the Monaco Diamond League meet on July 20 as she broke the American record with a 9:00.85. Her time took more than a second off Emma Coburn's old AR of 9:02.58.



Winner of four USATF indoor and outdoor titles in 2018, Shelby Houlihan also claimed the American record in the 5000m, running 14:34.45 at Heusden, Belgium, to trim more than four seconds off Shannon Rowbury's 2016 mark of 14:38.92.


60m Hurdles:

After Keni Harrison tied the AR of 7.72 at Clemson on Feb. 9, Sharika Nelvis raced to a 7.70 to win the USATF Indoor Championships in Albuquerque on Feb. 18. Harrison equaled that time in winning the World Indoor Championships at Birmingham. The USATF Records Committee retroactively ratified a 7.68 by Sweden's Susanna Kallur in 2008 as the AR at the USATF Annual Meeting.


400m Hurdles:

Owner of the world's fastest time in 2018, Kentucky's Sydney McLaughlin twice dipped under her own world and American junior record of 53.82. At Fayetteville, Arkansas, on April 27 she clocked 53.60, and then at the SEC Championships in Knoxville on May 13 she went sub-53 with a 52.75. McLaughlin has run nine of the 10 fastest world junior times in history in the event.


Jenny Simpson ran an American best for the women’s two-mile. Simpson, the 2011 world champion and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist at 1500 meters, ran away from her competition at the Drake Relays on April 28 to stop the clock at 9:16.78, after passing through 3,000m at a then world outdoor-leading 8:43.39 en route. The previous American best was 9:20.25 by Shannon Rowbury at Eugene in 2014, and Simpson’s time moved her to No. 9 on the all-time world list.


One of the best years ever by an American junior race walker saw Ohio high schooler Taylor Ewert set four outdoor American junior records, capped off by her 45:57.81 for 10,000m to place 10th at the World U20 Championships in Finland. Ewert, also one of the top prep steeplechasers and cross country athletes in the nation, set a pair of AJRs at the Penn Relays, covering 3000m in 13:31.79 and 5000m in 22:38.16, and then broke the national record in the 10,000m for the first time with her 49:07.52 to win the USATF Junior Championships at Bloomington, Indiana. Maria Michta-Coffey walked 13:37.02 for two miles at Boston on March 1 to set an American indoor record.


Half Marathon:

Opening 2018 with a flourish, Molly Huddle set an American record of 67:25 in the half marathon at Houston on Jan. 14. The two-time Olympian and four-time World Championships competitor on the track already held the American best for a women's-only race with her 68:31 at New York in 2015.

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