Records are made to be broken, and they were at day 2 of the 2016 USATF indoors, by Lindsay Rossmiller


Morris_Sandy-USout15.jpgSandi Morris, photo by

Suhr_Jenn-NBin16.jpgJenn Suhr, photo by

In the second day of the USA Champs, the absolute reason why people love track and field was reinforced nearly each and every event! It was about the competition!

In a facility better than most that I attend for indoor events around the world, the OCC hosted two days of wonderful elite and two days of high school competition.

The men's shot put was won by one centimeter! The women's high jump saw a World Junior record and the women's pole vault saw two women clear 4.95 meters (16'2.25") and third place at 4.85m, or 15'11".

Lindsay Rossmiller wrote about day two, providing those of us who could not be there with an informed view of what was happening around the track!

Watch for more of our coverage tomorrow!

On day two of the USATF Indoor Championships, eighteen-year-old Vashti Cunningham delivered what many track fans hoped. As she cleared 1.99 meters for a new high school record, the 5,244 people in attendance burst into cheers. The outdoor U.S. Juniors High Jump champion set a new high school record and won her first senior women's U.S. title in what could be the beginning of a journey to Rio later this summer.

Cunningham admitted after to being a little surprised by the attention from the crowd on the apron. "They were excited from the beginning. I'm not really used to people getting that excited about 5'8 or 5'10 so it was good to have them there," said Cunningham.

She jumped cleanly through 1.96 meters when runner-up Elizabeth Patterson was unable to clear. Cunningham decided to go for the next height anyway.

"I've been looking at these girls from out of the country and our U.S. pros and hoping that one day I could be up there with them," said Cunningham.

Cunningham now finds herself among them. None of the U.S. women's high jumpers have the IAAF World championship standard so Cunningham is not an automatic qualifier, however, the IAAF still has the option to extend invitations based on the 2015 outdoor and 2016 indoor results.

Chaunte Lowe, the current U.S. record holder, was excited about what the competition means for the rest of the Olympic year. Lowe said, "It's exciting. . .to have good competition, there's been so many years when I've had to jump by myself so actually to have competition pushing me, it's exactly what I needed."

Sandi Morris joined Jenn Suhr and Demi Payne as U.S. pole vaulters who have topped 4.90 meters this year. After struggling early, Morris was able to make 4.90 for her personal best and then increased to 4.95 for both the victory and another PR with a gain of 15 centimeters in one day.

"Once I made 4.90 today, the pressure was lifted from my chest and I just ran down and did the exact same jump that I did on the previous bar and I made 0.95 as well," said Morris. "I screamed and ran around on the pit and it was a dream come true."

Payne, the defending U.S. indoor champion, finished third and Jenn Suhr, the World record holder finished second. Today's competition was only the second competition to have multiple vaulters go over 16-feet; the last time was last month at the Millrose Games.

In the men's 1500, Robby Andrews repeated his performance from the 2015 U.S. Outdoors when he charged from the pack and overtook the leaders, including Matt Centrowitz temporarily, to finish second and advance to the World Championships. Together, Centrowitz and Andrews charged down the homestretch with Centrowitz finally gaining about a step right before the finish. Andrews split 26.73 seconds for his final lap

Once again, Ben Blankenship led the race through 1300 meters but found himself at the finish on the outside looking in again. Blankenship said, "If you watched U.S. Outdoors, it looked about the same."

After the race Andrews spoke about coming down the homestretch with Centrowitz. "I was in front of him for a little bit, but he had just a little bit saved up. He knows exactly what he's doing and he's a tremendous runner," said Andrews.

Other notable performances:

Brittany Reese won the women's long jump with her first jump of the competition at 6.89 meters, the top distance for an American so far this season.

In the men's 60 meters, Marvin Bracy ran 6.502 to Trayvon Bromell's 6.507 to win and take his third Indoor Championship. Carlin Isles, the USA rugby player, made the final and finished fifth in 6.67.

Ajee' Wilson won the women's 800 in 2:00.87. Laura Roesler was runner-up in 2:02.44 and made her first senior U.S. team.

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