Remember this name, Bryce Hoppel.
In 2019 the young man with fast turnover and gutty finishes won the NCAA 800m title, was undefeated until first round at USATF, finished third to make the US team to Doha.
And then the story gets really interesting.
Face it. The Collegiate season is long. By the time that they get to the US champs, many collegiate stars are fried. Worn out, physically and mentally, they show little of the collegiate brilliance.
Bryce was different. He raced with Donavan Brazier and Clayton Murphy and followed them into the US team for Doha, finishing third in Des Moines.
It was what he did in Doha that astonished me. That he made the 800m final was amazing. The best of the world’s 800m runners were in Doha, and Bryce battled them all, round by round. The 800m heats are brutal. Americans typically make a mistake and then, boom, they are out of the heats. Not Bryce, and he followed Donavan Brazier into the final.
The men’s 800m final saw Donavan Brazier take off at 500m, and win the gold, going away, in an AR of 1:42.34. As Donavan took the gold, Bryce Hoppel was running the final 200m of his life, and he moved up, one by one, taking 4th, oh so close to the bronze medal.
Not many athletes do that well in their first visits to a World Champs. Gold medalist Donavan Brazier sure did not.
Bryce Hoppel is something special, and his sponsor, adidas knows it.
Watch Bryce Hoppel compete tonight in the 1000m, at 7:32 pm!
Update, January 26: Jake Wightman was winning the 1000m, with 75 meters to go, and Bryce Hoppel found another gearr, going by him and winning in 2:17.41, a new PB. Bryce Hoppel, in need of a new streak after winning 18 in 2019, began a new one in 2020! Jake Wightman, GBR, was second, in 2:17.50, a new NR.