The first day in Spokane, Washington had a nice crowd of about 2200. The new facility seats 3000. A mechanical 200m track, a new, clean facility, and USATF has a new site to use, and a chance to build fans for indoors in the Pacific Northwest.
In the stands, we spoke with some high school athletes who had run in the Podium the week before. They were there to see Cole Hocker, Bryce Hoppel and Sandi Morris. It is great to see new track fans!
This is my first of eight articles on the US Indoors.
Start of the final event of the Women’s Pentathlon,the 800 meters, photo by Kathy Camara
- And exciting women’s 1,500 meters, takes it down to the wire! Elle Purrier, US Olympic Trials Champion, Olympic finalist and AR holder in indoor Mile, took the lead from the start, and did not give it up until a couple meters before the finish! Elle Purrier was battling Josette Norris, who was on her shoulder the entire race, pushing and pushing and Elle would just increase the pace. Lurking between sixth and fourth, with Cory McGee and Dani Jones, was Heather MacLean, who had joined Cory McGee and Elle Purrier on the US Olympic team last August. With less than a straight to go, as Josette Norris and Elle Purrier were in full battle, Heather MacLean moved into lane three and made a brilliant move to take the 1,500m at the tape in 4:06.09, with Josette Norris at 4:06.13 an Elle Purrier at 4:06.14. In 4th was Cory McGee, 4:07.27 and in fifth, Dani Jones, in a PB of 4:08.14 in fifth. In sixth was Nikki Hiltz, in 4:10.87. A fantastic race, and another example of how strong U.S. women’s distance running is today. New Balance had 4/5 in the top five (I believe all coached by Mark Coogan). Heather McLean takes 1,500m from Josette Norris, and Elle Purrier, photo by Kevin Morris / @kevmofoto
- Maggie Ewen takes the Women’s shotput in WL/PB! Maggie had three throws that could have won the competition. Her first, 19.50m, her second, the 19.79m winner and her new PB, then, two fouls, and a fifth in 19.37m, and sixth in 19.10m. An excellent competition and a prime example of the strength in the women’s shot put as well. Maggie is coming into her own and should be in the thick of it in Belgrade.Maggie Ewan’s wonderful shot put series gave her the World Lead! photo by Kevin Morris / @kevmofoto
- JuVaughn Harrison took the high jump, part of his HJ/LJ double! JuVaugh Harrison won the Men’s High Jump at 2.28m or 7’5.75″. Harrison had a pretty good day, making three good attempts at 2.36m. In second was Darryl Robinson, Jr. who cleared 2.25m on his second attempt. In third was Darrius Corbin, who also cleared 2.25m. While JuVaughn is listed as unattached, he is being sponsored by PUMA running, one of the few brands who are investing in the sport during the pandemic. JuVaughn Harrison, photo by Kevin Morris / @kevmofoto
- Chris Nilsen and KC Lightfoot had a battle royale in the Men’s pole vault! KC Lightfoot battled new American record holder (6.02m indoors) and Olympic silver medalist Chris Nilsen had cleared 5.51m, 5.61, 5.71m, passed 5.76m, then cleared 5.81 on first attempts, (all 4 clearances so far on first attempts. KC Lighttfoot, 4th in Tokyo, cleared 5.51m, passed on 5.61m, cleared 5.71m, passed 5.76m, cleared 5.81, all clearances so far on first attempts. Then, Chris Nilsen had a tough time at 5.86m, needing all 3 attempts. KC Lightfoot had cleared on his first attempt. It came down to 5.91m, where, Chris Nilsen cleared on his first attempt, and KC missed all 3 attempts, giving Chris Nilsen the win. Chris then made 3 strong attempts at 6.03, a new American record, but missed. Chris Nilsen takes the win with his 5.91m clearance, and made 3 game attempts at 6.03m, photo by Kevin Morris / @kevmofoto
- Cole Hocker wins the 3,000m against a tough field. Battling Emmanuel Bor, Drew Hunter, Willie Fink and David Maggard, Cole followed a pace of 2:39, 5:11 at 2000m, running 2:26 for the last 1000m, using a last 200m in 26.8 to close the deal. Hocker’s 3:50 mile from two weeks ago gave him confidence. And he showed it. At no time, did Cole Hocker look like he was in over his head. Possessing confidence, massive leg speed and the ability to kick with the big guys, Hocker’s leg speed and endurance make him a near-perfect 3000m championship runner. Cole Hocker begins his double with a fine win at 3,000m, photo by Kevin Morris / @kevmofoto