2024 Mt. SAC Relays Presented By Nike

Rai Benjamin, Athing Mu And Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone Headline Mt. SAC

Rai Benjamin, Athing Mu And Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone Headline Mt. SAC

Olympic medalists Rai Benjamin, Athing Mu and Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone are a few of the American stars making their outdoor debuts at the Mt. SAC Relays.

Apr 19, 2024 by Maxx Bradley
Rai Benjamin, Athing Mu And Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone Headline Mt. SAC

As we get into the swing of things, the next few weeks will almost certainly be loaded with dazzling track and field performances and the Mt. SAC Relays could be home to more than a few.

From world record holders to NCAA record holders, track fans have a little bit of everything on deck in Walnut, California. 

Here are three storylines heading into the 64th Mt. SAC Relays.

Yusuf Bizimana Making Mid-Distance Debut

The Texas Longhorn superstar is stepping on to the outdoor oval for his first 1,500m and 800m as he chases his first NCAA outdoor title. It comes three weeks after he opened at the Texas Relays in the 4x800 and the sprint medley relay. 

Bizimana started off the year on a high note, breaking the 1,000m record that had stood since 2016, clocking 2:18.10 to cement himself in collegiate history. The record stood for a week when Tinoda Matsatsa (Georgetown) ran 2:18.05.

The rest of Bizimana's indoor campaign had some highs and lows, highlighted by his eighth Big 12 title, this time in the 1K.

Unfortunately, Bizimana's indoor 800m title defense came to a close in the preliminaries, as he finished 10th, which was just 0.17 seconds away from the final qualifying spot. 

Bizimana is one of the clear favorites in both the 800m and 1,500m, and a win in either would get him on the right path as he heads into the NCAA postseason.

Race Time: Saturday, April 20, 4:25 p.m. PST

Rai Benjamin, Michael Norman Set To Clash In 400m

One of the best 400 meter hurdlers in the world will square off against the best 400m runner in the world this weekend. 

And it is must-see. 

Best friends Rai Benjamin and Michael Norman are hitting the stage at Mt. SAC for their entrance into the season. 

As both Americans have their eyes trained on the Paris Olympic Games this summer, a low-key 400m is a great way to bust the rust and get back into the racing spirit.

Heading into the weekend, both have quite a lot to prove, despite them being highly decorated in their young careers.

Norman is searching for his first Olympic gold medal after finishing fifth in Tokyo just three years ago, while Benjamin is in pursuit of his first international medal that isn't silver or bronze.

The last time Norman ran a 400m was June of 2022, where he won gold at the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon. Benjamin's last quarter-mile came last spring, where he clocked 44.21 in Los Angeles, CA.

The pair will also have a familiar face in Michael Cherry joining them, with the Tokyo 2021 fourth-place finisher in the 400m joining the pair for their debut.

Race Time: Saturday, April 20, 2024

Athing Mu & Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone Open Up Olympic Title Defense With 4x400m

Two of the most accomplished athletes in American history and some of the greatest athletes in the world are set to make their long-awaited debuts as they each enter the season as defending Olympic champions.

Each of Bobby Kersee's athletes have different motives for wanting to stand atop the podium again this July.

For starters, McLaughlin-Levrone hasn't raced since she won the 400m at the US Championships last June before having to scratch out of the World Championships due to a minor knee injury. 

At this point, everyone is quite aware that McLaughlin-Levrone is still the best in the world, but another gold definitely wouldn't hurt as a reminder.

Mu, on the other hand, is coming off an unique year, one that saw her finish third at the World Championships in the 800m before besting both women who beat her the month prior at the Prefontaine Classic. 

Just like McLaughlin-Levrone, it'd be hard to argue that Mu isn't the top dog in the 800m, but a second Olympic gold before turning 23 would pad her stats.

Both women are running a leg in the 4x400m alongside Jenna Prandini and Chloe Abbott, with a world lead easily within their reach. McLaughlin-Levrone, meanwhile, will also be dispatched on a 4x100 team taht includes Keni Harrison, Prandini and Morolake Akinosun.

Sydney's Race Time: 4x400 -- Saturday, April 20, 4:45 p.m. PST; 4x100: Saturday, April 20, 12:15 p.m. PST

Athing's Race Time: 4x400 -- Saturday, April 20, 4:45 p.m. PST

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