Can Christian Coleman Break The WR Again? New Balance Indoor Preview

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With the 2018 U.S. Championships a week away and the qualifying window for the IAAF Indoor Championships quickly approaching, Saturday’s New Balance Indoor Grand Prix is one of the final chances for professional athletes to round into form before the postseason begins. 

Christian Coleman, Edward Cheserek, Jenny Simpson, Emma Coburn, and Raevyn Rogers are all scheduled to compete in Boston, which is available live on FloTrack for U.K. and Ireland viewers.  

Here are five storylines that we are following.

Christian Coleman Could Set A World Record That Counts

Coleman’s scintillating 6.37 60m dash at the beginning of the year most likely won’t count as a world record because the facility was not using electronic blocks and the meet did not have on-site drug testing. Assuming both of those pieces are in place in Boston on Saturday (and Coleman once again runs under 6.39) the world record will be his without any asterisk or debate. 

If he runs that fast he won’t have any competition from the rest of the field. If he falters, Noah Lyles could apply some pressure. The 200m specialist popped a 6.59 last weekend to finish runner-up at the Millrose Games. 

What Does Edward Cheserek Do In The Second Half Of His Weekend Double?

On Friday night, Cheserek will attempt to become the fourth person ever to break 3:50 in the mile indoors (and he’s doing it live on FloTrack). Less than 24 hours later, he’s scheduled to race in a different indoor track in Boston at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix. Cheserek is entered in to the 3000m and will get tough competition from Ethiopian's Dejen Gebremeskel and Hagos Gebrhiwet. 

While it’s difficult to say how Cheserek will respond to two races in back-to-back days, he does have experience from his college days of racing multiple times in a short time frame. Given that experience, plus his incredible hot streak this winter, it would be foolish to count him out in this race, even against more seasoned international stars. Gebrhiwet is the world leader with a 7:37.91 from Dusseldorf last weekend and Gebremeskel is an Olympic silver medalist in the 5000m.

U.S. Championships Preview In Women’s 800m

They teamed up to take down the world record in the 4x800m at the Millrose Games last weekend, but on Saturday Raevyn Rogers and Charlene Lipsey will be back in their usual role as competitors. If you assume that Ajee Wilson is a safe bet to grab one of the spots on the world championship team, then that leaves only one space on the American women’s 800m team. 

Rogers and Lipsey look like the top two candidates and both will be looking for some positive momentum heading the 2018 U.S. Championships. On the season thus far, the two are quite close. Rogers had a faster split in the 4x800m, but Lipsey wasn’t far behind. We are only one year removed from a season in which Lipsey ran 1:58 indoors and ran under 1:58 on two occasions outdoors. Saturday’s race should indicate just how tight that race for a top-two finish at the U.S. championships will be. 

The Return Of Boris Berian 

Saturday will mark the return of Boris Berian in the men’s 800m. This will be his first appearance since 2016. Berian was out all of 2017 with injuries and the last race he finished was the 800m final at the 2016 Olympics. Before his year away from competition, Berian had one of the most rapid ascensions in the sport — rising from obscurity to run 1:43, win an world indoor title, and qualify for the Olympics. Saturday will be an interesting glimpse at whether he is poised to rejoin the ranks of the best middle-distance runners in the world. 

Donavan Brazier, who won the 2017 U.S. Championships in Berian’s absence, looks like the man to beat in Saturday’s field. Brazier finished second last weekend at Millrose in 1:45.35. The time was an indoor personal best and third best American time ever indoors. With USAs just one week away, he can cement his place as favorite with another strong performance in Boston. 

The Debut Of Jenny Simpson

The 3000m will be the first chance of the season to see last year’s silver medalist, Jenny Simpson. Throughout her career, Simpson has often debuted at this meet and performed well. Her personal best of 8:42.03 from the 2009 NCAA Championships could be topped with some solid pacing in the early laps. 

Her best competition should come from steeplechase gold medalist, Emma Coburn. Coburn ran 8:41.16 at the Millrose Games to finish just behind the winner of the race Aisha Praught-Leer. If she takes another step forward this week, we could see a time in the 8:30s. Also entered is Fotyen Tesfay of Ethiopian. She was fourth at the 2016 World Junior Championships. 

AAU Junior Olympic Games Performance Lists

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Valarie Allman Breaks Discus American Record

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On Saturday, Valarie Allman improved her personal best by three meters in the discus, breaking the American record in the process. Allman’s first round toss of 70.15m in Rathdrum, Idaho bettered Gia Lewis-Smallwood’s 69.17m throw from 2014. 

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Big Friendly 3 Recap: Donavan Brazier Cracks 1:43 Opener

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The third edition of the Big Friendly, dubbed “The Big Friendly 3: Revenge of the Friendly,” went down on Friday night in Portland, Oregon, although the word revenge was not quite fitting as the stars from previous friendlies once again shined.

Flagstaff Community Rallies To Support Tommy River Puzey

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Two months ago a local Flagstaff runner, Tommy River Puzey was admitted to the ICU with respiratory issues. After several weeks of testing and a lung biopsy, doctors discovered the presence of a very rare and aggressive form of Lymphoma.

Organizers Recommend 2021 World XC Championships Be Postponed

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Organizers of next year's World Athletics Cross Country Championships, scheduled for March 20, in Bathurst, Australia in New South Wales, are recommending that these championships be postponed due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.  The board of the local organizing committee has made the recommendation to the World Athletics Council as "a result of biosecurity measures and travel restrictions currently in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Australia," according to an official statement released today.  Australian borders are currently closed to foreign visitors to prevent the spread of the virus.

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Olympic Qualification Window Reopens For Road Athletes September 1

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Five Best From The Weekend: Miller-Uibo Shows Range, Bromell Beats Lyles

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Until the Diamond League formally returns on Aug. 14 in Monaco, finding track results is an exercise in internet sleuthing and social media stalking. Grassroots meets that are humble in appearance have been heavy on star power as the pandemic has forced athletes to compete at venues that don’t typically house a cast of world and Olympic champions. So bootleg race videos and wind-assisted marks have become the norm in a season that certainly has no precedent.

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Elijah Manangoi Suspended For Whereabouts Violations

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Kenyan 1500m runner Elijah Manangoi has been provisionally suspended, according to the Athletics Integrity Unit. Manangoi, the 1500m world champion, has a personal best of 3:28.80 in the event. He made one appearance this year, running a 2000m race in Nairobi as part of the Impossible Games.

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Canadian Record Holder Debues-Stafford Joins Bowerman

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The rich keep getting richer as yet another distance star is set to join Nike’s Bowerman Track Club: Canadian Gabriela Debues-Stafford—sixth last fall in the 1500m at the World Championships— will transition her training to Portland, Oregon, as she joins Jerry Schumacher’s world class group in the fall.

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Michael Norman Runs 9.86, Becomes Second Member Of Sub-10/20/44 Club

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For the second straight season, 22-year-old Michael Norman has laid down a spectacular season opener, this time a wind-legal and world leading 9.86 100m that makes the American just the second man in history to run sub-10, sub-20 (200m) and sub-44 (400m).

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