Weekend Recap: Holloway Impresses, Texas Frosh Tops Irby

From national record-breaking high school action in Virginia, to fast early-season collegiate marks across the country and a near American record at the Houston Half Marathon, this past weekend had a little bit of everything for track and field fans.

Here were the top five performances from Friday through Sunday:

1. Emily Sisson Runs U.S. #2 All-Time 67:30 At Freezing Houston Half

Sunday was one of the of the coldest Houston Marathon and Half Marathon race days in history as wind chills were in the 20s at the start, but that didn’t prevent 27-year-old Emily Sisson from putting a scare into the half marathon American record. The target was Molly Huddle’s 67:25 set a year ago in Houston, and Sisson-- who trains with Huddle-- was ahead of schedule through 15k as she split 47:48, 67:14 pace.

She slowed down from there-- her 5k split from 15k to 20k was 16:16, her slowest in the race-- and she ultimately fell just five seconds short in 67:30 to finish fifth. Still, the race was just Sisson’s third-ever half marathon and now she is positioned between Huddle and marathon U.S. record holder Deena Kastor (67:34) on the U.S. half all-time list.

Kenyan Brigid Kosgei-- who won the Chicago Marathon last October in 2:18:35, seventh all-time-- was victorious on Sunday in 1:05:50, the fastest time ever on U.S. soil.  

For Sisson, this race should set her up well for her marathon debut in London on April 28, where she will meet Kosgei, Huddle, and one of the strongest overall women’s fields ever.

2. Grant Holloway Casually Opens With A 7.49 #5 In NCAA History; Then He Crushes A Fast 200m And A 45.62 4x400m Split The Next Day 

If his performances at the Clemson Invitational on Friday and Saturday are any indication, Florida sensation Grant Holloway is in for a huge track season in 2019. Already the collegiate record holder in the 60m hurdles with his 7.42 from last season, Holloway’s times from the weekend (he ran 7.49 in the prelims and finals) put him right on schedule to lower that mark in the coming weeks; Holloway ran 7.49 at this very meet a year ago, then set the 60mH collegiate record three weeks later.

But he wasn’t close to done after the hurdles. The four-time NCAA champ doubled and tripled back in the 200m and 4x400m on Saturday, and he did so with eye-popping success. First came the 200m-- his first ever collegiate attempt at the distance-- which he knocked out of the park with a 20.69, #2 in the NCAA for 2019. Then it was the 4x400m later that day, where Holloway cracked off a 45.62 second-leg; the split was the lone sub-46 clocking in the race.

Many people were surprised when the Florida star decided to return to campus for his junior season instead of going pro, but Holloway has made it his mission to break the 110m hurdles collegiate record (13.00) come outdoors. His first results of the season have at least offered a warning shot to that record.

3. Jonathan Davis Is Back, Runs NCAA-Leading 3:58 in Iowa

Illinois mid-distance stud Jonathan Davis was forced to miss the entire cross country season in the fall due to mono, but he’s returned with a vengeance early in 2019. After recording a 800m PR last weekend, Davis dropped a NCAA-leading 3:58.06 mile PR on Saturday at the Larry Wieczorek Invitational at Iowa. 

4. Texas Freshman Kynnedy Flannel Beats Lynna Irby, Drops First Sub-23 In 2019

With her 22.88 200m performance at the Clemson Invitational, Texas frosh Kynnedy Flannel has introduced herself as a potential NCAA superstar this indoor season. The time, fifth-best in UT’s storied history, is perhaps less important than who Flannel beat in the race: the freshman easily defeated Georgia’s Lynna Irby-- who finished third in the NCAA 200m indoor and outdoor in 2018-- by 0.39 seconds.  

5. Bullis School Sets 4x400 And 4x200 U.S. High School Records At VA Showcase

It was a huge weekend for the Bullis School boys from Potomac, Maryland, at the VA Showcase and it all started on Friday evening in the 4x400m as they broke a 10-year-old U.S. high school indoor record with their 3:12.53. New Bern (N.C.) had previously held the record since 2009 with a 3:13.06.

The four-man performance was punctuated by an electric run from junior anchor Ashton Allen,  a fast-rising star who split a scintillating 46.5.

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Allen and Co. were back for more on Saturday, as the Bulldogs put together a 1:25.60 4x200m to set another U.S. prep record.

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Weekend Watch Guide: Bowerman Invades Boston

While distance fans across the country gear up for Saturday's U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta, indoor tracks will have plenty of elite competition to whet our collective appetites. From Bowerman TC/Paul Chelimo/Edward Cheserek and more in Boston at the BU Last Chance Meet, plus the Big 10 and MPSF Championships, there's a ton of track to take in from Thursday to Saturday on FloTrack.

U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials Women's Preview: Who Emerges From Deep Field?

The ascent of the American women’s marathoning that started with almost 20 years ago with Deena Kastor continues on Saturday at the US Olympic Marathon Trials. Whoever makes the team is capable of getting a medal at the Olympics, and medal-worthy athletes will be left off the team. Here’s a breakdown of the top contenders. 

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U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials Men's Preview: Can Rupp Overcome To Win Again?

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The men’s race at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials is top-heavy on paper. Defending champion Galen Rupp exists in a league of his own with an Olympic bronze medal from Rio and a 2:06 personal best buoying his position. Injury struggles and Alberto Salazar’s ban have made a potential victory in Atlanta much less certain, but Rupp seems to have steadied the ship after tuning up with a 61-minute half earlier this month. If he makes it through 26.2 miles on Saturday, there’s a strong chance he will break the tape.

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2020 BU Last Chance Preview: Houlihan, Chelimo, Lomong, Centro & More

The championship portion of the 2020 indoor season has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean the pros are ready to head outdoors just yet. On Thursday and Friday in Boston, the best of Bowerman Track Club and several other top U.S. pros will take to the BU track in pursuit of records and standards at the BU Last Chance Meet. Multiple American records could fall in the final hurrah on the famed Boston surface in 2020.

61 Returning All-Americans Currently Are Not Qualified In 2020

With just one weekend left to qualify for the 2020 DI NCAA Indoor Championships a staggering 61 track and field All-Americans from last year have yet to achieve a top-16 mark in 2020.

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Yulimar Rojas Sets Indoor Triple Jump World Record In Madrid

Venezuelan Yulimar Rojas set the women’s indoor triple jump world record on Friday in Madrid with a 15.43m leap. With it, the 24-year-old eclipsed Tatyana Lebedeva’s 15.36m mark that had stood since 2004.

Ababel Yeshaneh, Not Brigid Kosgei, Sets Half Marathon World Record

What was expected to be a coronation of marathon world record holder Brigid Kosgei as the half marathon queen instead turned into an introduction of a worthy counterpart as Ethiopian Ababel Yeshaneh stunned the Kenyan on Friday morning (Thursday night in the U.S.) at the Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Half Marathon by setting a 64:31 world record.

The 10 Best Performances From The Weekend

Between more Mondo Duplantis' theatrics in Glasgow, a ridiculous road 5k world record in Monaco and plenty of excitement stateside, there was a lot to get excited about this past weekend in track and field.

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Don't Look Now... The NAU Lumberjacks Could Win NCAA Indoors

With just two weeks left to qualify for NCAAs a majority of the top-16 fields are coming into form on the distance side. The NAU men are currently slated to qualify ten entries across three distance events.

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Joshua Cheptegei Smashes Road 5k World Record In 12:51

A little over a month after Rhonex Kipruto took down Joshua Cheptegei’s road 10k world record, the Ugandan has answered back in a big way by running 12:51 on Sunday in Monaco to smash Kipruto’s 5k world record. Cheptegei cut a whopping 27 seconds off the 13:18 that the Kenyan ran on Jan. 12, a run that came en route to Kipruto’s 26:24 10k record.