NCAA 400m Champ Lynna Irby Is Turning Professional

Lynna Irby, the 2018 NCAA outdoor 400m champion from Georgia, is turning professional, the 20-year-old announced in an Instagram post on Thursday afternoon. Irby has not yet signed with a shoe sponsor, but she will forego her collegiate eligibility by hiring an agent.

With her surprising announcement, Irby becomes the second high-profile NCAA sophomore to abruptly go pro in the middle of the 2019 track season. Texas A&M NCAA 800m champion Sammy Watson ended her collegiate career to turn professional just weeks before the 2019 NCAA Indoor Championships, while Irby competed just last weekend for the Bulldogs at the Florida Relays.

Like it was for Watson, the timing of this decision is curious for Irby. The sophomore from Indianapolis had a somewhat underwhelming indoor campaign, and she was visibly upset with her fifth-place 400m finish at last month’s NCAA Indoor Championships. Whether or not her frustration with a lackluster season had anything to do with her early departure is a matter of speculation, but the choice to leave school just days after her first outdoor meet suggests a sudden change of plans. 

It is unclear as of yet who will coach Irby as she makes her transition to the professional ranks, but it does not appear that she will continue working with the Georgia staff.

“I want to first of all thank Coach Petros [Kyprianou] for helping to bring me to the University of Georgia and to AT [Althea Thomas] for training me over the last two years,” Irby wrote.

“Thanks again to all of the Bulldog Nation for their support. I will never forget my time in Athens.”

Georgia head coach Petros Kyprianou tweeted his support for Irby on Thursday.

Even though she was overshadowed at times by fellow SEC freshman phenom Sydney McLaughlin in 2018, Irby established herself as one of the top quarter-milers in NCAA history last June with her stunning 49.80 performance in Eugene. The time is the second-fastest ever in the NCAA.

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.

Mondo Does It Again, Breaks Pole Vault World Record


Mondo Duplantis is ushering in a new era of the pole vault, one centimeter at a time. Just a week removed from his world record clearance of 6.17m, the 20-year-old vaulted 6.18m at the Muller Indoor Grand Prix in Glasgow.

U.S. Indoor Women's Preview: Can Purrier Chase Down Houlihan?

The most interesting match-up of the indoor season materialized quickly. Last Saturday evening at the Millrose Games, Elinor Purrier dropped a stunning 4:16.85 mile to break the American record and dispatch a stacked field in a race that turned into a festival of personal bests and national records. It was a career-defining race for Purrier. A run fast enough to legitimately raise the question if she could beat America’s best mid-distance runner, Shelby Houlihan. This weekend at the US Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, Purrier will have two chances (the 3000m on Friday and the 1500m on Saturday) to pull it off. 

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2020 High School Track & Field State Championships Central

2020 High School Indoor Track & Field State Championships:

Weekend Watch Guide: Simpson, Jones Chase Fast 5k At BU

One of the busiest weekends of the 2020 indoor track season is upon us, and FloTrack has you covered with several live events across the country. Boston will once again host some of the top professional and collegiate distance runners in the U.S., including Jenny Simpson, Dani Jones and Tyler Day.

U.S. Indoor Men's Preview: Coleman Debuts, Engels Battles Thompson, Murphy

The stakes for the 2020 USATF Indoor Championships were dramatically reduced in the wake of World Indoors being postponed due to the coronavirus. But prize money and bragging rights are incentive enough for the world’s fastest man and several top domestic distance runners this weekend in Albuquerque.

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