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Indoor season is off and running for NCAA athletes, which meant fast times in strange distances and the collegiate debut of Matthew Boling. That, plus another world record in the road 10k made for an intriguing weekend in track and field. Here were the highlights:
Cambrea Sturgis Picks Up Where She Left Off With 7.15 60m Opener
North Carolina A&T sophomore Cambrea Sturgis looks well on her way to becoming a sprint superstar as she opened her 2020 season on Saturday with a 7.15 60m win and world lead at the Jim Green Invitational in Lexington, Kentucky. It’s still very early, of course, but only two collegiate women ran faster than 7.15 all of last season.
Sturgis’ stellar debut represents a continuation of her breakout performance at last June’s NCAA Outdoor Championships. There she ran 22.40 in Austin to finish third in the 200m. As a freshman her best was just 7.38 in the 60m, but a big outdoor season coupled with a strong start to year two indicates Sturgis will be a factor come March in the event.
‘Tis The Season For Off-Distance Phenoms
As there always are at this early point in the indoor season, there were several strong times put down in off-distance events-- the 300m and 500m-- over the weekend.
Florida State senior Kasaun James’ 32.85 is eighth-best in NCAA history in the 300m, while Alabama’s Tamara Clark ran 36.56 for the third-fastest collegiate time ever.
Meanwhile, Rutgers junior Taj Burgess came close to breaking the minute barrier with his 60.80 in the 500m at the Armory.
Watch Rutgers junior Taj Burgess’ blazing 500m@1:00.80!! #3 All Time in the NCAA!! #We_R_Inevitable #rutgersuniversity #ncaa #bigten #trackandfield #tracknation #tracknfield #sprint #sprinter #sprintsquad #runnersworld #speedtraining #njmilesplit @njmilesplit pic.twitter.com/3HVNq1ihYF— Coach Farrell-Rutgers (@CoachFarrell_RU) January 13, 2020
Matthew Boling Debuts…
Georgia freshman Matthew Boling was so electric as a high school senior last year that any loss he endures as a collegiate will be put under a microscope, and that’s doubly true as Boling kicked off his NCAA career with a 60m loss to fellow true freshman Taylor Banks.
Florida State freshman Taylor Banks defeats Georgia freshman Matthew Boling in their 60m season openers... pic.twitter.com/qTRo8P93Z9— FloTrack (@FloTrack) January 11, 2020
Banks is a stud in his own right who ran 10.26 as a high school junior, so it makes sense that he and Boling were separated by just 0.01. Time will tell what Boling’s best event will be indoors, but I have a feeling that he’s more suited for the 200m and 400m as someone who finishes much better than he starts.
Rhonex Kipruto Obliterates Road 10k World Record
Joshua Cheptegei’s 26:38 10k world record from Dec. 1 lasted all of 42 days as Kenyan Rhonex Kipruto smashed it on Sunday with his 26:24 in, perhaps not coincidentally, Valencia, Spain, the same Valencia that Cheptegei ran his time a month prior.
Récord del mundo! World Record pic.twitter.com/XAoVNj5cFO— 10K Valencia Ibercaja (@10KValencia) January 12, 2020
Kipruto is only 20, but he’s already made his presence felt in the 6.2-mile distance, both on the roads and the track. After winning world junior 10,000m gold in 2018, Kipruto earned bronze at the senior level this past fall in Doha.
Now he has also run 26:46 and 26:24 on the roads, the latter of which came with a 13:18 5k world record en route. 26:24 is ridiculous, no matter the surface-- only Ethiopian greats Kenenisa Bekele and Haile Gebrselassie have run faster on a track.
The extra bonus for those of you playing road racing bingo at home is that Kipruto, an adidas athlete, did not run in Nike VaporFlys. So, until the shoe-truthers start attacking adidas too, enjoy this world record controversy-free.