Weekend Recap: Sturgis Shines, Boling Debuts, Kipruto Breaks WR

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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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

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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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