Athing Mu Adds To Legacy With 500m National Record At VA Showcase

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By Jim Lambert for MileSplit

Athing Mu added to her legacy as one of the greatest high school track and field athletes of all-time with an electrifying national record breaking performance at the Virginia Showcase on Friday night at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va.

Mu, a senior who runs for the Trenton Track Club, simply smoked a loaded field in the 500m, stopping the clock at 1:10.22. That broke the national record of 1:10.30 set by Chanelle Price of Easton Area High in Pa. at the 2008 New Balance Games at the NY Armory. 

Mu finished more than two seconds ahead of sophomore sensation Kayla Davis of North Carolina, second in 1:12.38. The victory by Mu avenged her loss to Davis in the 400m at the New Balance National Championships last June when Davis was first and Mu second.    

The 1:10.22 in the 500m gave the Texas A&M-bound Mu the second national record of her career. In the women's 600m final at the USA Track and Field Indoor Championships last March at Ocean Breeze on Staten Island,  Mu shocked a field of professional runners by finishing first in 1:23.57, which wasn't just a new high school national record, but also a new American Record, a new U18 record, and a new World Junior record and was just 0.13 seconds away from tying the World Record last set in 2004 and is the No. 2 fastest 600 meter race all-time.

MileSplit caught up with Athing Mu after her historic performance—watch here:

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What's next on Mu's hit list?

The 18 year-old Mu, who has already qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 800m with her PR of 2:01.17 that she ran to place fifth at the USATF Outdoor Championships last June, seems destined to take down the high school national indoor record of 2:01.78 set in 2017 by her future teammate at Texas A&M, Sammy Watson of Rush Henrietta in NY.  

Mu's 2:01.17 makes her the sixth fastest female at the distance in high school outdoor history, just behind Mary Cain (national record 1:59.51), Kim Gallagher, Sammy Watson, Caitlin Collier and Ajee Wilson.

And the national high school indoor 400m record of 51.61 set by Olympian Sydney McLaughlin of Union Catholic in 2017, is also in Mu's crosshairs. 

During the outdoor season last year, Mu dropped her 400m to a new PR of 51.98 at New Balance Nationals when she was second. She also dropped her PR down to 24.35 in the 200m.

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