Erik Kynard

Shelby Houlihan wins duel with Elle Purrier at USATF Indoor Champs

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Shelby Houlihan is halfway to a fifth double at a national championships after taking the 3000m at the USATF Indoor Championships in Albuquerque on Friday night.

Houlihan, a Rio Olympic 5000m runner, extended her domestic distance dominance by clocking 8:52.03.

She led after every lap and prevailed by 1.67 seconds over Bowerman Track Club teammate Karissa Schweizer. Elle Purrier, who last Saturday ran the second-fastest indoor mile in history, was fourth in 8:56.56.

Houlihan has won a pair of titles at four separate national championships — twice indoors and twice outdoors. She can do it again if she takes Saturday’s 1500m, with Purrier also in that field.

Houlihan, after placing 11th in the Rio 5000m, lowered the U.S. records at 1500m and the 5000m. The 1500m has proven her better event internationally. She took fourth at the world championships on Oct. 5, breaking Shannon Rowbury‘s American record by 1.3 seconds.

Nationals mark the end of the indoor season, given the world indoor championships were postponed until 2021 due to the coronavirus outbreak in host China.

USATF Indoors: Results | Entry Lists | Event Schedule | TV Schedule

In other events Friday, meet headliner Christian Coleman shut it down early and still clocked the world’s fastest 60m this year — 6.48 seconds to win his first-round heat. The semifinals and final are Saturday.

“This is my opener, so I just wanted to make sure I feel good,” Coleman, racing his first meet since winning the world 100m title last fall, told Lewis Johnson on NBCSN.

In 2018, Coleman ran the three fastest indoor 60m times in history. His world record of 6.34 seconds still stands. His top competition in the 100m for June’s Olympic trials and the Tokyo Games — Justin Gatlin and Noah Lyles — are not racing indoors this season.

Olympic 5000m silver medalist Paul Chelimo won the men’s 3000m in 8:00.14, distancing Anthony Rotich by 1.77 seconds.

Tori Franklin and Keturah Orji each triple jumped farther than the U.S. indoor record. Franklin prevailed with a 14.64-meter final jump, edging Orji by four centimeters.

Olympic champion Michelle Carter placed seventh in the shot put won by reigning U.S. outdoor champion Chase Ealey.

Erik Kynard, the 2012 Olympic high jump silver medalist, won the indoor title after missing all of last season with a ruptured Achilles. Kynard, who cleared 2.26 meters, could be upgraded to gold from the London Olympics given original winner Ivan Ukhov of Russia was disqualified for doping.

MORE: Full list of U.S. athletes qualified for Tokyo Olympics

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Devon Allen wins U.S. 110m hurdles title by two thousandths of a second

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Devon Allen waited out a three-hour thunderstorm delay to win by two thousandths of a second.

Allen, the University of Oregon wide receiver turned Olympian, claimed his second national title in the 110m hurdles on Sunday. By the fabric of his singlet.

Allen edged NCAA champion Grant Holloway of Florida — 13.452 to 13.454 seconds — on a wet Drake Stadium track in Des Moines, Iowa. It marked the slowest winning time at the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships since another wide receiver, Super Bowl winner Willie Gault, captured his title in 1982.

The wind (1.8 meters/second at the hurdlers’ faces) and the delay did not help. The final went off at 8 p.m. local time, three hours later than scheduled, due to a storm passing through the Iowa capital with one hour left of the last day of competition at nationals.

The day’s other marquee sprints — the men’s and women’s 200m finals — were also delayed three hours. Olympians Jenna Prandini and Ameer Webb prevailed over fields that lacked recent U.S. champions and Olympic and world medalists.

The track and field season continues with a Diamond League meet in Paris on Saturday with live coverage on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA and streaming on NBC Sports Gold.

USATF Outdoors: Full Results

Also Sunday, Shelby Houlihan repeated as 5000m champion, one day after winning the 1500m. The Sioux City native, who finished 11th in the Rio Olympic 5000m, moved to the lead with 250 meters left and breezed to win in 15:31.03, 1.68 seconds ahead of Rachel Schneider.

Only Regina Jacobs previously pulled off a 1500m-5000m double at nationals in 1999 and 2000, three years before testing positive for a steroid that would end her career.

Houlihan said all but one of her races the rest of this season will be in the 1500m, including her next Diamond League on July 5, but the 5000m has been “the focus all along.” Athletes can tinker this year with no world championships or Olympics.

“My coach always said, the stronger we are for the 5000m, the better we will be for the 1500m,” Houlihan told media in Des Moines.

Paul Chelimo led for the last mile of the men’s 5000m and held off Ryan Hill by two tenths of a second. The U.S. Army runner Chelimo, an Olympic silver medalist and world bronze medalist, clocked 13:29.47, saluting as he crossed the finish line.

Olympic 800m bronze medalist Clayton Murphy recorded his biggest win since the Olympic Trials, clocking 1:46.50 and holding off NCAA champion Isaiah Harris by .61. Last year, Murphy bid to make the world championships team in the 800m and 1500m but withdrew during nationals with a hamstring injury.

World bronze medalist Ajeé Wilson claimed her third U.S. 800m title in a controlled 1:55.18, .39 ahead of Raevyn Rogers.

In the steeplechase, Evan Jager collected his seventh straight national title, three hours after first taking the track for the final. The Olympic silver medalist clocked 8:20.10 in the first event contested after the rain delay.

Shamier Little took advantage of Georganne Moline‘s stumble coming off the last hurdle to win the 400m hurdles in 53.61. Olympic bronze medalist Ashley Spencer did not finish after crashing over an earlier hurdle. Olympic champion Dalilah Muhammad and Sydney McLaughlin, the fastest in the world this year, did not compete at nationals.

Olympic and world silver medalist Sandi Morris won the pole vault with a top clearance of 4.80 meters. Jenn Suhr, the 2012 Olympic champion and 10-time U.S. champion, finished third.

Olympic shot put champion Michelle Carter finished sixth in her second meet since August, failing in a bid for an eighth U.S. title and placing outside the top three for the first time since 2007. NCAA champion Maggie Ewen won with a 19.29-meter throw.

Jeff Henderson earned his third U.S. long jump title to go along with his gold medal from Rio. Henderson leaped 8.10 meters, matching the shortest jump to win a national title since 1975. He recorded the eventual winning jump before the rain delay, then didn’t show up for his final three jumps post-delay.

Erik Kynard, a 2012 Olympic high jump silver medalist, was beaten by Jeron Robinson, who cleared 2.31 meters. Kynard, a four-time U.S. champion, suffered a left foot injury and limped off with help.

Heptathlete Erica Bougard bagged her first national title after finishing third in 2013, 2014 and 2015 and second in 2017.

MORE: Lyles, Norman, green teens at Olympic Trials, now stars at USATF Champs

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WATCH LIVE: Olympics Day 11 track and field evening session

Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
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Erik Kynard aims high, suitably, in the high jump, as Team USA takes to the track (and field) for Tuesday night’s evening session.

WATCH LIVE: Track and field evening

We’ll also sees the frenetic pace of the men’s 110m hurdles, and a trio of American throwers taking up their javelins in the women’s toss.


7:30 p.m. EDT — Men’s high jump final

USA: Erik Kynard

7:35 p.m. EDT — Women’s javelin throw qualifying

USA: Maggie Malone, Brittany Borman, Kara Winger

7:40 p.m. EDT — Men’s 110m hurdles

USA: TBD