After one of the most successful freshman seasons the NCAA has ever seen, Texas A&M super freshman Athing Mu capped off her first collegiate year with not one, but two NCAA records. The freshly-minted 19-year-old ran 49.57 to win the 400 metres at Hayward Field on Saturday to break her own collegiate record, only to return to the track to anchor the women’s 4x400m, splitting an incredible 48.85 to lead her team to victory and an NCAA record of 3:22.34.
In her first year at Texas A&M, Mu went undefeated in her first five races, setting an American U20 indoor record in the 800m of 2:01.07 in her first race. This was also the second-fastest time in NCAA history. What makes that result even more impressive is that she did it completely alone — the next best competitor was more than seven seconds behind her, finishing in 2:09.65. Just one week later, she set a new NCAA indoor record in the 600m of 1:25.80. Later that month, she set yet another record, this time in the indoor 400m in 50.52 seconds.
For those of you keeping track, Mu now owns the 800 metres indoors and outdoors and the collegiate records, the NCAA record in the indoor 600m, the 400 and the 4×400 outdoor records, and one individual and two relay NCAA titles. These stats make her not only one of the best freshmen to ever compete in the NCAA’s, but one of the best college athletes the United States has ever seen. Now that the collegiate season has come to a close, Mu will be setting her sights on the U.S. Olympic trials, where she will compete in the 800m for a spot on the Olympic team.