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Weekend recap: Texas Qualifier, NCAA action and more

Athing Mu and Matthew Boling raced NCAA meets this weekend while top pros competed in Austin, Texas

Photo by: Gatorade

We’re nearing the end of the indoor and winter track season, but the action is far from over, and this past weekend featured much of the same that running fans have seen so far in 2021: world and national records, world-leading times, competitive races and plenty of PB runs. From Athing Mu and Matthew Boling tearing it up on the NCAA scene to pro races in Texas, there is a lot to cover from the past few days in another edition of the weekend recap.

Mu wows again

Mu has had an amazing season, and it’s only March. She is undefeated in eight races (four individual, four relays) and she has dropped multiple record-breaking times. On Saturday at the SEC Indoor Championships in Arkansas, she put on another show for her fans, winning the 800m in 1:58.40 and running to the NCAA and U20 world indoor records. 

Mu beat the previous NCAA record of 2:00.69, becoming the first collegiate woman to break two minutes indoors, and she lowered the U20 world record of 1:59.03 that Britain’s Keely Hodgkinson set earlier this year. Mu and her Texas A&M teammates will return to Arkansas for the NCAA Indoor Championships from March 11 to 13, where Mu will be a heavy favourite to take home her first collegiate title.

RELATED: Texas A&M freshman Athing Mu is becoming track’s next big star

Seidel’s second PB of 2021

U.S. Olympic marathon team qualifier Molly Seidel ran the Atlanta Half-Marathon on Sunday, and she took the win in a PB of 1:08:29. The result comes one month after her win and PB at the Las Vegas Gold Half-Marathon, where she ran 1:09:20. Seidel lowered that result by almost a full minute on Sunday, and her new PB elevates her to seventh all-time among American women in the half-marathon.

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“Truthfully, it felt pretty bad, but luckily I had a great pacer.” Seidel said in an interview after the race. “It was pretty hilly, it was pretty humid, but it was a good day overall.” She continued, saying that the humidity was “like a gut punch.” She noted that her training has been going well, and while she didn’t come out and say it, it has to be assumed that she can run even quicker in better, less humid conditions.

Boling’s world lead

Like Mu, Boling has had a phenomenal start to his collegiate career, and he was also at the SEC Indoor Championships, running with the University of Georgia team. On Friday in the 200m heats, he powered to a PB and world-leading time of 20.37 seconds. Unfortunately, he received a DQ after stepping out of his lane in the 200m final on Saturday. LSU’s Terrance Laird and Florida’s Joseph Fahnbulleh proceeded to run to the top two spots in the final, running 20.28 and 20.32, respectively, and both overtaking Boling in the 2021 indoor 200m world rankings.

RELATED: Sprinting star Matthew Boling goes viral with long jump Tik Tok

Texas Qualifier

Some of the world’s best track athletes raced in Austin, Texas, at the Trials of Miles Texas Qualifier this past weekend. Eight Canadians raced, and their results are covered in a separate recap, which can be found here. Looking at other, non-Canadian results, Germany’s Konstanze Klosterhalfen stole the show with her performance in the women’s 10,000m.

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Just like Seidel in Atlanta, athletes competing in Austin had to deal with extreme humidity, and many runners dropped out of the 10,000m races. Klosterhalfen performed well in the less-than-ideal conditions, and she dropped a 31:01.71 to grab the win by more than a minute. This time is also a German record, beating the previous national best by two seconds.

Klosterhalfen was the only woman in that race to run under the Olympic standard of 31:25.00, but second-place finisher Keira D’Amato posted a PB of 32:16.82 in her first race as a Nike-sponsored athlete.

RELATED: Canadians grab wins, PBs at Texas Qualifier track meet

D’Amato’s fellow Americans Ajee Wilson and Elle Purrier both ran under Olympic standard in their respective races. Wilson won the women’s 800m in 1:58.93 and Purrier grabbed the top spot in the 5,000m, running 15:08.61.

For full results from the Texas Qualifier, click here.