In 2019, Athing Mu, a 16-year-old runner from the U.S., won the 600m at the USATF Indoor Championships, setting an American record of 1:23.57 in the process, and we here at Canadian Running told you to remember her name. If you didn’t listen then, we’re going to remind you now: remember the name Athing Mu, because she is the next star of track and field.
Now 18, Mu is in her first year at Texas A&M, and she has already made an impact in her first few races. In five races (two individual, three relays), she is undefeated, and she has already posted a pair of historic results. Her first race was an 800m in mid-January, which she won in 2:01.07. This not only blew away the rest of the field that day (second place went to one of Mu’s Texas A&M teammates, who posted a time of 2:09.65), but it was also an American U20 indoor record and the second-fastest time in NCAA history.
Mu beat the previous American U20 record of 2:01.78 quite handily, and she did so with no competitors anywhere near her. Had someone been close, she might have been able to kick into a faster gear. The NCAA indoor 800m record belongs to Jazmine Fray, a former Texas A&M runner who ran 2:00.69 in 2017.
The following week, this time racing a 600m, Mu took another win, crushing her competition once more. She won in an NCAA record of 1:25.80 to beat the next closest runner by two and a half seconds. The most impressive part of all this is the fact that Mu’s new NCAA record isn’t even her PB, as she owns the earlier mentioned 1:23.57 American record (which is also the second-fastest indoor 600m of all time).
Athing Mu just split 50.03….50.03!!!pic.twitter.com/OGYi4VQbvg
— Travis Miller (@TravisMillerFlo) January 30, 2021
Finally, to close out the month, Mu delivered yet another dominant performance on January 30, this time in a 4 x 400m relay. Going into the final leg, Texas A&M trailed the Baylor women by about half a second, but then Mu got the baton and took over. Only 100m later, she had caught and passed the Baylor runner, and she continued to power forward as if she had another competitor she needed to catch.
Mu ended up running a 50.03 split for 400m and leading her team to the win in 3:31.09. Baylor, the team that had a half-second advantage heading into the final leg, came in second place, finishing more than four seconds back. It’s safe to say that Mu is the real deal, and she’s only getting started.