Athing Mu Named MVP at AAU Meet After Sizzling Performance

Athing Mu of the NJ's Trenton Track Club continued her sizzling summer by turning in one of the greatest performances in meet history with an electrifying display of dominance and range at the AAU Junior Olympics that concluded this past weekend at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

Mu, a rising junior who doesn't compete for her high school (Trenton), put on a remarkable show in the 15-16 year-old age group competition by winning three races and narrowly missing becoming the first athlete in meet history to win four golds on her way to being chosen as the Joel Ferrel Outstanding Girls Track Athlete of the Meet.

Mu's remarkable six-day run began on Monday, July 30 when she ran 2:10.60 in the trials of the 800 to qualify as the top-seed for the final.

The next day, she won the 1500 in 4:38.78, more than four seconds ahead of the runner-up. That was the first of seven races for the 16-year-old Mu.

Then on Wednesday, Mu won her second gold, running 2:07.54 to just miss the meet record of 2:07.08 set in 2009 by Olympian Ajee' Wilson of Neptune, NJ. Wilson is the current American record holder in the 800.

Mu returned to the track on Thursday and ran 23.98 to place second in her 200 heat to qualify for the final.

On Friday, Mu dropped a 52.77 in the 400 trials, just off the meet record of 52.71 that was set by Kendall Baisden, of Detroit in 2010.

Mu came back to win the 400 on Saturday in 52.83, which set the stage for her attempt to complete a historic quadruple later that day in the 200.

In the 200, Mu nearly made history, finishing second in 24.07, just .06 from an unprecedented fourth gold medal. Jassari Carter of Pembroke Pines in Florida crossed first in 24.01 to barely edge Mu at the line.

Mu's triple and near quad put an exclamation point on an epic season.  

In addition to her sensational showing at the AAU Junior Olympics, Mu also won the 800 at the New Balance Nationals in North Carolina in a NJ state sophomore record 2:04.51, No. 3 in NJ history behind the 2:03.54 by Joetta Clark-Diggs in 1979 and state record holder Ajee' Wilson's 2:00.91 from 2012. 

And at last month's AAU National Club Championships in Kissimmee, FL,  Mu won the 800 in 2:07.21 and dropped a PR of 52.45 to win the 400. The 52.45 is No. 2 in NJ history behind Olympian Sydney McLaughlin, who ran 51.87 outdoors as a junior at Union Catholic in 2016. McLaughlin posted her high school PR indoors when she ran a national record 51.61 indoors as a senior at the 2017 New Balance Nationals.