New Jersey's Athing Mu, Sean Dolan, Jordan West, and Brandon Tubby turned in sparkling performances to earn First Team All-American honors at Saturday's NCAA Championships at the Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Texas A&M's Mu, a freshman from Trenton, rebounded from an upset loss in the women's 400m by blasting a mind-boggling all-time world best 49.54 anchor split to bring the Aggies across the line first in the 4x400 in a meet record 3:26.68! That's right, 59.54!!!!
The 49.54 by Mu is the fastest 400m time ever run by a woman in the world indoors, either individually or on a relay!! For some perspective, the indoor world record is 49.59, set on March 7, 1982 by Jarmila Kratochvílová of Czechoslovakia in Milan, Italy.
Mu's 49.54 anchor avenged her upset loss in the 400m when she was second in 51.03, finishing behind defending champion Kaelin Roberts of USC, who ran a PR of 50.84. Florida freshman Talitha Diggs, the daughter of NJ legend Joetta Clark-Diggs, won her heat and placed third overall in 51.26.
In the 4x00, the 18 year-old Mu got her redemption.
After she took the stick in second-place behind Roberts, Mu shifted gears and rocketed past Roberts just before the start of the bell lap, and pulled away to secure the win for Texas A&M.
In the men's mile, Villanova's Sean Dolan, a redshirt freshman out of Hopewell Valley High, completed a remarkable Sub 4 double when he placed sixth in in 3:57.91 to earn All-American honors! Dolan, who closed in a red hot 56.47, qualified for the final by running 3:57.20 in Friday's prelims! That's two sub 3:58's in less than 24 hours! Not bad for just the second and third time he ever ran a mile in college.
Dolan was obviously elated with the way he ran.
"Both races were great,'' said Dolan. "The prelim was much more of an even pace, and the final definitely ramped up the last 600 meters. The pace didn't feel particularly hard at any point, it was just tough to try and catch the guys in the front during the final. I'm definitely thrilled with what I've accomplished this weekend, and hopefully this is just the start for me.''
Jordan West of Tennessee, a redshirt junior out of Rahway High, earned First Team All-American for the first time by placing sixth in the shot put with a throw of 64-6 on his final attempt. West is the first Vol to score (the top eight finishers score) at the NCAA Indoor Championships since 2012, and his sixth place finish in the highest indoor shot put finish for a Tennessee athlete since Aaron Ausmus won the NCAA title in 1997.
In the women's 800m, Richmond's Brooke Fazio (Ridge High School), and Penn State's Victoria Vanriele (Gov. Livingston) earned Second Team Al-American. Fazio, a senior, placed 10th in 2:07.62, and Vanriele finished her fantastic freshman season by placing 12th in 2:07.95. Vanriele won the 800 at the Big Ten Championships on Feb. 27 in dramatic come-from-behind fashion in 2:05.59, a personal indoor best.
Sincere Rhea, another Penn State star from NJ, ran 7.99 in the trials of the men's 60m hurdles, but didn't advance. Rhea, who starred at St. Augustine High, had a great sophomore season for the Nittany Lions, capped by his remarkable victory at the Big Ten Championships when he ran 7.80 to become Penn State's first conference champion ever in the high hurdles.
Christie, the Big Ten high jump champ, cleared 6-11.75 to place in 13 the HJ. Christie, a redshirt senior out of Union Catholic High, owns the Rutgers school indoor record of 7-3.75 and was named the Mid-Atlantic Field Athlete of the Year this season. Christie is the first Scarlet Knight to ever qualify for the high jump at back-to-back NCAA Indoor Championships.
Burgess, a redshirt junior from Carteret High, finished third in his semifinal heat of the men's 400m in 46.64 to secure Second Team All-American honors. Burgess ran a PR of 45.82 when he placed third at the Big Ten Championships. That's the second fastest time in Rutgers indoor history.
Oregon's Luis Peralta, sophomore out of Passaic High, earned Second Team All-American when ran 1:49.87 to place 13th in the prelims of the men's 800m.