Team USA in Glasgow, An Assessment

Last weekend, the US team in Glasgow (March 1-3) was one of the finest we have had at a World Indoor. 57 team members and 20 medals taken home is pretty darn good.

What, in my mind, is the biggest takeaway? Many of the top US stars did not compete indoors, and we have this wonderfully diverse group of new athletes who are ready, willing, and hungry to compete on the most winning team in US sports history. Do not believe me? Take any US sport that competes on the global stage and try to imagine the enormity of the depth and quality of Team USA in track & field.

Don’t believe track and field is that deep in US culture? Then, try the UPS or FedEx test. Ask your UPS, Amazon, and FedEx drivers what sport they did in junior high and high school.

The numbers: There are 22,000 junior high schools in the US; 18,000 have track programs (8-10 weeks); 17,000 high schools have 1.4 million athletes in cross country and track; 200,000 young adults in junior college, college, and post-school clubs, 5,000 young track clubs, and 450 RRCA clubs in the U.S.

I have this wonderful memory from Goteborg in 1995. I walked into the stadium, breathing in my first World Champs, when I overheard some European reporter telling a Swiss film crew, who spoke French, how bad the US was in supporting track & field. I met the editor and gave him the stats, explaining that the only issue was how the federation and television promote the elite part of the sport.

Last year, in the U.S., there was at least one meet in every U.S. state that had a high school meet, drawing 5,000 to 50,000 fans, paying fans to see high school track & field. I know I paid for audits of the various meets.

The issue is never about the possible crowds or interest; it is about presentation, promotions, and television by people who know little about sports fans’ wants and needs.

That problem continues.

Here’s my thoughts, event by event:

Women’s shot put: Chase Ealey Jackson had a subpar competition, with Sarah Mitton taking the gold. Women’s shot put is incredibly competitive, and you either get over 20 meters (gold and silver here) or, in most cases, you do not medal.

Men’s shot put: Ryan Crouser took gold with a 20.77m throw. His throwing was superb, considering he has had two indoor competitions. Joe Kovacs is not here for indoor, as he is focused on Paris.

GLASGOW, UK – MAR 1: Image of Ryan Crouser from the USA in the men’s shot put at the World Athletics Indoor Championships on MAR 1, 2024 in GLASGOW, UK (Photo by Dan Vernon for World Athletics)

Women’s High Jum:. Nicola Olyslagers, Australia’s HJ sta,r took the gold, Yaroslava Mahuchikh, UK, R took silver,r and Lia Apostolovski, Slovenia,e took the gold., Vashti Cunningham, US, our only real international competitor, picked up stomach flu just prior to the event.

Pentathlon: Noor Vidts, N, ED, defended her gold. Saga Vanninen, FIN, took Silv, their first medal ever for Fin in the indoor world champs. Sofia Dokter, N, ED, battled to bronze. Chari Hawkins, US, was 7th. Anna Hall is recovering from the surge.y, Nafi Thi and Katerina Johnson Thompson, both have their eyes on Paris.

Men’s 60 meters: Christian Coleman took gold, and Noah Lyles took silver, with Ackeem Blake in bronze. Coleman got his Mojo back, and Noah Lyles ran a near PB to battle for silver. Both will be huge in the run-up to Paris.

GLASGOW, UK – MAR 1: Image of Noah LYLES, Christian COLEMAN, Ackeem BLAKE, final of the 60m at the World Athletics Indoor Championships on MAR 1, 2024 in GLASGOW, UK (Photo by Dan Vernon for World Athletics).

Men’s Long Jump: Miltiadis Tentoglou, GRE, took gold after a countback battle with Italian superstar Mattia Furlani. Carey McLeod, JAM, took bronze. Jarrion Lawson, US, was fifth on a comeback. William Williams, US, was 7th. The US is in a tough battle with the world in LJ.

Women’s pole vault: Molly Caudery, GB, the new PV sensation, took gold; Eliza McCartney, the Kiwi star, took silver; and Katie Moon, US, Oly champ and world champ, with Achilles issues, took bronze. She had not managed a good session in two weeks. Sandi Morris, two-time WIC gold and WC silver was fifth. There is an excellent group of US women pole vaulters, and the road to Paris will be fascinating.

Men’s Triple Jump: Hughes Fabrice Zango, Burkina Faso, gave his country its first indoor gold in TJ. Yasser Triki, ALG, took silver, and Tiago Pereira, POR, took bronze. Donald Scott was 6th. The TJ needs a rivalry, with many of the top teams not competing indoors. Christian Taylor and Will Claye, top US medalists, had zing in this event. Who will be the next US stars?

Women’s 3,000m: Elle St. Pierre, just a year out from having a son, Ivan, has run four races. In a win, Elle destroyed the US record of Alicia Monson. Gudaf Tsegay, ETH, who should have defeated her, was relegated to second on the stat sheets. Beatrice Chepkoech, KEN, took bronze and set NR. Josette Andrews, a promising US athlete, was 11th.

GLASGOW, UK – MAR 2: Image of Elle ST. PIERRE at the World Athletics Indoor Championships on MAR 2, 2024, in GLASGOW, UK (Photo by Dan Vernon for World Athletics).

Men’s 3000 meters: Josh Kerr took gold, to the delight of his home crowd. Yared Nuguse, US, took the silver in a gutty run from way back. Selemon Barega, ETH, Olympic champion, took the bronze. The 3,000m indoors is a meeting place for 1,500m to the 10,000m, and the speedsters won out. Olin Hacker, US, an NCAA 5,000m champion, just like his father, charged to the front and shook up the race.

Josh Kerr takes gold, Yared Nuguse takes silver, and in M 3000m, the photo by Dan Vernon is for World Athletics.

Women’s 400 meters: Femke Bol, the world’s finest indoor 400m runner, took the gold and set another WR of 49.17. Lieke Klaver, Bol’s training partner, took silver in 50.16, and Alexis Holmes, US, took bronze in 50.24. Talitha Diggs, US, was fifth. This is a reminder that the global talent in our sport is pushing US quarter milers.

Men’s 400 meters: What an exciting race! Alexander Doom, BEL, caught Karsten Warholm, NOR, 45.25 NR to 45.34 SB. Rusheen McDonald, JAM, took the bronze in PB 45.65. Both US runners, Jacory Patterson and Brian Faust, did not make it out of the first heats.

Men’s 60-meter hurdles. Grant Holloway is the finest sprinter hurdler ever. His indoor WR in Albuquerque two weeks ago and his 7.29=CR in Glasgow showed a fit and focused World Champion. Lorenzo Simonelli, ITA, delighted his country with silver and 7.43 =NR. France’s Just Kwaou-Mathey, FRA, took bronze, suggesting the possibilities for France in Paris 2024. I was surprised by Trey Cunningham’s performance.

Grant Holloway defends his gold, 60-meter hurdles, photo by Dan Vernon Photo for World Athletics.

 

Women’s 60 meters: Julien Alfred, US-trained, took first gold for Saint Lucia (first medal) in 6.98=WL. Ewa Swoboda, POL, took silver in 7.00, taking her first medal. Zaynab Dosso, ITA, gave Italy its 7.05 bronze medal. Zoe Hobbs, NZL, 7.06 AR, takes fourth, her second AR of the event. Nightmare for the US, MIkiah Brisco takes fifth, 7.08, after witnessing her training partner, Aleia Hobbs, injured in the semi-finals and carted from the race by wheelchair.

Women’s Triple Jump: Thea Lafond, DMA, takes 15.01m WL; Leyanis Perez Hernandez, CUBA, 14.90m SB, takes silver; Ana Peleteiro-Compaore, ESP, 14.75m SB, takes bronze. The US was fourth and fifth, with Keturah Orji and Jasmine Moore. Orji has more fourths, so it’s heartbreaking, but she has brought the US TJers into the global battle.

Men’s High Jump. Hamish Kerr, NZ, had his day at gold with a WL of 2.36m! Shelby McEwen, US, 2.28m, had a wonderful day with his silver. Sanghyeok Woo, KOR, had an off-day, taking bronze in 2.28m. Vernon Turner, US, took sixth.

GLASGOW, UK – MAR 3: Image of Hamish KERR, Shelby MCEWEN, Sanghyeok WOO at the World Athletics Indoor Championships on MAR 3, 2024 in GLASGOW, UK (Photo by Dan Vernon for World Athletics).

Men’s Pole Vault. There was a moment in this pole vault competition where Mondo Duplantis could have lost even a medal chance. He came down to the do-or-die moment, at 5.85 meters, his third attempt. Reminded me of Daley Thompson in 1984, when he had two fouls in the discus. This is when champions are made. Duplantis made it and took gold at 6.05m WL. Sam Kendricks is back with silver, his first medal since Doha 2019, with a fine 5.90. Emmanouil Karalis, GRE, who was a wild card from World Athletics, took the bronze in 5.85m.

Women’s Long Jump: Monae Nichols and Tara Davis Woodhall dueled, trading leads. Then, Tara went 7.07m, game over, taking gold. Monae Nichols, US, takes silver in 6.85m, Fatime Diame, ESP, 6.78m took the bronze. What an event for the US! Outdoors will be somewhat different, but not sure Tara is going anywhere, nor Monae.

GLASGOW, UK—MAR 3: Image of Tara DAVIS-WOODHALL at the World Athletics Indoor Championships on March 3, 2024, in GLASGOW, UK (Photo by Dan Vernon for World Athletics).

Men’s 4x400m: Belgium, anchored by Alexander Doom, with Dylan Borlee on the second leg, defended the gold from Belgrade. The US team (Jacory Patterson, Matthew Boling, Noah Lyles, Christopher Bailey) took silver, and the Netherlands took bronze.

US team outdoors will be a whole different world, but that does not mean the world is not coming closer.

Women’s 4x400m: The Netherlands, with Lieke Klaver on the first leg and Femke Bol on the anchor, took gold, 3:25.07 WL. The US team of Quanera Hayes, Talitha Diggs, Bailey Lear, and Alexis Holmes took silver, and Team GB took bronze in 4×4.

GLASGOW, UK – MAR: Image of the winners of the women’s 4x400m relay at World Athletics Indoor Championships on MAR 3, 2024 in GLASGOW, UK (Photo by Dan Vernon for World Athletics).

Women’s 60m hurdles: Devynne Charlton, BAH, takes gold and sets a new WR of 7.65. Cyrena Samba Mayela, FRA, the defending champion, took silver. Pai Skrzyszowska, POL, took the bronze. Masai Russell, US, took fourth. The competition at 60m sprint hurdles is just incredibly tough.

Men’s 800 meters: Bryce Hoppel wanted to win really bad. He kept his cool with shoving, almost falling, and running his race, taking gold in 1:44.92WL, improving from his bronze in 2022. Andreas Kramer, a cagey 800m indoor specialist SWE, took the silver in 1:45.27 SB. In third, Belgium’s Eliott Crestan took the bronze in 1:45.32. This was a very tough 800 meters, with defending champ Mariano Garcia in fifth and Benjamin Robert, FRA, who pushed to the lead in sixth.

GLASGOW, U— MAR: Image of Bryce HOPPEL at the World Athletics Indoor Championships on March 3, 202,4, in GLASGOW, UK (Photo by Dan Vernon for World Athletics).

Women’s 800 meters. Tsige Duguma, ETH, a former sprinter, took the gold here, giving Ethiopia its first 800 meters. Jemma Reekie, who has had three tough years, including glandular fever (Mono), took silver. Noelle Yarigo, BEN, took the bronze. I am surprised that Alemu did not medal.

Men’s 1,500m: One of the finest races of the meet! This was a challenging field. Hobbs Kessler, US, who has run well all season, went to the fore and did not let go until the very, very end, taking the bronze. Cole Hocker did his classic final 200m and looked to be the winner. But, alas, Kiwi Geordie Beamish did not get the script. A true middle distance runner, NZ steeple NR holder, Geordie ran 12.78 in the last 100m, going from ninth to fifth, then fifth to first, taking gold in 3:36.54, with Cole Hocker in silver, Hobbs Kessler in bronze.

Women’s 1,500m: The final event of the weekend was glorious. Frewenyi Hailu, ETH, was expected to win, but Emily Mackay, US, just went to the front and took off, with Hailu and Hiltz, plus GB’s Georgia Bell. Hailu went by late, taking the win and taking gold. Nikki Hiltz flew over the last 200 meters, taking the silver, and brave Emily Mackay took the bronze. Georgia Bell took 4th, with Diribe Welteji, ETH, taking the fifth place.

Nikki Hiltz, US, silver, Freywanyi Halu, gold; Emily MacKay, bronze, W1500m, WIC Glasgow, photo by Dan Vernon Photo for World Athletics

The World Indoors was exciting all three days. The US had many young athletes and some seasoned stars. What will happen in Paris? That’s a big question.

Watch RunBlogRun and how we build the stories for the fantastic journey to the French Capital as they host their third Olympic Games (1900, 1924, 2024).

Thanks for reading!

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