Shoes & Gear 2023 USATF Indoor Championships kicked off an exciting weekend of indoor track competition at the Albuquerque Convention Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Michael Norman Shifts Focus from 400 to 100, Just hours into the meet with 5,004 points in the pentathlon. With a stellar 800-meter performance of 2:05.71, Hall almost broke the world record of 5,013 points, set by Nataliya Dobrynska of Ukraine in 2012.
On Friday, February 17, the competition continued with two distance finals and several standout performances in the multi and field events. Here are the highlights from day 2 of the indoor championship.
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Val Constien throws down big kick to win 3,000 meters
The steeplechase Olympian put her finishing speed on full display to win the women’s 3,000-meter title on Friday. Running unsponsored, the University of Colorado alum broke the facility record, running 8:48.29 to win her first national title.
The race kicked off with Adidas pro Elly Henes setting a comfortable pace early on. Clocking near-perfect splits of 36 seconds for each 200-meter lap, the N.C. State alum brought the field through the first 2,000 meters in 6:37.
Behind Henes, Whittni Morgan and Constien held the second and third-place position, respectively, until 500 meters to go when Morgan made a sudden move to the front. The BYU alum attempted to drop the competition with a big acceleration, but Constien and Emily Mackay responded. For the next two laps, Constien was on the hunt and eventually passed Morgan in the final 50 meters.
In the end, only 0.13 seconds separated Constien and Morgan, who finished second in 8:48.42. Mackay claimed the final podium spot with a third-place finish in 8:50.14.
Sam Prakel leaves men’s 3,000-meter competition in the dust
No one had an answer to Prakel’s perfectly timed kick at the bell, where the Adidas pro unleashed a blazing 25.75-second last lap to win the men’s 3,000-meter crown.
The race started at a pedestrian pace with the field clocking around 2:54 for the first 1,000 meters (about 8:42 3K pace). With runners jockeying for position, the tempo didn’t pick up until 1800 meters, when Allen Sumrall of Railroad Athletics passed 11 men on his way to the front. His lead didn’t last long, however, as the pace continued to pick up with different leaders switching off in the remaining laps. The entire time, Prakel kept himself within striking distance.
The University of Oregon alum’s 3:34 1500-meter speed came out in full force when he broke away heading into the final lap. With no competitors in sight, he won the race in 8:12.46. Under Armour pro Eduardo Herrera finished second in 8:13.11, and Olin Hacker of NAZ Elite placed third in 8:14.33.
Steve Bastien claims heptathlon crown
For the first time in his career, Bastien became a national champion. Almost a year after placing sixth at the World Indoor Championships, the former University of Michigan standout won the U.S. heptathlon title with 6,012 points, well afore of runner-up Will Daniels who finished second with 5,946 points.
Bastien, who worked in construction before making his first Olympic team in 2021, had solid performances across all seven events, including a win in the long jump on Thursday. He concluded the competition with a 2:44.5 victory in the 1,000 meters on Friday night.
Deanna Price sets world best
On her fifth and final throw, Price obliterated the world best in the women’s weight throw, winning the national title with a mark of 26.02 meters. The 2019 world champion improved on the previous world best twice during the meet, first with a throw of 25.77 meters. She is now the first woman in history to throw over 26 meters in competition.
Taylor Dutch is a writer and editor living in Austin, Texas, and a former NCAA track athlete who specializes in fitness, wellness, and endurance sports coverage. Her work has appeared in Runner’s World, SELF, Bicycling, Outside, and Podium Runner.