Fast Women: Katelyn Tuohy breaks the collegiate mile record
Alicia Monson, Ajee' Wilson, and Madie Boreman earn wins in New York City.
Issue 221, presented by the Flagpole Hill Fund
I can’t thank you enough for the generous response to my appeal for financial support last week. It was so gratifying to see the Fast Women community come out in force. I’m looking forward to another great year. Thanks again to all who contributed and will help keep this effort going for a while longer.
Katelyn Tuohy breaks the collegiate mile record
If NC State’s Katelyn Tuohy was going to take down the collegiate mile record, there was no better place for her to do it than at New York City’s Armory Track & Field Center, where she raced many times as a high schooler. Tuohy finished a close third in an exciting race against Alicia Monson (first, 4:23.55) and Whittni Orton Morgan (second, 4:23.97) at Saturday’s Dr. Sander Invitational. Tuohy’s time, 4:24.26, took 1.65 seconds off of Jenny (then Barringer) Simpson’s record, set in 2009.
Tuohy grew up about 35 miles north of the Armory, and her family was at the meet, cheering her on. “I heard my dad every lap,” she said afterward.
The race’s designated pacer was never really in contact with the pack, but Tuohy and Orton Morgan had the perfect pacer in Monson, who led most of the way. Tuohy saw the race as an opportunity to work on her speed. “Come U.S. nationals, I’m gonna have to be able to close the last mile in 4:30,” she said in the interview linked above. “So knowing I can do it for one I guess is a step in the right direction.”
After Citius Mag posted a video earlier in the week of Monson running a 4:26 1600m during a workout at altitude, there was speculation about what she could run at sea level. But racing is different from time trialing, and my guess is that she would have run a bit faster on Saturday if she had had Robby Andrews, who paced her in the workout, leading most of the way.
“I honestly felt better after this than I did after that mile,” Monson said after her race. In her season opener, Orton Morgan ran one of her best pro races yet. Next up, the top three from this race will run the 3,000m on February 11 at the Millrose Games. Monson said she’s also targeting the 10,000m at The TEN, which takes place on March 4.
Tuohy obviously now has the collegiate lead in the mile, but West Virginia’s Ceili McCabe ran a strong 4:31.57 here, to take seventh. (Results)
Ajee Wilson times her 1,000m just right
Earlier in the week, the Armory put out a press release indicating that Sage Hurta-Klecker would be going after Jen Toomey’s American 1,000m record of 2:34.19 at the Dr. Sander Invitational. Shortly after, Ajee’ Wilson joined the field. Wilson said after the race that she was already tentatively planning to race, but she was slow to commit because of a training setback that led her to take a few days off.
I wasn’t able to watch this race live, so I saw that Wilson won the race 2:35.97 to 2:36.37 before I saw how it played out. Watching the replay, I was surprised by how large a lead Hurta-Klecker built before Wilson reeled her in. Hurta-Klecker, paced by teammate Sinta Vissa, stuck with her original plan of going after the record, while Wilson approached it more as a race. And Wilson paced her race well. She passed Hurta-Klecker for good coming off the final turn. “I knew it was going to be a tough race, I’m just glad I was able to time it right,” Wilson said.
Bradley University’s Wilma Nielsen, who is putting together a fantastic season, finished third in 2:38.95, and high school senior Sophia Gorriaran finished fourth in 2:39.83, not far off Juliette Whittaker’s high school record (2:39.41).
Paced by Monson through 2K, recent CU graduate Madie Boreman won the 3,000m in 8:50.89. If Boreman ever announced that she signed with Nike, I missed it, so I was a little surprised to see her wearing a Nike uniform in the photos that photographer Amy Roberts sent to me.
Boreman said that she’s still living in Boulder, and she is being coached remotely by Juli Benson. I thought the most surprising part of her update was that she is helping CU’s “Coach Prime” out with football recruiting. (I had to google this to figure out that Coach Prime is Deion Sanders. That’s how into football I am. I am including this for those who follow football as much as I do.)
Lucia Stafford sets a North American 1,000m record
As scheduling luck would have it, the 1,000m race at Boston University’s John Thomas Terrier Classic took place less than 15 minutes after the 1,000m in New York City. Jen Toomey’s American and North American records survived the NYC race, but the latter record did not survive the Boston race.
Rachael Walters of Atlanta Track Club Elite served as a pacesetter and she did a fantastic job, leading Canada’s Lucia Stafford through 600m in just over 92 seconds. Stafford went through 800m in 2:03.52 before picking up the pace on the final lap, and finishing in 2:33.75. Stafford entered the race hoping to break Jenna Westaway’s Canadian record of 2:37.04 (which was also set at BU), but she came away with a bonus North American record and moved to ninth on the world all-time list.
Allie Wilson finished second in 2:36.31, a strong season opener, and Gemma Finch finished third in 2:37:48. Some teams do post-race workouts, but the two Atlanta Track Club Elite teammates did a post-race race, doubling back in the 3,000m later in the meet.
Olivia Baker, also of ATC Elite, won the 800 in 2:00.78, followed by Heather MacLean (2:01.33), Brenna Detra (2:01.65), and Dani Jones (2:01.68). Valery Tobias of Texas was the top collegian, taking fifth in 2:02.25. Baker doubled back in the 400m shortly after and won the race in 55.17.
Canada’s Regan Yee, who recently joined Under Armour’s Flagstaff-based group, Dark Sky Distance, opened up a lead in the 3,000m, but with a lap remaining, NAZ Elite’s Abby Nichols and Katie Wasserman had reeled her in. ATC Elite’s Emma Grace Hurley was within striking distance as well. But Yee managed to narrowly hold off Nichols, 8:48.53 to 8:48.58. Wasserman (third, 8:49.65) and Hurley (8:51.34) finished close behind.
NAZ Elite’s Krissy Gear trailed by quite a bit early in the mile, but she closed well and won the race in a PR of 4:29.67 (which earned her a tree in Ben Blankenship’s Fast Forest). Alexandra Carlson of Rutgers ran a smart race and was rewarded with a big PR, as she took second in 4:31.51. (Results)
Thanks to the Flagpole Hill Fund for supporting Fast Women this month!
The Flagpole Hill Fund seeks to promote positive experiences through running. They provide funding support for track & field and running-related initiatives. Areas of specific focus include increasing participation among traditionally underrepresented groups and supporting a better understanding of nutrition and wellness needs, particularly for teenage and young adult runners.
Fast times in Arkansas
At Arkansas’ Razorback Invitational, pro sprinter Aleia Hobbs ran a world-leading 6.98 seconds to win the 60-meter dash. It was the fastest time by an American woman in more than 20 years, and she was only 0.03 seconds off the American record. Abby Steiner won the 400m in 50.59 seconds, just ahead of Shamier Little (50.64).
The collegians also posted some impressive times. Arkansas’ Lauren Gregory is back to racing for her team after taking the fall off to race the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships in November, because she was out of cross country eligibility. She won the mile in 4:31.88 after running a 4:29.89 1600m split in the DMR the night before. A week after running the second-fastest collegiate 600-yard dash ever, LSU’s Micaela Rose won the 800m in a PR of 2:01.66 (you can watch the race here) and split 51.97 in the 4x400m relay. She was already good, but I’m curious if she might be one of the breakout stars of the season.
Roisin Willis finished second to Rose, in 2:03.79. The night before, Willis split 2:01.07 and helped Stanford’s distance medley relay win in 10:55.15. Her time was the fastest 800m split a woman has ever run in a DMR. Juliette Whittaker led Stanford’s DMR off with a quick 1200m (3:18.96), and finished fourth in the mile (4:33.89) the next day. Oregon State’s Kaylee Mitchell (second, 4:32.95) and BYU’s Riley Chamberlain (third, 4:33.14) also ran quick miles.
Britton Wilson, who recently broke the collegiate 600m record, was originally entered in the 800m, which would have been fun to see. Wilson usually sticks to the 400m and 400m hurdles. But on Thursday, she said via her Instagram stories that she had Covid and wouldn’t be able to race. She said she was really sick, but she also said she expects to be back on the track soon. (Results)
Other News and Links
Abbey Cooper announced that her baby arrived last Wednesday.
This is a good article about Makena Morley making the World Cross Country team. She discussed the challenges of training at a high level in Montana, saying she did most of her workouts leading up to USATF XC on the treadmill. “I was in the Flathead for the holidays and there was a long run where I just sat down and cried for a minute because it was so hard,” she said. “It was 20 miles and totally flat, but I felt like I was running through sand because there was so much snow.”
At the Houston Marathon, Hitomi Niiya missed the Japanese record by 12 seconds, running 2:19:24. She plans to take another shot at it at the Berlin Marathon in September. Her coach thinks she can break 2:18 in cooler weather.
I enjoyed the discussion of and perspectives on Lauren Fleshman’s book, Good for a Girl, on the Keeping Track podcast, but it was also interesting to hear Molly Huddle, one of the hosts, talk about needing to pump at the B.A.A. Half Marathon in November. She took over the anti-doping tent, because that was her best option, but said she was thinking about non-elite runners, who have nowhere near that level of privilege. Last week, after ongoing pressure, the B.A.A. announced a pregnancy deferral policy for all of its events, including the Boston Marathon. The press release also mentioned that they’re consulting a group of mother runners to develop best practices at their events.
Minnesota alumna Abby Kohut-Jackson announced that she has signed with Under Armour. Kohut-Jackson is in medical school in St. Louis, so she will be coached remotely by Mission Run Baltimore Distance coach Lara Rogers.
Carmen Pelar Graves wrote about the financial struggles some professional track & field athletes face. I thought the details about her own experience were interesting (and depressing).
The former Paige Stoner has changed her name to Paige Wood.
Morgan Uceny, a 2012 Olympian in the 1500m, has moved on to bike racing. In this Q&A, she discusses her recovery after she was hit by a truck while cycling in December.
Emilia Benton wrote about the underrepresentation of women in running coaching, and Taylor Dutch wrote about Vanessa Peralta-Mitchell, who is helping women of color become coaches through her the organization she founded, Game Changers.
Keely Hodgkinson got her season off to a very strong start as she ran a world best of 1:23.41 in the 600m in Manchester, England, on Saturday. She took 0.03 seconds off the previous record, set by Olga Kotlyarova in 2004. Hodgkinson’s time is considered a world best, not a world record, because World Athletics only keeps records for certain standard distances, and the 600m, which is rarely run, is not one of them.
Ethiopia’s Lemlem Hailu won the 3,000m at Germany’s Indoor Meeting Karlsruhe, edging out Werkuha Getachew, also of Ethiopia, 8:37.55 to 8:37.98. Slovenia’s Anita Horvat won the 800m with a lean, nipping Ethiopia’s Freweyni Hailu 2:00.44 to 2:00.46. Dina Asher-Smith won the 60m in a British record of 7.04 seconds. (Meet recap | Results)
Ethiopia’s Haven Hailu won the Osaka Women’s Marathon in 2:21:13.
Betsy Saina, who now represents the U.S., won the Seville Half Marathon in 1:08:25. Saina said before the race that she was reluctant to leave her 13-month-old son behind, but she made the most of her trip. Saina is scheduled to run the Tokyo Marathon on March 5, and you can see the rest of the field, announced last week, here.
At the Lilac Grand Prix, held in Spokane, Washington, Sinclaire Johnson won the 1500m in 4:08.34. Her teammate, Ella Donaghu, sat and then produced a big kick in the 3,000m, winning in 9:11.87. And Kaela Edwards had a strong run in the 800m, winning in 2:01.27. After the race, Edwards talked about her struggle with Graves’ disease. She said she had Covid before her Graves’ diagnosis, so her diagnosis was delayed because she thought she was dealing with long Covid. (Results | Full meet replay)
Utah’s Emily Venters won the 3,000 at the Washington Indoor Invitational in 9:00.95, and Washington’s Sophie O’Sullivan finished second in 9:03.91, impressive times on UW’s oversized (300m) but flat track. Oregon’s Izzy Thornton-Bott edged out Portland’s Laura Pellicoro, 4:34.10 to 4:34.27, in the mile, and UW’s Carley Thomas won the 800m in 2:03.64. (Results)
Val Constien won the mile at CU’s Colorado Invitational, running 4:37.52 at altitude. And I loved seeing that former high school and college champion Melody Fairchild, 49, won the masters mile in 5:36.31. (Results)
On January 21, Michelle Rohl, 57, won the Hartshorne Memorial Masters Mile and set a pending American indoor record for the 55–59 age group, running 5:16.70. (Results)
Josette (Norris) Andrews shared a lot of interesting details on Convos Over Cold Brew. She said her Reebok contract was ending and she had the option to renew, but she figured if she was going to make a big change, 2022 was a good time, when she still had nearly two years to adjust before the Olympics. In looking for a new sponsor, Andrews said she explored a variety of options, but she really wanted to be part of a training group that could push her, especially after doing so much solo work in Charlottesville. She had a lot of praise for her former coach, Chris Fox, and it was interesting to hear her say that while she did core work twice a week while working with him, she did not lift weights. She’s hopeful that adding that to her training now will help her run faster. Andrews said she might be pacing the 10,000m at the TEN, and they’re looking for someone to go through 5,000m in 15:00!
It was good to hear from Dalilah Muhammad, who doesn’t do many podcasts, on Citius Mag. When host Chris Chavez asked her what has changed about the way she, Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone, and Femke Bol run the 400m hurdles, she responded, “I think we just changed it into a sprint.” My ears perked up when she said she would like to bring her 800m time down, though she said she didn’t know if she’d run one this year. According to World Athletics, her PR is 2:14.90.
On the Ali on the Run Show, Emily Sisson broke the big news that she has adopted another dog. I appreciated that host Ali Feller asked Sisson about her decision to race in New Balance’s SuperComp Pacer while setting the American marathon and half marathon records. In an era of very chunky shoes, Sisson is racing in a shoe that has a stack height of only 25mm, and she said she prefers lower-to-the-ground, lighter weight shoes. Of her to-be-announced spring marathon, Sisson said, “It’s a really good field. I feel like I’ll have to get as fit as I can to be competitive.”
After recently leaving the B.A.A. High Performance Team, Erika Kemp did not reveal anything about her next move on Run Your Mouth, but it was good to hear from her. She said she felt like it was time to make a big change, especially as she moves to the marathon, and she coached herself in the five weeks leading up to the Houston Half. As she gets ready to run Boston in April, Kemp said it’s hard to believe there are so few U.S.-born Black women who have run sub-3:00 in the marathon.
On The Run Eat Sleep Show, Sara Hall said she’s not back to running as much as she did pre-injury, but she’s thankful to be back in a regular training routine. “I’m really happy with where I’m at right now, considering I had such a long break,” she said. “But definitely I have work to do to be able to line up on Patriots’ Day, and I’m really excited for that work.” Hall said she has been trying to do more of her training with other people this year.
It was interesting to hear from Israel’s Lonah Chemtai Salpeter, a 2:17 marathoner, on the Sweat Elite podcast, recorded live in Kenya. Salpeter talked about running her first 10K in 47 minutes and her progression from there.
It was good to get a Des Linden update on the Ali on the Run Show. I’m someone who couldn’t make it through the first episode of Emily in Paris, so the second half of the episode went completely over my head, but it was amusing to hear that Linden is a big fan of the show.
Andrea Seccafien was on Women Run Canada.
The New Balance Indoor Grand Prix is taking place on Saturday at New Balance’s new indoor facility in Boston. There are still tickets available if you’re in the area. Otherwise you can watch live on NBC and the NBC Sports app from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. ET. You can see who is entered here.
The Camel City Elite meet will take place on Saturday in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The fields are listed here, and you can watch live on RunnerSpace (subscription required). The results will be here, and the elite events begin at 2:00 p.m. ET.
This is Fast Women’s first week on Substack, and if you’re reading this, hopefully that means everything has gone smoothly. If you’d like to reach out to me, my Substack email forwarding doesn’t seem to be working properly at the moment, but you can always reach me at alison (at) fast-women.org.
Thank you so much to everyone who supports this newsletter. If you’d like to contribute, you can do so via Venmo or Patreon. And one final thank you to the Flagpole Hill Fund for supporting Fast Women in January. Have a great week!