Athing Mu Has Chance to Make History At USA Outdoors


After two days of spectacular racing, Athing Mu, 17, has made the finals of the women's 800m at the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships. 

And on Sunday at 7:12 p.m. CST, she'll have a chance to make history. 

Sure, the Trenton Track Club athlete will have an opportunity to score a high school national record -- possibly even an American U20 record, too -- on Sunday. Those times are 1:59.51 (Mary Cain) and 1:58.21 (Ajee Wilson). 

But at this point, that shouldn't be the only goal within reach. Mu could also qualify for the World Championships. 

Of the eight women qualified, three -- No. 1 ranked Ajee Wilson, No. 2 Raevyn Rogers and No. 3 Hanna Green -- entered USA Outdoors with times under two minutes. Another, Samantha Watson, ran a time of 2:00.65 in 2017, between her first collegiate season and high school graduation.

Mu, who currently has the No. 11 best time in the United States, has run 2:01.95 and 2:02.47 on consecutive days and finished no less than fourth in each of her heats. Breaking two won't come easy, but Mu has proven she's in the same league as the women she's racing against. 

And it wasn't so long ago when she ran a World U20 record at 600 meters indoors against two women headed toward that very same final on Sunday. The Trenton Track Club athlete ran 1:23.57 in February at the Ocean Breeze Complex in New York, hitting another gear as she kicked past Raevyn Rogers and Olivia Baker. 

We're five months past that result, and times -- athletes -- have changed. But at the very least, Mu shouldn't feel overwhelmed by the moment. 

Within the past two months she's run under 2:03 three times and landed a gold medal at the Pan American U20 Championships in 2:05.50. 

Could Mu land a spot on the senior USA team, barely a month removed making her first USA U20 team in Costa Rica? 

She'll enter with eyes on sticking with the lead pack. New Jersey's own, Ajee Wilson, entered with a best of 1:56.45. Rogers has run 1:57.69 and Nike's Hanna Green has run 1:58.75. There's also Rebecca Mehra (2:02.86), Nia Akins (2:02.90), Baker (2:03.15) and Watson (2:03.23).

But the mission is simple: Mu has to give herself a shot in the final few meters.

She's got to stay in touch, she has to respond, and she has hit it hard when the moment comes. 

At this point, would you doubt her? 


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