* Athing Mu during her World U20 record 400m this weekend
Photo Credit: Bailey Orr/12th Man Sports
- - -
The indefatigable Athing Mu continued her torrid stretch over the NCAA indoor season for Texas A&M on Saturday in College Station, setting a new World U20 record at 400 meters, which surpassed both the Aggies' school record held formerly by Bowerman winner Jessica Beard, but also an impressive mark held previously by Olympic 400m gold medalist Sanya Richards-Ross when she was a student-athlete at Texas in the early 2000s.
While Mu's time of 50.52 seconds at the Charlie Thomas Invitational still needs to be ratified, it would break Richards-Ross' former mark of 50.82 and Beard's time of 50.79.
According to World Athletics, it's only shy of Sydney McLaughlin's time of 50.36 in 2018, which she accomplished as a freshman at the University of Kentucky. That time was not ratified.
It also should be noted, too, that Mu's teammate, sophomore Charokee Young, ran the second-fastest 400m in the NCAA in a time of 51.93. We remember Young from her stint at The VA Showcase in 2019. Who could forget!
Again, though, this was only the latest in a line of incredible runs for Mu to open up her Aggies account.
Just two weeks prior, on Jan. 23, Mu set a new World lead for 600 meters at the Aggie Invitational, netting an NCAA best of 1:25.80. Interestingly enough, though, it's still two seconds short of her American U20 record of 1:23.57, which she set when she was a high school junior in 2019.
* MileSplit visited Athing Mu in 2020
- - -
Mu opened her college career with an indoor 800m best of 2:01.07 on Jan. 16. That mark was an American U20 record and over second two seconds faster than her previous best of 2:03.98 indoors.
But of course, this also isn't too surprising, either.
Since 2017, Mu has been an absolute force on the track and has been exceeding expectations across an illustrious career that saw her net one of New Jersey's best high school careers ever -- more impressively, she did it outside the high school system for the Trenton Track Club.
As the NCAA Championship season fast approaches, Mu is making it hard for anyone to bet against her on multiple accounts, but we'll have to wait and see just what she does next.
- - -
Monique Hardy, Louisiana State University: The 2020 Webster Thomas graduate has been absolutely raising the stakes with each performance in the weight throw for the Tigers.
On Saturday, for the third straight meet, Hardy bumped her career best weight throw -- though this mark was a significant improvement.
Hardy heaved the weight a NCAA No. 4 mark of 21.93 meters (71 feet, 11.5 inches), netting her first collegiate throw over 70 feet.
Her development at LSU thus far has been considerable, with her year-over-year growth in the discipline now at five feet. Her previous best was 66-11.25 from the Millrose Games last February.
Sean Burrell, Louisiana State University: Sticking with the Tigers, we head over to a long-time prep performer in the quarter.
Having featured in the 4x400 thus far over his debut collegiate term, Burrell opened his individual account in the 400m on Saturday at the Charlie Thomas Invitational in College Station, Texas, authoring a NCAA No. 5 performance in 45.57.
That time marked an incredible bump from his previous best in high school, an effort of 48.29 from the LHSAA Indoor State Championships in 2018 on the flat Tigers' track.
Yaseen Abdalla, Texas: The 2019 Austin LBJ graduate is currently ranked NCAA No. 2 for 5,000 meters afte the weekend as he hit a personal record of 14:11.48 at the Charlie Thomas Invitationa.
Officially, that performance marked Abdalla's first 5K on the track in college -- though the 2020 was ripped away from the then-freshman, who was able to save a collegiate campaign and remain a freshman.
Nathan Stone, Indiana: Raise the bar for Stone.
The Indiana University sophomore skied for a new personal best of 17 feet, 9.25 inches in the pole vault at the Hoosier Hills Invitational on Saturday. That stands sixth-best in the NCAA right now.
It was also a two-inch bump from his previous best in 2020.