* Athing Mu after winning the NCAA Championship at 400 meters
Photo Credit: USA Today Sports
After a historic debut NCAA season for Texas A&M University in 2021, Athing Mu couldn't wait any longer.
The Trenton, New Jersey native announced her decision to turn professional following the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon, and ended any doubt that she would stay one more season with the Aggies to pick up additional championship hardware.
On the heels of her first race at the U.S. Trials on Thursday in the 800m, Mu certainly remains one of the United States's brightest stars at just 19 years of age.
She is coming off two NCAA Championship titles in both the 400m and 4x400, wherein she ran a new NCAA collegiate record of 49.57 seconds in the 400m and helped the Aggies to another national title with a time of 3:22.34 on the relay.
The outdoor season also saw Mu rack up another collegiate record in the 800m with a time of 1:57.73, a performance that currently ranks No. 2 in the World. In February, she set a World U20 record at the SEC Indoor Championships in 1:58.40. Outdoors, she had three performances under 50 seconds at 400 meters.
Perhaps the only disappointment over a year of incredible highs was her loss in the 400m at the NCAA Indoor Championships, a performance she finished second in.
Overall, few could argue the decision.
Mu is currently ranked No. 2 in the World in the 800m outdoors and No. 4 in the 400m. She finished the indoor season with the World's No. 2 time in the 400m and No. 3 in the 800m.
She is only one year removed from a high school career that saw her establish herself as one of the best talents ever to perform, in her junior season winning a Pan American Junior Championship in the 800m and a fourth-place finish at the U.S. Outdoor Championships in 2:01.17.
She completed her entire high school career for Trenton Track Club under head coach Alfonso Jennings and assistant Bernice Mitchell. She is a six-time AAU Junior Olympic Games champion.