The USA Track and Field (USATF) 2023 Indoor Championships took place at the Albuquerque Convention Center in Albuquerque, NM. from Feb. 16-18. The three-day championship event hosted dozens of elite American athletes and, by extension, some of the world’s best. Composed of high-level collegiate and Olympic athletes, the Indoor Championships saw a number of records being broken and athletes showcasing their best across 30 events.
Day one of the championships consisted of mostly pentathlon and heptathlon events and the 3,000m race walk finals. The pentathlon and heptathlon are contests where athletes compete in multiple events by themselves, accumulating points for each event. The athlete with the most points at the end wins the overall event. The men’s heptathlon events were the 60m dash, 1000m run, 60m hurdles, high jump, pole vault, long jump and shot put. Steven Bastien, 28, won the men’s heptathlon with 6,012 points, finishing first in the 1000m race and the long jump.
The women’s pentathlon events were the 800m race, 60m hurdles, high jump, long jump and shot put. In the pentathlon, greatness was on display, with Anna Hall, 21, demolishing her competition in every event. She placed first in every event, sweeping the pentathlon and earning 5,004 total points, which became the new American pentathlon record.
The drama didn’t stop there; Olympic-silver-medalist Aleia Hobbs, 27, also set a new American national record for the women’s 60m dash. She ran a blistering 6.94-second race to capture gold for the event. “Unbelievable. It has been a long time coming. I’m just so thankful,” said an emotional Hobbs after the race.
Something was in the water that day, as it wasn’t just the runners breaking national records. DeAnna Price, 29, competed in the weight throw event, which is the indoor track and field equivalent to the hammer throw in the outdoor events. Price had won gold in the hammer throw twice before, in the 2019 World Championships and the 2018 North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Championships. On Feb. 17, 2023, she set the new world record for the women’s weight throw, with a throw of 26.02 meters, toppling the previous record of 25.6 meters.
Noah Lyles, 25, was arguably the headliner of the men’s sprint events. The Olympic 200m bronze medalist and three-time world champion were set to compete in the men’s 60m dash. He raced in the semi-finals, placing first in his respective heat, finishing the event in a scorching 6.56 seconds. However, Lyles was forced to withdraw from the finals due to a hip injury.
In his absence, JT Smith, who had won his own respective heat to advance to the finals, won the 60m finals easily, finishing with a time of 6.53 seconds, his personal best. This win marks Smith’s first national championship title.
It wasn’t just spry youths competing in Albuquerque. The championship included a 60m dash for the men’s and women’s masters 55+ race. Here, elite runners aged 55-59 competed. The winner of the women’s race was Roxanne Brockner, who ran an 8.59. Brockner is also an administrator at Stony Brook University in Suffolk County.
The USATF 2023 Indoor Championship was undoubtedly exciting, with multiple records being broken at the national and world record. The athletes are looking ahead now, with the outdoor season on the horizon. In anticipation of the next competition cycle, Hobbs said, “Outdoor season is gonna be lit. That’s all I’m going to say.”