STATEN ISLAND — With Boston’s Reggie Lewis Center, the usual venue for New Balance Indoor Grand Prix, serving as a mass vaccination site, this year’s U.S. stop on the World Athletics Indoor Tour was held at the Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex on Staten Island in New York City. Elle Purrier, Donavan Brazier and Bryce Hoppel dominated their respective races en route to new American records.
Strict covid-19 protocols were in place and no spectators in attendance at Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex. The replay is now available on-demand on NBC’s Peacock TV.
One year after smashing the American indoor record in the women’s mile, Elle Purrier (Montgomery, Vermont) demolished Jenny Simpson’s two-mile American record with a 9:10.28*, clipping more than eight seconds off Simpson’s mark and moving to third on the all-time world list. Purrier and Emma Coburn (Crested Butte, Colorado) ran together through the mile at around 4:42, and were virtually inseparable with a half-mile remaining. Purrier started to move away and stretched the gap to more than a second before polishing off her record run with a 63.98 final quarter. Her en route 3,000m clocking of 8:36.41 makes her No. 5 on the all-time U.S. performer list. Coburn was also better than Simpson’s record, finishing second in 9:15.71 to take over the No. 8 position on the world all-time performer list. She moved to seventh on the U.S. 3,000m list all-time with an 8:39.19 en route.
Returning to the track where he set a world indoor best in the 600m two years ago, Donavan Brazier (Cadillac, Michigan) broke his own American record* in the men’s 800m by the slimmest of margins, stopping the clock at 1:44.21 to take .01 off the mark he set last year. Brazier’s time put him in a tie for No. 4 on the all-time world performer list, and was enough to win by more than two seconds.
Already the fastest man in the world over 800m this season, Bryce Hoppel (Midland, Texas) claimed his first American record* with a 2:16.27 in the 1,000m, cutting .49 off the existing AR set by David Torrence in 2014. Hoppel led through 600m in 1:23.24, then hit 800m in 1:49.74 before closing in 26.53 to move to No. 8 on the all-time world performer list. Canada’s Marco Arop was second in 2:17.10, just ahead of a British national record 2:17.20 for Charlie Da’Vall Grice in third.