WALNUT, Calif. — Four world-leading marks and another stunning sprint performance helped christen the new Hilmer Lodge Stadium at the USATF Golden Games presented by Xfinity at Mt. SAC, the second U.S. stop on the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold circuit and the fifth meet on the USATF Journey to Gold – Tokyo Outdoor Series.
Fans can watch on-demand video on Peacock TV as well as USATF.tv+. The Distance Open featuring more Olympic hopefuls will begin Sunday evening at 7:00 PM local time/10 PM Eastern.
Showing no signs of rust in his first outing in the event since the World Championships final in 2019, Rai Benjamin broke Edwin Moses’ Hilmer Lodge Stadium record of 47.89 from 1979, flying over the first half of the race in the men’s 400m hurdles and turned up the heat on the final curve to carry a lead into the stretch that gave him enough of a margin to win comfortably in 47.13. Kyron McMaster was the closest challenger to Benjamin’s supremacy, setting a British Virgin Islands national record of 47.50 in second. Alison dos Santos of Brazil, the previous world leader this year, also clocked a national record of 47.68 in third.
American indoor mile record holder Elle Purrier only ever trailed the pacemaker in the women’s 1,500m, and after she took over the lead with 700m to go she showed she is in top shape heading into the Olympic Trials, clocking a world-leading 3:58.36 to move to No. 6 on the all-time U.S. performer list. Canada’s Gabriele DeBues-Stafford held on for second in 4:00.69, .04 up on Shannon Osika, who chopped more than a second off her lifetime best at 4:00.73.
Running a half-stride behind Canada’s Sage Watson until the eighth barrier, Shamier Little moved to the lead and sprinted away off the final hurdle to win the women’s 400m hurdles in a world-leading 53.65, her fastest since 2018. Gianna Woodruff set a Panamanian national record in second at 54.70.
Clearing a world outdoor leading 5.91m/19-4.75 on his first attempt, Chris Nilsen won the men’s pole vault and had three tries at joining the 6.00m/19-8.25 club. Nate Richartz tied his personal best in second and Matt Ludwig was third, both clearing 5.70m/18-8.25.
Already the world leader with a 10.72 at the Miramar Invitational in April, Sha’Carri Richardson lit the first firework of the meet with a 10.74 in the first heat of the Xfinity women’s 100m, a time that only she and three other American women have ever bettered. Javianne Oliver notched a lifetime best of 10.97 in the second heat, her first time to dip under 11 seconds.