Watch video coverage and highlights of the Aaliyah Miller of Baylor winning the women’s 800m at the 2021 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas, on Saturday.
Miller, a senior said her plan before the race was to go out hard and try and hold to end and that was exactly what she did as she crossed the finishing line in 2:00.69.
Watch Video Highlights: Aaliyah Miller Wins 800m – 2021 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships
The winning time broke the meeting record of 2:01.09, which was set by former Oregon star Raevyn Rogers during the 2017 championships and beat her previous best by nearly two seconds.
“I was really surprised by the time,” Miller said. “In a championship race, nobody’s really focused on the time, you just want to go for the win. But, once I took it out so fast, I was like, ‘Well, we’re going to see where this takes me.’ Two-flat is insane. I’m just extremely humbled, grateful, thankful that we got this far.”
Miller, who was ranked fifth in the 800 meters entering the meet, made it to the finals with the seventh-best time, but she had confidence in herself and she showed that from the start of the race after going out extremely fast.
The redshirt senior posted 27.69 seconds for the opening 200m and covered the the first 400m in 56.90 to lead the rest of the field by more than a full second to build a huge lead.
She told ESPN during her post-race interview that her plan was to go out fast and “see if they can catch me” and that worked perfectly for her as she held on at the end to win the title.
“She just went out there and buried them,” Baylor coach Todd Harbour said, “and then you hang on for dear life. I was nervous for the last 200 meters.
“I wasn’t sure she could hold on. But, she did. I’m proud of her, she’s tough.”
Meanwhile, Miller said she was too was “shocked” when she saw her time splits for the first half of the race, adding that “I told myself, ‘don’t freak out, to commit to it.’ Regardless of the outcome is, I knew that if I gave it my all, then there’s nothing I could be disappointed in.”