In what might have very well been her last collegiate 400 meters races, Athing Mu smashed her own NCAA record and then split 48.85s in another historic performance on the anchor leg of the winning Texas A&M 4x400m team on Day 4 at the 2021 NCAA track and field outdoor championships on Saturday (12).
The outstanding freshman who reportedly will cut her collegiate career short this season to pursue her professional opportunities, lowered her own college record from 49.68s when running 49.57s to dominate the event on the final day of competition at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.
Mu’s winning time also bettered the previous meet record, previously held by Georgia’s Lynna Irby at 49.80s, and she said after the race that her success came as a result of her focusing on running her own race and doing things her way without setting limits on how fast she should run.
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The 19-year-old then closed out the championships with a stunning sub-49 seconds final leg split as Texas A&M set a collegiate and facility record in the women’s 4×400-meter relay, clocking a time of 3:22.34 to lower Oregon’s previous record of 3:23.13 from 2017.
Mu will now turn her attention to the U.S. Olympic track and field trials which will get underway this week. As expected, the teen will not run the 400m, but instead, take on a very strong women’s 800m field where she will start as one of the favorites to secure a place in the top three and punch a ticket to the Tokyo Games this summer.
Mu, the SEC Conference standout, has a personal best of 1:57.73 which is the second-fastest time in the world this season behind Ethiopia’s Werkwuha Getachew’s 1:56.67.
The Texas A&A sensation is also the fastest American woman in the 800m this season with Sabrina Southerland (1:58.82) and Ajee’ Wilson (1:58.93) the only two US runners to run below 1:59 so far this season in the event.