That's how long it's been since Donavan Brazier last raced an 800 outdoors. You might remember it: on October 1, 2019, in the Khalifa Stadium, Brazier ran 1:42.34 to break Johnny Gray's 34-year-old American record and become the first American to win a world title at 800.
We've had to wait a long time to see Brazier toe the line for an 800 outdoors in 2020, but tonight that drought ends: he will race two laps in Oregon as part of the Big Friendly 3, which you can stream live for free on Tracklandia's YouTube page 10:50 p.m. ET (it's a Friday, so you can stay up for this one, East Coasters).
That's not the only race we'll be watching closely tonight. The women's 800 (Nia Akins, Chanelle Price, Brenda Martinez) and men's 1500 (Josh Kerr, Craig Engels, Sam Prakel, Hassan Mead, Eric Avila) also feature star-studded fields. And nearby, the Bowerman Track Club will be targeting American and world records for the 4x1500 (USATF.TV, 11 p.m. ET).
But with all due respect to those other fine athletes, it's Brazier we're most excited about. After following up his world title with an American record indoors and a 3:35 1500 outdoors where he looked to be jogging for the first three laps, Brazier's ceiling has officially been removed. He's 23 years old, in his prime, and anything is possible when he steps on the track. We can't wait to see what he does.
The 2020 Olympic track and field action was supposed to begin today and we're feeling nostalgic. Football has a Super Bowl MVP. Baseball has a World Series MVP. We need to have an Olympic MVP. We went back and named MVPs for all 28 Summer Olympics, from 1896 to 2016.
It seems hard to believe now, but Jerry Schumacher's teams were once known for coming up just short at NCAAs. That all changed in 2005 when a legendary Wisconsin team obliterated all comers. Plus a women's race loaded with future Olympians such as Molly Huddle, Amy Cragg, Shannon Rowbury, and Jenny Simpson.
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