Aleia Hobbs ran the second-fastest time ever to capture the women’s 60-meter title in 6.94 seconds Saturday at the US Indoor Track and Field. Field Championships.
The 26-year-old from New Orleans, one of last year’s outdoor US 4×100 champion, set an American record to steal the limelight in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
“Unbelievable. It’s been a long time coming,” Hobbs said through tears. “I’m very grateful.”
Hobbs fell short of the world indoor record of 6.92 set by Russia’s Irina Privalova in Madrid in 1993 but was .01 short of the old American mark. by Gail Devers in Toronto in 1993.
“I knew for me to get the record I had to get out of the blocks,” Hobbs said. “At the beginning of my block it didn’t start very well so I knew I had to go out and finish as usual.”
200-time world champion Noah Lyles, who won Olympic bronze in Tokyo, withdrew from the men’s 60 final with a left hip injury.
Lyleswho won the Boston Indoor Grand Prix two weeks ago with a personal best of 6.51, won his semi-final heat in 6.56 but felt the strain.
“After the semi I went to get dressed and it was really hard to stand up. I started to feel tight in my hips,” Lyles said.
“We tried to do a lot, about 30 minutes of just doing it, trying to do some exercises, but it didn’t work at all.
“I’m not willing to take a chance on a really good season out there that might be on the horizon.”
The meet gave the Americans a great opportunity to prepare for the World Championships in Budapest in August and the Olympics in Paris next year.
“The offseason is going to be enlightening,” Hobbs said. “That’s all I’m going to say, it’s going to be light.
Lyles said he was alert after seeing everything he needed to in his win in Boston.
“After Boston I saw everything I really needed to see in the offseason,” Lyles said. “Getting down to 6.51, that’s actually the height of the group I needed to be a 9.6, 9.7 person.
“As the season goes on, I will get faster and we will do everything as usual, but I can’t do it when I’m injured.”
JT Smith won the men’s 60 in 6.53 with Kendal Williams second in 6.59.
Two-time world champion and two-time Olympian Joe Kovacs won the men’s jump shot with a 21.55m final effort.
“It’s very important,” he said. “I’ve never won one of these.”
Women’s shot put world champion Chase Ealey won her third US indoor title with an effort of 19.87m.
“I have thrown more things than last season at this time,” he said. “It’s a good sign for things to come.”
World and Olympic champion Katie Moon won the women’s pole vault with a clearance of 4.80m.
Two-time world outdoor champion Sam Kendricks won his fourth American crown with a clearance of 5.91m.
Anna Hall, who won the pentathlon on Thursday, won the 400 in a personal best 51.03.
Hall, 21, placed third in the heptathlon at last year’s worlds.
“It’s just indicative of some big things to come,” Hall said.
Justin Robinson won the men’s 400 in 45.40.
Bryce Hoppel, third in the world last year, won his third indoor title in the US 800 in 1:45.92.
Nia Akins won the women’s 800 crown in a personal-best 2:00.16, edging out Allie Wilson by .17 of a second.
Josh Thompson won the men’s 1,500 in 3:42.31 and Nikki Hiltz won the women’s 1,500 in 4:17.10.
Freddie Crittenden edged Robert Dunning for the men’s 60 title after both finished in a personal best of 7.49 seconds while Alaysha Johnson won the women’s 60 in 7.83.
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