I love track and field. I have loved it since I was 14, and Father Ralph Passerelli, S.J., told me to run six miles. I ran about two, walked a half mile, finished another mile and one half, and somehow got the shower at De Smet Jesuit High. I noted that my white Kmart “Blue Light special ‘sneakers were now pink from the blood oozing from my feet.

I thought, was this stigmata! Nope, just blisters.

That is how I fell in love with our sport.

So, 52 years later, I had to cancel my trip to the USATf Indoor in Albuquerque, and I would watch it on TV. But NOOOOO, No NBC, No Peacock for Friday. A paywall on USATF.TV for the national championships. Damn, I forgot that NIKE was giving USATF $23 million or so a year. Why would they want us to watch the event? Why would Nike lay off two percent of its workforce because they are not selling enough running shoes? Why would it not demand that USATF start earning its money and help build the audience in the sport?

On Friday, February 16, 2024, we had a superb indoor track and field day after tremendous meets at NB Indoor GP (February 4) and Millrose Games (February 11).

Grant Holloway continued his nearly ten-year indoor racing streak with no losses and set a WR of 7.27 over the 60m hurdles. Grant had told me, in the lobby of the Lenox, post-NB Indoor, that if he could get a great start, he would go 7.32-7.33. Well, he ran 7.27. Must have been one hell of a start. Then, Grant posted an X (formerly Twitter), asking where he could watch his WR?

Grant HInf 7.27 for 60m hurdles, photo by Kevin Morris, USATF Indoor

Tia Jones equals the WR of the 60m hurdles in 7.67, a week-old record by Devynne Charlton, breaking a WR set sixteen years before by Swedish hurd.le goddess Susana Kallur. Two WRs in one week in hurdles? Think 60m hurdles for women is tricky. In the final, Tia won and ran 7.68, her second-best time EVER.

Tia Jones wins the 60m hurdles! Photo by Kevin Morris, 2024 NB Indoor GP

Grant did not run the final; he had a bye. Trey Cunningham, silver medalist in Eugene 2022 in 110m hurdles, goes 7.39, the second fastest time of the year, with Daniel Roberts at 7.47.

The men’s pole vault has two guys battling at 6 meters. Chris Nilson wins, 6.00 meters, Sam Kendricks, 5.95m.

Chris Nilsen is the king of his domain, at 6 meters in Men’s PV, as shown in a photo by Kevin Morris.

Chase Jackson, two-time World Champ and Olympic champ (her maiden name was Chase Ealey) set WL.

Chase Ealey, The Millrose Games
at The Armory Track
New York, NY
2023-02-11, photo by Kevin Morris

In 3,000m, Elle St. Pierre wins 3,000m, totally dominating the race. In the Men’s 3000m, Yared Nuguse ran 26.10 for the 200m in the last lap, with Olin Hacker challenging Nuguse.

Elle St. Pierre takes the win at 3,000m with a tough last 1k, photo by Kevin Morris, USATF Indoor Champs.

Oh, and Tara Davis Woodhall leaps 7.18 meters, third best performance global all times, #2 in the US only behind Jackie Joyner Kersee.

Tara Davis-Woodhall leaps a massive 7.18-meter long jump, leading the world, photo by Kevin Morris.

But the programming Einsteins at NBC decided, no Peacock, NO NBC, no MSNBC. TV is not rocket ce, but NBC is in a dying business, and they do not have the money to lose an audience. They did this in the 2023 US Champs, and now, this.

Saturday, the two hours were superb. 45 minutes talked about the Friday day of records.

On Saturday, Ryan Crouser threw 22.80m in his first competition of the year.

In the 800ms, Allie Wilson won, in a huge upset, and had all of America crying as she told of losing her sponsor and moving to coaches who got her, the Begleys in Indianapolis. If I were Adidas, I would sign her up again; sometimes, my friends at the Three Stripes need to think out of the box. Addy Wiley was second, a new Adidas pro, leaving Nia Akins, USA champ Indoor, and out to third.

Allie Wilson takes the Women’s 800m, photo by Kevin Morris, 2024 USATF Indoor Champs.

In the men’s, a newly confident Bryce Hoppel wins the 800m with Isaiah Harris in second, just like in 2022.

In the women’s PV, Katie Moon, Olympic champ and world champion twice, is the best women’s vaulter in the world. She won at 4.80m (oh, and NBC put up metric and English measurements because it annoys me). Sandi Morris took a second, and it looks like she is healthy and well.

USATF National Indoor Track & Field Championship
Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States

In the women’s 1,500m, Nikki Hiltz defended their title with a masterful last lap (so cool, so fast), and Emily Mackay was second.

Cole Hocker pulled off a Matthew Centrowitz impersonation in winning the 1,500m, with Hobbs Kessler holding off Henry Wynne by .05 of a second!

Cole Hocker takes the 1,500m title, photo by Kevin Morris, 2024 USATF Indoor Championships

The final two events were why I almost forgave NBC, the 60 meters. Aleia Hobbs, NR holder, won 7.02 from training partner Mikiah Brisco in 7.05.

.In the men’s race, Noah Lyles and Christian Cantwell were there; Noah was the fastest of the year at 6.44, and Christian was the fastest EVER at 6.32. Well, Christian gets out great, Noah gets out okay and starts accelerating, at ten meters, in 7th, 20 meters in 6th, 30 meters in 4th, 40 meters in 3rd, and at 50 meters, in 2nd, then, the fantastic TV moment, Noah Lyles takes the win, in WL 6.43, and Christian in 6.44. Noah tells Christian how he has looked up to Christian, knowing that until he could beat him, he would not be who he could be.

Noah Lyles and Christian Coleman, after the race of the weekend, photo by Kevin Morris, 2024 USATF Indoor Championships

TV moments, great job to Lewis Johnson and the NBC team for the Saturday broadcast; Trey Hardee was excellent on-field events with Paul Swangard. Ato Bolden, Sanya Richards-Ross, and Kara Goucher were superb.

My beef is with NBC management, USATF, and NIKE for putting up with it. Want to get more programming? Just buy some TV ads.

Anyhoos, the 2024 USATF Indoor Champs was among the finest indoor meets I have ever attended. Over the past 40 years, I have been to a few, but what is NBC thinking? Do they want numbers down for the Paris Olympics like they did with the Budapest World Champs, the best I had been to in 15 World Champs?

Shame on you, NBC.