Sharon Day-Monroe in the final event of the pentathlon at the 2014 US Indoor Championships (© Kirby Lee)
The US Indoor Championships in Albuquerque got off to a great start on Friday (21) as Sharon Day-Monroe smashed the North American pentathlon record.
The 25-year-old won her third consecutive national indoor title and did so in style, adding 238 points to her best. Her score of 4805 added 52 points to the previous US record that had been shared between Hyleas Fountain and DeDee Nathan.
Day-Monroe started strongly with a lifetime best of 8.44 in the 60m hurdles. She followed it with a 1.88m clearance in the high jump, her best ever within a pentathlon and her best indoor just since 2009.
She then set an outright PB of 15.59m in the shot, some 52cm better than her pre-2014 best. At this stage she was already leading by almost 200 points over Barbara Nwaba, but her momentum continued to the penultimate event.
With her first attempt in the long jump, Day-Monroe flew out to an indoor PB of 6.09m. It meant she would need to run just a shade inside 2:17 in the 800m to clinch the record.
But she ran much faster than that. Her time of 2:13.19 brought her score to 4805, putting Day-Monroe at 12th on the world indoor all-time list.
Day-Monroe was recently confirmed as one of the pentathlon participants for next month’s IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot, gaining an invite based on her best result from 2013, her 6550 heptathlon PB score at the US Championships.
Significantly, her performance today not only puts her at the top of the 2014 world indoor season list, but it is also superior to the PBs of the other seven competitors she'll face at the World Indoors.
The two other medallists also set lifetime bests. Sami Spenner added 93 points to her best with 4496, while Barbara Nwaba took her PB from 4268 to 4406 to finish third.
The pentathlon was the only event on the first day of the US Indoor Championships in which medals were decided, as the bulk of events get underway tomorrow. But the first four events of the men’s heptathlon were held today.
Gray Horn holds the overnight lead with 3436, 60 points up on his best-ever day-one score. He equalled his 6.96 PB in the 60m, came within one centimetre of his long jump PB with 7.69m, recorded 13.36m in the shot and equalled his high jump best with 2.07m.
Horn leads by 258 points from Jeff Mohl (3178), while Ryan Harlan, winner of this title in 2005 and 2006, is currently in third with 3090.
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF