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Stadium Shines During Golden Games

Female hurdler at Golden Games

May 17, 2021 - 08:17 AM

Hilmer Lodge Stadium shined brightly on national television as the host of the 2021 USA Track & Field Golden Games on May 9.

The combination of the beautiful new state-of-the-art stadium, favorable weather conditions, fast track surface and incredible field of athletes, added another significant chapter in the storied history of the stadium.  The spectatorless competition (LA County CoVID-19 regulations) produced 15 stadium records, 4 world leading marks and numerous personal bests.  Along with these incredible statistics, the USATF Golden Games at Mt. SAC also produced top 5 world marks (2021) in 20 of the 24 events contested.

Due to football superstar/wide receiver DK Metcalf of the Seattle Seahawks entering the competition, the men's 100 meters was one of the most anticipated events of the day.  Metcalf ran an impressive 10.37 seconds to finish 15th overall (two preliminary heats combined).  In a bit of Mt. SAC irony, Metcalf's preliminary heat was won by former Mountie Cravon Gillespie at 10.11   Gillespie later ran 9.96 (w +1.9 m/s), in the final, to take the win over an impressive field that included former Mountie teammate Kyrie King, who took 5th at 10.04.  King ran a legal 9.97 (w +1.9 m/s) a month earlier, which places the two former Mounties in the #5 and #6 positions on the 2021 men's 100 meters world marks list.

Former Mounties Anthony Applequist and Jordin Andradre also competed in the elite competition.  Applequist took 7th in the men's triple jump with a mark of 53'05" (16.28, w 0.7 m/s) and Andrade took 9th in the men's 400 hurdles with a seasons best time of 51.17.  Former Mountie and current Women's Head Cross Country/Track & Field Coach Giovanni Lanaro was on hand to help direct the competition and also witness his stadium record finally eclipsed, after 14 years, by 3-time NCAA D1 Champion Chris Nilsen (USA).  Nilsen jumped 19'04"1/2, the number one mark in the world this year, to claim the stadium record from the 2-time Mexican Olympian and record holder.

Allyson Felix, the most decorated female track & field Olympian in history (six gold, three silver medals), nearly celebrated Mother's Day with another Mt. SAC win in the women's 200 meters.  Felix, whose career at Mt. SAC has spanned over 20 years, took second with a time of 22.26.  Her first Mt. SAC win came in 2002, running for L.A. Baptist, in the high school girls 200 meters.  Felix's latest win at Mt. SAC, 19 years later, came at the Inspiration Games 150 meters, held in July of 2020.  

Through the years, Hilmer Lodge Stadium has hosted many of the greatest track & field athletes in the history.  The USATF Golden Games at Mt. SAC witnessed many incredible performances including 15 new stadium records.


Photos by Kirby Lee - Image of Sport