Two United States teams took aim at the indoor world record in the 4 x 800-meter relay last week and both succeeded, although only one, of course, will enter the record books. Running in Boston at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix on Feb. 8, the team of Richard Jones, David Torrence, Duane Solomon and Erik Sowinski finished the race in 7:13.11, while the second-place team of Kyle Merber, Brian Gagnon, Robby Andrews and Mike Rutt - which led halfway through the race - finished in 7:13.22. The former mark of 7:13.94 was set by another U.S. quartet in 2000, on the same track. One of the former record-holders, Joel Woody, is now Sowinski's coach.
But that wasn't the day's only record. American Mary Cain broke her own indoor junior 1000-meter record by running 2:35.80, having owned the previous mark of 2:39.25 for only a month.
In other world-record news, Genzebe Dibaba has broken two indoor world marks this month. She opened the month by setting a new 1500-meter record in Karlsruhe on Feb. 1, finishing in 3:55.17 to break Yelena Soboleva's 8-year-old mark of 3:58.28. Running in Sweden's XL Galan meet six days later, Dibaba ran the 3000 meters in 8:16.60. Fellow Ethiopian Meseret Defar set the previous mark of 8:23.72 in 2007. Dibaba's feats overshadowed the effort of Sweden's Abeba Aregawi, who won the 1500 in Stockholm on Feb. 6 in 3:57.91 to move into second on the all-time list.
In the Arnstadt high jump meet in Germany last Saturday, Russians Ivan Ukhov and Aleksey Dmitrik dueled to a virtual draw as both cleared 2.40 meters (7 feet, 10½ inches). Ukhov cleared on his first try and won the meet, while Dmitrik cleared on his second attempt.