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ASU junior sprinter wins track and field indoor national championship in 400 meters

The sprinter, Justin Robinson, claimed the title Saturday beating a record he set the day before with a time of 45.40 seconds at the United States Track and Field Indoor Championships


ASU runner Justin Robinson competing at the Baldy Castillo Track and field meet on Saturday, March 19, 2022, at the Joe Selleh Track at Sun Angel Stadium.

ASU junior sprinter Justin Robinson now holds the school's men's 400-meter indoor record after he ran the event and broke his own record in 45.40 seconds at the United States Track and Field Indoor Championships in New Mexico Saturday.

Robinson used a late surge on the backstretch to put himself into contention with the lead pack before taking the lead with less than 50 meters to go. It was a strategic race for Robinson, who displayed the best acceleration out of any runner in the field.

"Man, just another opportunity and it feels extremely good," Robinson told NBC Sports reporter Lewis Johnson following the race.

In the last 200 meters, nobody closed harder than Robinson – his last 23.98 seconds was nearly a half second faster than the second quickest athlete.

"I just trusted my training, and just went for it," Robinson said.

The national championship title comes in the midst of what was already a record-breaking weekend for Robinson. In the 400 meter preliminary race Friday, Robinson ran 45.48, which broke the school record for the first time in the event over the weekend. It was previously held by Jason Barton, who ran 45.56 in 2004. 

With his new season best of 45.40, Robinson is ranks third in the world for the 400 meter. 

Overall, it is the second school record Robinson has been part of this winter. On Feb. 11, Robinson was on the 4x400 meter relay team that ran 3:03.09 at the Tyson Invitational in Arkansas breaking the 19-year-old ASU program record.

Now he has a USATF indoor championship to his name and one of the fastest times in the world in the event, Robinson will enter as a heavy favorite at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships — which will be held at the same track in Albuquerque later in March. 

"Just know that I got a target on my back now, so I gotta work even harder," Robinson said. 

For Robinson, the indoor championship at the senior national level is a notable marker in what has been a career filled with accolades. Robinson set the under 18 world record in the 400 meters in July 2019 when he ran 44.48. He was also a Pan American U20 world champion in the 400 meter.

Robinson was just one of five Sun Devils in Albuquerque — junior jumper Jeremy Cody, senior sprinter Jalen Drayden and now former Sun Devils Katie Eidem and Magdalyn Ewen also competed. 

With Robinson's win, there are now five Sun Devils who have won an individual USATF indoor national championship. Other wins have been in the 60-yard dash, in shot put, 1500m and 3000m events. The 1977 4x400m ASU relay team won the title. 

The next meet on the schedule for Robinson and the Sun Devils is from March 10 to 11 at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico before the start of the outdoor season.

Edited by Piper Hansen. 

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Logan StanleySenior Reporter

Logan Stanley is a senior reporter at The State Press. He previously served as the managing editor of the school newspaper at Eastern Washington University. He has four years experience as a freelance journalist and is a graduate student in the master of arts of sports journalism program. 

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