Midland’s Hoppel runs sixth-fastest indoor 800m in world history

Bryce Hoppel ran the fastest time of anyone this year, and the 2nd fastest in US history
Published: Feb. 1, 2021 at 8:13 PM CST
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MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) - One of the biggest track and field stars in the world is from right here in the Permian Basin. Midland’s Bryce Hoppel finished in first place Sunday in the indoor 800 meters at the American Track League meet in Fayeteville, Arkansas.

Not only did he win, but Hoppel’s time of 1:44.37 is the sixth-fastest that anyone in the world has ever run the race.

It was also the best time for any indoor 800m this year.

“Coming across the line you can see the time going down,” Hoppel said. “And I just looked up at the time and I was like ‘Oh! So close to Donavan [Brazier]’s American record’. I knew that one by heart. But I was happy with it, and it was exhilarating to see that up on the board.”

Many consider Hoppel’s event to be the hardest in track and field. The 800m is two laps around an outdoor track or four laps indoors, run at basically a full sprint the whole time.

Naturally, people around the world took notice of Hoppel’s impressive performance, including one of the greatest runners ever: Four-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Johnson.

“When you see guys like that are giving feedback and stuff, it just makes it all the more worthwhile,” Hoppel said. “I couldn’t be more thankful for the support from those people, and Midland. I’ve got great support behind me, and it’s one of the reasons that I do it. It’s awesome.”

Hoppel was preparing to qualify for his first ever Olympics last year, before the international event was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

With the Olympic games rescheduled for this summer and Hoppel running the way he is, don’t be surprised if he eventually brings a medal back to Midland.

“I think with that and building off of it, we’re going to have some special stuff,” Hoppel said. “Just keep my eye on making that US team for the Olympics and I think we have a good shot. I’m excited. Just counting down the days at this point.”

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