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Athletics - 31. July 2019.

Muhammad breaks 16-year-old women’s 400m hurdles world record

The 2019 Toyota USATF Outdoor Championships closed with a bevy of national title winners and record breakers, highlighted by a new world record and intense battles for top podium position at Drake University.

Fans can watch on demand coverage on NBC Sports Gold, and find full results here.

Rain had just begun when the women’s 400m hurdles lined up for a final that included the reigning Olympic champion, the Rio bronze medalist, the defending champion, the 2015 Worlds bronze medalist, and the world U20 record-holder who led the 2019 world list coming into the meet.


Muhammad breaks 16-year-old women’s 400m hurdles WR

Everyone got out well, but Rio Olympic gold medalist Dalilah Muhammad burst off the first curve in lane four and closed the gap on Shamier Little and Sydney McLaughlin to her outside. She turned on the afterburners at 160 meters and cruised around the final curve, with McLaughlin and Ashley Spencer on her heels. Clearing the final barrier cleanly, it was a run for home for Muhammad against the history books. Sprinting the final 20 meters, Muhammad stopped the clock at a (pending) world record 52.20, taking down a global mark that had stood since 2003 when Russia’s Yuliya Pechonkina ran 52.34. McLaughlin was second in a season best 52.88, Spencer third with a personal record 53.11.

Running her fastest time since 2015, Dezerea Bryant sped to gold in the women’s 200m in 22.47, leading from start to finish as Brittany Brown, the USATF Indoor 300m winner in February, made her first U.S. team with a 22.61 in second. USC’s two-time NCAA champ, Angie Annelus, also grabbed a berth on her first American squad with a third-place 22.71.

Cool, calm and collected as always, Ajee’ Wilson won her third straight USATF Outdoors title, and fourth overall, with a stadium-record and season-best 1:57.72. Wilson pulled the pack through 400m in a quick 57.85 and stretched her lead a bit on the last lap with a 59.87. Hanna Green continued to improve, lowering her PR to 1:58.19 for silver, and Raevyn Rogers was third in 1:58.84. New Jersey high schooler Athing Mu, the surprise winner of the USATF Indoor 600m earlier this year, ran the eighth-fastest time in prep history to take fifth on 2:01.17.

 

Valarie Allman’s first throw landed her the women’s discus title for the second year in a row at 64.34/211-1 to send her to Doha along with Kelsey Card (63.33/207-9) and Iowa’s NCAA winner Laulauga Tausaga, who was third at 62.08/203-8. 

Shelby Houlihan defended her title in the Chocolate Milk Women’s 5,000m, hovering near the middle of the pack through 3,000m, when she steadily moved up into contention. Over the final five laps, the Iowa native bided her time before unleashing her trademark kick off the final curve to sprint to gold in 15:15.50. The U.S. leader coming into the meet, Karissa Schweizer held on for silver in 15:17.03, and Elinor Purrier kicked past Rachel Schneider to secure the bronze in 15:17.46.

 

One of the world’s emerging women’s shot put stars, Chase Ealey staked claim to her first U.S. outdoor title in the first round, establishing a lead she would never relinquish with an 18.46/60-6.75. Last year’s winner, Maggie Ewen, nearly matched that in round two, but Ealey’s 19.56/64-2.25 in that stanza gave her an unassailable lead and she finished with four throws past 19 meters. Reigning Olympic champion Michelle Carter had her best throw in two years, earning silver with a season-best 18.69/61-4 to pass Ewen in round three. Carter won her first international medal in the shot 18 years ago at the IAAF World Youth Championships in Hungary.

Reigning world champion Emma Coburn was content to let others do the work through the first four laps of the women’s 3,000m steeplechase, running behind American record-holder Courtney Frerichs and USATF Indoor mile winner Colleen Quigley, among others. Coburn took over with three to go and pulled ahead over the final 800m to win her sixth straight and eighth overall U.S. title in 9:25.63. Frerichs was clear for silver in 9:26.61, and Quigley got bronze in 9:30.97. NCAA winner Allie Ostrander was fourth and will make the trip to Doha since Coburn has a bye as defending champ.

Needing to beat Kendell Williams by five seconds in the 800m to win her second straight heptathlon title, Erica Bougard did that and more, clocking 2:12.41 to end up with 6,663 points in the heptathlon, her second-highest score ever. Williams shattered her lifetime best with 6,610 to move to No. 5 on the all-time U.S. list, and behind her four women set personal bests, including bronze medalist Chari Hawkins with 6,230. On a torrid pace through the first day, Williams and Bougard didn’t cool off in the long jump, where Williams popped a PR 6.71/22-0.25 and a wind-aided 6.83/22-5 to increase her lead over Bougard to 95. Bougard’s PR 45.80/150-3 in the javelin closed the gap a bit, as Williams managed a season-best 44.31/145-4, and then Bougard clinched it with her superb two-lapper in the final event.

Some early hiccups in the moist conditions from Sandi Morris and Jenn Suhr had Katie Nageotte leading the women’s pole vault with a clean sheet through 4.80/15-9, but Morris grabbed the gold from a passing Nageotte’s hand with a clutch vault at 4.85/15-11. Neither woman could go over at 4.90/16-0.75, and Suhr was third with a 4.70/15-5 best.

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