One-Lap Wonders: Here are Your 400 Meter Runners for Team USA-NEWS SNEAKERS

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Often called the lengthy dash, the 400 race is “an acid take a look at of dash endurance,” based on World Athletics. You need to be tremendous quick for a full lap across the observe. This yr, the 2 high American girls—Quanera Hayes and Allyson Felix—received’t be competing within the occasion, giving rise to a few newcomers: Talitha Diggs, Kendall Ellis, and Lynna Irby. Be taught extra about them under.

Talitha Diggs

(Photograph: Getty Pictures)

Though she’s solely 19 and a newcomer to the worldwide observe circuit, 400- specialist Talitha Diggs has been a standout performer for years and comes from a legacy of American observe and discipline royalty. 

She’s the daughter of four-time U.S. Olympian Joetta Clark Diggs and niece of three-time Olympian Hazel Clark who received a mixed 18 U.S. titles within the 800-meter run and made the finals of quite a few international championships. However Diggs, who has already began to make a reputation for herself as a speedy teenager within the 400, may take the household identify to new heights as quickly as this summer season.

Diggs simply accomplished an enormously profitable sophomore yr on the College of Florida by not solely profitable the NCAA titles within the 400m indoor (50.98) and outside (49.99)—and serving to the Gators win the indoor and outside crew titles—but in addition taking dwelling her first U.S. title (50.22) on June 25 at Hayward Discipline.

She needed to come from behind to win the U.S. championship race over a stacked discipline of execs. Her explosive pace, that has introduced her success in shorter dash races earlier in her profession, ought to put her into medal competition if she advances to the July 22 finals. 

“You hardly ever discover any individual who is ready to dig that deep within the ultimate 20 meters of the race and reclaim the lead,” says NBC Sports activities broadcaster and 2012 Olympic 400m champion Sanya Richards-Ross. “That was spectacular. That was deadly. Such poise for her.”

The youngest American to ever break 50 seconds, Diggs is ranked No. 4 on the planet as of July 5, trailing Dominican Republic’s Marileidy Paulino (49.49), final yr’s Olympic silver medalist; Jamaica’s Charokee Younger (49.87), the NCAA runner-up from Texas A&M; and the Bahamas’ Shaunae Miller-Uibo (49.91), the 2016 and 2020 Olympic champion. 

Diggs has crushed Younger a number of occasions throughout the collegiate season and appears to have appreciable upside—not the least of which is her lengthy expertise within the sport and her household’s deep observe and discipline background. 

“My household, they’ve been integral to my success,” Diggs says. “For me to see my mother and my aunt to win so many titles and for me to get my very own, it’s only a blessing.”

Age: 19
400m PR: 49.99 (NCAA Outside Championships 2022)

Brian Metzler

Kendall Ellis

kendall-ellis-400m
(Photograph: Getty Pictures)

Kendall Ellis was this yr’s runner-up on the U.S. Championships within the 400m. She ran 50.35 to make it occur. This might be her third World Championships look and she or he’s decided to make it her finest one but. “I’m achieved and have an intensive resumé however I’m not glad,” she says. “I’ve made groups persistently however haven’t introduced dwelling particular person {hardware} but and that’s what I wish to do.” 

All people is aware of her for a well-known race. USC would wish to win the ladies’s 4×4 to win the crew title on the NCAA Championships in 2018. Second place wouldn’t be sufficient. They fumbled the baton handing it to Ellis on the anchor leg. She was in fifth and doubtless 30 meters again of the chief. All of it appeared to occur within the ultimate 100 meters: All people else slowed down and Ellis powered ahead. She handed Purdue’s anchor leg within the ultimate meter of the race and fell throughout the road. She received. Her relay crew received. Her complete observe crew received. Hayward Discipline went nuts. It was on SportsCenter the subsequent day—a kind of excellent sports activities moments that catapults observe into the mainstream for only a second. 

Ellis can be recognized for being the 400 leg of a World Report DMR crew this April.

For now, she lives in Los Angeles and nonetheless trains along with her coach from USC. She’s run professionally for New Steadiness for 4 years now. “Observe was simply primarily based on outcomes and accomplishments for me. As a result of that’s how shoe firms take a look at you. That’s how everyone appears at you within the sport,” she says. “Now it’s about being the very best I might be, and having fun with it, getting all the pieces out of the game earlier than my time in it ends.”

Getting all the pieces out of the game this yr appears like a medal on the world stage. “I wish to be on the rostrum,” she says, trying ahead to Eugene in a number of weeks.   

Age: 26
400m PR: 49.99 (2018)

Greatest A part of Coaching: “Attending to be round my coaching companions. We now have a whole lot of conversations.”

Worst A part of Coaching: “The ache of a exercise. I don’t like operating over 350 meters.”

Greatest Recommendation Obtained: “Be current.”

Pre-Race Superstitions: “I don’t have any.”

Go-To Summer season Jam: “Break My Soul” by Beyoncé

Matt Wisner

Lynna Irby

lynna-irby

Lynna Irby enters the World Athletics Championships in Eugene ranked No. 16 within the 400 meters (50.67), however she has a great likelihood to earn one of many eight spots within the July 22 finals. Though she’s nonetheless attempting to rekindle the pace that led to her private finest 49.80 clocking and a No. 5 world rating in 2018 on the age of 19, she ran a robust race on the U.S. championships on June 26 to nab third place and earn a spot on Crew USA.

Rising up in Indianapolis, Irby was a teenage prodigy who set an all-time world document on the age of 12 operating 54.57 earlier than turning into the quickest American 400 highschool runner within the final 20 years with a 51.39 effort. She earned 16 nationwide titles from Junior Olympic and Youth Nationwide Championship meets after which introduced dwelling silver medals at junior world championships in 2015 and 2016. She ran collegiately for the College of Georgia however solely had one stable season with the Bulldogs in 2018. Nonetheless, if she continues the progress she’s made this season, the rejuvenated Irby must be among the many high American 400 for years to return.

Age: 23
400m PR: 49.80

Brian Metzler

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