Olympic champion Sydney McLaughlin broke her own world record in the 400-meter hurdles at the US Outdoor Athletics Championships on Saturday.
McLaughlin smiled broadly when her time was announced, then gave her a thumbs up. She crossed the finish line at Hayward Field in 51.41 seconds, breaking her own record of 51.46 set at last year’s Tokyo Games, where she won the gold medal.
“I mean, it’s Track Town USA, what do you expect? said the former University of Kentucky star afterwards. “Every time I come here I just feel that something amazing is going to happen.”
When asked how she was going to celebrate after that, McLaughlin joked, “Eating some real food besides veggies. Like a cheeseburger or something, some pancakes.”
The top three finishers in each event at the national championships will represent the United States in the outdoor world championships, also next month at Eugene’s Hayward Field. It marks the first time that the largest athletic event outside the Olympics will be held on American soil.
Dalilah Muhammad dropped out of the race due to a minor injury, but she has already qualified for the world championships as the defending champion in the event. McLaughlin will also be joined on the US team by runner-up Britton Wilson and third-placed Shamier Little.
World record holder Keni Harrison, another former Kentucky star, won the women’s 100 hurdles in 12:34.
Harrison, the Olympic silver medalist, won her fifth U.S. title in a row in the event, and it was a world-leading time for this season. She will face another British alumna, Olympic gold medalist Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, at the world championships.
Allyson Felix, the most decorated woman in track history, finished sixth in the 400 meters, in what was her last national championship race.
Felix, who announced in April that this will be her last season, is enjoying the final days of her illustrious career – including 11 Olympic medals. She plans to race her last official race in her native Los Angeles in August. Despite her finish, Felix is expected to make the mixed relay team at world championships.
Florida NCAA champion Talitha Diggs won the 400 in 50.22 seconds.
“It was a great field. So I just wanted to make sure I was keeping my form, engaging my core and just pushing,” Diggs said.
When asked if she was disappointed with the finish, Felix laughed.
“Honestly No. You know the 400 is hard for me. It’s not my natural passion, it’s always been something I’ve challenged myself with,” she said.
Michael Norman ran the men’s 400 in a world leading 43.56. He finished first in the Olympic trials last year and fifth in Tokyo.
Temperatures at Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus rose into the low ’90s. The events for Sunday, the last day of the meet, were postponed earlier in the day due to the heat.
Sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson reached the 200 last Sunday by finishing second in her heat.
Richardson, known for her ever-changing hair color and long nails, failed to qualify for the 100 finals, even though she was among the favorites after winning the event at last year’s Olympic trials. Richardson failed to make the US team for Tokyo after testing positive for marijuana after the race.
Richardson’s heat featured several late scratches, but she finished in 22.69 seconds. Kentucky’s Abby Steiner, who set a collegiate record in the 200 meters at the NCAA Athletics Championships, had the best time in the heats at 10:14 p.m.
US record holder Kara Winger won the javelin throw with a 210 foot, 10 inch throw, her ninth national title in the event.
Sinclaire Johnson, the 2019 NCAA champion, won the 1,500 in 4:03.29. Keturah Orji set a measuring record in the triple jump at 48-6 1/4.
In the men’s, Cooper Teare finished first in the 1,500 3:45.86. Teare is also entered in the 5,000 on Sunday, the last day of the meet. Olympic silver medalist Chris Nilsen won the pole vault. Hillary Bor won the steeplechase by such a wide margin that he pointed to the stands to celebrate along the stretch. Daniel Haugh won the title in the hammer.
Jordan Anthony, a new freshman for the British football and athletics programs, won the Under-20 200-meter title in 20.34 to qualify for the U20 World Championships in Cali, Colombia, in August. Upcoming sophomore transfer Brandon Miller was second in 20.47 and also insured in sports on the U20 worlds.
Kentucky’s Dwight St. Hillaire won the 400m in 45.46 on Saturday at the Trinidad and Tobago National Championships, setting a Commonwealth record and qualifying for the World Championships.