Day: October 6, 2017
Team USA is back in the hurt business. The 400 meter dash is arguably the toughest event in athletics. Every athlete will tell you that running this event has a different type of pain to train for and to compete in. There is no question that the world has caught up talent and development wise in this event. South Africa has the face of the event & sport in Wayde Van Niekerk, Botswana has two Sub 44 sprinters on any given day in Thebe Baboloki and Isaac Makwala, and the reigning world champions Trinidad & Tobago has a team of young talent. Below we list the new wave of talent in the U.S. that will headline the 400 meter dash for years to come.
7. Marcus Chambers(USA)- Marcus Chambers ran the his personal best of 44.92 during the prelims of the 2017 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Chambers, finished his collegiate career at the University of Oregon this past spring, and we look forward to see how he can progress in 2018.
6. Vernon Norwood (New Balance)- In his young career he has 2 gold world championships medals to his credit. Norwood, teamed with his USA teammates to win gold in the 4×400 relay races at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing ,China and 2016 World Indoor Championships in Portland, USA. He also won the USATF 400 meter title in 2016. He has a personal best of 44.44, and has the upside to break 44 seconds in the future.
5. Michael Norman Jr. (USC)- At 19 years old, he has the most upside of anyone on this list. During the 2017 season Norman put together times of 44.60, 44.80, and 44.88. He continued to get better as the season went on, during a one month span he set 3 separate personal bests for himself in the 400 meter dash. His fastest time came during the semi-finals of the USATF National Championships where he ran 44.60. The NCAA will have a deep field in the 400 meter dash in 2018, Michael Norman Jr. will be at the top of the list. The 2018 season could be the season where everyone knows his name.
4. My’lik Kerley (Texas A&M)- He had a personal best of 44.85 last season at the 2017 USATF Outdoor National Championships. He has been apart of 2 National Championship 4×400 relay teams at Texas A&M University (One indoor, One outdoor), and the 2018 season could be just as impressive as the 2017 season was. The transfer from Stephen F. Austin will be the leader in the clubhouse for the Aggies in 2018, and big performances are on the horizon.
3. Wil London III (Baylor)- His 44.47 personal best opened eyes for many fans in the world of athletics. With that personal best performance he made the USA team for the 2017 World championships in London, England where he teamed with his teammates to take home the silver medal in the 4×400 relay. He returns to Baylor University as a favorite by some to win the outdoor National title in the event.
2. Michael Cherry (Nike)- Michael Cherry’s consistency was great in 2017, and that will set him apart for years to come in the sport. He ran his personal best 44.66 at the 2017 USATF National Championships in Sacramento, California. He had a stat line of 44.66,44.73, 44.77 (twice), and 44.92 in the 400 meter dash for 2017. We know that the sub 44 time is coming, and Cherry could be the next superstar in this event for the USA.
1. Fred Kerley (Nike)- The journey that Fred Kerley has taken to stardom has been great for young athletes to follow, and the journey may have just begun. The Juco transfer from South Plains College in Levelland, Texas became a superstar at Texas A&M University. In 2017, He won the NCAA 400 meter dash title during the Indoor & Outdoor seasons. Although these feats were great in itself the times he put up is what made him the face of the event in the United States. Kerley’s top 5 performances consisted of 43.70,44.03, 44.09, 44.10, and 44.11. His 43.70 was #2 behind World champion Wayde Van Niekerk. With him not having to run the rigorous collegiate schedule in 2018, we feel this will only help him put together even better performances next season. Be on the lookout for the new face of the USA 400 meters.