After Dramatic USATF Nationals, Focus Turns to Worlds

Updated on July 16, 2023

  By Steve Ritchie, SuperWest Sports

Nnow that the dust has settled on Hayward Field following the US Outdoor Track & Field Championships, the focus is on the upcoming World Championships, which will be held August 19-27, 2023 in Budapest.

The US team is set, with the exception of a few athletes who are racing around the world to qualify for Worlds.

If the performances in Hayward in front of a four-day crowd of more than 27,000 last week are any indication, it looks like America’s military will do well in Budapest.


AAmerican women currently lead the world in seven events: Gabby Thomas in the 200 meters, Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone in the 400, Katie Moon in the pole vault, Maggie Ewen in the shot put, Valarie Allman in the discus, Brooke Andersen in the hammer. , and Anna Hall in the heptathlon.

No other country is leading more than two events.

American men lead in three events: Noah Lyles in the 200, Cordell Tinch in the 110 hurdles, and Ryan Crouser in the shot put.

Given the US’s traditional dominance of both sports, it is also possible that the red-white-and-blue team could sweep all four relays if they fail to drop the baton.

Noah Lyles passes Erriyon Knighton at USATF | Logan Hannigan-Downs

Since my reports from Eugene were focused on the Pac-12 and other SuperWest athletes, I want to return to the fun and exciting events of the tournament.

High Performance on the Track

As you can imagine, this could go to several different runners, but my pick is Gabby Thomas running 21.60 in the 200 meters.


Her time was the world record in 2023, as well as a meet record, best and the sixth fastest 200 run by a woman.

Sha’Carri Richardson, who won the 100, looked to be closing in on the double, but Thomas blew her away with .34 seconds left in the final, not to mention leaving the rest of the field behind.

Biggest Disappointment on the Track

Me I couldn’t decide between the two events, so I’m calling it a tie between the men’s 100 and the women’s sprint.

If you had asked me about Cravon Charleston’s chances in the 100 before the meet I would probably have said, “Who? You mean Cravon Gillespie?”

On the field with Trayvon Bromell, Christian Coleman, and Noah Lyles, unassisted—and let’s face it, unrecognizable—Charleston was a fantasy.

He had never even finished in the 100 majors, much less won. But he edged out Coleman by .01 seconds and is our national champion. Good for him!

Cravont Charleston was ready but few thought how ready he was. | | Victor Sailer/Photo Run

Emma Coburn goes for her 11th women’s title, and eighth straight.

With his main rival, Courtney Frerichs, suffering a back injury in the opening round, it looked as if Coburn would be able to get away from Courtney Wayment and his late sprinting power was at his mercy.

And this is what seemed to be happening until the former champion of Arkansas Kriss Gear, who is known for his 1500 years, began to close the gap quickly in the last two laps and passed Coburn in the house.

It was his second race of the season.

Very Fast Response

BYU’s Kenneth Rooks recovered from what looked like a terrible fall and slowly made his way back to the lead pack, which was a surprise.

Kenneth Rooks USATF Championship | Christian Petersen/Getty Images

And when he moved from the end zone, Hayward’s team went wild. On the run, it sounded like Hayward’s old team was yelling for Nick Symmons or Galen Rupp.

Rooks also earns my SuperWest Athlete of the Meet Gold Medal, with ASU’s Turner Washington and UW’s Joe Waskom close behind.

The Greatest Field Battle

Keturah Orji and Tori Franklin have been two of the best women’s triple jumpers in the US for a while now and it’s always a blast when they compete.

Their first jump was exactly the same: 46-11 3/4. I don’t know if I’ve seen it before from these two favorites. But it turned out well.

Tori Franklin jumps to the top of the USATFs platform. | | Victor Sailer/Photo Run

Franklin went 47-4 1/2 on his second attempt, while Orji came close on his fifth jump, 47-2 1/2. In a final attempt to catch Franklin, Orji came close at 47-4 1/4 but fell 1/4 inch short.

Amazingly strong!

We will let you know how the SuperWest athletes do in Hungary at the Worlds in a few weeks.

—Additions from Steve Ritchie—

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