One of the most accomplished sprinters in track history gave the upcoming USA Track & Field Championships a burst of star power Monday when Allyson Felix entered the 400 meters for the June 25-29 competition at Sacramento State.
Felix, the IAAF World Athlete of the Year in 2012, is returning to form this season after a torn right hamstring knocked her out of last year’s World Championships in Moscow. Since sprinting onto the international scene as a teenager in 2004, the Southern California native has won four Olympic gold medals and a record eight gold medals at the World Championships.
Felix is the fourth-fastest performer (21.69 seconds) in history in the 200 meters, the event in which she won an Olympic gold medal in 2012 and world titles in 2005, 2007 and 2009. Her first national senior title came at the 2004 Olympic Trials in Sacramento, where she won the 200 in 22.38.
Her forays at 400 meters have been less frequent, but she did win a silver medal in the one-lap distance at the 2011 World Championships and has clocked relay legs in the 48-second range as a mainstay on U.S. 4 x 400 relay teams. Her personal best in the open 400 is 49.59, set in 2011.
Felix joins a 400 field in Sacramento that includes Olympic champion Sanya Richards-Ross. Based on 2013 results, however, neither Felix nor Richards-Ross will be the favorite. Francena McCorory, a teammate of theirs on the 4 x 400 relay team that won Olympic gold in London, has the fastest U.S. time of the season at 50.15 and has won several big international races.
Joining Felix as a final-hour entry in the USATF Championships is intermediate hurdler Michael Tinsley. Tinsley finished second at the 2012 Olympics and the 2013 World Championships.
More than a dozen of the individual champions from last weekend’s NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Eugene have entered the USATF Championships, which begins June 25 with the Capitol Shot events at the state Capitol and continues through Sunday, June 29, at Hornet Stadium.
Collegiate champions who have filed their entries for Sacramento include Florida’s Dedric Dukes (200 meters), Oregon’s Mac Fleet (1,500), Oregon’s Devon Allen (110 high hurdles), Nebraska’s Miles Ukaoma (400 hurdles), Arizona State’s Bryan McBride (high jump), Mississippi’s Sam Kendricks (pole vault), Ryan Crouser of Texas (shot put), Alabama’s Hayden Reed (discus), Oregon’s Sam Crouser (javelin), Kamaria Brown of Texas A&M (women’s 200), Marielle Hall of Texas (400), Oregon’s Laura Roesler (800), Boise State’s Emma Bates (10,000), and Iowa State’s Christina Hillman (shot put).
Tickets are available at www.sacsports.com.