Jacksonville ATL — Erriyon Knighton Breaks A Bolt Record

Erriyon Knighton (here shown setting an AYR 20.30 in Walnut), lowered Usain Bolt’s WYR from 20.13 to 20.11. (JEFF COHEN)

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA, May 31 — For most, the rust-busting races are behind them. Memorial Day’s American Track League Duval County Challenge proved to reveal the contenders from the on-the-fence athletes as the Olympic Trials draw ever closer.

Sprint phenom Erriyon Knighton forged a come-from-behind 200 win over Trayvon Bromell, 20.11–20.20. For the winner, still only 17, the mark was a new World Youth Record, snipping 0.02 off the mark set by no less than Usain Bolt in ’03. For Knighton, who turned pro early, it was his third American Youth Record of the year, having previously run 20.31 in Clermont and 20.30 in Walnut. For the comebacking Bromell it was his fastest half-lapper since ’15.

Knighton sped off to seek water after his win. Still winded after being tracked down, he said that he was happy with his race, explaining, “I felt like I brought my A-game today and that is why I won. In the past few meets, I’ve learned not to be scared and do what I have to do. I’m starting to get the hang of all the traveling and competition. I plan on going under 20.” He’ll return to Tampa to train before going to the OT.

Dalilah Muhammad’s yearly hurdle debut went as expected. A month removed from a minor tear in her left hamstring, she moved well through first 200 well, but began to taper off the final 200, finishing in 55.01 to win the B-section. “It’s good to open up,” she said. “That’s my first 400H in the last two years. I’m just getting back into the rhythm of working out. It’s definitely a bit close to USAs, but I think we can do it.”

She’ll stay in Florida and train in Miami the next week, then compete in a meet in Miramar on June 05. She’ll be working on her race fitness which she felt left a lot of room for improvement, admitting, “The steps were there, but I thought my hurdling was a little shaky. I definitely felt like I was popping over the hurdles. I think the muscle memory will come back. I’m not worried about the hurdling, but just getting my full speed back.”

Shamier Little led off ESPN’s live coverage in the A-section speeding through a 53.13, improving on her yearly world lead of 53.65. Muhammad was quick to chime in, “Good race Shamier,” as Little made her way to the interview area.

Said Little, “I’m feeling really good about that time. I’m chipping away and getting closer to that PR [52.75]. I was really trying to keep my composure and maintain my focus. I feel the rust is off and getting more into my grove.”

Little said she is in the best shape of her life, which should put her rivals on alert. She added she is more mature and paying more attention to diet and mental focus.

Gabby Thomas pulled off a splendid double catching Brianna Williams and hitting a windy 10.94 in the heats and coming back to place 3rd in the 400 (51.15).

“I was really happy with my 100,” she said, “but as soon as that ended I had to turn on a switch and get ready for the 400. I was pretty nervous and also really excited to run against Allyson [Felix] and the really tough competition. It was a learning experience and I took a lot from it.”

Thomas cited her fitness as the reason for doing the double. That and earning consideration for a relay squad.

Thomas said her training has improved under Tonja Bailey and the warmer conditions of Round Rock, Texas, are better than when she trained at Harvard. She used to fear the 100, but has been working on her start which has given her more confidence.

She still is focused on the 200, but thought there might be another 400 in her season. She said a final decision on her schedule for the OT will come soon.

Felix’s 50.66 win in the 400 did not meet her expectations, even though it was her fastest since the summer of ’17: “It was a sloppy race on my part. Trying to navigate the wind took myself out of it a little bit. I just have to get sharper on my execution.”

Entering the race, she had a heavy training week and she’ll be looking forward to some tapering. The 35-year-old Californian has been happy with her strength, but in the next few weeks will be working on her speed and fine tuning.

Ronnie Baker looked great in both his 100 heat (9.91w) and final (9.99). “I felt pretty relaxed. I don’t know what I need to work on. I’ll have to ask my coach,” he said. “I felt I executed pretty well, but there are always small tweaks I can make and places I can improve. I want to be the best I can be and let God do the rest. He’s guided me all through this year. I’ve only run three times this year, but I am feeling relaxed and let him take the rings.”

Baker said the first 30 is where he needs the most improvement. He feels the last phase of the race he has mastered over the last four years. It’s the transition between the first 30 and the final phases of the race where he’ll make the most ground up.

Grant Holloway’s 13.15 heat looked best, but he lowered his own facility record in the final to 13.10. An anticipated match up with Omar McLeod did not materialize as the reigning Olympic champ opted out after winning his heat in 13.16.

Holloway has kept racing in the U.S. purposely, keeping his sights set on training and not traveling as much. “Each and every week, I’m finding ways to get better,” he said. “I just want to keep coming out here and proving people wrong.”


DUVAL COUNTY CHALLENGE MEN’S RESULTS

(American Track League)

100(1.3): 1. Ronnie Baker (US) 9.99; 2. Yohan Blake (Jam) 10.09; 3. Marvin Bracy (US) 10.11; 4. Christopher Belcher (US) 10.11; 5. Devin Quinn (US) 10.19; 6. Chris Royster (US) 10.20; 7. Andrew Hudson (US) 10.29;… dnc—Andre De Grasse (Can).

Heats: I(3.1)–1. Baker 9.91w; 2. Bracy 10.01w; 3. Royster 10.06w; 4. Belcher 10.08w; 5. Quinn 10.14w; 6. Bryce Robinson (US) 10.19w; 7. Bismark Boateng (Can) 10.23w; 8. Rodney Rowe (US) 10.27w.

II(3.6)–1. De Grasse 9.92w; 2. Blake 10.05w; 3. Hudson 10.12w; 4. Abdul Hakim Sani Brown (Jpn) 10.25w; 5. Jason Rogers (StK) 10.28w; 6. Cordero Gray (US) 10.33w.

200: I(1.6)–1. Erriyon Knighton (US) 20.11 WYR, AYR (old WYR 20.13 Usain Bolt [Jam] ’03; old AYR 20.30 Knighton ’21) (6, 8 WJ; 3, 3 AJ);

2. Trayvon Bromell (US) 20.20 (fastest since ’15); 3. Zharnel Hughes (GB) 20.30; 4. Brandon Carnes (US) 20.61; 5. Adam Gemili (GB) 20.69; 6. Brendon Rodney (Can) 20.78.

II(0.6)–1. Hudson 20.38.

400: I–1. Michael Cherry (US) 44.74; 2. Justin Robinson (US) 45.00; 3. Deon Lendore (Tri) 45.16; 4. Christopher Taylor (Jam) 45.75; 5. Wil London (US) 46.04; 6. Nathan Strother (US) 46.14.

II–1. Javon Francis (Jam) 45.84; 2. Quintaveon Poole (US) 45.87; 3. Myles Pringle (US) 46.11.

110H(1.1): 1. Grant Holloway (US) 13.10; 2. Devon Allen (US) 13.22; 3. Daniel Roberts (US) 13.23; 4. Michael Dickson (US) 13.31 PR; 5. Orlando Bennett (Jam) 13.47; 6. Ruebin Walters (Tri) 13.50; 7. Isaiah Moore (US) 13.56;… dnc— Aaron Mallett (US), Omar McLeod (Jam).

II(0.3)–1. Valdó Szűcs (Hun) 13.54; 2. Wellington Zaza (Lbr) 13.65; 3. Andrew Riley (Jam) 13.69; 4. Nick Anderson (US) 13.80.

Heats: I(1.3)–1. Holloway 13.15; 2. Roberts 13.41; 3. Walters 13.53; 4. Bennett 13.56; 5. Moore 13.59; 6. Zaza 13.69; 6. Riley 13.69.

II(1.9)–1. McLeod 13.16; 2. Allen 13.23; 3. Dickson 13.41 PR; 4. Mallett 13.46; 5. Valdó Szűcs (Hun) 13.61; 6. Nick Anderson (US) 13.87.

400H: I–1. Quincy Hall (US) 49.04; 2. Amere Lattin (US) 49.34; 3. Andre Clarke (Jam) 49.48; 4. CJ Allen (US) 49.75; 5. Aldrich Bailey (US) 50.39 PR; 6. TJ Holmes (US) 51.22.

II–1. Eric Cray (Phi) 50.40; 2. Rilwan Alowonle (Ngr) 50.98.

Field Event

SP: 1. Payton Otterdahl (US) 70-¼ (21.34) (67-8¼, 68-¼, f, 68-1¾, 70-¼, 69-2½) (20.63, 20.73, f, 20.77, 21.34, 21.09); 2. Josh Awotunde (US) 69-2 (21.08); 3. Nick Ponzio (US) 68-7¾ (20.92); 4. O’Dayne Richards (Jam) 64-7¾ (19.70).

DUVAL COUNTY WOMEN’S RESULTS

100: I(1.0)–1. Briana Williams (Jam) 10.98 PR (x, =5 WJ); 2. Mikiah Brisco (US) 11.09; 3. Dezerea Bryant (US) 11.14; 4. Kayla White (US) 11.18; 5. Tianna Bartoletta (US) 11.19; 6. Daryll Neita (GB) 11.21; 7. Tynia Gaither (Bah) 11.39; 8. English Gardner (US) 11.41;… dnc— Gabby Thomas (US).

II(1.4)–1. Barbara Pierre (US) 11.42.

Heats: I(2.5)–1. Thomas 10.94w; 2. Williams 10.97w (a-c: x, =8 WJ); 3. Gardner 11.10w; 4. Brisco 11.11w; 5. White 11.15w; 6. Gaither 11.29w; 7. Shannon Ray (US) 11.32w; 8. Christania Williams (Jam) 11.38w; 9. Ashley Henderson (US) 11.52w.

II(2.0)–1. Bryant 11.20; 2. Neita 11.23; 3. Bartoletta 11.27; 4. Brittany Brown (US) 11.31; 5. Veronica Campbell-Brown (Jam) 11.33; 6. Morolake Akinosun (US) 11.39; 7. Kristina Knott (Phi) 11.50; 8. Shania Collins (US) 11.57.

200(1.0): 1. Brown 22.43; 2. Bryant 22.47; 3. Kyra Jefferson (US) 22.63; 4. Jodie Williams (GB) 22.88; 5. Gaither 22.93; 6. Akinosun 23.11.

II(0.4)–1. Candace Hill (US) 22.80; 2. Collins 23.20; 3. Henderson 23.39.

400: I–1. Allyson Felix (US) 50.66; 2. Wadeline Jonathas (US) 51.00; 3. Thomas 51.15 PR; 4. Maggie Barrie (SL) 51.64; 5. Natasha Hastings (US) 51.66; 6. Jessica Beard (US) 51.82; 7. Williams 52.01.

II–1. NaAsha Robinson (US) 52.15; 2. Jordan Lavender (US) 52.39; 3. Kendall Baisden (US) 52.59; 4. Courtney Okolo (US) 52.94;… dnf—Shakima Wimbley (US).

100H: I(0.7)–1. Brittany Anderson (Jam) 12.59; 2. Christina Clemons (US) 12.64; 3. Danielle Williams (Jam) 12.65; 4. Cindy Sember (GB) 12.76; 5. Gabby Cunningham (US) 12.77; 6. Tiffany Porter (GB) 12.79; 7. Payton Chadwick (US) 12.80; 8. Queen Claye (US) 13.05;… fs—Jasmine Camacho-Quinn (PR).

II(0.6)–1. Jasmine Camacho-Quinn (PR) 12.80; 2. Isabelle Pedersen (Nor) 13.03; 3. Evonne Britton (US) 13.07; 4. Dawn Harper-Nelson (US) 13.15.

Heats: I(1.2)–1. Camacho-Quinn 12.50; 2. Anderson 12.58 PR; 3. Cunningham 12.76 PR; 4. Porter 12.85; 5. Chadwick 12.94; 6. Claye 12.96; 7. Isabelle Pedersen (Nor) 13.06.

II(1.0)–1. Clemons 12.59; 2. Williams 12.66; 3. Sember 12.75; 4. Britton 13.09; 5. Amber Hughes (US) 13.11.

400H: I–1. Shamier Little (US) 53.12 (WL, AL);

2. Rhonda Whyte (Jam) 54.33; 3. Shiann Salmon (Jam) 54.97 PR; 4. Sage Watson (Can) 55.47; 5. Nnenya Hailey (US) 55.73; 6. Gianna Woodruff (Pan) 56.68; 7. Leah Nugent (Jam) 58.22.

II–1. Dalilah Muhammad (US) 55.01 (first 400H since ’19 WC)5; 2. Cassandra Tate (US) 56.34; 3. Deonca Bookman (US) 56.38 PR; 4. Yanique Haye-Smith (TKS) 56.77; 5. Sparkle McKnight (Tri) 56.82; 6. Grace Claxton (PR) 57.73; 7. Gabby Scott (PR) 57.76; 8. Kaila Barber (US) 58.41; 9. Tia Adana Belle (Bar) 58.43.

Field Event

PV: 1. Marissa Kalsey (US) 14-5¼ (4.40) PR; 2. Chloe Cunliffe (US) 14-1¼ (4.30); 3. Jill Marois (US) 13-9¼ (4.20); 4. Natalie Uy (Phi) 13-9¼ (4.20);… nh—Kristen Brown (US). ◻︎

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