When team scoring is close late in the NCAA the 200—third from the end—can be a crucial event. This year was no exception.
All eyes were on the middle of the track, as Gabby Thomas, the Harvard junior who had won the event indoors, settled in the blocks in lane 4, one corridor inside Lynna Irby, the precocious Georgia frosh who less than an hour earlier had won the 400 in a brilliant 49.80. Georgia was close to clinching the team championship it had lost a year ago by a single point.
Inside Thomas was San Diego State’s Ashley Henderson, whose 11.5 gave her a 10th on the field at the halfway point. Thomas, meanwhile, accelerated through the turn and built a small advantage on Irby, but out in lane 7, little-known Angie Annelus, a USC soph, was flying. She kept going right through the tape to nail down the biggest upset of the meet. Combined with the 7th-place finish of teammate Deanna Hill, the Trojans gained an unexpected 12 team points—and outscored Georgia by 6—to keep them alive in the fight for the 1st-place trophy.
Despite a 2.3 headwind, equaling the strongest in meet history, Annelus produced the second-fastest time of her life, 22.76, to beat the favored Thomas by a 10th. Irby followed, another 0.06 behind.
“It was difficult with the rain,” said Annelus, “but when you have a goal in mind, you just have to let go of everything going on around you. My coach has been preparing me all week saying that I could do it if I just got my block start together and got out… So I just had to keep that mentality and execute. We’ve been practicing in these conditions, so I’ve been ready. My coach prepared us, saying it was going to rain in Oregon so we practiced through it every day.”
This was the 21-year-old Annelus’s first year as a Trojan. A native of Grandview, Missouri, she ran one undistinguished season for UCLA and then redshirted a year before transferring crosstown. She ran the 200 at the Pac-12, finishing 3rd.
NCAA WOMEN’S 200 RESULTS
FINAL (June 09; wind –2.3)
1. **Angie Annelus (USC) 22.76 (11.6/11.2);
2. *Gabby Thomas (Harv) 22.86 (11.6/11.3);
3. ***Lynna Irby (Ga) 22.92 (11.6/11.3);
4. ***Ka’Tia Seymour (FlSt) 23.10 (11.7/11.4);
5. *Kortnei Johnson (LSU) 23.20 (11.7/11.5);
6. *Ashley Henderson (SDi) 23.34 (11.5/11.8);
7. Deanna Hill (USC) 23.53 (11.9/11.6);
8. Shania Collins (Tn) 24.01 (11.6/12.4).
SEMIS (June 07)
I(2.2)–1. Thomas 22.36w; 2. Annelus 22.52w;
3. Mikiah Brisco (LSU) 22.81w; 4. ***Lauren Rain Williams (Or) 22.84w; 5. *Ariana Washington (Or) 22.88w; 6. Brittany Brown (Ia) 22.89w; 7. *Jasmine Camacho-Quinn’ (Ky) 23.44w; 8. **Hannah Jackson (Rice) 23.53w.
II(1.0)–1. Collins 22.67; 2. Johnson 22.71;
3. ***Edidiong Odiong’ (MTn) 22.81; 4. ***Twanisha Terry (USC) 22.82; 5. ***Jasmin Reed (Or) 23.03; 6. **Brianne Bethel’ (Hous) 23.05; 7. *Kianna Gray (Ky) 23.48; 8. *Maia McCoy (Tn) 23.83.
III(-0.3)–1. Irby 22.37; 2. Henderson 22.49 PR; 3. Seymour 22.74 PR; 4. Hill 22.78;
5. *Taylor Bennett (Bay) 23.11; 6. *Latessa Johnson (SMU) 23.14; 7. ***Tamara Clark (Al) 23.28; 8. Kayelle Clarke’ (Ky) 23.56. □