NCAA Women’s 400H — Wilson’s Breakthrough Year

Britton Wilson has cut more than 3.5 seconds off her PR so far in 2022. (KIRBY LEE/IMAGE OF SPORT)

A PAIR OF TRANSFERS dominated the action. Arkansas soph Britton Wilson — formerly of Tennessee — came in as one of the year’s hottest collegiate names, owning world-class 1-lap times of 50.05 on the flat, 53.75 over hurdles and 48.60 with a baton.

Florida soph Anna Hall, a transfer from Georgia used to making waves in the heptathlon world — she already won this year’s USATF title — would also take up this event in ’22 and impress mightily.

But, the Gator team was going to need every possible point if it was going to knock off Texas for the team title so Hall would be called upon to compete in the 400H final amidst her quest for repeat 7-event gold.

Hall would blast the semi in a PR and school record 54.48, close to the fastest semi in meet history. Wilson ran 54.72 in hers to put them into the preferred lanes for the final. The third-fastest qualifier was Lauren Hoffman, a Duke senior, who ran 55.47.

The final was scheduled to be run just 16:00 before the seventh and final event of the heptathlon (800m) where Hall was on Collegiate Record pace.

In the final Wilson (lane 7), ran even with Hall (6) through 4 hurdles but that’s when the Razorback started to pull away. Coming off the final turn it was all Wilson with Hall and Hoffman in pursuit. Wilson won in 53.86 (sixth-fastest in meet history) with Hall 2nd in 54.76.

On what this does for her confidence moving forward, the winner shared, “It definitely was a good confidence-booster. I think I can go even faster once I get my technique stuff down. I am just excited to be working between the hurdles, working on technique so that I can drop down more seconds.”

Her coach, Arkansas head-in-waiting Chris Johnson, was asked about the race and said, “Today, it was about executing and not over-running the run. On Thursday, she over-ran her run. We expected this to be a very competitive race.”

About the meteoric rise this year, from 56.36 as a prep in ’19, he added, “She’s always had the ability. Her fitness level improved and she has gotten faster. And I say that with no offense to any of her previous coaches.”


WOMEN’S 400H RESULTS

FINAL (June 11)

1. **Britton Wilson (Ar) 53.86 (x, 9 C; 5, 6 NCAA);

2. **Anna Hall (Fl) 54.76;

3. Lauren Hoffman (Duke) 55.58;

4. *Masai Russell (Ky) 55.83;

5. Deshae Wise (TxAM) 55.99;

6. Bianca Stubler (Wi) 56.49;

7. **Vanessa Watson (Fl) 56.83;

8. Shannon Meisberger (Az) 56.83;

9. *Jessica Wright (How) 58.12.

SEMIS (June 09)

I–1. Russell 56.15; 2. Stubler 56.23 PR; 3. Wise 56.24; 4. Watson 56.75; 5. **Abbey Glynn (Co) 57.18; 6. **Alexandra Webster (Or) 57.25; 7. *Katie Martin (Louis) 58.06; 8. **K’Ja Talley (Pur) 58.71.

II–1. Hall 54.48 PR; 2. Hoffman 55.47 PR; 3. Meisberger 55.79; 4. **Gontse Morake’ (Bay-SA) 57.17; 5. ***Garriel White’ (LSU-Jam) 57.78; 6. Erin Dowd (Ia) 58.08; 7. **Nissi Kabongo (SFA) 59.22; 8. **Shani’a Bellamy (CCar) 59.61.

III–1. Wilson 54.72; 2. Wright 57.35; 3. Asia Jinks (Aub) 57.52; 4. *Sanique Walker’ (SFl-Jam) 58.42; 5. ***Abigail Schaaffe’ (Mn-Jam) 58.77; 6. **Chanler Robinson (OhSt) 58.96; 7. **Paige Magee (Ia) 59.69;… dnc—Milan Young (Tx). ◻︎

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