USATF Men’s 400 — The Road To Redemption

Michael Norman hopes to improve on his disappointing Doha & Tokyo performances. (KEVIN MORRIS)

MICHAEL NORMAN IS a man on a mission. Undermined by a bad hamstring at Doha in ’19 — where he was our formchart favorite going in — and “devastated” after finishing 5th at the Olympics in a race many felt he would win (“I have a gold medal, but it’s not the one I wanted”), he sees July’s WC looming as more than just an opportunity and a goal.

The world’s only sub-44 runner this year with his 43.60 at Pre, Norman was confident in his preparations for this qualifying meet.

The heats did not eliminate any major candidates. Norman ran a very easy-looking 44.72, looking around several times in the stretch. Olympian and 2-time NCAA champion Randolph Ross cruised to a 45.66; Vernon Norwood (45.34) and Elija Godwin (45.42) took the other heats.

Ross and Norman met in the first semi. Norman went out hard and maintained his lead all the way to a fast 44.28, with Ross a quicker-finishing 2nd in 44.36. Bryce Deadmon nabbed the third auto-qualifier in 44.95. Godwin ran a strong 44.66 to take the second semi ahead of NCAA runner-up Champion Allison (44.80) and the veteran Norwood (45.02).

The next day, Norwood, Allison, Ross, Norman and Godwin went to their marks in lanes 2–7 on another hot Eugene afternoon. As usual, Norman, always a superb curve sprinter, was out fastest, and with Godwin, led Ross and Deadmon into the backstretch.

Moving fast and powerfully, he passed the 200 mark in 21.12, ahead of Allison (21.16), Deadmon and Ross (both 21.29). Then he accelerated, opening a gap on everyone except Allison.

Into the homestretch Norman led Allison by a meter, Ross by two, Godwin and Deadmon by a bit more. He didn’t falter, finishing strongly in a meet record 43.56 after producing the race’s fastest final 100, 11.44.

Allison, running the race of his life (so far), gave little away en route to a 43.70, No. 10 on the all-time world list. Behind him, the place times were fabulous: Ross 44.17, Godwin 44.34 (PR), Norwood 44.35 (PR), and Deadmon 44.54.

The surprising Allison, who began the year with a lifetime best of just 45.40, said, “I got a huge PR, I feel good. I trained alone for 6 months while I moved from Alabama to Florida, then I had a whole collegiate season, and now the work is done, so there’s no magic potion to it, I just gotta run.”

“This is only my sixth race of the season, and my body feels good,” said Norman. “I had a good series here, but it was nowhere near a perfect race. I’m experienced at Worlds and Olympics. I just want a different outcome.”


MEN’S 400 RESULTS

FINAL (June 25)

1. Michael Norman (Nik) 43.56 (WL, AL) (x, 13 W; x, 10 A) (MR)

(10.87, 10.25 [21.12], 11.00 [32.12], 11.44) (21.12/22.44);

2. Champion Allison (Fl) 43.70 PR (10, x W; 8, x A)

(11.08, 10.08 [21.16], 11.02 [32.18], 11.52) (21.16/22.54);

3. Randolph Ross (NCAT) 44.17

(10.94, 10.35 [21.29], 11.00 [32.29], 11.88) (21.29/22.88);

4. Elija Godwin (Ga) 44.34 PR

(10.83, 10.50 [21.33], 10.98 [32.31], 12.03) (21.33/23.01);

5. Vernon Norwood (NBal) 44.35 PR

(11.01, 10.45 [21.46], 10.98 [32.44], 11.91) (21.46/22.89);

6. Bryce Deadmon (Nik) 44.54

(10.97, 10.32 [21.29], 11.19 [32.48], 12.06) (21.29/23.25);

7. Noah Williams (adi) 45.04

(11.01, 10.50 [21.51], 11.24 [32.75], 12.29) (21.51/23.53);

8. Ismail Turner (UCLA) 45.56

(10.75, 10.57 [21.32], 11.51 [32.83], 12.73) (21.32/24.24).

HEATS (June 23)

I–1. Norman 44.72; 2. Deadmon 45.31; 3. Willington Wright (Tx) 45.54; 4. Johnnie Blockburger (USC) 46.09; 5. Jaron Flournoy (Nik) 46.21; 6. Trevor Stewart (Pum) 46.74; 7. Jeremiah Curry (SFA) 46.75; 8. DaeQwan Butler (FlSt) 47.03.

II–1. Ross 45.66; 2. Khaleb McRae (Al) 46.10; 3. Marqueze Washington (unat) 46.11; 4. Wil London (unat) 46.46; 5. Brian Herron (Tx) 46.58; 6. Brian Faust (Ky) 47.06; 7. Jenoah McKiver (Ia) 47.20.

III–1. Norwood 45.34; 2. James Benson (Ar) 45.56 PR; 3. Williams 45.82; 4. Turner 45.92; 5. Jordan Willis (Va) 46.48; 6. Nathan Strother (unat) 46.82; 7. Richard Kuykendoll (Ok) 48.93.

IV–1. Godwin 45.42; 2. Tyler Terry (unat) 46.01; 3. Allison 46.05; 4. Tyler Johnson (OhSt) 46.19; 5. Kahmari Montgomery (Nik) 46.44; 6. Paul Dedewo (PhxTC/Tracksm) 46.45; 7. Leander Forbes (Al) 47.02.

SEMIS (June 24)

I–1. Norman 44.28; 2. Ross 44.36; 3. Deadmon 44.95; 4. Turner 45.33; 5. Wright 45.50; 6. McRae 45.55; 7. Washington 46.12; 8. Flournoy 46.81.

II–1. Godwin 44.66; 2. Allison 44.80; 3. Norwood 45.02; 4. Williams 45.30; 5. Benson 45.36 PR; 6. Terry 45.61; 7. Blockburger 45.67; 8. Johnson 46.02. ◻︎

Subscription Options

Monthly Subscription
(Digital Only)

  • Access to Current Articles
  • Access to Current Issues
  • eTrack Results Newsletter
  • Unlimited Content from our Technique Journal, Track Coach

$7.95 every 1 month (recurring)

Annual Subscription
(Digital Only)

  • Access to Current Articles
  • Access to Current Issues
  • eTrack Results Newsletter
  • Unlimited Content from our Technique Journal, Track Coach

$79 every 1 year (recurring)

Monthly Premium Archive
(Digital Only)

  • Unlimited Articles
  • Access to Archived Issues
  • eTrack Results Newsletter
  • Unlimited Content from our Technique Journal, Track Coach

$12.95 every 1 month (recurring)

Annual Premium Archive
(Digital Only)

  • Unlimited Articles
  • Access to Archived Issues
  • eTrack Results Newsletter
  • Unlimited Content from our Technique Journal, Track Coach

$128 every 1 year (recurring)

Annual Subscription
(Digital + Print)

  • Access to Current Articles
  • Access to Current Issues
  • eTrack Results Newsletter
  • Unlimited Content from our Technique Journal, Track Coach
  • 12 Monthly Print Issues

$109.00 USA every year (recurring)
$157.00 Canada every year (recurring)
$207.00 Foreign every year (recurring)

Annual Premium Archive
(Digital + Print)

  • Unlimited Articles
  • Access to Archived Issues
  • eTrack Results Newsletter
  • Unlimited Content from our Technique Journal, Track Coach
  • 12 Monthly Print Issues

$158.00 USA every year (recurring)
$206.00 Canada every year (recurring)
$256.00 Foreign every year (recurring)

Annual Subscription
(Print Only)

  • 12 Monthly Print Issues
  • Does not include online access or eTrack Results Newsletter

$79.00 USA every year (recurring)
$127.00 Canada every year (recurring)
$177.00 Foreign every year (recurring)

Track Coach
(Digital Only)

  • Track Coach Quarterly Technique Journal
  • Access to Track Coach Archived Issues

Note: Track Coach is included with all Track & Field News digital subscriptions. If you are a current T&FN subscriber, purchase of a Track Coach subscription will terminate your existing T&FN subscription and change your access level to Track Coach content only. Track & Field News print only subscribers will need to upgrade to a T&FN subscription level that includes digital access to read Track Coach issues and articles online.

$19.95 every 1 year (recurring)