USATF Women’s 100 — Not According To The Script

Teahna Daniels, English Gardner & Morolake Akinosun went 1-2-3, but came in formcharted as Nos. 3, 9 & 8. (KEVIN MORRIS)

ON A WARM summer day when a stubborn headwind played havoc in many events, Teahna Daniels unfurled a stunning close over the final 30m to capture the women’s century crown in a race that defied the formcharts. The victory by the 22-year-old former Texas star was yet another signal that a new wave of talented young American sprinters is on the way.

Always quick out of the blocks, English Gardner got a good start, but Dezerea Bryant got an even better one despite having the slowest reaction time. The diminutive former NCAA 200 champ pushed her early advantage, but the trio of Daniels, Gardner, and Morolake Akinosun caught her with 30m to go. Suddenly, Daniels found another gear the others lacked. Her late-race maintenance of speed propelled her to the victory in 11.20 (wind -1.7). Gardner—always a gamer—closed well, grabbing 2nd in 11.25. Akinosun got up for 3rd in 11.28 while Bryant (11.29) slipped to 4th. Favored defending champ Aleia Hobbs and NCAA revelation Sha’Carri Richardson—Nos. 1 & 2 on our formchart—were never really in it, ending up 6th (11.33) and 8th (11.72).

Afterwards, the new champion, our No. 3 seed, was elated but not surprised. “It was surreal, I can’t even put into words how I feel,” exclaimed Daniels, who credited “lots of hard work and never putting doubt in myself. I’ve always believed in myself.” She was unfazed by Bryant’s rocket-like start: “I was just trying not to panic. I know it is always competitive. But I know if I just run my own race, I’ll be fine. When I realized I got back into the race. I was like, ‘Alright, I got it.’ I knew I had it.” Handling well the transition from collegian to pro, Daniels was frank about her Doha goal: “Winning. I don’t care who’s in the race. It doesn’t matter to me how we line up. I’m pretty inspired about competing.” (video of other Daniels’ post-win comments here)

Runner-up Gardner, who always seems to perform her best when she believes she is facing adversity, was her colorful self in the mixed zone. “I knew I was behind the 8-ball. I had 4 weeks of training, literally. It was the first time I was able to train without any hitches, or any injuries pushing me back,” explained the ’13 and ’16 winner, who worked this year as an assistant coach at Princeton. “I tore my hamstring after Millrose and I couldn’t work out. Finally I got 4 weeks of training and I came out here and I made the team. It’s a little scary for me to figure out what I’m supposed to do.”

Healthy at last, Gardner has the time and the motivation to further elevate her game. “I’m going to go back to the trenches and work a little bit more,” she said. “I’m a Duck. But right now, ‘Go Tigers!’ I’m going to go back to Princeton and get some work done.” But she isn’t yet done here, saying, “I’ve got the 200 next, which is something new for me. I’ve never really done this before in the U.S. championships. I’m absolutely going to run it, I’m trying to get the double whammy.”


USATF WOMEN’S 100 RESULTS

FINAL

(July 26; wind –2.4)

1. Teahna Daniels (Nik) 11.20;

2. English Gardner (Nik) 11.25;

3. Morolake Akinosun (Nik) 11.28;

4. Dezerea Bryant (Nik) 11.29;

5. Twanisha Terry (USC) 11.32;

6. Aleia Hobbs (adi) 11.33;

7. Caitland Smith (ArSt) 11.46;

8. Sha’Carri Richardson (Nik) 11.72.

LANES

1. Terry; 2. Richardson; 3. Bryant; 4. Daniels; 5. Akinosun; 6. Gardner; 7. Hobbs; 8. Smith

REACTION TIMES

Gardner 0.157; Richardson 0.158; Hobbs 0.159, Smith 0.169; Terry 0.171; Akinosun 0.176; Daniels 0.177; Bryant 0.182

HEATS

(July 25)

I(-1.2)–1. Daniels 11.30; 2. Richardson 11.41; 3. Kortnei Johnson (LSU) 11.48; 4. Kiara Parker (unat) 11.57; 5. Jasmine Todd (CVE) 11.65; 6. Kristina Griffin (unat) 12.00.

II(-1.4)–1. Akinosun 11.35; 2. Kayla White (Nik) 11.40; 3. Terry 11.41; 4. Smith 11.47; 5. Tawanna Meadows (unat) 11.67; 6. Robin Reynolds (unat) 11.90; 7. Chelsea Francis (SMU) 11.96.

III(-1.9)–1. Jenna Prandini (Puma) 11.41; 2. Ashley Henderson (adi) 11.46; 3. Mikiah Brisco (Nik) 11.49; 4. Shania Collins (adi) 11.57; 5. Aaliyah Brown (unat) 11.58; 6. Jerayah Davis (SeatSp) 11.71; 7. Miki Barber (unat) 11.73; 8. Olamide Sokunbi (unat) 12.17.

IV(-2.3)–1. Bryant 11.25; 2. Gardner 11.28; 3. Hobbs 11.41; 4. Candace Hill (Asics) 11.51; 5. Barbara Pierre (unat) 11.69; 6. Kandace Thomas (unat) 11.93.

SEMIS

(July 26)

I(-1.6)–1. Daniels 11.20; 2. Akinosun 11.20; 3. Richardson 11.28; 4. Terry 11.30; 5. White 11.39; 6. Johnson 11.47; 7. Hill 11.53; 8. Parker 11.61.

II(-2.4)–1. Gardner 11.16; 2. Bryant 11.23; 3. Hobbs 11.31; 4. Smith 11.32; 5. Henderson 11.36; 6. Collins 11.47; 7. Brisco 11.50;… dnc—Prandini. ◻︎

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