USATF Women’s 200 — Prandini Channeling Her Old Self

The point of the spear was clear in the half-lapper: Jenna Prandini. (KEVIN MORRIS/PHOTO RUN)

Jenna Prandini is back. After struggling all last year with a stress fracture in her foot, in the semis she produced her fastest half-lapper in 3 years, then followed up with her first national title. This came 2 days after she had clocked 10.98—her fastest century in 2 years—to take 3rd in the 100 final.

The 25-year-old Oregon alum hit the fastest time in the 200 heats at 22.48. The next day she produced a U.S.-leading 22.22 second-rounder, just 0.02 off her PR from her breakout ’15 when she won this meet and then made it to the World Championships semis. Behind her was ’17 NCAA champ Kyra Jefferson, who clocked 22.48. In the other semi, Iowa’s Brittany Brown and 400 world champ Phyllis Francis each clocked 22.42s. Defending champ Deajah Stevens made it to the semis, but didn’t show up for her race.

That set up the final on a wet track after the 3-hour rain delay: Prandini in 5, with Jefferson to her left and Francis to her right. Prandini got out well, making up the stagger on Francis in the first 50. In 2nd coming off the turn was Shania Collins of Tennessee, faintly ahead of a trio battling for 3rd; Kyra Jefferson, Jeneba Tarmoh & Ariana Washington.

Prandini carried her furious momentum onto the straight unchallenged into a 1.0 wind. Jefferson emerged from the crowd to hold onto 2nd until Francis reached her top speed and passed her 20m from the finish. For Prandini, it was the first win at any event in more than a year. Her 22.62—the slowest winner since ’97—topped Francis (22.83) and Jefferson (22.89) handily. Collins edged Brown for 4th by 0.007 as both clocked 23.08.

Said the winner, “That’s all we wanted out of this meet; to just get some rounds in and get some good runs in so that can kind of lead my way into summer and get me set up for the next 3 years. This season was completely an unknown for me. I took it real slow and just made sure I was healthy. I put full faith in what my coach was telling me to do. To come away with a win is really exciting.”

She added, “I worked really hard to get to this point. It just makes me really confident going into summer races and knowing what I can do in a full season being healthy again.”


USATF WOMEN’S 200 RESULTS

FINAL (June 24; wind –1.0)

1. Jenna Prandini (Pum) 22.62 (11.4/11.3);

2. Phyllis Francis (Nik) 22.83 (11.6/11.2);

3. Kyra Jefferson (Nik) 22.89 (11.6/11.3);

4. Shania Collins (Tn) 23.08 (23.072);

5. Brittany Brown (Ia) 23.08 (23.079);

6. Kimberlyn Duncan (Nik) 23.13;

7. Ariana Washington (Or) 23.22;

8. Jeneba Tarmoh (unat) 23.33.

HEATS (June 23)

I(-0.4)–1. Washington 22.79; 2. Brown 22.80; 3. Kortnei Johnson (LSU) 22.92; 4. Ashton Purvis (unat) 23.15;

5. Niata Alexander (Troy) 24.14; 6. Jasmine Malone (NnAz) 24.21.

II(-0.8)–1. Prandini 22.48; 2. Deajah Stevens (Nik) 22.81; 3. Joanna Atkins (unat) 23.06;

4. Naasha Robinson (unat) 23.52; 5. De’Shalyn Jones (NWnLa) 23.87; 6. Faith Dismuke (unat) 24.19 PR.

III(-1.7)–1. Duncan 23.12; 2. Jaide Stepter (Nik) 23.14;

3. Felicia Brown (adi) 23.40; 4. Asha Ruth (NBalCP) 23.88; 5. Jada Martin (unat) 24.10.

IV(-2.6)–1. Collins 23.00; 2. Mikiah Brisco (LSU) 23.25; 3. Kaylin Whitney (Nik) 23.28;

4. Candyce McGrone (unat) 23.86; 5. Gabrielle Farquharson (unat) 24.09.

V(-1.6)–1. Francis 22.91; 2. Jefferson 22.98; 3. Tarmoh 23.27; 4. Gabriele Cunningham (NCSt) 23.34;

5. Aaliyah Brown (unat) 23.44; 6. Destinee Brown (unat) 23.66.

SEMIS (June 24)

I(2.0)–1. Brown 22.42 PR; 2. Francis 22.42 PR; 3. Tarmoh 22.46; 4. Washington 22.54;

5. Johnson 22.58; 6. Whitney 23.05;… dnc—Brisco & Stevens.

II(-0.2)–1. Prandini 22.22 (AL);

2. Jefferson 22.48; 3. Collins 22.54; 4. Duncan 22.63;

5. Atkins 22.70; 6. Stepter 22.87; 7. Purvis 23.39; 8. Cunningham 23.45.

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