NCAA Women’s 400 — 4-Star Razorback Fortress Supreme

Nickisha Pryce (7), Kaylyn Brown (6), Amber Anning (5) and Rosey Effiong (not pictured) produced a sub-50 “super-sweep.” That’s an understatement. (KIRBY LEE/IMAGE OF SPORT)

THE SEMIS WERE a testament to Arkansas’s incredible pool of talented 400m women. Senior Amber Anning took the first in 50.67; senior Nickisha Pryce the second in 49.87, from junior teammate Rosey Effiong’s 50.42; and frosh Kaylin Brown bettered that mark with a 49.82 in the third.

LSU soph Ella Onojuvwevwo was the fastest “other” at 50.70. USC’s Jan’Taijah Jones and Illinois’ Jessica McDowell were also under 51 seconds.

Considering their seasonal bests, it was hard to imagine anyone breaking up the Razorback foursome in the final and anticipation was high for a fast race, and for its encore, a potential demolition of the 4×4 standard.

The Arkansas women went to their marks in lanes 5–8, and within a few seconds were immediately ahead of everyone else, with Effiong on the outside and Anning on the inside starting fastest.

Down the backstretch, the four burgundy singlets moved as a unit, maintaining their equal stagger spacing. Past the 200 and into the final curve, only Penn’s Bella Whittaker in lane 9 offered any challenge. But Effiong soon dispatched her as Pryce and Brown flowed together into the lead.

Into the homestretch, it was Pryce leading Brown by a half-step, with Effiong and Anning perhaps a meter back, and the surprising Whittaker still hanging on.

Pryce gradually drew ahead of Brown in the final 80m, while Anning only caught a tiring Effiong 20m from the finish.

The times, of course, were superb. Pryce’s 48.89 is a new Collegiate and Jamaican Record. Had Brown been born one day later, her 49.13 would have crushed the World U20 record. Only four American women have ever run faster. Anning missed her PR by only 0.08, and Effiong’s 49.72 in 4th finally achieved her long-sought sub-50 goal.

Not to be ignored was Whittaker, who began ’24 as a 52.65 runner, and never conceded this race en route to a PR 50.17.

Pryce: “It feels so good. That is exactly what I wanted to do, break the Jamaican Record. I finally did it.”

Brown: “Before Arkansas, my PR was 53. Running with these girls has pushed me to the best of my ability. I feel like I’ve always had it in me, I just had to put the work in.”

Anning: “I think the coaches did a really good job of not racing us too much this season, giving us the longevity to go even further after this. It took a whole team environment: coaches, support staff, physios, doctors. We wouldn’t get here without them.”

Effiong: “I really struggled in the beginning of the season getting mentally right to run a 49. I finally did it in the meet that matters.”


FINAL (June 08)

1. Nickisha Pryce’ (Ar-Jam) 48.89 NR, CR (old CR 49.13 Britton Wilson [Ar] ’23);

2. ***Kaylyn Brown (Ar) 49.13 PR (=5, =10 A; 3, 3 C);

3. Amber Anning’ (Ar-GB) 49.59;

4. *Rosey Effiong (Ar) 49.72 PR (8, x C);

5. Bella Whittaker (Penn) 50.17 PR;

6. **Ella Onojuvwevwo’ (LSU-Ngr) 50.72;

7. Jan’Taijah Jones (USC) 50.77;

8. Brianna White (Tn) 50.79;

9. *Jessica McDowell (Il) 51.35.

SEMIS (June 06)

I–1. Anning’ 50.67; 2. Whittaker 51.05; 3. Jermaisha Arnold (TxAM) 51.42; 4. **Aaliyah Butler (Ga) 51.64; 5. Kiah Williams (UCF) 52.27; 6. ***Zaya Akins (SC) 52.36; 7. Jania Martin (Ky) 53.67, ***Oneika McAnnuff’ (Ky-Jam).

II–1. Pryce’ 49.87; 2. Effiong 50.42; 3. ***Michaela Mouton (Hous) 51.50; 4. Kimberly Harris (Ga) 51.52; 5. **Rachel Joseph (IaSt) 51.56; 6. **Javonya Valcourt’ (Tn-Bah) 51.99; 7. **Shaquena Foote’ (SDi-Jam) 52.10; 8. *Vimbayi Maisvorewa’ (Aub-Zim) 52.48.

III–1. Brown 49.82; 2. Onojuvwevwo’ 50.70; 3. Jones 50.88; 4. McDowell 50.98 PR; 5. White 51.40; 6. **Yemi John’ (USC-GB) 51.71; 7. Makenzy Pierre-Webster’ (Mia-Can) 52.20; 8. Ziyah Holman (Tx) 52.41.