USATF Women’s 200 — Bryant Out Of The Blue

The formchart went out the window up and down the line, with unrated Dezerea Bryant scoring a win. (ANDREW McCLANAHAN/PHOTO RUN)

NOT SINCE she won the ’15 NCAA title for Kentucky had Dezerea Bryant won a major half-lap race. It’s little wonder she didn’t show up on the formcharts, even though her seasonal best coming in, 22.73, was her fastest since her senior year. The heats were a clue that the formchart was in for a serious beating. Brittany Brown, rated at No. 6, led the first round at 22.63 in heat I. She had earlier given an indication of her form with a strong 4th in the 100 final. Favored Angie Annelus led heat III at 22.97, while Bryant won IV in 22.94. They were the only ones to break 23 on a day full of strong headwinds as No. 2-rated Jenna Prandini was a no-show after the 100 heats.

The headwinds were a touch gentler for Sunday’s semis. The first race saw Brown (22.60) top Phyllis Francis (22.78), with 100 winner Teahna Daniels 3rd in 22.83. Bryant dominated the second semi, 22.49–22.78 over Annelus. Gabby Thomas, rated No. 6 in the world last year, finished 3rd in 22.90. Also making the final were Lynna Irby from semi I and Kyra Jefferson from II.

For the final, Bryant got lane 6. Thomas started from 3, Brown 4, Annelus 5, Francis 7, with Daniels in 8. The rain had finally stopped but another headwind, –1.2, did not particularly bode for fast times. At the crack of the gun Bryant caught a lightning start but Thomas pulled up at the top of the turn, taking her out of the chase. Brown ran closest to Bryant. Once on the straight, it seemed that Brown had nearly reeled her in, but the 26-year-old Bryant maintained her form to finish in 22.47, her fastest time since her NCAA win more than four years ago.

Brown took 2nd in 22.61. Annelus had the best lean of the rest, crossing in 22.71 to narrowly beat Daniels (22.73) and Francis (22.74) for the remaining team berth.

“I knew at some point it would come through,” said the relieved winner, who has spent the last two years as a volunteer coach at Tennessee. “I just listened to my coach. He told me to take it out through 150 and just hold on. I woke up this morning, and I’m like, ‘I’m not going to be denied on this team.’ That was my attitude today, no matter what it takes, I was going to be on this team.”

Brown, an Iowa alum running unattached, said, “All good things eventually happen and it came at the right time and I made the team. Now it’s all coming together. I’m thankful and I’m blessed.” For Doha, she said, “I need to work on my first 50. I know I have the strength to come home. But this changes all my expectations.”



(July 28; wind –1.2)

1. Dezerea Bryant (Nik) 22.47;

2. Brittany Brown (Nik) 22.61;

3. Angie Annelus (USC) 22.71;

4. Teahna Daniels (Nik) 22.73;

5. Phyllis Francis (Nik) 22.74;

6. Lynna Irby (adi) 23.06;

7. Kyra Jefferson (Nik) 23.22;

… dnf—Gabby Thomas (NBal) (pulled up c90m in).


1. Jefferson; 2. Irby; 3. Thomas; 4. Brown; 5. Annelus; 6. Bryant; 7. Francis; 8. Daniels


Irby 0.183; Daniels 0.187; Jefferson 0.192; Bryant 0.195; Thomas 0.206; Brown 0.222; Annelus 0.224; Francis 0.229


(July 27)

I(-1.4)–1. Brown 22.63; 2. Deajah Stevens (Nik) 23.21; 3. Courtne Davis (LBSt) 23.22; 4. Thomas 23.45; 5. Felicia Brown (adi) 23.77; 6. Robin Reynolds (unat) 23.79.

II(-3.1)–1. Francis 23.05; 2. Irby 23.25; 3. Morolake Akinosun (Nik) 23.36; 4. English Gardner (Nik) 23.42; 5. Mikiah Brisco (Nik) 23.70; 6. Kori Carter (Jordan) 28.01.

III(-2.0)–1. Annelus 22.97; 2. Ashley Henderson (adi) 23.00; 3. A’Keyla Mitchell (unat) 23.28; 4. Daniels 23.31; 5. Tramesha Hardy (unat) 23.93.

IV(-2.8)–1. Bryant 22.94; 2. Shania Collins (adi) 23.21; 3. Jefferson 23.26; 4. Candace Hill (Asics) 23.46; 5. Sha’Carri Richardson (Nik) 23.46; 6. Asha Ruth (NBCPTC) 23.78.


(July 28)

I(-1.8)–1. Brown 22.60; 2. Francis 22.78; 3. Daniels 22.83; 4. Irby 22.95; 5. Henderson 23.06; 6. Davis 23.18; 7. Hill 24.28;… dnc—Akinosun.

II(-1.1)–1. Bryant 22.49; 2. Annelus 22.78; 3. Thomas 22.90; 4. Jefferson 22.93; 5. Collins 23.03; 6. Mitchell 23.39; 7. Gardner 23.45;… dq—Stevens.