July 23, 2024

Advancement procedure: 4 heats; top 6 in each heat and next 3 fastest advance to 3 semis; top 2 in each semi and next 3 fastest advance to nine-person final

Reigning world champion Sha’Carri Richardson has had a limited competitive season in 2024, but when she opened her 100 campaign with a convincing win in 10.83 at the Prefontaine Classic questions about her fitness quickly faded away. At her best Richardson is nigh on unbeatable, but there is a long line of contenders waiting for that chance.

NCAA double sprint champion McKenzie Long of Mississippi is the latest in the string of collegiate gold medalists who have attempted to win a U.S. title, but not since Aleia Hobbs in 2018 has that happened, and never has it happened at the Trials. Speaking of Hobbs, she has had two legal 10.88 clockings this year and won the USATF indoor 60 title in February, and her Olympic experience as a 4×100 medalist at Tokyo will stand her in good stead.

Tennessee’s Jacious Sears is the world leader at 10.77, but she pulled up in the final at the SEC Championships and her fitness is unknown. Others who have looked good in the runup to the Trials include 2023 World Championships finalist Tamari Davis, a 10.94 performer this year with a 10.83 PB, and TeeTee Terry, a relay gold medalist at the last two World Championships and a 10.82 runner at her best. 2022 U.S. champion Melissa Jefferson brings a 10.94 season best and picked up 4×100 gold at Oregon22.

Advancement procedure: 4 heats; top 6 in each heat and next 3 fastest advance to 3 semis; top 2 in each semi and next 3 fastest advance to nine-person final

Gabby Thomas and Sha’Carri Richardson claimed silver and bronze at Budapest last summer, and for Thomas it was one more step up the podium after bronze at the Tokyo Games. Thomas won the USATF title last year in 21.60, making her the second-fastest American woman ever at the distance, and she showed fitness with a win at the USATF NYC Grand Prix. Richardson ran a PB 21.94 to take second at the USATF meet in 2023, then lowered that a bit more with her 21.92 in Budapest.

Two years ago, Abby Steiner doubled as NCAA and USATF champion, setting a collegiate record of 21.77 in the process, but injury woes and surgery in the past year make her a question mark. Mississippi’s NCAA winner, McKenzie Long, ripped a 21.83 to take that title and move to second on the all-time collegiate list and tenth on the U.S. all-time performer list.Sha'Carri Richardson (R) with teammates Melissa Jefferson (L) and Twanisha Terry

On a hot streak, Long only needs to show that a long season hasn’t overtaxed her. Silver medalist at Doha in 2019, Brittany Brown is a very experienced sprinter, and she has focused all her Trials efforts into this distance. Brown won the Oslo Diamond League meet in 22.32 and cracked the 22-second barrier with a 21.99 PB in 2022.

South Carolina freshman JaMeesia Ford was the NCAA indoor champion and bettered the American U20 record several times this year, most recently a 22.08 to finish as runner-up to Long at the NCAA meet. She has low-49 4×400 relay splits to her credit so the extra rounds shouldn’t be an issue. Tamara Clark was sixth at Oregon22 and has a 21.92 PB. Clark had third- and fourth place finishes at the Diamond League meets in China in April.

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