The female runners and sprinters of Team USA
With the Budapest World Athletics Championships under two weeks away, I wanted to take a deep dive into the athletes who will be competing at the meet. I can’t highlight every runner, hurdler, thrower, or jumper who will be in Hungary’s capital, so I decided to focus on some women representing the United States. There will be two of these pieces leading up to the championships, so this is just the start.
Sha’Carri Richardson will compete in her first World Championships after failing to qualify for a spot at the Eugene meeting in 2022. Her season has been filled with dominant performances and a genuine look into just how successful the young sprinter can be. “I’m not back; I’m better” is a sentiment that Richardson has shared on numerous occasions throughout the year.
Sha’Carri Richardson, USATF Outdoor Track and Field Championships held at Hayward Field, University of Oregon, July 6-10, 2023, photo by Kevin Morris
Richardson will be joined by Brittany Brown and Tamara Clark, who finished second and third, respectively, at the USATF Championships in July. Clark will also join Richardson to represent Team USA in the 200 meters. Brown secured a silver medal at the 2019 World Championships in the 200-meter event. Gabby Thomas will also be competing in the 200-meter race with Richardson and Clark.
Gabby Thomas, USATF Outdoor Track and Field Championships held at Hayward Field, University of Oregon, July 6-10, 2023, photo by Kevin Morris
Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone has taken a different approach to her season than that which track fans are so accustomed to. The multi-world-record-holding 400-meter hurdler has been competing in the open quarter mile race instead and finding fairly equitable success. While no world records have been set by McLaughlin-Levrone this season, she did qualify to represent the United States in Budapest in the event.
Since McLaughlin-Levrone earned gold in the 400-meter hurdles at the last world championships, she has the opportunity to compete in both events. However, she has recently had to scratch from races due to a reported knee issue. For now, we will have to wait and see which events she enters herself into in at Budapest.
Sydney McLaughlin-Levorne, USATF New York Grand Prix
Continental Tour Gold
presented by Global Athletics & Marketing Inc., photo by Kevin Morris
McLaughlin-Levrone’s compatriot and frequent competitor, Dalilah Muhammad, will also be in Budapest. This will be Muhammad’s 5th WAC, and will be attempting to earn her third world title in the event. She was able to edge Shamier Little and Cassandra Tate out of the top spot at USAs, but both athletes have the WCS and the ability to join her in Budapest.
Dalilah Muhammed, 400m hurdles, silver medalist 400m hurdles, former WR holder, photo by Kevin Morris
Another duo that will be doubling in their events are Elise Cranny and Alicia Monson in the 10,000-meter and 5,000-meter races. The pair will run a combined 75 laps throughout their competitions in hopes to bring home medals for their country. Cranny did not have the world championships standard in the 5k until the USATF championships, where she bested Monson’s effort and earned not only 1st place but the WCS as well.
Alicia Monson, Elise Cranny, USATF Outdoor Track and Field Championships held at Hayward Field, University of Oregon, July 6-10, 2023, photo by Kevin Morris
“I feel like this gave me some confidence,” Cranny said after the USA champs. “I think that’s helpful too when you get to the world level, and you have to do a prelim and a final in the five, being able to do a 10k and then turn around and do the five three days later.”
USATF Outdoor Track and Field Championships held at Hayward Field, University of Oregon, July 6-10, 2023
Over the past few years, it seems nearly impossible to talk about the women’s 3000-meter steeplechase without discussing Emma Coburn. The 32-year-old athlete once again has the opportunity to don a US uniform for the race after finishing first with a time of 9:36.69 at USAs.
Krissy Gear, steeplechase champion, USATF Outdoor Track and Field Championships held at Hayward Field, University of Oregon, July 6-10, 2023, photo by Kevin Morris
Coburn’s performance at the national championships earned her a 10th national title in the event. She has earned both silver and gold in the event on the world stage.
Turning our attention back to hurdles, Nia Ali, whom I wrote about during the US champs, ran a season-best to qualify for Team USA’s roster. The (now) mother of three earned gold at the 2019 World Championships in the 100-meter hurdles and hopes to find that same kind of success in Budapest.
Nia Ali, USATF Outdoor Track and Field Championships held at Hayward Field, University of Oregon, July 6-10, 2023, by Kevin Morris
The United States team is not limited to this handful of incredibly gifted female athletes. There are more track stars, not to mention the competitors in the field events, who will be making appearances at the world championships later this month. The Budapest meeting will be held from August 19th through August 27th.