2017 USATF Outdoor Championship: 200 meter dash preview

By Ryan Sterner

June 21, 2017

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It seems like a pattern in the men’s sprints: a group of very young talent is ready to takeover the old guard. Despite being only 30 years old, LaShawn Merritt has been a household name for 10 years at this point and Justin Gatlin is essentially the Vince Carter of track and field. Enter Christian Coleman, Noah Lyles, and a number of other very talented collegiate runners. Look for this years sprint teams to feature some unfamiliar (soon to be very familiar) names.

Favorite to watch

Christian Coleman again. He’s currently the world No. 2, only .01 seconds behind 400m World Record holder Wade Van Niekerk. That’s not terrible company. The double will be difficult for the young Coleman, but you have to give the nod to a guy who has gone 9.85/19.85 this year.

Dark horse pick

Two declared entries are a who’s who of 2008 US sprinting. Take a look and you’ll see that Walter Dix and Wallace Spearmon Jr. are both qualified and declared for the event. Walter Dix is a two time medalist from the 2008 Beijing Olympics at the tender age of 23. He’s also the 4th fastest 200m runner of all time. This is the ultimate dark horse pick.

Fun fact/Stat

This field includes a teenager. His name is Noah Lyles, he is 19 years old and he’s run 19.90. Sub-20 seconds at sub-20 years of age has only ever been done by four other people.

Predictions of who makes the team

  1. Christian Coleman

  2. LaShawn Merritt

  3. Noah Lyles


All three women from the 2016 200m team will be on the line when prelims start in Sacramento, but for a few of them, it’s going to be a fight to get back on the team. Tori Bowie is running butter than ever. Deajah Steven’s is running pretty good. And things for Jenna Prandini could be running a little better. Of the top 12 times in the world thus far, though it’s still early in the season, 10 of them are Americans. This dominance hasn’t gone unnoticed. In a June press conference, Felix described what was going on in the women’s 200m: “I think it’s really exciting what’s going on right now…it’s nice to see it being more of a focus, a lot of young talent there, it’s exciting.”

Star/Favorite to watch

Expect the world leader, Tori Bowie, to defend her US 200m title.

Dark horse pick

Allyson Felix. She hasn’t looked sharp this year, having ran only four races in 2017. That, coupled with the fact that she just barely failed to qualify for Rio in the 200m last year, makes it easy to write her off. But as a nine-time Olympic medalist, it’s hard to write her off in any race she’s entered.

Fun fact/Stat

Tori Bowie currently sits in front of 2015 World Champion, Elaine Thompson of Jamaica and 2015 World Champion runner-up, Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands, on the World Lists. Bowie has also run the third fastest time in the world since 2012. The only two women ahead of her? Thompson and Schippers.

Predictions of who makes the team

  1. Tori Bowie

  2. WHO KNOWS?!

Ryan Sterner

Hobby jogger and soup enthusiast whose work has appeared in a number of highly esteemed publications such as Flotrack, The Howard Lake Herald Journal and Ebaum's World. Currently a resident of Los Angeles, where he spends most of his time indoors.