Fred Kerley Wins USATF 400 Meter Title

DES MOINES, Iowa – In blistering the Drake Stadium track with a time of 43.64 seconds, Aggie alum Fred Kerley became the seventh fastest performer in history with an impressive display to capture the 400 meter title at the USATF Championships.

Kerley will now lead a very talented crew of U.S. quarter-milers into the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar, in late September. Kerley improved his previous career best of 43.70 from 2017, the season he swept the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor titles along with the U.S. title. He moves to No. 7 performer on the all-time world list and No. 6 on the U.S. list.
Runner-up to Kerley was Michael Norman in 43.79 while Nathan Strother finished third in 44.29 and Vernon Norwood placed fourth at 44.40.
It marks only the second time for the top two finishers to run sub 44 seconds in the 400m final at the U.S. Championships. The previous occurrence was in 1996 with Michael Johnson (43.44) and Butch Reynolds (43.91), with the time by Johnson still the meet record.

“I had a PR and it was a nice run for me,” noted Kerley of his expressive victory celebration. “I’m blessed to represent the USA at the World Championships. Today was my day and I executed the race plan.”
Stationed in lane 7, Kerley never saw another runner from the lanes to his left as Norman challenged from lane 5.
“Anything can happen from any lane on the track,” said Kerley, who broke the Drake Stadium record of 44.04 set by Norman in the semifinals on Friday. “From lane 1 to 8 it’s the same 400m.”
This was Norman’s first loss at 400m since the 2017 USATF Championships when Kerley won in 44.03 while Norman placed seventh in 44.80.
“Today, Fred got the best of me,” stated Norman, who is the world leader in 2019 with a 43.45 from April. “He was the better athlete, so congrats to him. I’ve just to go back and fix a couple of things. The days are counting down and I need to prepare myself for the Diamond League final and the World Championships.”

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