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Girls 400

 

Francena McCorory cruised through the heats with the fastest qualifying time despite her shoe laces unravelling.
Francena
photo by Vic Sailer / PhotoRun

Francena McCorory VA 51.93 USR

See Fantastic Francena, story and photos

text by Elliott Denman

This was The Big One - of the meet, of the year, of a long-long time in this sport. Anybody who follows American track and field had to know about Francena McCorory's exceeding talents. After all, the senior at Bethel High of Hampton, Va. had run second in the 60-meter final at the 2005 NIN meet, had lowered the National indoor 300-meter record to 36.96 at Virginia Tech winter, and had what it takes to run blazing times at any of the sprint distances. Bethel coach Eddie Wilson fine-tuned McCorory's training leading into the NIN 400, and it paid one huge dividend.

Running stride-for-stride with Sa'de Williams, Rancho Cucamonga, California's defending NIN champion, through a lap, run out of a two-turn stagger, McCorory turned her four-runner second section into a solo voyage.

Urged on by NIN's high-powered, super-enthused announcing team, headed by David Mitchell, the sellout crowd got into it, too, lending the vocal support that lifted McCorory to a 51.93 performance that totally erased chunks of the record book.

She crossed the line to cascades of applause, and stepped off the track in the supporting arms of Bethel teammates, and then took massage to bring life back into her weary legs.

"What I need right now is a wheelchair," she said, smiling, as she was lifted up and invited back to the awards ceremony.

Taken down huge pegs were Sanya Richards' National record (52.10 for Aquinas High of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. in 2002) and Leshinda Demus' NIN meet mark (53.85 for Wilson High of Long Beach, California in 2000.) And McCorory did it all on a flat track - precious digits slower than a banked 200-meter oval.

What kind of company is that? Richards (400) and Demus (400 hurdles) took individual silver medals at the 2005 IAAF World Outdoor Championships in Helsinki.

Williams had no doubts McCorory could do it. "I told her 'I want this race and I want the National record,' '' he said.
"Flat tracks don't scare her. She trained for this race on this track."

"I didn't start to think about the (possibility of the) record till last week," said McCorory. "I knew when I came off the final corner, all I had to do was finish strong.

"Outdoors? My plans are to break state records in the 100 and 200, and possibly go for another National record."

Girls 400 Meter Run

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 Final of 8 fastest qualifers in 2 heats of 4

    National: N 52.10  3/10/2002   Sanya Richards, Aquinas, Ft Laudrdl, FL     

        Meet: M 53.85  3/2000      Leshinda Demus, Wilson, Long Beach, CA      

    Freshman: ( 54.06  2/19/2005   Elan Hilaire, Park, Baltimore, MD           

   Sophomore: R 53.45  2/22/1985   Andrea Thomas, Walton, Bronx, NY            

      Junior: J 52.19  3/14/2004   Nicole Leach, W Catholic, Phila, PA         

      Senior: $ 52.10  3/10/2002   Sanya Richards, Aquinas, Ft Laudrdl, FL     

    Name                    Year School                  Finals 

================================================================

  1 Jordan, Dominique         08 Woodside HS,Newport      55.96  

  2 Sloan, Avionne            06 Lady Panthers,Camde      56.44  

  3 Swindell, Tiara           06 Kecoughtan,Hampton,      57.20  

  4 Sommerville, Shalaiyah    06 Flying Doves TC,Bal      58.06  

Section  2 Finals

  1 McCorory, Francena        06 Bethel,Hampton, VA       51.93$ 

  2 Williams, Sa'de           07 Rancho Cucamonga,Fo      55.43  

  3 Williams, Shelise         07 Woodrow Wilson-C,Lo      56.17  

  4 Sanders, Nicole           07 Menchville HS,Newpo      58.07  

text by Elliott Denman

Rancho Cucamonga's Sa'de Williams had blazed to a 55.47 triumph in the NIN
final a year ago.
She was even faster yesterday at 55.23 - and that was just a breeze
through the qualifying heats.
Even faster than Williams, though, was Francena McCorory of Hampton, Va.'s
Bethel High at 54.89.
Bottom line: look for a sensational duel in Sunday's final.
No one else was in their league.
Fastest of the other qualifiers to the two-section final
were Menchville, Va.'s Nicole Sanders (57.31) and Long Beach (California)
Woodrow Wilson's Shelise Williams (57.35.)
But running down the meet record - by Sa'De Williams, McCorory, or anyone
else - that's another matter.
It's 53.85 and was set by Long Beach Wilson High's Lashinda Demus in 2000,
As Williams and were sizzling through the scholastic campaign last year,
Demus was building up to her silver-medal performance in the 400-meter hurdles
at the IAAF World Outdoor Championships in Helsinki.

 

Event 6  Girls 400 Meter Run

===================================================================

 Final of 8 fastest qualifers in 2 heats of 4

    National: N 52.10  3/10/2002   Sanya Richards, Aquinas, Ft Laudrdl, FL     

        Meet: M 53.85  3/2000      Leshinda Demus, Wilson, Long Beach, CA      

    Freshman: ( 54.06  2/19/2005   Elan Hilaire, Park, Baltimore, MD           

   Sophomore: R 53.45  2/22/1985   Andrea Thomas, Walton, Bronx, NY            

      Junior: J 52.19  3/14/2004   Nicole Leach, W Catholic, Phila, PA         

      Senior: $ 52.10  3/10/2002   Sanya Richards, Aquinas, Ft Laudrdl, FL     

    Name                    Year School                 Prelims  H#

===================================================================

Preliminaries

  1 McCorory, Francena        06 Bethel,Hampton, VA       54.89q  4 

  2 Williams, Sa'de           07 Rancho Cucamonga,Fo      55.23q  5 

  3 Sanders, Nicole           07 Menchville HS,Newpo      57.31q  2 

  4 Williams, Shelise         07 Woodrow Wilson-C,Lo      57.35q  6 

  5 Jordan, Dominique         08 Woodside HS,Newport      57.71q  7 

  6 Sloan, Avionne            06 Lady Panthers,Camde      57.87q  1 

  7 Sommerville, Shalaiyah    06 Flying Doves TC,Bal      57.89q  6 

  8 Swindell, Tiara           06 Kecoughtan,Hampton,      58.14q  2 

  9 Cottle, Jasmine           06 Penn Hills HS,Pitts      58.43   2 

 10 McMichael, Shalyn         07 Spring Valley HS,Co      58.58   2 

 11 McDougald, DeAngela       07 Junction City HS,Fo      58.68   3 

 12 Cunningham, Ebonie        07 SE Raleigh HS,Ralei      58.91   1 

 13 Chapman, Robin            06 J-Elite TC,Upper Ma      58.95   5 

 14 Mace, Jennifer            07 Owasso HS,Owasso, O      59.17   6 

 15 Thorgaard, Kersten        07 Ames HS,Ames, IA         59.36   4 

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