DES MOINES, Iowa — Michael Norman and Trevor Stewart both dipped under 45-seconds in the heats of the men’s 400m on Day 1 at the 2019 USATF Outdoor Championships on Thursday.
Stewart of North Carolina A&T sealed victory in the second heat of the one-lap event in 44.76 seconds, the fastest of the evening with Blake Leeper (45.09) and Wil London (45.47) advanced automatically as well after finishing in the top three.
Norman, the world-leader in 2019, secured victory in the fourth heat with a time of 44.81 secs — leading home Nathan Strother in 45.17 and Michael Cherry in 45.42.
Fred Kerley, another contender for the national title, won heat three of the men’s 400m with a time of 45.09, crossing the line ahead of Vernon Norwood, who ran 45.39 and Marcus Chambers (45.62).
Heat one went to Obi Igbokwe in a time of 45.18.
Tyrell Richard finished second in 45.55 and third went to Kahmari Montgomery with a 45.74 performance.
Shakima Wimbley Qualifies Fastest; Allyson Felix Returns
On the women’s side, defending champion Shakima Wimbley was the only female under 51-seconds in the heats.
The champion from last year posted 50.87 to beat Courtney Okolo, who ran 51.10 and Joanna Atkins (51.60).
Former World U20 Championships silver medallist Lynna Irby captured the first heat in a season’s best time of 51.14, defeating Kaylin Whitney, who posted a new personal best of 52.02 for second place.
World bronze medallist, Allyson Felix, running her first competitive race since becoming a mother, was fourth in heat one in 52.20 — miles away from her personal best of 49.26 from 2015.
Felix, an eleven-time world champion and the most decorated female Olympic track and field athlete with nine medals, including six golds, qualified for the semi-finals with the 11th-fastest time.
Jasmine Blocker (51.62) and Wadeline Jonathas (51.16) were also heat winners.