Jonathas Claims 400m Crown to Close NCAA Outdoor Championships
Junior sprinter leads Carolina women to best NCAA outdoor finish since 2006
AUSTIN, Texas — It was another national title day for the University of South Carolina track & field team on Saturday as Wadeline Jonathas won the NCAA women’s 400m crown on the final day of the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Championships. Led by Jonathas, the Gamecock women leave Mike A. Myers Stadium with their best team finish in 13 years.
Jonathas won the title with another one of her patented closing stretches, going from fifth on the last turn to a national championship. Her time of 50.60 was .38 seconds clear of the field. It’s the 49th NCAA event title in program history and the second of the meet for the Gamecocks after Quincy Hall won the men’s 400m hurdles championship on Friday.
The women’s 400m NCAA title is the sixth in Carolina history. Jonathas is the first Gamecock to win the event since 2007, when two-time Olympic gold medalist Natasha Hastings won the double, claiming the victory indoors and outdoors.
The winning time of 50.60 is the second-best mark in Carolina history, with only Hastings, at 49.84, standing in front of Jonathas. For the Gonaives, Haiti, native, it’s the 11th career NCAA title, counting her nine Division III championships from two seasons at UMass Boston and Carolina’s indoor 4x400m relay crown from this past March.
“When the season started off, I had to overcome some things, transferring from DIII to DI,” Jonathas said. “I wasn’t the best coming in, and I still have work to do, but I always have faith. I trust my training and the coaches. I’m trying to do everything they’re telling me to do. I was hoping it would pay off, and it did.”
📺 One more of Wadeline’s signature late kicks, this one for the 🏆
— Gamecock Track & XC (@GamecockTrack) June 8, 2019
Jonathas wasn’t the only Gamecock to post a strong showing in the 400m. Aliyah Abrams finished fifth, collecting four big points with a new personal record, 51.13. That’s the fifth-best time in Carolina history, and the fourth first-team All-America result for Abrams, who finished second in the quarter-mile at the 2019 NCAA Indoor Championships.
The night ended with the 4x400m relay, where the Gamecocks were going for their second NCAA title of the season after climbing to the top of the podium indoors. Carolina fought valiantly, overcoming a trip late in the third leg to finish with the bronze, at 3:26.90. That boosts Stephanie Davis, Abrams, Tatyana Mills and Jonathas to the No. 2 time in school history.
With their 20 points, the South Carolina women finished in a tie for 10th place. It’s the team’s first top-10 finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships since a third-place result in 2006.
Arkansas finished as the women’s team champion, with 64 points, and Texas Tech took the men’s title on Friday, earning 60 points.
Saturday’s excellence caps perhaps the most successful Carolina track & field season in over a decade. The Gamecock men finished 20th at the NCAA Indoor Championships and 12th at the outdoor meet, their highest national result since 2010. The Carolina women finished seventh at the indoor national meet, their best result at the meet since 2007.
FROM THE COACH
“Wadeline believes that if you put the work in, you get the return. I am so glad that both of our women’s quarter-milers were great. Aliyah also had an incredible effort; in fact, she ran 50.2 on the second leg of the 4×4. All of our women put in a tremendous effort. Our women finishing 10th is a blessing to us after having a top-seven finish indoors.”- Head Coach Curtis Frye
UP NEXT FOR THE GAMECOCKS
The 2019 collegiate season is over, but a busy summer awaits the Gamecocks as several athletes compete internationally. Stay tuned to GamecocksOnline.com and @GamecockTrack on Twitter for the latest details.
|SATURDAY, JUNE 8, 2019 • 2019 NCAA OUTDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS • WOMEN’S RESULTS|
|1. Wadeline Jonathas||50.60|
|5. Aliyah Abrams||51.13|
|3. Davis, Abrams, Mills, Jonathas||3:26.90|