(Trevor Bassitt is among the group of Ohioans heading to the World Athletics Championships)
* Image courtesy of the media scrum interview conducted, in part, by the team from FloTrack
At the USATF Outdoor Championships this past weekend, six athletes hailing from the state of Ohio qualified for the World Championships, which will be held in Eugene, Oregon next month. For some, this will be their first appearances on the world stage, while others are seasoned veterans, adding to already-decorated international resumes.
What's unique about this group is that nearly every discipline of track & field is represented in this pool of qualifiers: sprints, distance, jumps, and throws.
You've seen her tear it up on the NCAA Division I scene this year, but Abby Steiner brought her best against the pros in the 200m, winning her first USATF national title in the event, running 21.77. The Dublin native's performance was a world lead, albeit briefly, as Shericka Jackson of Jamaica ran 21.55 at her national meet over the weekend.
That being said, Steiner has quickly risen from a high school phenom, to an NCAA standout at Kentucky, and now, a star on the highest level on the professional scene. Her momentum heading into her first appearance at a global championship could very well send her back home with a podium finish.
In a completely different vein, after struggling with injuries and setbacks over the last few years, Emily Infeld secured her place back on a national team in the 5000m, finishing right alongside former Bowerman teammates Elise Cranny and Karissa Schweizer. The race itself was a tactical affair, but Infeld showcased her fitness emphatically, closing her final 1600m in 4:25.
Hailing from Beaumont HS, it's been awhile since Infeld has been on the Ohio high school scene, however, she tore up the competition when she was competing, winning a large handful of D1 state titles along the way. Her longevity of professional career has been impressive, especially with this recent resurgence in 2022, finding her way back onto the World Championships team in an inspiring and heartwarming fashion.
He's best known for his exploits on the NCAA Division II scene, but Trevor Bassitt has established himself as truly world-class in 2022. He qualified for his first national team during indoors in the 400m, earning a silver medal, and now has qualified in his bread-and-butter event, the 400mH.
His personal best in the 400mH, from the final, was an outstanding 47.47- not far behind one of the best athletes in this event in the world in Rai Benjamin. Bassitt could very well be competing for a medal at the World Championships next month,
The reigning Olympic Champion in the women's pole vault, Katie Nageotte took care of business at USA's, vaulting a season's best mark of 4.65m to place 3rd, earning her place to the World Championships.
While this outdoor season hasn't been her best, Nageotte has made a ton of positive momentum in her performances- her experience in championship final settings should pay off big time when it comes to the World Championships, especially with that Olympic Gold already under her belt.
Adelaide Aquilla's time at Ohio State has been greatly impressive, as she's earned numerous NCAA Division I titles in the shot put, both indoors and outdoors. At USA's, she earned a place onto the World Championship team, following up her qualification to last year's Olympic Games. She placed 2nd behind Chase Ealey.
She's continued to get better all throughout the season, with her best performances coming from the NCAA championships, where she threw 19.64m, and at USA's, where she threw 19.45. If she can keep this up, Aquilla could also be competing for a high-end placement at the World Championships.
After receiving eligibility to represent the USA in world competitions just recently, Annette Echikunwoke secured her first national team for the USA after placing 3rd in the women's hammer throw, with a mark of 73.76m. That performance got her the world championship standard when she needed it.
Hailing from Pickerington North and competing collegiately at Cincinnati, Echikunwoke is an Ohioan through and through and is still coached by Susan Seaton, head track coach at Cincinnati. As one of the top hammer throwers in the world, Echikunwoke will be a force to be reckoned with at the World Championships next month.
(Interviews via FloTrack)