Heavy NCAA Presence In Diamond League 400m Final

If you think the IAAF Diamond League final of the Men’s 400 Meters looks familiar, that’s because it does: You’re not seeing things.

Each of the nine entrants in Friday’s race at the Memorial Van Damme Meeting have progressed through the NCAA ranks in the past few years.

Let’s Run It Back In Brussels

Name
Program
Last Year
PB
Nathon Allen
Auburn
2018
44.13
Akeem Bloomfield
Auburn
2018
43.94
Michael Cherry
LSU
2017
44.66
Obi Igbokwe
Houston
2019
44.94
Fred Kerley
Texas A&M
2017
43.64
Kahmari Montgomery
Houston
2019
44.23
Michael Norman
Southern California
2018
43.45
Jonathan Sacoor
Tennessee
2019
45.03
Nathan Strother
Tennessee
2018
44.29

Dive deeper and you’ll see each of the past three NCAA Division I outdoor champions in that field: Kahmari Montgomery (2019), Michael Norman (2018) and Fred Kerley (2017).

Look at the field from an all-time view and it features five of the top-10 performers in NCAA history, including each of the top-3: Norman (No. 1), Kerley (No. 2), Akeem Bloomfield (No. 3), Nathon Allen (No. 6) and Montgomery (No. 8).

Three of those marks came from the final of that event at the 2018 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon. In fact, five of the nine men entered on Friday competed on an overcast June afternoon at Historic Hayward Field: Norman, Bloomfield, Allen, Obi Igbokwe and Montgomery.

That turned out to be an absolutely epic race.

Norman set the current collegiate record of 43.61 with his victory and wrapped up The Bowerman (His anchor on the 4×400 to end the meet was just icing on the cake), while Bloomfield (second), Allen (third) and Igbokwe (sixth) all set all-time meet bests for their respective places.

Needless to say, we’re expecting some fireworks on Friday, especially with $50,000 and an automatic berth to the upcoming IAAF World Championships on the line.