Kori Carter ’14 took the crown at the IAAF World Track and Field Championships for the United States in the women’s 400-meter hurdles, winning in a time of 53.07s. Being forced to navigate the wide turns of lane nine, her efforts earned her the fastest ever time out of that loop around the track.
Speaking from my own experience as a track runner, having such a significant stagger ahead of the other competitors can serve as a steep mental hurdle. Runners typically use the sight of others to pace themselves around the start, but Carter lacked that luxury. Working with what she had, Carter ended up with the quickest start out of the blocks compared to the rest of the field, and ultimately ended up dethroning 2016 Olympic gold medalist Dalilah Muhammed.
Carter’s former teammate in 2011 and 2012, Katerina Stefanidi, took home yet another accolade in the women’s pole vault. Representing Greece, she broke Greece’s pole vault record of 4.91m, adding yet another women’s pole vault gold to her collection, right beside her 2016 Rio Olympic gold, 2016 European Outdoor Gold, and 2017 World Indoor Gold.
These two succeeded at the collegiate level but few could have foreseen this level of achievement. For all we know, the next world champion could be leisurely walking through the Stanford campus at this very moment.