Quincy Wilson did not qualify for the 400m for the Paris Olympics

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EUGENE, Ore. — 16-year-old Quincy Wilson, who has become a fan favorite at America’s Trackdown, finished sixth in the men’s 400-meter final at Hayward Field on Monday night. 2024 Olympic Games.

Another Quincy, Quincy Hall, won the event, running a personal best 44.17. Favorite Michael Norman finished second in 44.41 seconds. Chris Bailey finished a hair behind Norman in a personal best 44.42.

A speed sensation from the Washington DC area, Wilson broke the under-18 world record in the first round of the 400 on Friday, spinning around the track in 44.66. The high school record he broke stood for 42 years. He then qualified for the final by finishing first in Sunday’s semi-final with a time of 44.59 seconds.

Wilson was trying to become the youngest man to make the U.S. Olympic track team. Even when the results came on Monday, the teenager saw the glass more than half full.

„Three sub-44s in a row is amazing,” he said, a smile spreading across his face. „All I know is that I gave it everything I had and I can’t be disappointed. At the end of the day, I’m running as a 16-year-old grown man.

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Wilson is likely to be added to the 4×400 relay pool for Team USA. He joked that „with USATF you never know (what to expect),” pointing out that „it’s new to me.”

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„They can take anybody from 100, 200, 800. They can take anybody,” Wilson said. „As far as I know they can take the long jumper.”

Just to be safe, he’s not going to hang up his spikes for the summer just yet.

„I don’t know if my season’s over yet, and I don’t want to eat ice cream early,” said Wilson, who loves cookies and cream. „I can get that call and regroup. I’ll just keep my head down and pray on it and hopefully I’ll make the team.

Despite racing against competitors twice his age (and size) and not even having a driver’s license yet, Wilson has the track world on notice. He received praise from Snoop Dogg and Deion Sanders on social media. Norman called the youngster’s performance „spectacular” after the semi-final.

„A 16-year-old comes out here, competes like a true competitor, lives in the moment and doesn’t let it get too big,” Norman said of Wilson following Sunday’s semifinals. „It’s great to see young talent like him lift us up, push us a little bit faster and push us out of our comfort zone. I think he has a bright future.”

Wilson joked after the semifinal that he was „running for my life.” He said after the final that he didn’t perform as well as he had hoped, but still spoke highly of his experience.

„I didn’t think about getting to the big finals in America,” Wilson said. „I’m very grateful.”

’I’m really here’

High school athletic events at the Olympic track and field trials are rare, but not entirely unheard of: In 2016, 16-year-old Sydney McLaughlin-Levron placed third in the 400 hurdles and qualified for the Rio Games. 36 years on the US team’s Olympic roster. (McLaughlin-Levrone wanted to win the 400 hurdles this weekend). McLaughlin-Levrone is the youngest athlete to make Team USA’s Olympic track roster in 36 years.

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The last high school student to make the men’s Olympic team was Erion Knighton, who ran the 200 at the Tokyo Games as a 17-year-old. He finished fourth there, but went on to win bronze at the 2022 World Championships.

Eight years ago, Wilson was 8 years old and Competing in the Junior Olympics in Humble, Texas. Shocked by the professional runners he saw on television, he asked his mother, „How did I get like that?”

Wilson finished fourth at the meet, running the under-8 400 in 1:06.44. „You’ll be that kid one day,” his mother told him, if he worked hard, ran hard, and let himself live.

When Wilson was introduced on Monday, the 12,000-plus Hayward Field crowd gave him a standing ovation, which he said, „got me really excited. Even though I was in Lane 2, the fans made me forget it.”

As he crossed the finish line, young children clamored for his autograph. That moment was not lost on him.

„When I was signing somebody’s shirt today, I was like, 'I’m actually here,'” he said. „That’s madness.”

And this is only the beginning.

Email Lindsay Schnell at [email protected] and follow her on social media @Lindsay_Schnell

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