Quincy Wilson will not qualify for the 400 meters at the Paris Olympics

EUGENE, Ore. – Quincy Wilson, the 16-year-old who has become a fan favorite at Tracktown USA, finished sixth in the men’s 400-meter final Monday night at Hayward Field, missing out on qualifying in the event for the men’s 400-meter dash. Olympic Games 2024.

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

Wilson, a fast runner from the Washington, D.C., area, broke the under-18 world record Friday in the first heat of the 400 meters, scintillating around the track in 44.66 seconds. The record he broke in high school stood for 42 years. He then topped that time in the semifinals on Sunday, clocking 44.59 to qualify for the finals.

Wilson was trying to become the youngest man ever to make the U.S. Olympic track team. Despite Monday’s result, the teen saw the glass as more than half full.

“Three under 44 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 16 times as a grown man.”

Quincy Wilson: Meet the 16-year-old track phenomenon

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There is a chance Wilson will be added to Team USA’s 4×400 relay lineup. “You never know (what to expect) with the US Air Force,” he joked, noting that “this is all new to me.”

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“They can take someone from the 100, 200, 800. They can take anyone they want to take,” Wilson said. “They can take the long jump as far as I know.”

To be safe, he won’t hang up his thorns in the summer yet.

“I don’t know if my season is over yet, and I don’t want to go get ice cream too early,” said Wilson, who prefers cookies and cream. “I might get that call and have to regroup. I’m just going to keep my head down and keep praying about it and hope I can make the team.”

Despite competing against competitors twice his age (and size) and not even having a driver’s license yet, Wilson has caught the attention of the track world. He received praise on social media from Snoop Dogg and Deion Sanders. Norman described the teenager’s performance as “amazing” after the semi-final.

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

Wilson joked after the semi-final that he was “just running for my life out there”. He said after the final match that he did not perform as well as he had hoped, but he spoke enthusiastically about his experience nonetheless.

“I wasn’t even thinking about getting to the biggest final in America,” Wilson said. “I am very grateful.”

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“I’m really here”

The high school track phenom is rare at the Olympic track and field trials, but completely unheard of: In 2016, 16-year-old Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone finished third in the 400 hurdles and qualified for the Rio Games, becoming the youngest athlete Wins the 400 hurdles. He made the Olympic roster for Team USA 36 years ago. (McLaughlin-Levrone will likely win the 400 hurdles later this week.) McLaughlin-Lefron was the youngest athlete to make a Team USA Olympic track roster in 36 years.

The last high school student to make the men’s Olympic team was Erion Knighton, who ran the 200 meters at the Tokyo Olympics when he was 17 years old. He finished fourth there, but won bronze in the event at the 2022 World Championships.

Eight years ago, Wilson was eight years old Competing in the Junior Olympic Games In Humble, Texas. Amazed by the professional runners he saw on television, he asked his mother: “How did I get to be like this?”

Wilson placed fourth at that meet, running the sub-8 400 in 1:06.44. His mother told him that if he worked hard, ran hard, and allowed himself to live in the moment, “you’ll be that kid someday.”

On Monday when Wilson was introduced, the Hayward Field crowd of more than 12,000 cheered at the top of his lungs, a boost he said: “It motivated me a lot. Even though I was on Track 2, the fans made me forget that.”

After he crossed the finish line, young children attacked him to get his autograph. He did not waste the moment.

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“When I was signing someone’s jersey today, I was like, ‘I’m really here,’” he said. “This is crazy.”

This is likely just the beginning.

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

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