Francena McCorory

Francena McCorory (born October 20, 1988) is an American track and field athlete, known primarily for running the 400 metres, and is the NCAA and American indoor record holder in that event. She was a member of the 2012 United States Olympic team and won the gold medal in the 4×400 m relay at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. She is the reigning IAAF 400 meter Indoor World Champion (2014).

United States Track and field sprinter

Career

McCorory attended Bethel High School in her hometown of Hampton, Virginia where she displayed her talent for the 400 metres. A notable performance was at the 2005 Virginia Group AAA Eastern Region meet, where McCorory took her team’s baton as much as 80 metres behind the leaders of the race, but cruised to victory past six other teams. Later, she set the National High School Indoor record at 51.93, a record previously held by future champion World Champion Sanya Richards, in her only attempt at the distance.

Despite being recruited by larger universities, McCorory continued to Hampton University. She won the 2009 NCAA Women’s Indoor Track and Field Championships and later in the year finished third in the NCAA Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships. In 2010, she went to Fayetteville, Arkansas to defend her championship. Instead of merely repeating as champion, she won the race by over a second, setting the NCAA record and beating Diane Dixon’s 19 year old American record in the event, running 50.54. Later that year she won the NCAA Outdoor championship, in 50.69, actually slower than her Indoor record. A few weeks later, she improved her personal best to 50.52 while finishing second at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

After graduating Hampton, she improved her best to 50.49 again in second at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, which qualified her for the 2011 World Championships in Athletics. A month after that, she took her best down to 50.29 at theHerculis meet in Monaco. She took it down one more time to 50.24 in the semi-finals of the 2011 World Championships in Athletics. In the finals, she wasn’t quite as fast, finishing in fourth place in her first experience on the world stage. A few days later she anchored the United States team to a gold medal in the 4×400 m relay.

Leading into the Olympic Trials, she improved her personal best to 50.06 at the Adidas Grand Prix. At the Olympic Trials, she qualified for the final and was assigned lane 7, just outside of Sanya Richards-Ross in lane 6. Richards-Ross ran hard from the start closing down the stagger on McCorory. Sensing the challenge, McCorory exploded down the backstretch, leading around the turn to the head of the home stretch, but she paid the price for the early effort and struggled to the finish. Richards-Ross charged past her, in the process setting the best time of the year, followed by Dee Dee Trotter, who made her third straight Olympic team. McCorory managed to hold off Debbie Dunn to claim third place and a trip to the Olympics.

At the 2012 Summer Olympics, McCorory competed in the 400m and 4x400m relay. In the 400m final, McCorory finished 7th with a time of 50.33. On the relay, McCorory ran the 3rd leg of the women’s 4 x 400m (in a leg time of 49.39), with DeeDee Trotter, Allyson Felix, and Sanya Richards-Ross, with the winning time being 3:16.87, the 3rd fastest time in Olympic history behind the Soviet Unionand USA at the 1988 Summer Olympics, and the 5th fastest time overall.

At the 2013 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships she improved her personal record to 50.01. In finishing second, she qualified for the 2013 World Championships where she improved her personal best under 50 to 49.86 in the semi-final round.

At the 2014 World Indoor Championships, she was a double gold medal winner taking the 400 metres and the 4×400 relay titles. Later in the season at the 2014 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships another improvement of her personal record to 49.48, defeating Sanya Richards to take the win. Later that year McCorory added to her titles by being named HBCU Top 30 Under 30, in June 2014.

Personal bests

PERSONAL BEST – OUTDOOR

PERFORMANCEWINDPLACEDATE
100 Metres11.62+1.1Columbia, SC

08 APR 2006

200 Metres

22.92+0.3Gainesville, FL02 APR 2010
400 Metres49.48Sacramento, CA

28 JUN 2014

PERSONAL BEST – INDOOR

PERFORMANCEWINDPLACEDATE
60 Metres7.43Princess Anne, MD

06 JAN 2007

300 Metres

36.40New York (Armory), NY25 JAN 2014
400 Metres50.54Fayetteville, AR

13 MAR 2010

500 Metres

1:09.01State College, PA28 JAN 2012
800 Metres2:20.25Princess Anne, MD

06 JAN 2007

 

Year

CompetitionVenuePositionEventPerformance

Representing the United States

2008

NACAC U-23 ChampionshipsToluca, México7th (h)400m53.51 A
2011World ChampionshipsDaegu, South Korea4th400 m

50.45

1st

4×400 m relay3:18.09
2012Olympic GamesLondon, United Kingdom7th400 m

50.33

1st4×400 m relay

3:16.88

2013

World Championships

Moscow, Russia

6th

400 m50.68
2nd4×400 m relay

3:20.41

2014

World Indoor ChampionshipsSopot, Poland1st400 m51.12
1st4×400 m relay

3:24.83

2015

World Relay ChampionshipsNassau, Bahamas1st4×400 m relay

3:19.39

2014, national champion of the 400-meters

2014, national champion indoor 400-meters

2015, IAAF Diamond League, winner of the 400-meters

2014, Gold in Continental Cup (Marrakech), 400 meters – 49 “94

2014, Gold in Continental Cup (Marrakech), 4×400 meters – 3’20″93