From The Armory To The World
It wasn't even 16 months ago when we announced the 2012 All-Armory teams and now three of those choices are already looking for global success… And not at the junior level.
Mary Cain (Bronxville, N.Y.), Ajee Wilson (Neptune, N.J.) and Kadecia Baird (Brooklyn, N.Y.) will all be heading to Moscow, Russia, next month for the IAAF World Championships and each of them is looking for more than a single run. They are looking to shock the running world.
All three have international experience. Wilson and Baird claimed medals at the World Juniors in Barcelona last year while Cain — who competed favorably against the world's best at the Pre Classic this spring — hasn't had a bad race in 2013.
At just 17, Cain is the youngest U.S. athlete to make Team USA for the World Championships, an event that began 30 years ago. Last week she was profiled by Sports Illustrated's Tim Layden, who called her "indisputably the most precocious female middle-distance runner in U.S. history."
Wilson, who turned 19 in May, has run as fast as Cain for 800 meters (both have run mid-1:59), but has had more global success thus far. She has struck 800m gold in both the World Youth and World Junior Championships. Over the weekend she competed in the Diamond League stop at the Meeting Areva in Paris and ran beneath 2:01.
Then there's the 18-year-old Baird, who won the CAC 400m championship in Mexico over the weekend. She'd claimed silver at last summer's World Juniors with a time of 51.04, but hadn't approached that until Saturday when she stopped the clock in 51.32. Representing Guyana at the Worlds, can she surprise the veterans with a new personal best, which would mean a dip into the 50s?
We knew that they were good 16 months ago, but these three have certainly outgrown the All-Armory team. But rest assured, back here where we saw them develop, we will be watching and cheering with pride.