by Joseph W. Gex II, Contributing Writer
For the first time in history, the World Athletics Championships (Track and Field) were held on US soil from July 15-July 24 at Hayward Field on the campus of The University of Oregon. And, there was a Gulf Coast native on the track in Pass Christian’s Cory McGee.
McGee fulfilled a lifelong dream last year when she made Team USA and competed in the finals of the Tokyo Olympics.
In fact, she has qualified to compete for Team USA in major international athletic meets every year since 2013.
The former Pass Christian Lady Pirate and University of Florida All-American qualified for Team USA at the World Championships when she won the silver medal in the 1500m at the USATF Outdoor Championships on June 25 with a time of 4:04.52.
At the World Championships, McGee competed in Heat 3 on July 15 and automatically qualified for the semifinals with a sixth place finish and a time of 4:03.61.
On July 16, McGee automatically qualified for the finals with a fifth place finish and time of 4:02.74. The finals were held two days later on July 18 and McGee found herself in a race that moved fast from the start.
She was in ninth place at the first 100m of the race and eventually clawed her way to fifth place by 500m where she stayed until the 1300m mark.
She crossed the line in 10th place with a time of 4:03.70.
In an interview with another media outlet after the race McGee confided that she knew there were some outstanding runners that could command the race and time. She added that she hoped she had run a smarter race because she was in a position that was not part of her race strategy.
McGee ended by saying that her goal the remainder of the 2022 season is to break the 4:00.00 barrier which she feels confident that she can as she ran a 4:00.34 at the Prefontaine Classic in Oregon on May 28.
Faith Kipyegon of Kenya won the race with a time of 3:52.96 followed by silver medalist Gudaf Tsegay of Ethiopia and bronze medalist Laura Muir of Great
Britain. USA teammate and national champion Sinclaire Johnson placed sixth in 4:01.63.
McGee’s plans are to enter as many Diamond League races as she can to break that barrier.
After the World Championships ended on July 24, McGee’s season and personal best time in the outdoor 1500m is the time from the Prefontaine Classic in May.
Her best time in the indoor 1500m is 4:04.75 run at the Boston University Track and Tennis Center on February 1, 2020.
At the World Athletic Championships, Team USA won 33 medals to lead all countries with 13 of them being gold medals. Ethiopia, Jamaica, and Kenya all won 10 medals.
Team USA also won the first team event trophy in meet history scoring 328 points in the meet. Jamaica was second with 110 points followed by Ethiopia with 106 points.
Three World records were set at the meet including Tobi Amusan of Nigeria setting the record in the women’s 100m hurdles with a time of 12.12 seconds. USA’s Sydney McLaughlin set the record in the women’s 400m hurdles with a time of 50.68 seconds. Sweden’s Mondo Duplantis set a new men’s world pole vault record of 20’ 4 1/2”.
In total, there were over 1,700 athletes from 179 countries that converged on the Oregon campus during the eight day meet.
McGee is a Pass Christian High School Alum where she won 22 state titles before earning a track scholarship to Florida.