by Blue Bears Sports Information Department
Salisbury, NC - Livingstone College alumna Quanera Hayes won the 400 meter sprint title at the 2017 U.S.A. track and field outdoor championship on June 24 in Sacramento, Calif., posting the fastest time in the event in the world so far this season at 49.72 seconds. That puts her in prime contention for a medal at the upcoming world championships, which begin Aug. 4 in London.
The Hope Mills, NC, native ran track at Livingstone College under the coaching of Justin Davis and Tim Dunlap. Hayes is one of the few national track champions who didn’t come from a Division I background. Instead, she clawed her way up the pro ranks from her days as Division II national champion at Livingstone College.
“I’m so proud of what she accomplished at Livingstone and what she is doing as a professional,” Davis said. “With her coming from a small HBCU to being the best in the world goes to show that it’s not the school you come from, it’s what you do when you get there.”
Though focused on making the world outdoor team, she is no stranger to world championships. At the 2016 world indoor championships in Portland, Ore., she picked up a bronze medal in the 400 and a gold in the 4×400-meter relay. She came up short in making the 2016 U.S. Olympic team.
“It’s been an honor to watch Quanera grow as an athlete. From the very first race I put her in, I knew that she was amazing. When she sat in my office her freshman year, she told me that she wanted to go to the Olympics. Although she has not made an Olympic team yet, with her faith and determination, she will get there,” Davis said.
For now, she’s back to training and preparing for London, where she will have to face Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Allyson Felix.