Winslow graduate Nylah Perry PR’d in the 400-meter hurdles Thursday night and advanced to to the next round at the NCAA West Preliminary meet in Fayetteville, Ark.
Perry, a freshman at Iowa, ran 58.72, the No. 9 time in school history and a personal best by nearly a second.
Perry raced in the first of six heats and then had to sit back and wait to see if her time held up as one of the six-fastest wild-card times. The top three finishers in each of the six heats auto qualified for the next round as well as the next six-fastest times.
Perry placed 5th in the first heat, but her time held up as the 5th-fastest time outside a top-3 finish, and she survived to race another day – a remarkable achievement for a freshman who hadn’t broken 62 seconds in the intermediates early last month.
The wild-card cutoff turned out to be 58.80, so Perry qualified by 8-100ths of a second!
Perry’s PR was 1:02.00 as recently as last month. She ran 1:02.00 at Winslow at 2019 Group 3 sectionals at Delsea, didn’t compete outdoors in 2020 or 2021, and then opened her college career with a 1:01.95 early last month in Tucson.
She lowered her time to 1:00.59 two weeks later in Iowa City before dipping under 60 for the first time in the trials of the Big Ten Championships last week in Minneapolis with another PR at 59.67.
So her performance Thursday night was a PR of 95-100ths of a second, and she’s now lowered her time a ridiculous 3.28 seconds since early last month.
Perry missed qualifying for Saturday’s quarterfinals by X-XXXth of a second, but she was the No. 2 freshman in the entire field, behind only Abigail Schaaffe of Minnesota, who ran 57.79.