Carter, who graduated this month from Stanford with a degree in human biology, captured her first USA Track and Field title by winning the 400-meter hurdles on Sunday at Sacramento State.
Carter ran a season best 53.84 to edge her Pac-12 rival, former Arizona star Georganne Moline, who finished second in 54.00. Carter’s time was the second-fastest in the world this year and the fastest by an American.
A year ago, Carter won the NCAA title in a collegiate record time of 53.21, which was the world’s fastest time heading into the U.S. championships in Des Moines, Iowa. However, a stomach virus struck suddenly after her first round heat and prevented Carter from racing in the semifinals and subsequently cost her a possible spot on the U.S. World Championships team.
This time, Carter channeled her self-described “Kori Monster” persona to power over the final three hurdles and open up a gap just wide enough to earn her first USATF title.
“I was only focused on me,” Carter said of her stretch drive. “It’s time to get it and go after it. In those situations the Kori Monster takes over. It’s all instincts, all guts. That was the fun part.”
Stanford freshman Valarie Allman competed in her second USATF senior championship meet and finished a personal best 12th, with a throw of 170-1.
That distance came on her second throw. Allman fouled on her two other attempts and did not advance to the final. However, it improved upon her performance in last year’s national meet, during which she competed during an extension of her high school career. In 2013, Allman was 15th with a throw of 154-11.
Allman next competes at the U.S. junior nationals July 5-6 in the hopes of a top-two finish and a berth in the IAAF World Junior Championships. Both meets are in Eugene, Ore.
On Saturday, Stanford alum and former Cardinal assistant coach Garrett Heath ’09 led for most of the men’s 1,500 final on the way to finishing ninth, in 3:40.28.
Carter’s victory highlighted strong performances by current, former and future Cardinal. Besides her triumph on Sunday, current Stanford teammates Aisling Cuffe and Jessica Tonn finished fourth and ninth, respectively, in the women’s 5,000 final on Friday.
Also, Chris Derrick ’12 was second in the men’s 10,000 on Thursday, and incoming freshman Harrison Williams won the junior national decathlon, which was held in conjunction with the senior meet, with the second-highest point total in U.S. junior history.