Like most Americans, we follow track and field mostly during Olympic years, so we can’t say this with 100 percent certainty, but our impression is that things have been erratic in recent years: dropped batons, failed drug tests and a general sense of...well, being off.
Part of that is that other nations have developed their own powerful programs. The Kenyans are superb in distance events like the 10,000 meter and the Jamaicans have been dominant in sprints.
But not this year.
For the first time in 31 years, US sprinters swept in the 100 meters. Fred Kerley finished first, with Marvin Bracy-Williams and Trayvon Bromell taking second and third respectively.
Kerley is an amazing story. He competed in the 400 before switching to the shorter race and now is the fastest man in the world.
His childhood was not easy. His parents had major problems and he was adopted by his aunt, and slept in a room with his siblings, who were also taken in, and his cousins. Head count at night: 13.
For their part, Bracey and Bromwell have overcome serious injuries. Bracey had an appendix rupture and an intestinal blockage that required the surgeon to cut from his belly button down to his pelvis. And Bromwell had a very serious Achilles injury in the Rio Olympics that he had to overcome.
So it was a glorious day for the US. And for Kerley, he’s also running in the 200 and the 4x100 relay. So the good times may not be over yet.