2018 Pre Classic Diary: Noah Lyles runs 19.69 for 200 meters!


Lyles_NoahFHH-Pre18.JPGNoah Lyles dominated Pre Classic 200 meters, photo by PhotoRun.net

Last summer, Noah Lyles ran a near perfect 200 meters in the first round at the US champs. He looked great. But, he had been hurt. At the end of the season, Noah won the final Diamond League event of the year, and opened a few eyes. In 2018, he has been opening many eyes.

On May 4, Noah Lyles put a move on over the last fifty meters of the 200 meters, and won the Doha Diamond League 200 meters, running 19.83, the world leader. Lyles's magic comes over the last fifty meters, or so, it looks. His fantastic shape, and finishing speed, and his enthusiasm all comes through in his racing.

Lyles_NoahFHL-BosOut18.jpGAt the adidas Boost Boston Games, Noah Lyles ran 14.77 for the 150 meters. He looked relaxed and efficient as he took the field apart. It was obvious, once again, that Noah Lyles was coming into shape and that the 200 meters would be an impressive distance this season.

The fields at the Pre Classic, in all of the events, are orchestrated to provide the finest fields seen in North America. Why? This meet is to celebrate the legacy of Steve Prefontaine. Pre was brash, talented and the secret sauce to Nike's beginnings. In honor of the fallen athlete, Nike does a two day celebration of the sport. It is the only meet that most American sports fans see on TV each year. Race after race, the Pre Classic has great fields and great races. Some upsets and some races that take your breath away. To have the best field in the 200 meters of the season so far, they needed Noah Lyles in the 200 meters. So, Noah Lyles, the new generation star, was in Pre Classic. Pre liked tough races, and he respected sprinters, jumpers, throwers and distance runners. Pre would have liked it that Noah Lyles, a sprinter who runs with enthusiasm, was in the 200 meters at the meet named in his honor.

Noah Lyles has big dreams. His 200 meters in Pre was one of the most anticipated events of the weekend. When I asked one of the keenest observers of the sport I know, the observer noted that Noah Lyles was the future of the furlong. I tend to agree. His speed, his size, his fitness, but most of all, his obvious love of the sport comes out. In Eugene, Noah Lyles came off the turn in the lead, with Isaac Makwaala in tow. Just as Lyles hit the straight, Makwaala cramped and shut down. Lyles kept pouring it on. Sensing his lead, Noah Lyles then blew the race apart and ran hard through the finish line, with a tie for the world leading time, with 19.69!

How good is Noah Lyles? This young man has much more in the tank. Within a few years, he might challenge for the world record.

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