© Copyright – 2023 – Athletics Illustrated

Twenty-three-year-old American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson, the gregarious, seemingly troubled athlete who grew up in Dallas, Texas, has had an up-and-down career to date. American sprint fans have been cheering her on during her sprint career and hoping that she gets her life in order. Saturday may have been a step in the right direction.

The weekend prior, during the Texas Relays — without all of the colourful paraphernalia distracting from her performance — she debuted her 2023 season in the 4 x 100-metre helping the team clock a second-place 42.10 finish. Saturday, April 8, she did one better clocking an impressive 10.57 (+4.1ms) for the win at the Miramar Invitational in Miramar, Florida.

Before shade is thrown over her wind-aided performances, readers ought to know that she thoroughly bettered a strong field which included Twanish “TeeTee” Terry, Cambrea Sturgis and Natasha Morrison. Terry clocked 10.83 for second and Sturgis 10.98. Richardson’s 10.57 performance is the fourth-fastest all-time (was wind-aided, therefore is not legal). Regardless, it was a demonstrative start to her outdoor season, which of course included an early celebration at the line — but subdued by Richardson’s standards.

The question now is, during the biggest meets including the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, will she be able to focus on her athletics career?

The 24-year-old Terry, on July 30, set her personal best at 10.82 at the Billy J. Murphy Track and Field Complex, Memphis, TN. A month prior, she recorded a 10.74 wind-aided performance at the Prefontaine Diamond League meet in Eugene, OR.

Sturgis, also age 24, owns a 10.87 best from April 23 last year, when she raced at the Marcus T. Johnson Track, in Greensboro, NC. She also owns a 10.74 wind-aided best. Twenty-two-year-old Melissa Jefferson, who shone brightly during the 2022 season had a rough go. It was likely just one of those days that a sprinter can have. She will need to have a short memory and get on with the next meet. She clocked a dead-last 11.27. Her best from the 2022 Prefontaine Classic is 10.82.

Last year, during the Eugene World Athletics Championships, Jefferson turned heads. She helped Team USA win the 4 x 100m relay in the time of 41.14. The Georgetown, SC native also finished in eighth place in the World’s 100m final against possibly the greatest sprint field ever assembled. She will have better days, as surely, Richardson experienced on Saturday.

However, like the wind at the track, success can blow in and ebb away just as fast. It’s a long season leading up to the 2023 World Athletics Championships being held in Budapest August 19 – 27.