400m - 800m: Several Athletes Slated Take On Risky Double

TSSAA State Track And Field Championships


Just One Event

Depending on how long you've been a reader of content on this website will determine whether or not you caught an article I wrote in 2020 regarding the 800m event and how the it's a misnomer to consider it a "distance" event. In the article, I argue the only reason most consider it as such in Tennessee is simply due to the fact that the schedule really prevents 400m runners who have a little more endurance from ever really attempting the event to begin with. To contrast, the article pulls Texas into the mix and as further evidence we can look at what Darius Rainey of Summer Creek did this past weekend at the UIL State Championship. The future USC Trojan won the 800m in 1:50 (it's 3rd in the order of events) and midway through the meet won the 400m with a 46.36. 

Rainey, based on his profile, never competed in cross country. 

Here, we see the event through a little bit of a different lens due to how the order of events is configured. 

  1. 4x800m
  2. High Hurdles
  3. 100m
  4. 4x200m
  5. 1600m
  6. 4x100m 
  7. 400m
  8. 300m Hurdles
  9. 800m
  10. 200m
  11. 3200m
  12. 4x400m

If someone competes in the 800m, their likely other events are typically comprised of the 1600, 4x800, or 4x400m. Rarely does one attempt the 400m and the 800m in the same meet but this year, based on the qualifiers, is an anomaly. From what I can tell, seven runners are going to attempt the double next week. They are as follows:




Terrick Johnson

WhitehavenDI AAA

San'Darius Coleman

CovingtonDI AA

Dwayne Morris

Austin-EastDI AA

Garrett Wilson


Mariah Ivery


Alana Seals

South GibsonDI AA

Melanie Val

St. Andrews-SewaneeDI A

The fact that they qualified in both is an accomplishment to begin with. The fact that they're going to try it again next week is incredibly brave but very risky. While some will at least be able to run the 400m as their first event, Johnson, Ivery, and Morris will also have an 800m to open to meet running a leg on the 4x800m relay. There is over an hours worth of recovery time between that event and the 400m so I don't feel whatever aspirations or goals they have the one lap event will be hindered by participating in the opening event given the amount of recovery time. Where it gets grueling is stepping (or crawling) off he track after the most lactic acid inducing race of the entire meet, barely catching your breath while trying to regain your ability to stand, then stepping back onto the track 10 minutes later to run two more laps of equal strenuousness. While I'm not saying winning both events can't be done, the schedule adds a layer of difficulty to already difficult races. It will take a special athlete to win both with the pace at which the state meet is conducted but even if that doesn't happen, each of these athletes command some admiration for even attempting this double to begin with. It is not for the faint of heart. 

Terrick Johnson won the Section 4 800m run after finishing 3rd in the 400m dash two events prior.