Aldrich Bailey 'picks it up,' rips 45.19 in 400

Aldrich Bailey, shown here at the Texas Relays, ran a US#1 45.19 400 meters and could test himself against the nation's best at the Olympic Trials in June in Eugene, Ore. Bert Richardson/ESPNHS

Texas 5A Region 1 Results

Aldrich Bailey of Timberview (Arlington, Texas) ran the fastest 400 by a U.S. prep in 17 years on Saturday at the Texas 5A Region 1 meet in Lubbock, Texas.

Bailey ran 45.19 seconds to better the National Federation (high school-only competition) record of 45.25 set by Calvin Harrison in 1993. However, his time ranks No. 6 all-time among preps, according to Jack Shepard's High School Track, trailing Darrell Robinson's 1982 record of 44.69, Jerome Young's 45.01 (1995), Henry Thomas' 45.09 (1985), Obea Moore's 45.14 (1995) and William Reed's 45.17 (1987).

Bailey also broke the Texas state record.

"I was expecting (to run fast)," Bailey told Dyestat after the race. "I surprised myself a little bit, but not all the way. My goal is to run 44 this year."

In contrast to other races this year, Bailey decided to get out fast and not let himself rest.

"In other races I've been relaxing too much," he said. "You can't slow down much in the 400. It's a sprint. I got out good, picked it up on the curve and stayed strong."

Bailey thought he might dip under 45 seconds but said he slowed just a little before the finish line.

Bailey also split a reported 44.8 anchor leg on Timberview's 4x400 relay, which ran 3:12.71. And the school's 4x100 relay ran 40.46. Both of those relay performances are new US#1s.

"My team had a good day," Bailey said.