Candyce McGrone has put herself in position to make Indiana track and field history.
The 26-year-old Warren Central graduate qualified for Friday’s 200-meter final at the World Championships in Beijing.
McGrone was second in her semifinal Thursday in 22.26 seconds, behind Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson, 22.13. The fastest time of the semis was 22.12 by Great Britain’s 19-year-old Diane Asher-Smith.
No native Hoosier or Indiana high school graduate has won a women’s individual medal at an Olympic Games or World Championships in track and field. Indianapolis native Maicel Malone won gold at the 1996 Olympics and three world medals, but all were in the 1,600-meter relay.
McGrone’s semifinal time was third overall. Her best of 22.08 this year is second only to the 21.98 by Allyson Felix.
“I could have executed my race better, but I’m satisfied being in the final,” McGrone told usatf.tv. “I just want to clean up my start. That’s it.”
Her chances are enhanced by the absence of Felix and Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Price, the gold and silver medalists from the 2012 Olympics. Felix won gold in Thursday’s 400 and Fraser-Price gold in Monday’s 100. The favorite in the 200 will be the Netherlands’ Dafne Schippers, who easily won her semi in 22.36 and was the silver medalist in the 100.
The final features three Jamaicans, three Europeans and two Americans. U.S. champion Jenna Prandini was fifth in a semi in 22.87 and failed to advance.
It was an otherwise dismal day for Indiana athletes:
• Amber Campbell, a Pike graduate, fouled three times in the women’s hammer final. She had qualified sixth overall. Her warm-up had been “amazing,” she told USA Track & Field. She has been to two Olympics and five worlds, and this was her second final.
“I went into my last one feeling really good, knowing that I had a great season, I can do this, I can put it together,” said Campbell, the U.S. champion. “I only needed 72, 73 (meters) to make the final. I thought, ‘I got this.’ I think I came in a little too hard and hit the inset, and c’est la vie. I still have other meets this season. I have to put this behind me and keep moving.”
• Molly Ludlow, an Indianapolis resident and Indiana University graduate, was seventh in her semifinal of the 800 in 2:00.43. She had a pre-meet best of 1:58.68, or No. 6 in the world. The field was so deep that a time of 1:58.63 did not make the final. This is the first worlds since 2009 in which no American made the final in the women’s 800.
• Former Indiana State hurdler Greggmar Swift, the World University Games champion for Barbados, was seventh in his semi of the 110 hurdles in 13.44. He was 17th overall and did not make the cut to eight.
Call Star reporter David Woods at (317) 444-6195. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidWoods007.