Connect with us

Olympics / Team USA

Local Olympics Spotlight: Queens Native Phyllis Francis Has Chance At Multiple Medals For US Track & Field

Phyllis Francis

Phyllis Francis


Queens native Phyllis Francis is hoping to continue American dominance in the 400m, when she heads to Rio in August.

Francis secured her spot on her first ever Olympic team when she finished second in the 400m behind only Allyson Felix, and in front of Natasha Hastings. In the race, Francis posted her personal best time of 49.94 seconds, which was good for the fifth fastest time by any woman in 2016. In 2014 while with Oregon, she set the American indoor record in that event.

With ever improving times, it’s reasonable to assume that the 24-year old blooming track star can bust out in these Olympics and provide the United States with a medal. In her short career, Francis has shown up big for her biggest races, meaning that she may be able to even further improve her time when pushed by the world’s best around her. While she only boasts the fifth best time this year with her personal best, two of the competitors ahead of her, both American teammates, didn’t make the team. That means, of the woman competing in the Rio Olympics, she has the third fastest time this year, making her a prime candidate to reach the podium.

If she doesn’t win a medal in the individual event, which she very well may, she probably will win one with the 4X400m relay team. She anchored the relay team in 2014 Oregon when they won the event, clinching their fifth consecutive national title. American women have dominated the 4X400m relay historically, and they enter Rio as the presumptive favorites to win yet again, especially as a team, which Francis was a part of, wrapped up the gold in the world championships last year. Paired up with the dominant Felix and other strong runners, the United States should be able to bowl over top competitor Jamaica, barring a relay mishap. This means that Epps could come home with two Olympic medals.

While attending track powerhouse University of Oregon, she majored in general social sciences. The Ducks won a national title in each of the four seasons that she attended. After being born in Queens, she moved to Eugene, Oregon in order to train in track. Her younger sister, Claudia, ran at Oregon as well, until she transferred to run with the Florida Gators.

The following two tabs change content below.
Dan is a Staff Writer here at with a focus on Team USA and the Rio Olympics
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Olympics / Team USA