After some review, we've come to an important conclusion.
While a fairly high percentage of the fastest milers in the country has the requisite speed to lay down a fast 800m, the percentage of 400m runners who can successfully move up to the 800m with a comparable time is lower. In other words, it seems generally easier for long distance runners to move down to middle distance than short distance runners to move up to middle distance.
We reviewed athletes with combined performances in the 400-800 and the 800-1600 and compared them over equal distances to see where most athletes stack up. We also included a parameter in both comparisons to include the top total combined times.
- Caitlin Collier is No. 1 in 800m with a 1600m performance -- and No. 1 in 1600m with a combined race -- and has No. 19-fastest 400m with an 800m effort. She also has No. 1 total 400m-800m and 800-1600m time.
- Jan'Taijah Ford is US No. 1 in the 400m (52.82), but has trouble going up in distance to 800m (2:30.45). She excels in 100 (12.11) and 200 (23.62). She has No. 208 total combined time in 400-800.
- Sterling Lester can race up. She's No. 2 with a 400m and 800m performance, but also No. 34 combined total 400-800m time.
- Bailey Lear has No. 3 top 400m run with 800m performance and is No. 39 in total time between two distances.
- Alyssa Brewer has No. 2 fastest 800m with a 1600m and has 31st fastest 400-800m combined time and No. 9 fastest 800m-1600m combined time.
- Tierra Robinson-Jones has No. 4 fastest 400m with an 800m, but has 175th fastest combined time.
- Mari Friedman is No. 3 in fastest 800m with 1600m and is No. 2 in combined times.
Comparison: 400m-800m - 800m-1600m
Total Time Comparison: Fastest Total Time 400m-800m - Fastest Total Time 800m-1600m