Adaejah Hodge, Just 16, Smashes The World U20 Record In 200m

* Hodge in the final moments of the 200m on Sunday at New Balance Nationals

Photo Credit: Shawn Conlon/MileSplit 

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BOSTON, Mass. -- Adaejah Hodge's 200 meter performance on Sunday was like a 10 on the Richter scale.

Her own coach, wearing a level of shock not seen often in these settings, buried his hands into his face. 

"I don't know when we're going to see athletes like this ever again," Gerald Phiri said. "I think it's going to be a very long time."

And he might be right. Hodge, the high school junior from Montverde Academy -- just 16 years old, her 17th birthday arriving in 10 days -- didn't just break the high school national record in the 200m on Sunday at New Balance Nationals Indoor, but she took a wrecking ball and bulldozed it down, achieving a new world U18 and world U20 standard with her time of 22.33 seconds. 

Consider this: Bianca Knight, an Olympic gold medalist in the 4x100, broke the World U20 record in 2008, when she was a college freshman at the University of Texas. 

Before the 200m high school national record was broken and broken again this indoor season, she held the previous national standing for 16 years, having ran 22.97 in 2007. 

Then Hodge re-set the national record in the 200m prelims with a time of 22.77. It previously stood at 22.89. 

"These types of athletes don't come around often," Phiri said. "She's a junior in high school." 

Hodge's moment in the sun on Sunday was, in simple terms, like seeing a solar eclipse, which is to say extremely rare and maybe career-defining ...though maybe not.

"This is just the beginning," she said.

Hodge, who a year ago competed for the British Virgin Islands at the CARIFTA Games and picked up wins in the 100m, 200m and long jump, had run 23.39 prior to this weekend.

She posted a time of 22.77 in the prelims, which broke the high school national record of 22.89, which was set in February by Mia Brahe-Pedersen (also a junior). 

High school girls simply have not run under 23 seconds all that often indoors.

The fact that Hodge has now set the barrier at 22.33? That mark may be nearly impossible to break in the future. 

"I just came off the curve and just let everything on the track," she said.