Cardozo High School alum and Queens native ‘hurdles’ her way to a world record

Photo: Fernando Frazão/Wikimedia Commons

A Queens native and alumna from Benjamin Cardozo High School in Bayside broke the world record for 400-meter hurdles last week.

Dalilah Muhammad eclipsed a 16-year world record at the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships in Iowa, clocking in at at 52.20 seconds. The 29-year-old athlete from Rochdale Village broke the 52.34 second record Yuliya Pechonkina set in 2003.

“Last night we made history! We broke the world record!” Muhammad wrote on Instagram on July 29.


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There’s so much I want to say and somehow I just can’t find the right words. Last nights race meant so much to me for so many reasons. Ill save that for a later day but first I must thank my coach @boogiejohnson. He’s crazy, relentless and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Thank you so much. Last night we made history! We broke the world record! #worldrecord #dalilahmuhammad #nike

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Fellow track and field athletes Sydney McLaughlin and Ashley Spencer took second and third place respectively.

During the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Muhammad became the first woman in the United States to win a gold medal for 400-meter hurdles.

Following her win in 2016, Muhammad and fellow Olympic athlete Deajah Stevens returned to their Bayside alma mater. One of Muhammad’s high school coaches, Ray James, said that she would often come back to mentor students after graduating.

“The best advice I can give to someone is: fall in love with the process of getting there,” she expressed. “Because if you don’t love the process, you know, it’s just not going to happen,” said Muhammad when asked how student athletes could get to the Olympic level.

While in high school, she won gold at the 2007 World Youth Championships in Athletics and earned New York State and Nike Outdoor Nationals titles for 400-meter hurdles in 2008.

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