Alysia Montaño

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Alysia Montaño
Alysia Johnson Jenny Meadows Doha 2010-2011-26-06.jpg
Montaño at the 2010 World Indoor Championships in Athletics.
Personal information
Nationality American
Born (1986-04-23) April 23, 1986 (age 32)
Queens, New York
Height 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Sport Running
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)

400m: 52.09

800m: 1:57.34

Alysia Montaño (née Johnson) (born April 23, 1986) is an American middle distance runner. She is a six-time USA Outdoor champion 2007 (1:59.47), 2010 (1:59.87), 2011 (1:58.33); 2012 (1:59.08); 2013 (1:58.67); 2015 (1:59.15).[1] She perhaps gained more notoriety for the 2014 race that she competed in while 8 months' pregnant.[2] She also ran the same race in 2017's Championships, again while pregnant—this time, at 5 months. She has represented the United States at numerous international championships including the 2012 Olympics. She distinguishes herself by wearing a flower in her hair while running, a personal affectation she adopted to assert her femininity while training with men.

“My life philosophy has been to be bold and courageous"

— Alysia Montaño[3]

On the international level she has exhibited a bold, front running style, challenging other runners to keep up with her.

At the 2012 Olympics, Montaño finished in fifth place. In November 2015, the World Anti-Doping Agency recommended two Russian women who finished in first and third be given lifetime bans for their doping violations at the Olympics.[4] The International Olympic Committee has not yet issued any disqualifications. If the IOC does disqualify the two athletes and advances the other finishers, Montaño could be awarded the bronze medal.[5]


Alysia Johnson moved to California from New York at 3 years old. She played Soccer through high school and plays for fun as cross training as a professional.


As Alysia Johnson, she had a spectacular career at Canyon High School in Santa Clarita, California, culminating in winning the 800 meters at the CIF California State Meet in 2004.[6] That year she was ranked #10 in the nation and finished fourth at the Golden West Invitational, a meet that proclaims itself to be a National championship of High School Track and Field.[7]

At the University of California, Berkeley, she continued to improve. By 2006, she finished 3rd at the NCAA Women's Outdoor Track and Field Championships, setting personal bests three times during the competition. 2007 put her on the national stage, winning the NCAA Indoor Championship, the Outdoor Championship and breaking the 2 minute barrier.[8]

At the 2007 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, Montaño won her first national title in the 800 m with a time of 1:59.47. At the 2007 World Athletics Championships, Montaño was eliminated in the heats of the 800 m by finishing 4th with a time of 2:02.11.[9]

At the 2010 IAAF World Indoor Championships, Montaño won her first international medal, a bronze, in the 800 m, finishing with a personal best time of 1:59.60.[10] At the 2011 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, Montaño won the 800 m title in a time of 1:58.33 to defend her 2010 crown. She placed fourth at that year's World Championships in Daegu with her second fastest time of 1:57.48 minutes. As a result of the disqualification of several Russian competitors, she stands to advance to the bronze medal.[11]

She came close to a personal best at the 2012 Prefontaine Classic, winning the 800 m in 1:57.37 minutes.[12] At the 2012 Olympics, the front running Montaño held the lead until the kickers ran past her in the closing stages of the race, ultimately holding on to fifth place. With the potential disqualification of two Russian athletes, that could turn into an Olympic bronze medal.

She won the 2013 Milrose Games 600 meters and set an American Indoor Record of 1:23.59 on 16 February.[13][14]

Won 2013 Penn Relays 4 x 800 meters and set American Outdoor Record in 8:04.31 on April 27.[15] Lea Wallace (2:02.0), Brenda Martinez (2:00.6), Ajee' Wilson (2:03.1), Alysia Montano (1:58.6). Again at the 2013 World Championships, Montaño finished fourth after leading and being passed in the closing stage of the race. For the third major championship in a row, a Russian athlete, Mariya Savinova finished ahead of her. With Savinova's lifetime ban for doping, this could turn into another bronze medal for Montaño if medals are reallocated.

Alysia Montaño earned a silver medal at Athletics at the 2015 Pan American Games – Women's 800 metres in 1:59.76 the day after running a 50. 400 meters relay leg in Athletics at the 2015 Pan American Games – Women's 4 × 400 metres relay.

Alysia Montaño did not qualify for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics after falling in the USA Olympic trial finals.

Major Competition record[edit]

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  United States
2006 NACAC U23 Championships Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic 1st 800 m 2:03.87
2007 Pan American Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 6th 800 m 2:02.57
World Championships Osaka, Japan 29th (h) 800 m 2:02.11
2010 World Indoor Championships Doha, Qatar 3rd 800 m 1:59.60
2011 World Championships Daegu, South Korea 3rd 800 m 1:57.48
2012 Olympic Games London, United Kingdom 5th 800 m 1:57.93
2013 World Championships Moscow, Russia 3rd 800 m 1:57.95
2015 World Relay Championships Nassau, Bahamas 1st 4 × 800 m relay 8:00.62 (AR)
Pan American Games Toronto, Ontario 1st 4 × 400 m relay 3:26.40 semifinal
World Championships Beijing, China 41st (h) 800 m 2:09.57

Personal bests[edit]

As of June 2, 2013.
Event Time Venue Date
400 m (outdoor) 52.09 Nuoro July 14, 2010
600 m (indoor) 1:23.59 AR New York City February 16, 2013
800 m (outdoor) 1:57.34 Monaco July 22, 2010
800 m (indoor) 1:59.60 Doha March 14, 2010

Pregnant racing[edit]

Alysia garnered attention in June 2014 by competing in the USATF's USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships while eight months pregnant. She finished last in a field of 29 in the 800 meters preliminaries in 2:32.13.[16][17] She gave birth to Linnea Dori Montaño on August 15, 2014.[18] A year later in June 2015, Alysia returned and won the 800 meters final of the US Trials and qualified for the World Athletics Championships 2015 in Beijing.


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Some simple advice". Retrieved 10 February 2017. 
  4. ^ Gibson, Owen (9 November 2015). "Russia accused of 'state-sponsored doping' as Wada calls for athletics ban". Guardian. Retrieved 9 November 2015. 
  5. ^ "IOC ready to strip medals from Russians - Article - TSN". 10 November 2015. Retrieved 10 February 2017. 
  6. ^ "State Finals - 2004". Retrieved 10 February 2017. 
  7. ^ "Johnson, Alysia - TFX - The Internet Home of High School Track, Field and Cross Country". Retrieved 10 February 2017. 
  8. ^ "Alysia Johnson 800 Champ". Retrieved 10 February 2017. 
  9. ^ "2007 World Athletics Championships: Women's 800 metres (heats)". IAAF. Retrieved 2010-07-18. 
  10. ^ "2010 World Indoor Championships: Women's 800 metres (final)" (PDF). IAAF. Retrieved 2010-07-18. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ Gains, Paul (2012-06-02). Dibaba 30:24.39 and Kiprop 27:01.98 on stunning but wet first night in Eugene – Samsung Diamond League. IAAF. Retrieved on 2012-06-03.
  13. ^ "106th Millrose Games -- Branch Sports Technology". Retrieved 10 February 2017. 
  14. ^ "Alysia Montonya Lets her racing do the talking, AR in 600 2013 Millrose Games". Retrieved 10 February 2017. 
  15. ^ "2013 Penn Relays Distance Action: Women's 4x800 American Record, Emily Lipari Impresses, Robby Andrews in Mile and Much More". 27 April 2013. Retrieved 10 February 2017. 
  16. ^ "Pregnant runner competes at track nationals". Retrieved 10 February 2017. 
  17. ^ USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships
  18. ^ "US Olympian gives birth two months after running 800m race pregnant". Retrieved 10 February 2017. 

External links[edit]