Lilah Drafts-Johnson wouldn’t be denied in her final collegiate competition, winning an NCAA title in the 400-meter hurdles in 59.34 seconds.
Going out on top. It is a dream that all athletes strive for, but few achieve. On Saturday afternoon, Oberlin College senior Lilah Drafts-Johnson was one of the select few as she won the national championship in the 400-meter hurdles.
The Melrose, Massachusetts, native clocked the 10th fastest time in Division III history with a lifetime-best and school-record mark of 59.34.
"For a year, Lilah's goal has been clear," head coach Ray Appenheimer said. "I could not be more proud of everything she has given to this team. Today it is confirmed that she is the best. It is something we have known for a long time."
A multiple-time all-region selection, Drafts-Johnson was named as the NCAC Indoor and Outdoor Sprints/Hurdles Runner of the Year in each of the last two years.
One of the greatest sprinters in the history of Oberlin College, she will graduate on Monday owning school records in the 200 (25.78), 400 (56.10), and 4x400 relay indoors, and the 200 (25.12), 400 (56.23), and 400 hurdlers (59.34) outdoors.
Drafts-Johnson joined teammate Monique Newton as the only athletes from a women’s sports program to win a national championship in Oberlin College history.
Newton, who started her busy weekend by winning the national championship in the discus on Thursday, was back in action today in the hammer. Unfortunately, the Sacramento, California, native fouled on her first three attempts and did not register a countable mark for the event. However, Newton also earned a second-place finish in the shot put on Friday as she ended her career as an eight-time All-American.
The Yeowomen, who totaled 28 points at the national meet, will bid farewell to Drafts-Johnson, Newton, and fellow national qualifier Ana Richardson as they are all set to graduate.