The women’s 2011 season couldn’t have been more different than the men’s season if it had been scripted that way. The top women all had marks on the board by early May as defending World champion Shelly Ann Fraser (JAM) opening up over 200 with a 22.69 (Apr 16) & 22.10w (May 7); defending silver medalist Kerron Stewart (JAM) turning 11.07 (May 7); and Berlin bronze medalist Carmelita Jeter lighting it up with clockings of 10.99 (Apr 16) & 10.86 (May 7). That May 7th meet was the Jamaica Invitational where we got a new entrant into the sprint wars in Kelly Ann Baptiste (TRI) who cracked sizzled in 10.94.
A week later Marshevet Myers (USA) clocked 11.09 (May 14) to get in range; and Veronica Campbell Brown (JAM) opened up with a 10.92 in Shanghai (May15) to defeat Jeter’s 10.95. On June 4th Shelly Ann Fraser opened over 100 at 10.95 at Prefontaine and the field was basically set for the season. The Prefontaine meet was huge with Fraser’s clocking good for only 4th behind Jeter (10.70), Myers (10.86), and Stewart (10.87)!
Unlike the men who were basically MIA over most of the European season however, the women were quite active. Campbell Brown started things off in fine fashion blasting a PR 10.76 in Ostrava and the summer was off to the races as the women raced frequently with some two to three woman combination of the above present at most of the major Euro races leading up to Daegu – the only exception being Shelly Ann Fraser who only had two races between Pre and Daegu.
Everyone showed up to Daegu intact, making the World Championships the primary race on the season that it should be – all the main contenders showing up going head to head for gold. While the conditions (negative winds) kept the women from achieving seasons bests, we were treated to a championship caliber competition with the summer’s top performers coming through in the end – Jeter (gold), Campbell Brown (silver), and Baptiste (bronze).
The women gave us a good show all season long, and made ranking them much easier than separating the men. With that, let’s take a look at how the season broke down with my view of the top five women on the season.
|#1||Carmelita Jeter||United States|
Jeter did everything that you would expect of a #1 selection. She had the seasons best record at 11 – 1, her only loss coming to VCB in Shanghai. She had the seasons best time at 10.70- the =7th all-time clocking. Eight times she ran under 11.00, two of them sub 10.80. Several of those meets were in Diamond League competitions as she ran in Shanghai, Eugene, Stockholm, London and Brussels. And of course she ran in Daegu where she upgraded to gold from previous bronze. Making her a clear #1
|#2||Veronica Campbell Brown||Jamaica|
VCB is just as easy a choice for #2, as her season was nearly as solid as Jeter’s. She was 5 – 2 on the season and was the only sprinter to beat Jeter at this distance doing so once, with her only two losses coming at the hands of Jeter in Daegu and Brussels. Everyone else fell victim to her at some point. She had 7 sub 11 clockings in a season that included meets in Shanghai, Paris and Brussels. Only Jeter at #1 stood in her way all season.
|#3||Kelly Ann Baptiste||Jamaica|
Kelly Ann was another easy choice, as her 5 – 4 record only had losses to Jeter and Campbell Brown – twice finishing second, twice third. She competed in major meets in Paris, London, Berlin and Brussels in addition to her bronze medal in Daegu. With victories in Berlin and Paris she was about the only sprinter to notch victories in races of significance that weren’t named Carmelita or Veronica.
|#4||Shelly Ann Fraser||Jamaica|
Here is where things get a bit difficult, because with the aforementioned women winning everything, everyone else had “negative” seasons as wins were just not there to be had. In the end the World Championships was the main determinant as Fraser’s four meet season resulted in a 1 – 3 record. But a 4th in Eugene, a 3rd in London, and a 4th at Worlds gets her this spot based on finishing only behind those ahead of her on the season.
Stewart was better on the clock than Fraser on the year, and her 1 – 7 record found her competing more often while finishing frequently in third place to the top three women in meets in Eugene, Paris, Stockholm and Berlin. Unfortunately for Stewart she didn’t show her best in the biggest meet of the year finishing only 6th at Worlds, and thus finds herself a spot behind Fraser here. I may have had a better argument had she finished in 5th, definitely in 4th, but 6th place was just too much of a fall off when it mattered to rate her higher.
So there it is, my top five in the women’s 100. Next I will take a look at the deuce, first men, then women.