Alysia Montaño

Alysia Montaño
Alysia Johnson Jenny Meadows Doha 2010-2011-26-06.jpg
Montaño at the 2010 World Indoor Championships in Athletics.
Personal information
Born (1986-04-23) 23 April 1986 (age 36)
Queens, New York
Height5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)400m: 52.09
800m: 1:57.34

Alysia Montaño (née Johnson) (born 23 April 1986) is an American middle distance runner. She is a six-time USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships 800 metres champion (2007, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015).[1] She gained significant publicity for the 2014 race that she competed while 8 months pregnant.[2][3]


Alysia Johnson moved to California from New York when she was 3 years old. She played soccer and ran cross country through high school. She ran for Canyon High School in Santa Clarita, California, with her high school career culminating in winning the 800 meters at the CIF California State Meet in 2004.[4] 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.[5]

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.[6]

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.[7]

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.[8] 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 advanced to the bronze medal.

She came close to a personal best at the 2012 Prefontaine Classic, winning the 800 m in 1:57.37 minutes.[9] 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. With the disqualification of Mariya Savinova that has been elevated to fourth, however Ekaterina Poistogova was not disqualified backdated to the 2012 Olympics despite receiving a lifetime ban for doping. That decision allowed Poistogova to advance to the silver medal and prevented Montaño from advancing further.

She won the 2013 Milrose Games 600 meters and set an American Indoor Record of 1:23.59 on 16 February.[10][11]

Won 2013 Penn Relays 4 x 800 meters and set American Outdoor Record in 8:04.31 on 27 April.[12] 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 resulted into another bronze medal for Montaño when the medals were 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-point 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

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 4th 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

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

Racing while pregnant

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 with a time of 2:32.13.[13][14] She gave birth to Linnea Dori Montaño on 15 August 2014.[15]

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. ^ "USA Track & Field - Alysia Montano". 19 March 2011. Retrieved 8 September 2022.
  2. ^ Phillip, Abby. "Olympian Alysia Montano runs an 800-meter race while 34 weeks pregnant". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  3. ^ Blades, Nicole (26 August 2020). "Alysia Montaño Is the Hero of This Story". Runner's World. Retrieved 6 September 2020.
  4. ^ "State Finals - 2004". Archived from the original on 17 October 2013. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  5. ^ "Johnson, Alysia - TFX - The Internet Home of High School Track, Field and Cross Country". Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  6. ^ "Alysia Johnson 800 Champ". Retrieved 10 February 2017.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "2007 World Athletics Championships: Women's 800 metres (heats)". IAAF. Archived from the original on 10 September 2007. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  8. ^ "2010 World Indoor Championships: Women's 800 metres (final)" (PDF). IAAF. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  9. ^ Gains, Paul (2 June 2012). 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.
  10. ^ "106th Millrose Games -- Branch Sports Technology". Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  11. ^ "Alysia Montonya Lets her racing do the talking, AR in 600 2013 Millrose Games". Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  12. ^ "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.
  13. ^ "Pregnant runner competes at track nationals". 27 June 2014. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  14. ^ USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships
  15. ^ Clarke, Suzan (20 August 2014). "Athlete Who Raced While Pregnant Gives Birth to Baby Girl". ABC News. Retrieved 24 October 2020.

External links