News & Politics

4 Things to Know About Quincy Wilson, the 16-Year-Old Maryland Track Star

The teen could make Olympic history.

Quincy Wilson at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore. this weekend. Photograph by Christian Petersen/Getty Images.

Quincy Wilson, a rising junior at the private Bullis School in Potomac, Maryland, shattered records at the Olympic Track and Field Trials in Oregon this weekend. On Sunday night, he ran 400 meters in 44.59 seconds, the fastest time ever for an American under the age of 18—breaking his own record set the night before. Tonight, he’ll race in the finals, and if he finishes in the top three, he’ll be on Team USA, heading to Paris in July. Here are four things to know about the Maryland teen before you watch his race tonight.

1. He comes from a military family who moved around a lot, and emphasized tenacity in sports and school.

As the Washington Post has reported, his parents moved to Gaithersburg from Chesapeake, Virginia, so Wilson could attend Bullis, knowing the school’s reputation for nurturing athletes. Both his parents were college athletes—his mom, Monique, was a basketball and soccer star in high school and college; his dad, Roy, played football at the Naval Academy. His older sister, Kadence, was a Virginia state track champion and now runs for James Madison University. His cousin, Shaniya Hall, was also a standout runner at Bullis and went on to run for the University of Oregon’s D1 track team. The family’s work ethic extends to the classroom, too—Quincy Wilson got straight-As this school year, and the average GPA of his track squad is 3.9. 

2. His K-12 school is known in part for producing impressive athletes.

Bullis was founded in DC in 1930 as a preparatory school for the Naval Academy, relocating to Potomac in the 1960s. Its list of notable alumni includes the Miami Dolphins’ Cam Brown, the Philadelphia Eagles’ Moise Fokou, Olympic kayaker Caroline Queen, and record-holding hurdler Masai Russell. According to the Post, track coach Joe Lee has spent ten years beefing up the program. He came to Bullis in 2014 as a college runner-turned-youth-pastor, determined to shape the talent he saw at the school. Lee has now coached five All-Met athletes.

3. Quincy is among the youngest athletes to have an NIL (name, image, and likeness) deal with a major sportswear company.

In September, he signed with New Balance, after winning the company’s own 400-meter race. He joined New Balance alongside a slate of high school and other young college runners from around the country. At present, 30 states and DC allow NIL deals for K-12 athletes, which California did first in 2021, but it’s still rare for major companies to sponsor teenagers. 

4. If he gets to the Olympics, he’ll be the youngest US Olympic male runner ever. And he’ll be among the fastest competitors.

His most recent 400-meter record this weekend would have put him at 6th place in the Tokyo 2020 rankings.

Wilson’s qualifying race will be at 9:59 PM Eastern on Monday, June 24. You can watch it live on Peacock, NBC’s streaming service.

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Helen Huiskes
Editorial Fellow