Four years removed from her NCAA championship in the 400-meter hurdles, Stanford grad Kori Carter is on top of the world.
Carter, a nine-time All-American at Stanford, raced 53.07 from lane nine to edge fellow American and reigning Olympic champ Delilah Mohammad (53.50) at the IAAF World Track and Field Championships in London on Thursday.
Carter joined former Stanford teammate Katerina Stefanidi as gold medalists.
Stefanidi of Greece won the women's pole vault on Sunday. They were teammates in 2011 and 2012.
Carter won the NCAA title with a time of 53.21, a collegiate record and the fastest time in the world at that point. She finished fourth at last year's Olympic trials in 54.47 and never finished her hurdles race at the 2015 World Championships after falling during the semifinals.
She needed to race a personal best 52.95 at the USA championships in June just to nab the final qualifying spot.
Thursday, she left no doubt who was in charge, bolting out of the starting blocks and remaining ahead the entire race.
"Our whole goal this year was gold," Carter said. "That was our focus. That's what we were committed to. I was dreaming about crossing the line first. Believing you can do it is the first step to making it happen."
Carter has been working with one of her former college coaches Edick Floreal (he left Stanford following the 2012 season) at Kentucky, where she's a volunteer assistant coach.
Mohammad, who owns the fastest time in the event this year, was unable to summon up a stretch run to compete with Carter.
Although Mohammad ran like she was at 100 percent, it should be noted that she did miss some time this year with a hamstring pull.
That takes nothing away from Carter, who ran a consistent race despite running from the outside lane where she had little contact with the rest of the field until the stretch.
"I'm so happy right now," Carter said. "When you work so hard for something and sacrifice so much, and for it all to pay off in the end … it's such a surreal experience."