You first have to understand that the NYT Sports covers a lot of black athletes. You don't go first to the racism charge here. Mary Cain is a New Yorker. They cover New York first and foremost. Then she runs for Al Salazar, who loves to talk to the press, or who gives good stories. Now Mary Cain is very good with the press, whereas Ajee' Wilson is not--very reserved, giving one or two word answers. Wilson is much more accomplished in terms of victories. She has won World Youth, World Juniors, and was 6th at World's, in addition to having a fine Euro campaign last year. She has run a very fast 1:57.67. She will be 21 in May.
Mary Cain is two years younger. Her pr at 1500m, 4:04, run just after her 17th birthday, is 8 seconds faster than Wilson's. Her 1k pr, run when she was 17 and about 10 months, is 9 seconds faster than Wilson's. Her 800m pr is nearly 2 seconds slower, at 1:59.51, but she ran that at age 17 and 1 month, whereas Ajee' did not break 2 until age 19. She can run as fast or faster than Ajee's 400m pr of 54, but has also run 8:58, at age 18, in a tactical race where she blew away the Ethiopian runner-up at World Juniors in the last 200m, and 15:45, just for the qualifying time at age 17. She owns the American high school record at 800m (1:59.51: Ajee' has the American junior record at 1:58.21 at age 19), and the American junior records at 1500m (4:04) and 1M (4:24?), and is close at 3000m (8:58 (8:57 is listed as the record)), and 2M (9:39 (this is the record, I think), and 5000m (15:43 is listed as the record but Huddle has 15:36). So, you can see that while Wilson has been terrific, Cain has outperformed her at every event other than 800m and was ahead of her at 800m as well at 17.
Cain has not run well so far but if she picks up this summer where she left off last winter or the previous summer, she'll likely challenge Wilson at 800m, break 4 in the 1500m, run sub 8:40 at 3k, and maybe even run a low 15 5k. Hard to compete with that. There's not been a single female prospect like that in the United States since Mary Decker in the 1970s.
That is your answer.
If you don't have time to read it all, let me summarize
1) it's called the "New York" Times. Ajee is from Philly.
2) Cain was a MUCH bigger HS phenom than Wilson.
Wilson ran 2:00.91 in HS. That wasn't even the HS record (2:00.07 Gallagher) and Chanelle Price had run 2:01 just 4 years before.
Cain, in comparison, ran 4:04.62 in HS, nearly 10 seconds faster than Jordan Hasay's record (4:14.50). And oh yeah, Cain also crushed Wilson's HS 800 time by running 1:59.51. As a frosh, Wilson ran 2:07, Cain split 2:03 . That split was so absurd people on letsrun were calling it "A work of art." http://goo.gl/5GVs7z
Yes, people are right Cain very likely may never be 2nd in the world (I'd argue it's a lot harder to be 2nd in the world in the distance events than the 800 as there is a lot less African competition) but that's not the point. We live in a very much "Winner take all society." Cain thus gets all of the pub. One could easily argue that Ritz was a better HS runner than Webb but Webb got all of the national press, was that racism?
Might race might play a tiny bit into Ajee not getting more publicity?
Perhaps but it's mainly it's cause Cain is was obliterating the HS record books (including Wilson's) , is with Alberto, is personable and is from NY.
Wilson has none of those qualities. HS records? no. Famous coach? No. Is from NY? No. Is real outgoing? No.
The New York Times doesn't do a story on a person second in the world in an obscure sport in a non Olympic year.
PS. Random thought, It kind of does anger me that the piece didn't even mention the name of her initial HS coach. The idea that Alberto is makign Cain is absurd. The idea that any coach makes an athlete is pretty much absurd. Go back and read the Cain 2:03 thread. People were raving about her coach Jim Mitchell.