We did it!! I will be representing THE United States of America in the Olympic Games as the U.S. Champion in the 110 meter hurdles!
I woke up this morning feeling pretty fresh, my lower back was just a little stiff but I knew I good warm up would knock that out. We all met up at the track around 12:15, our semi-final round was at 3:15.
In the semi's, I got out fairly well, but Payne led through about three or four hurdles, then I went in to my race strategy and pulled out the win. When I looked up at the scoreboard and it said 12.89 (3.2w), I was like, "I'm really ready". I knew the race was windy once we crossed the line, for some reason I always know when I'm running a windy race, I think it's because I can feel the way my style changes while running in the race. It was crazy that no American has ever ran that fast ever, regardless of the conditions. The unfortunate thing that came out of the semi was both my training partners were knocked out in that round. I was very disappointed, but I knew I had my own task at hand to take care of.
Warming up for the finals was really strange. Every race I have run this season Aub or Joel had warmed up with me, so it felt funny just jogging around, doing drills and starts by myself. On the other side, it gave me time to really focus on what I needed to do and get some one-on-one time with Brooks before the race. He had me hyped up as usual.
When we got in the blocks for that final, I wasn't very nervous, I knew that if I took care of my ten hurdles, I would be on the team. I didn't get out very well, but what else is new. Terrence was GONE, I stayed in control and ran my race strategy to a T and was able to come back and pull out the win in the final steps of the race. I hit another sub 13, running 12.95, although that was illegal as well. Terrence came second with 13.00 and David Payne was third in 13.25. This is the same exact three that lined up for the USA in last year's World Championships in Osaka. I feel really bad for my friend Anwar Moore, who had been running very well through the rounds and was in third position coming off of number ten before falling.
When I saw I won, I took off sprinting another 200 meters almost. I ran in to Kenta Bell who was on his victory lap with the other triple jumpers and shared some high fives. I guess this will be the third team in a row we will be roommates! LOL. I couldn't wait to get over to my mom, we shared an embrace that lasted a long time.
After that, you know we had a long process of filling out paperwork and doing interviews. They even hit your boy for four vials of blood during the drug screening along with some urine. I'm so overjoyed, I set out this season to upgrade those two bronze medals I won last year at USA Indoor and Outdoor Championships to gold medals, and that's exactly what I did. Now I have about six weeks until the Games, I have no idea what is on the docket for that time frame. Brooks will figure it out.
It wouldn't be possible without the help of so many people, God first and foremost, my mom Bren, my strength coach Randy Hadley, Brooks, Joel, Aub, Mona, Dr. Carmen Lynch, the support of everyone who comes to this site, the list goes on and on. Thanks to everyone.