Booker,Whew….I have finally accomplished one of my goals for this year! Well it was more like a dream for me; that was winning the Junior National Championship!
About three weeks ago I started my 39 inch hurdle training. I had been hurdling over the professional height for the entire season. My first 39 race was a developmental meet and there really wasn’t any competition there. I ran 13.88. I was kind of worried because I was expecting to run some ridiculous time. Coach McGill just told me that it was just my first meet over the lower height and that there wasn’t any comp. So I threw the race out of my head. The next week I was at an AAU meet near Charlotte, NC. I pretty much had to work with the same conditions but this time I had sort of a bum leg and a very sore groin. But I push through it and ended up running a 13.80. Watching the film of this race I could see that I was very quick over the hurdle and also a lot of the sprint mechanics we had worked on that week were finally internalizing. So I was really CONTENT with the race. I was so excited for the next week because I had run two 13.8’s with no comp and then we were heading to North Carolina A&T for the North Carolina state games. This is usually a very fast track. I had run some of my fastest races there. But boy this meet really turned into a living nightmare. First of all, it was probably about 100 degrees. Then I made the mistake of warming up a lot more than I usually do. I tried to hide in the shade but the damage was already done. I was so drained at the start that when the race started I had to struggle just to reach the first hurdle. It seemed to take an eternity to reach every hurdle. Although, I ended up winning, I knew the time was slow but when I looked at the clock, I almost died. The clock said 14.41???????I really couldn’t believe that with a week to go until Jr. Nationals I ran that slowly. But I knew it was because of almost dying of the heat. My mom said my eyes were bloodshot red. Usually I take the day off after a meet. But after that performance, my dad and I got up early the next morning and went to the track. All we worked on was my start. This IS the weakest point of my race. Once we felt we had straightened out my start it was time for Coach McGill to do his thing. McGill made my last three workouts all about speed. I can’t give away my secrets, so you’ll have to ask him. After those practices I was given two prep talks. One, by my dad; He basically told me to get mad and to get the urge to just want to destroy people when I come out the blocks. The other prep talk was from coach McGill. He just told me to believe in myself and to tell myself that no one was going to beat me. Then it was off to Ohio!!!