This is where the true action took Place. Well I flew out and arrived in Columbus, Ohio late that Wednesday night. A lot of people tell you to relax before the meet but I had been so focused since we step on the plane to go to Ohio and plus the hotel that we stayed in was the epicenter for all the Jr. Nationals activities. So The first night we just walked the streets looking for something to eat. Once I had eaten I tried to sleep but I didn’t fall asleep until 3a.m. that Thursday morning. I couldn’t help it, I was to hype. The next day we got up to find some breakfast and then we walked the Ohio State campus. Later on that day we went to the track to get a quick workout in before the race the next day. The workout didn’t really go as plan which really had me worried. I couldn’t get comfortable in the blocks and my starts all felt terrible and finally when I started to hurdle I felt really sluggish. I can remember telling myself that I know I didn’t come all the way up here just to lose. Then I thought that maybe it was just that I needed some competition beside me to get my adrenaline pumping and then I would be okay. Later that night to relax my nerves, my dad and I went to see the Incredible Hulk. I really didn't think the movie would be that good but I really like it. The movie did its job because it got my mind off of the race for a while but that lasted until I got back to the hotel to get some sleep. Well that’s funny because sleep is the one thing that I didn’t get. I just kept thinking about all the scenarios that could happen during the race. My legs kept tightening up like they were running and it was like I couldn’t control it. I don’t know when I fell asleep but I do know it had to be after 2 that Friday morning. So I woke up about 11 that Friday morning but that was okay because my race wasn’t until 4 in the afternoon. I felt really tired in my legs from trying to sleep and I had to admit that I thought the day could only get worse from there. So we left for the track at about 1 and I started to warm up at about 2 because the race started at 4 but they want everybody at the hipping tent about 3:40. During the warm up I went to a shaded spot that was far away from everybody to stretch and to really get my self hype. Warm ups went okay but I was really nervous. Its funny because in hurdle warm ups, every hurdler looks like he’s ready to break 12.87. The competition looked really tight. So they called all of us up to get our hip numbers for the prelims and wouldn’t you know it, I got lane 9!!! To me the lanes in the straight away really don’t matter. Usually!!! But this had me really nervous. For one thing I had never been on a 9 lane track. But then I remembered last years World Championships in Osaka, Japan. Liu Xiang had lane 9 and he ended up winning. That really got me motivated. So they took us to the starting line. The first heat ran and the time was a 13.93. This being the biggest meet of the year so far, I was thinking the times would be faster. So I was thinking that maybe it was a very slow track. So my heat was next. I did my warm up but I felt really bad. I mean it was so bad that I thought it would be better to just stand behind by blocks and wait. That’s what I did too. So the starter got us set in the blocks. When the starter shot the gun from what I can remember my start felt pretty normal and my first two hurdles felt normal as usual. But then something happened. After hurdle two, I took off. I mean it felt like when a roller coaster go’s from that slow coast at the beginning to that sudden burst of speed. Everybody beside me felt like they were standing still. That speed also made me so crowed that it felt like I had to twist my body to get over the hurdles. I crossed the finish line expecting the announcer to say something like 13.6 or 5 but when he said 13.49 I just started jumping. I was so excited! Afterwards I Just found a spot just to rest because the finals were at 7 that same day. During my second warm up I didn’t do much because I didn’t want to get tired before the finals. I spent most of my time trying to get myself hyped again. I remember hoping the finals were slower because I felt tired. But once we got into the blocks, all I could think about was going to Poland to represent the USA. The gun sounded and I was out. I told myself that if I was the first one to the first hurdle, I was going to win that race. I felt really fast but I wasn’t feeling as crowded as I did in the prelims. Once I crossed the finish line, the first thing that I thought about was that I had made the USA national team. I really didn’t know what my time was until my dad came running down and told me it was 13.4. I couldn’t even believe it. I finally won a national title. Later that night they fitted me for the USA uniform and other USA clothing. It was the greatest feeling in my life…so far.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008