There’s a zip in her walk and a smile on her face reaching, it seems, all the way from Oregon to England.
The 29-year-old Hampton University graduate is bound for the London Olympic Games next month after placing second in 12.77 (back of Dawn Harper’s 12.73 but ahead of Lolo Jones’ 12.80) in the women’s 100-meter hurdles final of the USA Olympic Track and Field Trials Saturday at Hayward Field.
“I can smile now,” she said.
“I am definitely back.”
How her world has turned.
Back at the 2008 Olympic Trials, right here at Hayward Field, she ran second in her semifinal of the 100 hurdles only to tear a hamstring in the process.
But she rehabbed well and by 2011 was ranked number one in the world in the 60-meter hurdles, and No. 4 globally in the outdoor 100 hurdles.
Virginia Tech alumnae Queen Harrison and Kristi Castlin and Queen Harrison had no such luck, bowing out in the 100 hurdles semifinals. Harrison clocked a 12.88, Castlin a 12.93. They were in good company; bowing out, too, was 2004 Olympic champion Joanna Hayes (12.98).
With prelims and semifinals of the women’s 400 meters out of the way, Francena McCorory seems destined for Olympic status, too.
The Bethel High and Hampton graduate ran 50.55 to win her semifinal of the 400 Saturday.
Obviously Olympic-ready, too, is Suffolk resident/Woodrow Wilson of Portsmouth product LaShawn Merrittt, who led the men’s 400 semis in 44.78.
As a 2008 Beijing Olympic gold medalist, he has his heart set on becoming just the second man ever to repeat as Olympic one-lap champion.
Michael Johnson did it at Atlanta in 1996 and Sydney in 2000, and now it’s Merritt’s turn to bid for repeat gold.
He becomes the strong favorite to capture Sunday night’s eight-man final.
Keith Moffatt, the Menchville High and Morehouse College grad, who’d had come close in past Olympic Trials, placing fourth in 2004 and fifth in 2008, failed to clear a height this time. Referenced from DailyPress