Sorry it’s taken me so long to give you all an update but a few weeks ago, I competed in the 2016 Olympic Trials in Eugene, OR. It was an amazing experience and even though I did not make the Olympic team, I was happy that I made it as far as I did. If you read my other post a month before the Trials, I was unsure about how I would perform because my season had taken a turn for the worst. Fortunately, I was able to make it all the way to the semi-finals finishing 13th overall. Coming into the trials I was ranked 20something so coming out in a better position was awesome! And the best part of the whole experience??? Winning the first round and being interviewed on NBC in front of a World Wide Audience!!!!
Going into the prelims I was very nervous when I arrived at the track. I wasn’t sure what would happen because I hadn’t raced in almost a month and that race went terribly. My practices had improved tremendously but during the pre-meet shake out the day before my rhythm and steps were a little off so I knew I had to prepared for anything. Also, I had to receive treatment on my hamstrings in the morning because when I woke up for some reason they were very tight. But right before I started warming up I knew I had it. There were a few scratches in the start list and one of them was the number one ranking 400m hurdler. When that happened it reminded me of a few years ago when I made it to the finals at Nationals and someone scratched from my heat. I had been praying nonstop since I landed in Oregon and I felt like that was a sign from God. Letting me know just like he was with me all those years ago he was with me now. I knew I was going to win! I even told my mom before my race that I thought I was going to win! As I began my warm up, I got ready for war!
I had lane 8 in the prelims and I knew I wouldn’t be able to see anyone until I reached the 300 (coming off the second curve) but I knew if I could just stay in reach I could kick and run anyone down. As I got into the blocks, I just kept reminding myself that I was ready and to stay close and kick! The gun went off and I knew exactly want I had to do. As I approached the back straight away, I felt my steps were off and I began switching (alternating between my right and left lead leg) a lot earlier than I was supposed to but I was ready for anything and handled the change fluidly and without a hitch. The girl on the inside of me started pressing around the 200 (beginning of the second curve) and I knew I had to go with her. I stayed on her and when we started coming off the curve I knew I was in reach and I could get her. The first thought I had approaching the final straight away was “Oh crap, I’m really going to win!” Lol. And then I made my move! I hit my second gear, closed my eyes and ran as hard and fast as I could. And when it was over I was victorious! I was so shocked, excited, and happy! Then I saw the cameras and was pulled to an interview and all I could do was thank God and praise Jesus! I was so nervous I didn’t know what to say, and I couldn’t catch my breath not because I was tired but because I was nervous and excited!! I was thinking OMG I’m going to be on National T.V.! This is crazy, I hope I still look good LOL!!! The love and support I received was amazing! Although I was disappoint in my time, I wouldn’t take back that moment for anything. It has to be one of the best moments in my career, representing my city, family, Howard, UofMaryland, friends, and fans!
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the video of my NBC interview but to watch my USATF interview click here!
So after an amazing first round, I was beyond ready for the second round. I had run a fairly decent time the day before with a major rhythm hiccup so I knew I could run faster if I could execute my race properly. I also knew that people were not playing this year and if I wanted to make it to the finals, I would have to run a new personal best and I was ready to do just that! Unfortunately, my hamstrings were not ready when I woke up and once again I had to receive treatment in the morning to try to loosen them up. When I started warming up this time, my hamstrings were still a little tight but a lot better. I just knew I had it! My warm up went great! I was so on and I can tell you that I was so confident I was going to be in that final! I was so ready. I had a great lane right in the middle of the track and I was ready to roll out.
The first half of my race, I felt great, like I was in a pretty good position and I was trying to stay within reach coming into the second turn the girls on my inside had caught me and I could feel the field starting to pull away. In the middle of the turn I knew I had to kick right then or I wouldn’t be able to finish top 4. But as I tried to make my move, I had no more “mmphh” and try as I might I couldn’t pick it up and the girls started pulling further and further away. And when I crossed the line I finished 7th. 😦
I was very disappointed but very proud. I went for it. I tried and even though I came up short. I had a great year, made great friends, even got a boyfriend <3, and pursued my dream. I took a leap of faith and I knew if I hadn’t it would have been a huge regret.
Thank you all for all of your love and support this year. You have been truly amazing and all of the phone calls, texts, messages, emails, posts have been amazing and it’s because of that support I’m willing to go one more year! Love you guys! 🙂