INDIANAPOLIS — Kendra Harrison was named Athlete of the Week by USA Track and Field after a world-leading 60-meter hurdles victory Jan. 23 at the Rod McCravy Memorial Meet in Lexington, Kentucky.
Harrison trains in Lexington under UK head coach Edrick Floréal after she completed her UK career last summer as one of the greatest hurdlers in collegiate history. She also serves on the UK track staff as a volunteer assistant coach focusing much of her energy in that role on mentoring the current Wildcats.
Last summer Harrison earned the USATF Silver Medal in the 100m hurdles and went on to qualify for the semifinal at 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing,
Harrison ran 7.86 in last week’s McCravy prelims before moving up to eighth all-time on the U.S. list with a sweeping 7.83 victory in the final. Her openers were faster than her previous PR 7.87 which she used to win one of the fastest-ever NCAA finals, last March.
“I’m honored to be named USATF Athlete of the Week,” said Harrison. “I was pleased to start my indoor season well.”
In just her opening meet of the season, Harrison’s preliminary and finals finishes are the two fastest times in 2016.
“Running a PR in my first race of the year only motivates me to keep doing what I’m doing in training,” she continued. “I look forward to pushing on from here as I work toward my broader goals the rest of the year.”
Named Female Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, she was also recognized at the NCAA Convention as one of the 2016 Today’s Top 10 Award winners based on her successes on the track, in the classroom and in the community.
Harrison will next compete Feb. 5 at the Karlsruhe Indoor Meeting in Germany.
USATF’s Athlete of the Week recognizes outstanding performers at all levels of the sport. USATF names a new honoree each week and features the athlete on www.usatf.org. Selections are based on top performances and results from the previous week.
After two home meets the last two weekends, including another record-setting and world-class McCravy Memorial, the majority of the Wildcats will take the week off.
Still a select group of the Cats are competing this weekend, at the Indiana Relays in Bloomington, Indiana, and the JDL Fast Track Invitational in North Carolina.
Indiana Relays live results are available here.
January is often a fun time for college athletes as fast times and good marks they record can add the moniker of world-leader as they occur, especially before some top professionals in the world begin their seasons.
To that end, Ariah Graham has had a solid start to her second year at UK.
Last weekend she won the McCravy in a three-second PR and indoor school-record 2:04.64 – which ranks No. 3 in the NCAA.
Add to that the fact that her time in the sparingly run 500 meters during December: 1:10.80, continues to be the fastest in the world this year.
Whether that time will hold up as the season progresses remains to be seen. Nonetheless Graham can claim the title of world-leader, for now.
by Jacob Most