Profiles

Click here for the quotes section, originallly added 4/29/05, updated 4/8/09.

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Thank You AJ

Last week Allen Johnson announced his retirement from track and field. Arguably the best 110m high hurdler of all time, and definitely one of the greatest technicians of all time, Johnson will be greatly missed, as I’m sure that all fans of the hurdles have been inspired by him to one degree or another. I’ll...

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Kim Batten: A Woman with a Dream

"Sometimes dreams are wiser than waking." -Black Elk: Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux The year was 1995. The venue was Ullevi Stadium in Goteborg, Sweden. The event was the women’s 400m hurdle final. In lanes four and five, Americans Tonja Buford and Kim Batten were both running the race of their lives. They touched...

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Harold Sims: Getting his Weight Up

"Hey, get your weight up, my motto, you heard? And I grown a deaf ear to felonious words" -Q-tip Three summers ago a skinny kid about six feet tall with long, baggy shorts that looked more like a skirt came to the track asking me if he could train with the guys on my club...

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Booker Nunley: A Hurdler with a Heart

Every now and then real life gets in the way of track and field. All the aspirations dreams and goals get put on hold for a while as we’re reminded that death is an integral, inescapable part of life. And we realize, quite ironically, that awareness of death is what gives life its depth and...

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Post-Trials Interview with David Oliver

David Oliver, winner of the men's 110 meter high hurdles at the US Olympic trials earlier this month, has been the best and most consistent American hurdler in 2008. He has run under 13.00 three times, including twice at the trials (both were wind-aided) and a legal 12.95 in Doha in early May. After that...

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Email Interview with David Oliver after his 12.95 in Doha

After American 110 hurdler moved to a tie for 9th place on the all-time world list in that event on May 8th, 2008, he answered some email questions that I sent him a few days later. The email interview is below: Question: Did this race feel any different (faster) than others when you've been in...

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We’ll Miss You Ron

May 4th, 2008 was a sad day for anyone who closely follows the 110 hurdles. On his blog website, American hurdler Ron Bramlett announced that he will no longer be running professionally due to stress fractures in both shins. Bramlett, a two-time NCAA champion who has been running professionally for six years, has been plagued...

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A Discussion with David Oliver

A week ago David Oliver won the men’s 60 meter hurdles at US Nationals in New York City. A week from now Oliver will be racing in Valencia, Spain to contend for the World Indoor Championship against the likes of China’s Liu Xiang, Cuba’s Dayron Robles, and fellow American Allen Johnson. In between those two...

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Good-bye Wilbur Ross

On Friday August 10th, legendary hurdle guru Wilbur Ross passed away at the age of 80. Known primarily for the work he did while coaching Elias Gilbert and Fran Washington at Winston Salem Teachers College in the 1950s, Ross went on to work with many hurdling greats, including 1975 NCAA champion Larry Shipp, former world...

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David Oliver: Cutting No Corners

One of the rising stars among American 110m hurdlers is Howard University grad David Oliver, who currently trains in Orlando, Florida under the guidance of legendary track coach Brooks Johnson. Oliver, who graduated from Howard in 2004, has a career best of 13.20 that he ran in 2006. As of this writing, his most recent...

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Kevin Young: Always in the Trenches

At the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, Kevin Young did what many believed to be impossible: not only did he break the 400m hurdle world record of 47.02 set by the great Edwin Moses nine years earlier, but he became the first man to break the 47.00 barrier in that event, earning himself a gold...

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Ron Bramlett Interview

At the 2007 USA Indoor Track & Field Championships in February, 27-year-old Ron Bramlett won the men’s 60 meter high hurdles in a personal best time of 7.47, making him the third-fastest hurdler (with the fifth-fastest time) in the world this year. Only Liu Xiang and Dayron Robles have run faster. Recently I asked Ron...

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Thanks A Lot, George

About a year ago, while gathering research for the book I’m writing on Rodney Milburn, I was searching for any race footage of Milburn I could get my hands on. I almost gave up hope after months of inquiries into various leads that ended up falling through. But then one day while browsing through old...

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Ron Bramlett: Getting It All Down on Film

Once you get past “the big three” of Allen Johnson, Terrence Trammell, and Dominique Arnold, Ron Bramlett’s name is one of the first to come up when talking about the best high hurdlers in the United States. After winning two NCAA championships in 2001 and 2002, the 5’11”, 165 lb. Bramlett has gone on to...

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Shelia Burrell: A Master of All Trades

Developing the ability to negotiate ten barriers in a hurdle race is a daunting task unto itself, so just think how difficult it would be to master six additional technical events as well, and to compete in all seven events in the space of two days. Such is the challenge that heptathlete Shelia Burrell has...

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Tonie Campbell: Love at First Flight

"The first thing a hurdler learns is how to fall." –Tonie Campbell Except for the immortal Willie Davenport, no American high hurdler has qualified for more Olympic Games than California native Tonie Campbell, who made the U.S. team in 1980, 1984, and 1988, with his best result being a bronze medal at the ’88 Games...

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Porscha Dobson: The Once and Future Hurdling Star

Making the transition from high school to college often proves to be more difficult for some than it does for others. Porscha Dobson, a junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, knows how difficult the transition can be. As a senior at Kent Place High School in northern New Jersey, Dobson’s 13.50...

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Marcus Walker: Keeping the Community Together

Sometimes, when the career of a promising athlete is cut short by injury, that athlete will spend years wallowing in regret and self-pity, wondering what might have been if life had not taken an unfair twist. Others, meanwhile, will choose to pick themselves up and do the best they can to make a difference in...

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Mike Shine: No Shame in Second Place

They got a name for the winners in the world, I want a name when I lose. --Steely Dan One of my earliest memories of the sport of Track & Field comes from when I was a little nine-year-old boy sitting in front of the television with my mom, dad, sister, and two brothers, watching...

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Beau Walker: Hurdling in her Father’s Footsteps

While most hurdlers don’t get started hurdling until sometime in their high school years, there are those who get started a little earlier than that. One such athlete is Beau Walker, a recent graduate of the University of Alabama who still has one remaining year of collegiate eligibility. The 22-year-old Walker, who has been hurdling...

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Kasia Williams: Doing What She’s Gotta Do

One of the top 100m hurdlers amongst collegiate female athletes is Kasia Williams, a senior at the University of Arkansas. Competing for a school known more for its distance runners and field-events stars, Williams has made a name for herself in her two years as a Razorback hurdler, having qualified for the NCAA Outdoor nationals...

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Laron Bennett: Time is on his Side

Laron Bennett: Time is on his Side One of the top 400m intermediate hurdlers in the USA today is Laron Bennett, a senior at the University of Georgia. In the 2004 outdoor season, Bennett set a school record at the East Regional meet in a time of 49.04, he finished fourth at the NCAA National...

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Jon Shaffer: A Middle-distance Hurdler

While many 400m hurdlers double in the 110’s, open 400, or open 200, there also those who take more of a middle-distance approach by doubling in the open 800. One such athlete is Jon Shaffer, a junior at Marquette University in Wisconsin. Shaffer, whose personal best in the intermediates is 52.63, also has a 800m...

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Renaldo Nehemiah: Master of the Art Form

“. . . The Master acts without doing anything and teaches without saying anything.” -from the Tao Te Ching When it comes to the men’s 110-meter high hurdles, all conversations begin and end with the same name: Renaldo Nehemiah. Though he no longer holds the world record, nor the American record, and though he never...

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Andrea Mosher: A Special Kind of Person

Of all the events in Track & Field, none are as daunting as the 400m hurdles, so only a person with extraordinary resolve and commitment has the mental toughness needed to endure the tough training sessions that this event requires in order to achieve any level of success. One athlete who possesses such resolve is...

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Selim Nurudeen: Hurdles by Design

As the 2005 outdoor season kicks into full gear, one name to look out for in the mens' 110m hurdles is that of Selim Nurudeen, a senior at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. Nurudeen, the Big East champion in the 110’s the past three years, has his sights set on higher goals in...

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Jean Poquette: Guide to the Great One

There is no 110m high hurdler in the history of the event who inspires as much passionate, lively discussion as the legendary Renaldo Nehemiah, who is arguably the greatest 110-meter man who ever lived, and is definitely the standard-bearer of greatness in the event. One evening this past week, I had the pleasure of talking...

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Lee Pantas: Building a Foundation

Not very often does it occur that two 110m hurdlers from the same high school run under 14.00, but that’s what happened in 2003 at Asheville-Reynolds High School in Asheville, NC. In that year, senior Kris Fant and junior Cade Liverman ran personal bests of 13.86 and 13.87, respectively, in their regional championship meet. A...

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Mark Piccolo: Efficiency is the Key

Whenever hurdlers and hurdle coaches get together to talk about hurdling, there is a certain basic vocabulary that serves as the foundation of the conversation. Words such as “technique,” “rhythm,” and balance,” to name a few, constantly appear. Another word that perhaps does not come up as often as it should is “efficiency,” as hurdlers...

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Nadine Faustin: She Keeps Coming Back

In modern American society, the hurdling events in Track & Field have become a primary metaphor for the concept of overcoming obstacles, of falling and getting back up. To a hurdler, however, the need to overcome obstacles and to continually get back up no matter how many times one falls is a very real, concrete...

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Ron Andrews: Dashing Through the Snow

One of the top 110m high hurdlers in the USA is Ron Andrews, who also is the newly-hired sprint/hurdle coach at his alma mater, Kent State University in Ohio. Andrews finished 19th overall at the 2004 Olympic Trials at Sacramento State University with a 13.78, missing the semi-final round by a mere two-hundredths of a...

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Kevin Watson: Born to Hurdle

Some athletes get involved in hurdling because they have good height, or because they lack raw sprinting speed, or at the suggestion of a coach who has too many people sprinting. Sometimes, though, athletes will get involved in hurdling because they were simply born to hurdle, because they were hurdlers before they even knew they...

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Reggie Towns: A Technique Hurdler

In the collegiate ranks, there are certain schools that instantly come to mind when you think of the hurdling events. One such school would be the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. One of the most outstanding hurdlers to ever compete for Tennessee was Reggie Towns, who ran for the Volunteers from 1980 to 1983. While...

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Aaron Sink: Willing to Work Hard Enough

One of the best high school intermediate hurdlers to ever compete in the state of North Carolina was Aaron Sink, a 1998 graduate of Sanderson High School in Raleigh, NC. While at Sanderson, Sink won a 4A state championship in the 300m hurdles and pr’ed in a hand-timed 37.0, which is currently listed on ncpreptrack.net...

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Aaron McDougal: A Profile in Dedication

When I first moved to Raleigh, North Carolina in 1994, one of the first people I met was Aaron McDougal, who was one of the coaches for the Carolina Eagles – a local age-group track club. Coach McDougal and I formed an instant friendship based on our mutual love of the hurdles, and we have...

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Quotes

The quotes listed below come mainly from hurdlers, hurdle coaches, or people in the world of Track & Field. Most of them have to do with hurdling, competing, or coaching, although some are about life in general as well. Many come from profiles that appear in the “Profiles” section of this website. Sometimes a quick...

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