Aug 15, 2013
James Harris initially wasn’t sure what his role would be on the United States’ 4×400 relay at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia. As it turned out Florida State’s rising senior was the catalyst for the fastest time in the world Thursday.
Running the leadoff leg for the US team in a blazing 44.86, Harris handed off the baton in the lead, setting the tone for the fastest time in the preliminary rounds. With a world-leading time of 2:59.85, the US will enter Friday’s final as the favorite.
“I was prepared and execution was the only thing left to do,” Harris said. “I felt really comfortable coming out of the final turn and I felt really good.”
The Belgium team led by former Seminoles and twins Jonathan and Kevin Borlee, also qualified for the finals.
It was a busy and productive day all around for former Seminoles in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium. Kimberly Williams, representing Jamaica, used an all-time best mark of 14.62 meters (47-11.75) to place fourth in the triple jump. Hannah England, representing Great Britain, was also fourth in the 1500-meter finals (4:04.98).
“It gave me chills as I walked into the stadium,” said Harris. “Moments like this are what many people dream about and I’m blessed enough to be living it. I’m not sure what the plans are for tomorrow, I’m just hoping to be a part of them.”
The World Championships wrap up Sunday with the 4×100 relay serving as the final event. Harris’ teammate Dentarius Locke is a member of the Team USA relay pool, which will compete for the first time in Saturday’s preliminary rounds.
Watson grabs two golds
Rising Seminole sophomore Sage Watson grabbed a pair of gold medals Thursday at the Canada Games in Sherbrooke, Ontario. Watson won the 400-meter dash in 54.05, then scored her second gold in the 400-meter hurdles (58.46).
The Medicine Hat, Alberta native has enjoyed an incredible 2013 season on the track. As a freshman at Florida State, Watson earned All-American honors in the 400-meter hurdles at the NCAA Outdoor Championships and as a member of the Seminoles’ distance medley relay at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
Later this month, Watson will travel to Medellin, Colombia to represent Canada at the Junior PanAm Games in both events.
Another Seminole Canadian, rising senior Chelsea Whalen, will take aim at her second gold medal of the Canada Games on Friday in the women’s javelin final. Whalen claimed her first gold on Tuesday in the shot put.