MIRAMAR, Fla. (June 22, 2019) – Howard University’s Jermaine Byrd (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) wrapped up his rookie campaign with shining moments at the 2019 USA Track & Field (USATF) U20 National Championships where he reached the 110-meter hurdles finals and placed sixth overall. The race took place at the Ansin Sports Complex in Miramar, Fla.
— Howard Athletics (@HUBisonSports) June 23, 2019
Before reaching the finals, Byrd ran a qualifying time of 13.68, a new personal best for the South Florida product.
“[Jermaine] Byrd’s prelim run was a thing of beauty,” said Howard Director of Track & Field David Oliver. “He’s been locked in and focused over the past six weeks and it showed. His time [13.68] has him on the World U20 Top 25 list, which is huge. Not even I was able to do that as a freshman.”
Nearly three hours after advancing, Byrd had a quick turnaround as he prepared for his toughest race. The hometown native held his own, finishing sixth overall (13.84) against the top athletes in the country.
— Howard Athletics (@HUBisonSports) June 20, 2019
“I think he had some pre-race jitters that got the best of him in the finals,” Director Oliver continued. “He’s never been in that type of quality race before, so nerves played a role as expected.”
Kentucky’s Tai Brown and Oregon’s Eric Edwards, Jr. placed first and second, respectively, where they will represent the United States in the 2019 Pan American U20 Athletics Championships, held in San Jose, Costa Rica (July 19-21).
Despite falling just short of Costa Rica, Director Oliver realized the importance of competing in an event at this magnitude.
— Andrew Murphy (@CoachMurphy1867) June 22, 2019
“This was a great way to end his freshman campaign,” Director Oliver added. “Early on, he was riddled with setbacks due to injuries, but [he] still contributed points in three events at the MEAC [Outdoor] Championships, which culminated to a sixth-place finish at the USA Junior Championships.”
At the 2019 MEAC Outdoor Championships, Byrd was the lone freshman to make the finals where he took fifth with a USATF qualifying time of 14.33.
“I can’t remember the last time Howard had someone at this level so early in his or her career,” Director Oliver stated. “When the lights are the brightest, that’s when you’re supposed to perform your best and he did just that. I hope this is a great springboard for the rest of his collegiate career.”
Byrd, alongside fellow rising sophomores Aariq Nixon (Baltimore) and reigning MEAC javelin champion Mekhi Abbott (Monroe, N.J.), have laid a foundation for the Bison as they enter the summer.
“This was a very long season,” Director Oliver ended. “It’s time for him to get a much deserved mental and physical break.”
( Story Courtesy of Howard University Athletics)
For more information, visit the Bison Athletics website at www.HUBison.com.